Addressing the seminar, Ricky Hansson, Head of Process Application, Salvagnini Group, urged the companies to invest in latest technologies to gain competitive edge.
Salvagnini, an Italian company producing complete systems and machines for processing sheet metal, organised the "Future of Manufacturing: Learning to see the Invisible" seminar in Bangalore on July 27, 2018. This is the second seminar organised by Salvagnini in India under the "Future of Manufacturing" talk series. The first was held in Mumbai on May 23, 2018.
More than 100 delegates from the industry attended the Bangalore seminar, which was addressed by Ricky Hansson, Head of Process Application, Salvagnini Group, Italy.Ricky Hansson shared his assessment based on his rich experience of 159 sectors of sheet metal working, ideas and vision on the how the companies globally are transforming their manufacturing programs to avoid disruptions of businesses with the challenges posed by the rising customer expectations in terms of quality, faster turnaround of orders, ability to adjust to new designs/ideas, at the same time keeping the cost under control or escalation.
He explained the advantage of this approach (which looks at the whole value stream with connected smart, flexible, agile, fast and less operator-dependent solutions) compared to atomistic approach (ie replacing stand-alone machines).
To be able to stay competitive and survive in the future, entrepreneurs need to rethink their approach to capital investments. They must make sure that they invest in something that will give them a competitive edge and think in long term. "We cannot simply add machines because we are out of capacity in some areas. This is the atomistic approach and will not change anything. It will not give them a competitive edge. The investment, which must make sense for 5-10 years from now, should be a part of a strategy that ensures the survival of the company in the future with the latest technology and M2M (Machine to Machine) communication," stressed Hansson.
The decision how to schedule the production 5 years from now will not be made by the operator on the floor and the machine programs will not be entered manually by the operator on the floor. Number of tool changes should not have an impact on the throughput, batch size one or a one hundred should not impact the throughput or productivity per man-hour. "We must make sure that we are using technologies that eliminates the variability of the operators such as skills, experience, mood of the day, motivation etc. In other words, if a part takes 40 seconds to make for an operator on first shift, it should take 40 seconds for a different operator on the second shift," explained Ricky Hansson.According to him, manual machines, which are operator dependent, have variability and, hence, the quality of products, coming from these machines, is totally unpredictable. Hansson added, "We must mitigate all this operator dependency and create an environment to further automate and simplify also our downstream operations such as welding, painting and assembly. When we reach this equilibrium, we will win the jackpot and have a healthy company that will have a competitive edge and stay alive also in the future (5-10 years from now)."
Equally important is to invest in training and elevating the factory staff and improve their knowledge to run the automatic, agile and flexible factories. Hansson explained, "We are not going to use less operators. They will only have a totally different role in the future factories - a role that involves work which requires higher technical skills. It is our duty to prepare them for this new role."
According to the study by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and US Council on Competitiveness Index, India will be among the big five (US, China, Germany, Japan and India) by 2020 in global competitive Index. So, the Indian companies will have to prepare now for this 'big opportunity' coming their way. They will have to carefully invest in futuristic technologies that add value to their manufacturing programs and avoid the trap of just increasing their capacities with identical machines.
Ricky Hansson demonstrated with the help of a study and simulation, how he redesigned processes for a global steel furniture company, where the customers placed the online orders using the configurator. These orders were sent to OPS (order processing system) and the production plans were prepared in masked time by the computers and orders were executed automatically. This resulted in lean manufacturing programs, where the output and quality were no more dependent on operators. This way, throughput and profits improved with drastic reduction in inventory costs and operating expenses.
With the help of research data, Ricky Hansson showed how the labour costs are increasing dramatically and costs on robots are dropping, making it easier for companies to invest and integrate robots in their manufacturing activities. This will make it faster, better and cheaper.
The event was organised in collaboration with Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce (IICC), Bengaluru. Stefania Costanza, the Consul General of Italy in Mumbai, was the Chief Guest. The Trade Commissioner Fabrizio Guistarini from ITA, Mumbai office was the guest of honor. Claudio Maffioletti (Secretary General, IICC) and Giuliono Bonato (Chairman, IICC) participated in the event together with other members of Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce.