Industry 4.0: Are you prepared for the data-driven smart factory of the future?

Robert Brooks
Written by

With over 25 years of experience, Omron's Industry Marketing Manager F&B seeks to open a dialogue with machine builders and end users about the dynamics of smart manufacturing.

Discover how you can make your factory industry 4.0 proof at Hannover Messe

A futuristic, completely-connected industrial world is already taking shape, and data integration is a key enabler for you to minimize costs and ensure that final products will be better aligned with your customer preferences.

Collecting and storing production data also offers you many other rewards – from measuring Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) to helping you to meet increasing legal requirements for reporting. So, what are the real challenges and benefits of data integration for you?

The list of reasons why you should integrate individual line and equipment control systems into high-level enterprise management software is growing.

And as the case becomes more compelling, the technological ‘wizardry’ to make it happen is not only solid fact (rather than science fiction) – it is faster, simpler and more ‘intelligent’ than ever.

The trend for you to monitor operational efficiency in order to optimise profit has been rumbling onwards ever more loudly.

Companies that measure Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) can easily identify bottlenecks and weaknesses in the production process. Collecting and reliably storing sufficient data from the entire operation is key.

We can support you in gathering data in an easy to design and utilise way that enables you to predict issues within key machine components before they become critical.

How can the connected smart factory improve your business?

There has been much written in the press about ‘Industry 4.0’, a futuristic, completely-connected industrial world, where all components are not only ‘aware’ of each other but can communicate in real time. Well, that future is already a reality and this connected world has several benefits for you.

1. Ethernet-based networks such as EtherCAT allow every part of an automation system, from sensors to robots, to exchange information at speeds that were undreamt of in the past. Your controller has instant access to every detail of production information to detect potential future issues before they become real.

2. Once this controller is also connected to the enterprise-level – Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) or Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), for example – you will start to see the ‘Industry 4.0’ vision being realised: turning factory floor data into high-value information.

3. Ultimately, this means integrating your own customers and business partners into the production process, not just locally but globally to help you enable a connected, smart and collaborative factory.

But how do you make sure key data is integrated in your analysis?
Ricoh, for example, installed our Sysmac controller that can connect directly to their SQL database allowing a simple and efficient data logging.

Furthermore, thanks to the OPC UA server on our controller, early warning signs in production lines or machines can be quickly detected and acted upon preventing costly stops or flaws.

‘Data and analytics are changing the basis of competition. Leading companies are using their capabilities not only to improve their core operations, but to launch entirely new business models.’ McKinsey & Company

We are an expert in getting the right data from key areas within your machine or line as an important first step in your predictive maintenance.

You have the opportunity to meet our experts, Robert Brooks and Lucian Dold, at Hannover Messe to discover how we can help you to select the right software that is simple, clear and practical for your use, so you can make your smart factory a reality.

Get your free ticket now and visit us at Hall 9, booth 24.

We look forward to meeting you there!

Robert Brooks
Written by
Robert Brooks

The Dynamics of Smart Manufacturing

Robert Brooks, European Industry Marketing Manager F&B at Omron Europe

With over 25 years of experience at Omron, Robert Brooks is a popular speaker at many food manufacturing conventions. Omron’s European Industry Marketing Manager F&B seeks to open a dialogue with machine builders and end users in the industry about the dynamics of smart manufacturing and Human-Machine collaboration.

The main responsibilities of Robert at Omron include the development of marketing strategies and related deliverables based on Omron’s corporate strategy and channel structure, taking into consideration societal changes and trends, and providing solutions that add value to Food & Beverage manufacturers. Looking at the opportunities of the future from Omron’s Headquarters in Amsterdam, Robert does not lose sight of the practical solutions which are available today.

Robert: ‘There still is much potential for manufacturers in current robotic and vision solutions to significantly improve productivity and the quality of the final product. In our journey towards better resource efficiency it is interesting to think about the role humans will play in the future workplace. Human-Machine interaction is developing rapidly. Our showcase 3rd generation collaborative robot Forpheus at the Hannover Messe is a good example. Omron has enabled the robot to interact with, learn from and even tutor humans.’

There is a host of applications for all kinds of autonomous and collaborative robots in the food sector. ‘Even after more than 25 years with Omron in this industry my job is still full of exciting new developments’, Robert explains enthusiastically. ‘Innovation is in our DNA at Omron. Our organizational structure allows individuals to really make a personal difference, while our position as a global industry leader in automation enables us to make an impact on the manufacturing industry.’

Referring to the DNA of Omron, Robert cites a quote from Omron’s founder Mr. Kazuma Tateisi:”To the machine, the work of the machine, to man the thrill of further creation”. ‘This quote from decades ago still holds true today. It is not just about robotics, but about technology as a whole, including Artificial Intelligence. These are exciting times and I look forward to the realization of Industry 4.0 throughout our industry!’, Robert concludes.


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