ISMR June 2022 - Page 30


including staffing and data cyber security all need to be addressed ,” he added .
Wrekin Sheet Metal ’ s transition to Industry- 4.0 has been smooth as it saw the process as a journey , rather than a destination . Its journey continues using Big Data to drive continued excellence and enhanced efficiencies .
Disruptive and transformational
Industry 4.0 transition has revolutionised the manufacturing process at Wrekin Sheet Metal creating an environment that is adaptive and customer-centric .
“ It informs new business models that make us truly disruptive in the market . The transformation has bridged the gap between highlevel information technology and floor-level operational technology . This brings intelligent data insights that power innovative adaptability across our factory ,” it explained .
The company can control material flow automatically , to eliminate downtime , and operate at “ the lowest level of inventory possible .” It is also able to adapt line conditions , down conditions , material supply and other variables automatically .
At the heart of Wrekin Sheet Metal ’ s Industry- 4.0 strategy is a tailored Manufacturing Execution System ( MES ). This provides effective monitoring and synchronisation throughout the factory to achieve high productivity and ensure responsiveness to market demand . Wrekin Sheet Metal uses high-speed internet connectivity , high-quality software and reliable controllers tailored to its metal fabrication plant . The system provides a
Image : Shutterstock . com .
Automated sheet metal processing at Wrekin Sheet Metal .
holistic overview of its production environment that informs maintenance plans and energy efficiency measures . It delivers complete , accurate and accessible data from the shopfloor allowing management decisions to be based upon real-time data .
“ We can track production for every client , from raw materials to finished goods . This is critical as it provides us with detailed insight into current conditions on the plant floor allowing us to optimise production output . It gives us control to meet production KPIs from downtime management for overall equipment effectiveness ( OEE ) through to production analysis , resource scheduling and materials track and trace ,” revealed John Kennedy .
Predicting the future
Wrekin Sheet Metal ’ s experience of adopting Industry 4.0 has been transformational . It has informed the reduction of operational costs and increases in efficiencies that would not have been possible without the Big Data provided by its system .
“ SMEs across manufacturing can gain significant competitive advantage by adopting Industry 4.0 . This should not be viewed as [ just benefitting ] the corporate domain . SMEs should look at Industry 4.0 and begin to embrace the data that it can bring . Effective analysis of the data and prudent management decisions are all part of the process . An innovative management team that drives Industry 4.0 culture through the organisation is as important as the technology ,” it told ISMR . Wrekin Sheet Metal is already predicting where this can take its industry in the future . While the data being collected is descriptive , advising what is happening on the shopfloor , it also provides diagnostic information about Wrekin ’ s plant to inform prescriptive measures . However , the sheet metal specialist is increasingly using information dashboards to gain predictive insight and make future investment to further enhance its business models and competitive advantage .
Connecting Big Data and machine learning analytics is set to deliver intelligent data around the clock , providing constant insight into current and future operational performance and driving progress , quality , compliance and innovation . n
Image : Shutterstock . com .
CONTACT For further details , please visit
Wrekin Sheet Metal saw its transition to Industry 4.0 as a journey , rather than a destination . www . wrekinsheetmetal . co . uk
30 | sheetmetalplus . com | ISMR June 2022