“Engineered products” involve both parts and/or processes with significative technological content.
Any for, the factory of the future presents itself both as a tremendous tech-organizational challenge and as a compound risk of misconceptions that can lead companies to undifferentiation and notorious stepping-back. A perceptible jump in the current competitive strategy becomes crucial.
Spot two dangerous initial errors. The first one is to rely on the speed of ICTs and numerical methods (such as statistical inference) on getting engineering design and production results, instead of using them to refine the mathematical and physical knowledge that we have in the product and process reliability. That means the use of the empirical path sideplacing the scientifical way (See Fig. 1).
Fig. 1 Scientific and Empirical use of I.A. (*) Sisteplant software registered
The second involves super-intelligent robots and men. Simply replacing us with those machines destroys initiative, creativity and morale, placing any technology as the first enemy. But if otherwise we use the power of the scientific way and the physical and repetitive dexterity of the new robots to allocate free time in humans and teach them superior mathematical and physical thinking, we’ll get out a new generation of men. High skilled, motivated over-technology placed workers.
The “human touch” may be positive or negative, depending on training, scientifical knowledge interiorized in people, process intensity and dominance, and tedious repetitive kind of work. So, we can divide tasks between the intelligent and physical superior robots, and the new generation of factory people, giving for the last the more “depending on situation” critical tasks. Positive “depending on” interaction between men and robots becomes necessary, and a software like Profun(*) facilitates it.
This is the first step to the artisan industrialization. The second one is setting up the framework of the factory deployed in the Fig. 2. These two steps will be always longer than the one’s desire, because the integrated-subtle relationships between them, and among the components of the leading-edge factory of the Figure. But’s not a matter of time; this business is about quietly advance with non-stops nor backs, and taking advantage of the opportunities that arise along the evolution.
Fig. 2 Framework of the Factory of the Future
The third step, not easily overlap with the former two, is to give each person in manufacturing the sensation of dominance of the overall process incorporated in the product up to date. This means that each one has in real-time the updated relevant info he may need to better do his job, and also recommended rules for operation and coordination with others. From the software point of view, all these require the conjunction of three pieces: An intelligent manufacturing Execution System (M.E.S), like Captor(*) , a High-Tech Maintenance Engineering Management System (M.E.M.S.), like Prisma(*), and the “glue” of the Symbolic Regression and inference software as Promind(*) in conjunction with a software for the Man-Robot intelligent Interaction as Profun(*).
Finally, there’s a key tool for a neat management of the three steps; the Aula-Lab (photo) with its radical improvement cycles(*) (Fig. 3), that use Promind as their basic tool.
The schedule of the three steps must be carefully detailed, identifying differential step by step competitive facts that we want to obtain, and how to do it.
But yet more important is to continuously coordinate the details of implementation, fixing clearly the strategic and operational gains we get, in order to drive each software piece to provide us with an aligned organizational change.
Fig. 3 Radical Improvement Cycles (*)
Autor: Prof. Dr. Ing Javier Borda Elejabarrieta, President of Sisteplant
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Radical Improvement Cycles, is a methodology property of Sisteplant.