Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is all the rage in production these days. But, actual implementation of IIoT-based technologies comes with its own set of challenges and rewards. We bring you three success stories from our customers who implemented the AmiT – TPM-Trak, a manufacturing intelligence suite from the Ace Micromatic Group. They now reap the benefits of their machines: Productivity, employee performance and better understanding.
The long-anticipated future is here, and IIoT is a reality in the manufacturing sector today. Simply put, IIoT-based technologies help us ‘see’ each unit in a manufacturing set-up during production, allowing better control and analysis of the process. It is the first step towards real Smart Manufacturing.
“Whether you call it IIoT, Smart Manufacturing or the German term Industrie 4.0, it is the buzz word in the manufacturing industry, indicating integration of sensors, communication technology, and software all put together as one solution,” M N Somashekhar, Product Head, Manufacturing Intelligence, Ace Micromatic Manufacturing Intelligence Technologies Pvt Ltd (AmiT), said.
SagarInamdar, Vice President, Projects, Bharat Forge Ltd, said his company implemented IIoT because “we wanted to optimize and automate to keep our productivity going up.”
Executive Director, Manufacturing RIJ Engineering Pvt Ltd, KamaalQasmi, who recently purchased the AmiT TPM-Trak, has observed a jump in productivity. “It is not possible for the supervisor to go and monitor each machine manually. But with this system he can monitor all the machines at one go on one system. We have seen 10 per cent increase in productivity.”
Prashant Shete, Managing Director, Samarth Engineering Services, said: “With the help of TPMTrak software, we were able to manage production schedules meticulously and save ourselves from buying an extra machine. It helped us reduce our investment. The working was healthy and very predictable.”
About the relevance of IIoT in the industry, RammohanYadati, Regional Lead, Western India, AmiT, said that “the Indian companies are at an early stage of adoption in the IIoT journey. Readiness largely depends on the maturity profile of the individual company in terms of processes, IT infrastructure and alignment and sponsorship from senior leadership. Many companies are taking up IIoTprogrammes by involving domain experts, system integrators and technology OEMs to understand and benchmark several aspects of manufacturing productivity.”
AmiT was the first to provide Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT solutions to the manufacturing space in India, and it continues to create robust innovation which can deliver quick, tangible benefits to customers. “Our solutions span different areas of Industry 4.0 such as Realtime OEE and Production Analytics; Process Energy Monitoring; Online Inspection and Poka Yoke; Visual Factory and ANDON; Workflow Apps; Machine Diagnostics; and Assembly and Conveyor Monitoring,” Yadatisaid.Being a part of the machine building Group, Ace MicromaticAmiT is fully prepared to serve the manufacturing industry in the IoT space, developing smart machine technology for CNC turning, machining and grinding machines. One of its customers, Bharat Forge Ltd, is the world’s largest crankshaft manufacturing company. While the company deals in a variety of products, its backbone is automotive products – crankshaft, steering knuckle, drive and transmission channels. The company has also diversified into gear shaft and turbocharger business; besides interests in aluminium and most recently, defence and locomotive.
Samarth Engineering Services manufactures small precision components, with a product basket including poly grooves pulley, valve cap components etc. and is belting out around four lakh components a month.
RIJ Engineering Pvt Ltd is an integrated OE Gear manufacturer, providing high quality machining support to the automotive sector in India. Its clientele includes Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Fiat India Automobiles Ltd, Dana Spicer,VE Commercial Vehicle Ltd, Eaton, etc. All manufacturing processes are performed in-house, with a production capacity of two lakh components a month.
Foray Into TPM
For Samarth Engineering, the 2008 recession was a wake-up call to take a hard look at the way it was producing. “At the suggestion of Chandrashekhar Bharti, Managing Director, AmiT, we implemented TPM-Trak on four machines, and the results were very effective,” Shete said.
At present, the company is making components for Indo Schöttle Auto Parts PvtLtd, and Turbo charger for Tata and components for Borg Warner. Sensing a need to expand, the company is moving from its current 2500 sqft facility to a 10,000 sqft industrial space next year. AMG will accompany them to the new set-up.
Detailing the objective of buying TPM-Trak for RIJ Engineering, Qasmi said, “We have hundreds of machines and it is difficult to monitor productivity of each machine manually. We were looking for an automated product which could give all information on machine productivity and provide unfiltered information without any intervention or manipulation so that we could monitor the machine productivity transparently.” Having found encouraging results after the first TPM-Trak installation around 10 months ago the company got it installed on 32 machines in two plants at different locations.
Shedding light on the project at RIJ Engineering, Yadati said, “We came across the challenge to harmonize the best practices and requirements across plants which have different processes and skill levels for technology adoption.”
He said that “Bharat Forge is passionate about IIoT, and its projects are technically challenging. Working with corporate sector such as BFL involves discussions and co-ordination with several stakeholders to finalize requirements of the solution and methods of execution. Providing training to different levels of the workforce in different departments/ teams to suit the usage and skill sets was another challenge.”
“Every project brings its unique set ofchallenges, and the same was true for Samarth as well where the first task was to overcome the hesitation or prejudice in the minds of the workforce,” Yadati said. “A monitoring solution was being perceived as a ‘policing tool’ by the Samarth Engineering team members. They had to be educated about the importance of fact-based working and adoption of IT-based solutions in manufacturing shops. It was explained to them that the objective is to address the process-related issues that would subsequently help increase their own productivity. Today, all the 14 CNC machines are enabled with TPM-Trak. Workers review their performance themselves using TPM-Trak dashboards.”
The leap of faith in purchasing TPM-Trakwas duly rewarded in each case in RIJ Engineering. For Qasmi, the first benefit was that automation meant no manipulation of data. “The best part is the report gets generated in time and reaches us on the set schedule. We have 400 people and our first shift starts at 6 a.m. With the implementation of this system tracking is easy,” he said.
RIJ engineering is using TPM-Trak OEE monitoring and add-on IoT alerting modules. Yadati said, “At RIJ Engineering, technical pre-requisites such as getting the required signals from machines for TCS_PLC variant involved the coordination between their electrical maintenance team, AmiT team and MMT team. AmiT also helps the customer to identify right choice of IT infrastructure. Today, RIJ TPM-Trak servers are available remotely to the AmiT technical team in Bangalore which allows RIJ users to interact with AmiT team at any time to clarify the doubts or get required technical help.”
Production reports for RIJ have become timely and more constructive too. “TPM-Trak gives timely insight on each machine’s production capacity, idle time, set-up time, all correlated with the operator. Hence, we now understand every operator’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the kind of training he requires. We develop a matrix based on the report in terms of every operator’s output,” Qasmi said. “The TPM-Trak is an innovative product in our sort of manufacturing set-up. The idle time and wastage of components have reduced drastically. We can now monitor the production on hourly basis. After installing the TPM-Trak we have seen an increase of 10 percent productivity. RIJ Engineering is affirmatively on board for more connectivity. Ultimately we want to connect all the machines – the entire plant. The software provides us the productivity we are looking for,” Qasmi said.
Leveraging the most, Samarth Engineering is using TPM-Trak OEE monitoring solution. Expressing his satisfaction Shete said, “We have developed capacity calculation software, where we enter the part names, cycle time and man hours. It instantly generates data on capacity, based on which we can decide if we are falling short and need to outsource some of the components. We are working with 90 per cent productivity. We have confidence and back-up, and software never betrayed us. Productivity of TPM-Trak is 85-90 per cent.”
Challenges can be either technical or personnel. Both can be overcome by working closely with the customers, and with generous interaction to educate and address all concerns of the employees before installation.