Apr 22 2015

Happy Earth Day 2015! Lean Manufacturing is Green Manufacturing [INFOGRAPHIC]

As we recognize Earth Day 2015, amid the various climate gyrations experienced throughout the world, the importance of seeing the big picture has never been more important. Take a moment today to think about what you can do to use fewer natural resources, streamline a manufacturing process or improve a Green Manufacturing initiative!

As food for thought, here is an Infographic from the folks at Bishop-Wisecarver Group. They are a WBENC certified woman-owned family of companies who works with manufacturers to engineer, produce, and build custom complex assemblies, linear motion solutions and optimal embedded intelligence systems. Learn more about them here. Thanks BWG!



Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2015/04/happy-earth-day-2015-lean-manufacturing-is-green-manufacturing-infographic/

Apr 16 2015

The Compliance Quagmire and Medical Device Manufacturing

regulatory-compliance-medical-device-manufacturingThe pace of technological change today means that opportunity for gains in operational efficiency in the manufacturing process are ever-present. For most industries, this is good news. When innovation can be assimilated into the production process with ease, end users benefit from incremental product improvement. When it comes to medical devices, however, the upward curve of technology is a double-edged sword.

Compliance processes for medical device manufacturing are strict, and it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out why. When people’s lives are on the line, the proper checks and balances need to be in place. In particular, when a brand new product is undergoing tests, the strictest of measures should be taken to ensure that the device is up to par, and that it doesn’t pose a danger to the health of future users.

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Many now believe that medical device regulation might have reached the point where innovation and new product introduction is now being impeded, with compliance making up 25-35 per cent of the cost of goods. The more established players in the industry have traditionally relied upon startups and smaller companies to drive innovation. But economies of scale, combined with the financial burden of testing and validation, mean smaller and more agile companies simply no longer have the means to lead the innovation push given today’s regulatory compliance burden.

Recent figures from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) serve to highlight just how onerous the burden is on smaller companies. The average US Company pays $9,991 per employee per year to comply with federal regulations. The average manufacturer pays almost double, at $19,564 per employee per year. Worse again, small manufacturers, or those with fewer than 50 employees, incur a regulatory cost of $34,671 per employee every year – more than three times the cost borne by the average US company. When we take into consideration the increased regulatory burden that comes with operating in the medical sector, it’s no wonder that small players are being marginalised and innovation is being stifled.

The amount of time and money absorbed by the process means that once verification is achieved, there is a disincentive to seek further innovation. The investment required to alter the process and maintain validation can be substantial. Companies become risk averse to rocking the boat and exploring new methods in the production process. So although the technology these companies are developing is at the cutting edge of science, the approach to compliance is often still stuck in the 20th century.

A New Approach is Needed

The above referenced aversion to innovation extends to the processes used for compliance. Medical Device manufacturers still predominantly rely on paper-based processes. Although the benefits of more refined solutions are commonly known, there is an underlying reluctance to change, stemming largely from the culture that now exists at these organizations – as a shadow that overregulation has cast across the industry. For the most part, the attitude is ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ While this old adage certainly has its place, should that place be at the cutting edge of medical science?

To add to the woes outlined above, in the US, 2013 saw the introduction of an incremental 2.3 per cent medical device excise tax, part of the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010. Excise taxes are generally levied on harmful activities such as alcohol consumption and smoking, not innovation with the potential to save lives. Some might argue that 2.3 per cent is not a big amount. But, when you are a startup and not yet profitable, every margin point counts.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2015/04/the-compliance-quagmire-and-medical-device-manufacturing/

Apr 14 2015

Green Manufacturing is a Global Practice

Green manufacturing is a global businessRise of Green Manufacturing

Consumers and manufacturers have become increasingly aware of the impact certain substances and/or manufacturing practices have on the environment. The phrase “carbon footprint” is no longer just spoken by insiders – being green is now a way of life in the manufacturing world.

In the last five years, environmental regulations have increased worldwide, especially in the U.S. The result has been cleaner air and water, and safer products such as phthalate-free linings in food cans and baby bottles. However, regulations have a major influence on manufacturing, your health and the environment.

Recent Regulations and Their Impact

The Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration are the primary federal agencies responsible for green manufacturing regulations, but many states and localities also have laws that may have stricter standards or that cover different substances than federal laws. The result? Manufacturers spend a great deal of effort monitoring regulations and managing their products to meet requirements.

Automotive Emissions

If you’ve purchased a new car in the last several years or even read car ads, you will have seen a notation about whether the car meets California emission standards. California has long had strict rules to help alleviate its smog problem. In 2012 they passed regulations requiring at least 1.4 million electric or hybrid vehicles be manufactured by 2025.

Since California’s original regulation, several states adopted the same requirements. California Air Resources Board  (CARB) states include: Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.

The federal standard will match the strict California mandate starting with the 2016 model year, and rules will get stricter through at least 2025.

These stringent regulations add cost to vehicles and complicate distribution for manufacturers, since only vehicles that met the standards could be sold in CARB states. The requirements affected the product design and manufacturing processes of hundreds of Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive suppliers who had to redesign products such as carburetion, exhaust and ignition systems, and manufacture and stock multiple versions. However, these new regulations also led to major advances in automotive fuel efficiency, new alternative fuel vehicles, and more cost-effective hybrid autos. And, in the end, cleaner air.

Toxic Substance Control Act

Effective since June 2012, the EPA enacted the Toxic Substance Control Act, which regulates the manufacturing, distribution, sale and significant new use of 119 toxic substances. This act defines permitted procedures for four extremely toxic substances that require consent orders for use. The covered substances are defined in the Federal Register.

These regulations require strict reporting for all manufacturers who use or possess the covered substances. In addition, the regulations explain storage, handling and safety equipment requirements.

While the reporting and controls add cost and time, the result is less risk of environmental contamination.

International Regulations Overview

The U.S. is not alone in its concern for greener manufacturing. Many emerging industrial countries have begun introducing environmental regulations that cover production processes and disposal of waste products within their borders.

China, for example, once produced about 70 percent of their power needs using coal, which resulted in extremely poor air quality. China had ambitious government sponsored plans to convert to nuclear power production to alleviate the smog problem, but it was not as effective as planned. China is now the world’s second largest producer and consumer of wind power. China mow has regulations regarding solar water heating and wastewater treatment to create safer, cleaner manufacturing processes.

Since 2012, India has enacted strict recycling laws that cover recycling requirements, reducing the use of hazardous materials, and collection centers for safe storage and disposal of toxic substances.

Internationally, countries have enacted similar measures to enable a cleaner world. From controlling greenhouse gases to regulating the use of toxic chemicals, the global manufacturing industry has had to work closer with each of the various regional governments to ensure greener manufacturing practices and a cleaner, safer environment.

The Future

On a go forward basis, the challenges and complexity of green manufacturing are not going away. Increasingly, green thinking will expand across the entire product lifecycle – including well beyond when a product leaves a manufacturer’s plant. Advanced systems will be required to track products from “cradle to grave,” putting even more of an onus on manufacturers to improve their operational efficiency, traceability and recycling programs.


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Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2015/04/green-manufacturing-is-a-global-practice/

Apr 10 2015

The 4th Industrial Revolution is Coming – It’s Like Déjà vu All Over Again!

Fourth Industrial Revolution - history repeats itselfI’ve been writing recently about the emerging 4th Industrial Revolution, built on the Internet of Things, and how this will soon change manufacturing enterprises in profound ways.

One of the biggest changes will be in the enterprise manufacturing intelligence that will become available up and down as well as across the enterprise. Within a few years, if predictions are accurate, decision-makers will be able to access real-time intelligence and analytics on-demand, about literally anything and everything taking place in production lines and supply chains throughout the enterprise.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will link every device, system and person in the production chain, and then it will be a matter of having the right software and applications to deliver the data in the right form to whoever needs it.

But users haven’t waited for the IIoT to arrive. Instead, they’ve taken matters into their own hands—and their own hand-held mobile devices. In a recent Magic Quadrant report, Gartner says that Business Intelligence, once controlled centrally by IT, is undergoing a fundamental shift as users demand self-service intelligence and analytics. As you might expect, this has some in IT worried, given the new complexity around maintaining process governance and data security.

What’s interesting about this aspect of the new industrial revolution is that we’ve been here before.

Remember the PC?

In the 1980s when PCs were struggling to get on the corporate desktop, it was Business Intelligence software that turned the tide.

Back then, IT controlled the mainframes and computer access. Reports had to be scheduled, and were run as time permitted. The BI software that helped shift the tide for PCs was the spreadsheet. We take this tool for granted today, but at the time it was revolutionary. For the first time, managers and executives could run simple “what-if” scenarios and see instant results. They could tally costs, sales and profits, and filter and sort information in any fashion, to get a better picture of what was going on in their business. The spreadsheet was the first killer “app.”

It’s a Complex World

Today’s world is far more complicated. Smart phones and tablets are ubiquitous. Users have high expectations for information availability. Another key difference is the sheer volume of data that exists today – and will be generated in the future at an accelerating pace.

With tens of thousands of users, terabytes of data being generated daily, and the demand for instant visualization and analysis by thousands of very different people with widely different needs, IT will be overwhelmed if it tries to govern by control.

Yet governance is needed, or manufacturing intelligence won’t be intelligent at all. Left on their own, business users will just work with whatever data they can, which more often than not will be inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent. In fact, according to Gartner, more than 90% of BI initiatives through 2016 will not be properly governed, resulting in “inconsistencies that adversely affect the business.”

A Winning Solution

The good news is that the Fourth Industrial Revolution might just provide the solution to this challenge. As I wrote in my last post, in order to effectively gather the right data and link each of the systems needed for a “Factory of the Future,” manufacturers will need to adopt a Manufacturing 2.0 approach. In other words, implement a platform for manufacturing operations management that can reach across—and down into—the manufacturing landscape.

One of the requirements of Manufacturing 2.0 will be to provide a unified, standardized approach to data. This way machines, systems and people can communicate effectively and accurately with each other to perform analyses and comparisons within and across plants and regions. The challenge will be to harness the nearly endless big data that will be available, and respond in real-time so that everyone can make better business decisions.

Manufacturing 2.0 requires flawless social collaboration for seamless analysis, integration and action – in addition to big data real-time analytics, which will unlock a new generation of end-user applications that can:

  • Empower knowledge workers in combining real-time data, unstructured data and transactional data
  • Enable comprehensive operational intelligence with predictive analytics from the top-floor to shop-floor
  • Provide self-service or easy-to-deploy application development tools to generate actionable and collaborative intelligence (“mashup builders”)

As far as BI is concerned, the role of IT will evolve from controlling the analytics, to governing and securing the data. Intelligence and analytics will become largely self-service.

In many ways, this follows the same path of the PC revolution. Back then, IT ultimately accepted personal computers on desktops, but standardized on what types of computers and platforms would be allowed. This time around, IT will accept distributed use of data for intelligence and analytics, but will standardize how this data is accessed, stored and normalized.

For both IT and information users alike, the BI revolution will be like “déjà vu all over again”, one of my favorite Yogi Berra quotes. And if the PC revolution is any indication, everyone will end up winning this time, too.


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Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2015/04/the-4th-industrial-revolution-is-coming-its-like-deja-vu-all-over-again/

Apr 07 2015

Manufacturing Stays Grounded at Messier-Bugatti-Dowty [CASE STUDY]

Messier-Bugatti-Dowty leverages a DELMIA solution as part of their manufacturing operations managementAbout 25,000 Messier-Bugatti-Dowty-equipped aircraft make over 40,000 landings every day, all over the world. Its dedication, global expertise and technological breakthroughs in aircraft braking have made Messier-Bugatti-Dowty the world leader in landing and braking systems.

Many airliner and helicopter manufacturers, including Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Embraer, Bombardier and Comac, rely on Messier-Bugatti-Dowty braking systems and landing gear.

In 2012, the company launched a Manufacturing and Engineering Data System (MEDS) project to streamline development processes by rationalizing information systems at landing gear production sites. “Our products are developed in a cross-cultural, multi-site environment by technicians and engineers working in different countries who do not necessarily speak the same language and who, in the past, were using different methods and tools,” Hadi said.

“As our sites in Gloucester (UK), Montreal and Toronto (Canada), and Bidos (France) each had their own industrialization processes and tools, data exchange was difficult and collaboration practically non-existent,” continued Pascal Tavernier, MEDS project manager, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty. The MEDS project defines production processes, possible alternatives, as well as the manufacturing resources needed and requisite instructions. “One major challenge was to streamline processes and work methods across our sites,” Tavernier said.

“We chose Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform to support our development processes because it provides us with a unique platform with data references for design, delivery and maintenance. This digital continuity ties all our sites together so that everyone is working with the same and most up-to-date product information with real-time accessibility,” Hadi added. “We have adopted a zero paper approach, which is an enormous time saver that improves our productivity and efficiency.”

Read the complete case study on how Messier-Bugatti-Dowty is now using a platform-based approach to manage their engineering design and manufacturing operations as a seamless solution across their enterprise.

Or, watch this video to see a visual presentation of this case study:

Video link to Messier Bugatti Dowty case study



Permanent link to this article: http://www.apriso.com/blog/2015/04/manufacturing-stays-grounded-at-messier-bugatti-dowty/

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