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5 Ways MES Software Can Help You Meet Metals Production Challenges

5 Ways MES Software Can Help You Meet Metals Production Challenges

Meeting customer demands for better, lighter and stronger metal products can be a lot to tackle without the right tools. Fabio Mielli of Rockwell Automation explains why, and how you can address these challenges.

Today more than ever, you need technology that can give you real-time, actionable information about your operations. You can try creating a home-grown solution. But often, they can be difficult to support due to limited knowledge and technology turning obsolete.

That’s why many metal producers turn to manufacturing execution system (MES) software. It integrates, tracks and manages your intricate manufacturing systems. And, it can help ensure effective execution of activities within your manufacturing process.

For example, one American steel pipe producer implemented MES to give workers better operational visibility. The result? Workers improved cut optimization and increased yield by 2 percent, and the company is saving millions of dollars per year.

Utilizing MES can help you determine how best to deliver the right product, at the right time, created from the most cost-effective and appropriate raw materials. Here are five ways MES software can help you address your specific metal production challenges:

  1. Better Production Intelligence.

MES brings together your business, energy, production and logistics data by connecting equipment, control systems, applications and databases. In doing so, you can identify production issues like bottlenecks and quality issues through mobile dashboards and production trend reporting using real-time performance information.

MES also connects the mill floor to your ERP systems. This allows production reports to be delivered directly to the ERP, which is then populated with the corresponding material consumption, quality and process information.

  1. Improve Performance.

MES delivers productivity metrics like overall equipment effectiveness and downtime analysis in context: by shift, by area and by production site. Production information can also be cross-referenced with other data, like energy consumption. This allows you to pinpoint productivity issues and identify where costs can be reduced.

  1. Greater Recipe and Order Management.

You may still be developing and entering recipes manually – and managing workflows using physical documents. This is time-consuming work that is prone to error. MES allows you to create and store recipes, standardize operating procedures, and synchronize order management directly with the ERP system.

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Smart Manufacturing For Increased Flexibility In Asia Pacific

Smart Manufacturing For Increased Flexibility In Asia Pacific

Digital transformation requires secure, reliable, seamless connectivity to all industrial assets, and the use of smart machine technology positions OEMs to more effectively meet the demands of manufacturers for more flexibility. Article by Kumaravelu Sokka, Rockwell Automation.

Flexible manufacturing is increasingly a requirement for machine builders to stay ahead of the curve and offer value-added solutions to their customers. The importance of integrating flexible, solutions-oriented software to the plant floor is particularly apparent in a region as diverse as Asia Pacific. Operating in the fastest-growing major region in the world, OEMs in Asia Pacific are challenged to evolve at a rapid pace as they are the driving force behind a huge variety of global production lines. With manufacturers in the region striving to meet increasing global demand, OEMs can bring significant added value to their customers by making their machines smarter, and their production lines more adaptable.

Advances in smart machine technology have brought about an era in which OEMs can build solutions that meet the needs of manufacturers now and in the future. Customers in the region benefit tremendously from a differentiated machine offering that leverages their existing platform and data, and delivers more insights and value as a result. Smart machines seamlessly connect the plant floor with the enterprise, and generate actionable intelligence that add an invaluable degree of operational flexibility.

Scalable analytics platforms such as FactoryTalk Analytics illustrate this as they leverage smart machine technology to provide advanced analytics capabilities, such as machine learning. OEMs can initiate this with minimal cost, ultimately helping their customers to use their operational data to generate actionable insights and empowering them for more responsive, informed decision-making about their business performance. This capability can be further supplemented with FactoryTalk InnovationSuite, powered by PTC, which connects disparate devices and machines on the plant floor. Integrating data from these different sources into a single model, this solution helps to detect any operational issues before they cause downtime and increases the overall efficiency of operations. 

Augmented Reality

The industry is also taking advantage of developments within the field of augmented reality (AR), in which OEMs can maximise the potential of their machines while improving the efficiency of operating and maintaining the machines both remotely and onsite. Implementing a series of step-by-step instructions to guide employees helps end users move closer to securing a competitive advantage, optimising resources by reducing employee training needs and improving downtime and changeovers. These are just a few examples of smart machine technology solutions that take companies to the next level of their digital transformation journey, and they’re being put into practice throughout the region.

Companies across Asia Pacific are transitioning from predominantly hardware manufacturers, to solutions-oriented providers of fully-digital production capabilities, equipped to meet the challenges and requirements of the IoT market growth. This is exemplified in the case of 3V, one of the leading machine builders in the automotive industry, which partnered with Rockwell Automation to optimise their processes with IIOT technology. Their integration of information solutions, analytics and AR allows them to improve production, and grants the flexibility to solve problems before they occur, reducing both downtime and the costs and risks associated with maintenance. The digital transformation will open up new revenue streams for them, and will garner return on investment for their customers.

Digital transformation requires secure, reliable, seamless connectivity to all industrial assets, and the use of smart machine technology positions OEMs to more effectively meet the demands of manufacturers for more flexibility. By optimising the use of data across existing platforms, productivity and visibility are improved, enabling customers to differentiate in the marketplace and bring solutions to life even faster.

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Interview With Mr. Pierre Teszner, President & Regional Director, Southeast Asia At Rockwell Automation

Interview With Mr. Pierre Teszner, President & Regional Director, Southeast Asia at Rockwell Automation

Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to interview Mr. Pierre Teszner, President & Regional Director, Southeast Asia at Rockwell Automation regarding Rockwell’s achievements for 2018, the company’s aims for 2019, and the trends that will shape the industry in the following year.

1) Can you sum up your company’s focus and achievements in 2018?

Rockwell Automation is the world’s largest company solely devoted to industrial automation. The Connected Enterprise, which is how we implement smart manufacturing capabilities for our customers, is at the heart of everything we do. In 2018, our focus at Rockwell Automation has been to bring The Connected Enterprise to life for our customers.

With every action we took in 2018, we grew the strength of our distributors, system integrators and machine builder partners to bring the best automation and information solutions to our customers. Our partnership with PTC and the launch of our new branding towards the end of our fiscal year 2018, position Rockwell Automation tremendously well to bringing the Connected Enterprise to life for all customers and adapting it to local markets regardless of customer size, industry or geography.

2) What are your expectations on the regional economy in 2019?

The outlook for the regional economy of Southeast Asia for 2019 is positive. Factoring the risks inherent in the global trade and tariff arena, we do see a high likelihood for continued growth in the region supported by government investments (e.g. EEC Corridor in Thailand).

We also expect the FDI/ODI gaining strength into industries such as CPG (including companies involved with food production, packaged goods and beverages) and Oil & Gas.  Customers are particularly investing in Southeast Asia as a regional manufacturing hub as they perceive has fewer risks and less tariff exposure.

3) What business trends in Asia capture your interest for growth next year?

Next year, we’re focused on helping our customers take the first steps to digital transformation, or continue their journey, as companies are looking at digitisation to unlock increased productivity.

Rockwell Automation has a single-minded commitment to bringing the Connected Enterprise to life for all customers Together with our partners PTC and Claroty, we’re well positioned to bridge companies’ digitisation gap through scalable solutions that suit their unique business needs – either on a CAPEX or an OPEX (infrastructure or software as-a-service), or any combination needed.

4) What do you think is the key industry trend to watch out for 2019?

The key 2019 industry trends for Rockwell Automation are digital transformation and cybersecurity protection for our customers.

The key driver for digital transformation is the need to keep pace with the competition. Digital transformation enables organisations to optimise their existing processes and increase productivity and efficiencies within the business.

When it comes to cybersecurity, the best defence for companies is a good offence with a robust prevention and response plan to protect industrial control systems from ever-increasing cyberattacks.

5) What potential and opportunity do you see in the industry next year?

“To drive growth in the next 3-5 years, Rockwell Automation is focused on continuing to develop deep industry and country expertise and building our supplier and distributer networks. Additionally, with the region’s need for digitisation and cybersecurity we also see opportunities to help our customers to understand the world of digital transformation and the benefits that it offers.

“Through partnerships with the best universities, local governments, and Industry 4.0 agencies, Rockwell Automation is committed to elevating the industry and its needs by up-skilling students and re-skill working professionals so that the digitisation journey brings benefits to everyone.”

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Rockwell Automation Receives IEC 62443 Security Certification

Rockwell Automation Receives IEC 62443 Security Certification

Companies that want to protect critical information, productivity and safety in connected operations require products that are developed with security in mind. Thus, Rockwell Automation has developed a security development lifecycle (SDL) approach, which is now certified to meet the IEC 62443-4-1 security standard.

The certification confirms that Rockwell Automation product-development processes adhere to the security requirements in the IEC 62443-4-1 standard and the company is now using the certified SDL at all global development locations to support the development of all hardware and software products.

“Our certified SDL processes will help enhance security and support companies that are using a defense-in-depth approach,” said Shoshana Wodzisz, Cybersecurity Manager, Rockwell Automation. “And because our SDL is used at every Rockwell Automation development location, our customers can be confident that every product we put out is developed to an internationally recognized security standard.”

TÜV Rheinland performed the independent certification of the SDL, which is structured to help develop more secure products for a Connected Enterprise. Processes within the SDL include ongoing security competency on standards, technologies and tools, collaboration with partners to develop more robust, secure products, and comprehensive testing to verify that products meet established security requirements and conformance to relevant globally recognised standards.

More information about how Rockwell Automation embeds security into the product-development process is available here.

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Rockwell Automation Joins A*Star’s Advanced Remanufacturing And Technology Centre

Rockwell Automation Joins A*Star’s Advanced Remanufacturing And Technology Centre

SINGAPORE: Rockwell Automation has joined A*Star’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre’s (ARTC) members’ consortium to participate in research and development for sustainable remanufacturing in Singapore.

ARTC is Asia’s first centre for testing and developing manufacturing technologies and Rockwell Automation will be working closely with a host of multinational industry-leaders within the ARTC consortium to develop new technologies and industry talent.

Headquartered in Singapore, ARTC is a public-private collaboration between A*Star, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and industry partners that seeks to bridge technological gaps in the adoption of advanced remanufacturing processes in Asia.  ARTC also works with NTU to develop a talent pipeline to support the shift towards eco-friendly production processes and techniques.

Pierre Teszner, Regional Director for Rockwell Automation Southeast Asia, attended the signing ceremony that welcomed Rockwell Automation as an official member of their consortium:

“At Rockwell Automation, we are always looking to use our experience and technological innovations to secure and advance a bright future for the industry. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with ARTC and proud to be part of this industry collaboration”.

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