Oracle: a modern platform for smart connected factories
As the conce...
Manufacturing Global takes a closer look at the ways in which Oracle can help the manufacturing industry manage and improve its processes.
As the concept of digital factories continues to change the landscape of manufacturing, the industry has become an increasingly competitive environment, in which companies are constantly looking for ways to improve the efficiency of their operations and the quality of their products.
As part of its solutions, Oracle provides a modern platform for manufacturers to collaboratively manage and improve their processes. By leveraging cloud, IoT, big data analytics, predictive intelligence and supply chain tools, Oracle’s connected smart factory platform helps manufacturers to better predict and resolve maintenance requirements, correlate quality issues, reduce downtime and improve quality.
Improving cost, efficiency and quality visibility
Oracle provides a modern solution to monitor all factories globally with a 360 degree view of operations. The Oracle smart connected factory uses automated consolidation of real life information, issue indicators and key performance indicators, to replace old style processes driven by spreadsheets and BI reports sent via email.
The platform also helps manufacturers make the best decisions based on a correlation of data from machines, work benches, inventories, asset management systems, quality systems, manufacturing planning systems, ERP systems, MES systems and logistics.
Oracle also provides a ‘cloud’ solution on premise to address local requirements for disconnected factories or to adhere to data privacy regulations.
Monitoring production performance and predictive maintenance
By leveraging predictive analytics, Oracle’s solution provides a full monitoring service of factory efficiencies, in order to detect any unusual production behaviour. By correlating this data across the maintenance systems and production process manufacturers can optimise their equipment downtime, repair activities and spare parts availability.
By correlating data in real-time, this solution provides manufacturers with the ability to anticipate and schedule maintenance demands into no impact or low production impact. This solution also helps to automate the planning and procurement of spare parts to minimise expensive, last minute purchases.
To track the root cause of issues, the platform also uses big data analytics to sift through service activity data, reports, supplier related data and sensor data to select the right spare parts and supplier.
Monitoring assets and predict failure
Oracle’s connected smart factory solution can also provide manufacturers with machine monitoring platforms to detect and predict unusual behaviours and recommend the best action to fix the anticipated failure.
By correlating data across multiple sensors, this platform identifies and recommends based on probability and anticipated time of failure, as well as helping to organise the repair of operations using the best available resources.
With the use of industrial IoT technology, production teams can also apply remote configuration and actions without the need to physically operate equipment.
Monitoring quality and applying best practices
Along the entire production cycle, Oracle’s solution provides quality monitoring to predictively detect deviation in quality. By correlating quality and production data across multiple stages within the manufacturing process the solution can help to identify new quality failure patterns and provide new capabilities for best actions to take when an issue is detected.
This platform helps to optimise the scraping and rejecting levels based on operator and quality sensors. It provides the right information to run an immediate correlation and root cause analysis to identify the source.
Easily extend legacy for industry 4.0 transformation
With the use of an open platform, Oracle’s connected smart factory platform is a non-intrusive solution that increases transparency of factory data and performance indicators.
The platform also provides insight into the best ways to collaborate with new operational excellence partners, startups and OT OEMs.
Using open technologies helps the platform to quickly implement predictive maintenance and proactive actions.
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IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.