Table of contents
- It is difficult to realize “work style reform” at manufacturing sites.
- The need for “work style reform” in the manufacturing industry
- Benefits of remote monitoring of production equipment for manufacturing industries
- Business efficiency
- Can be constructed at low cost
- Promoting work style reform
- Representative products that enable remote monitoring of production equipment
- Tokyo Electron Devices “Equipment operation remote monitoring kit”
- Kannetsu “ComPass”
- Toshiba “IoT Standard Pack”
It is difficult to realize “work style reform” at manufacturing sites.
The need for flexible working styles has increased since the enactment of the Work Style Reform Act, and the need for flexible working styles has become even more prominent due to the spread of the new coronavirus. However, it is not easy to introduce remote work and flextime systems in line with work style reforms at manufacturing sites.
The manufacturing industry involves a lot of work in factories, and there are many jobs that can only be done on-site. We manufacture and inspect things while working on-site, and use special equipment. The content and nature of work is very different from office work, so it is difficult to easily switch to remote work.
However, one of the ultimate goals of work style reform is to eliminate labor shortages. The manufacturing industry often involves dangerous work, and there is also pressure to strictly adhere to quality and delivery deadlines.
Additionally, it is not easy to secure human resources because it is physically and mentally demanding compared to office work. A major challenge is to ensure worker safety, reduce burdensome factors, and create a comfortable work environment.
The need for “work style reform” in the manufacturing industry
Although it is difficult to implement work style reform in the manufacturing industry, the need for it is increasing.
Until now, issues such as labor shortages and long working hours have been a focus of attention in the manufacturing industry. In recent years, low productivity has become an additional major issue. Japan’s manufacturing industry has received worldwide recognition for its high technological capabilities. However, in recent years, due to the dramatic improvement in technological capabilities in Asian countries and other countries, it has become difficult to add the same added value to “Made in Japan” products as before. Japan’s manufacturing industry needs to make major changes to its business model in order to solve various problems.
Benefits of remote monitoring of production equipment for manufacturing industries
In the manufacturing industry, remote monitoring of production equipment is being considered as one way to respond to work style reforms. Reviewing the monitoring system and digitizing it will bring various benefits.
The first benefit is improved operational efficiency. Remote monitoring is one of the most basic mechanisms for IoT in the manufacturing industry. In the manufacturing industry, offices and factories are often located far apart, so it takes time and effort for site managers and staff to travel all the way to monitor the production line. If you can monitor the site remotely, there is no need for someone to visit the manufacturing site for monitoring. This eliminates the need to travel back and forth across the large manufacturing site to check operating conditions and conduct maintenance inspections. By introducing a remote monitoring system, you can reduce the number of personnel required for monitoring and inspection, and improve operational efficiency.
Can be constructed at low cost
The second advantage is that it can be constructed at a relatively low cost. There are many remote monitoring systems that can be installed without the need for equipment or wiring work. The running costs are not too high, so even small and medium-sized businesses with limited funds can easily adopt it.
Promoting work style reform
The third benefit is that it can promote work style reform. As mentioned earlier, work style reforms are being promoted in many industries, including manufacturing, due to the impact of the new coronavirus. There are many things that can be done in the manufacturing industry, such as digitizing documents such as technical documents and drawings to improve work efficiency. Our ultimate goal is to create a smart factory using AI and IoT . Automating factory operations, including the monitoring of manufacturing processes, will lead to labor savings, increased efficiency, and energy savings.
Representative products that enable remote monitoring of production equipment
In response to the needs of the manufacturing industry, the latest technology is being used to develop convenient systems that can remotely monitor production equipment. From here, we will introduce three typical remote monitoring systems.
Tokyo Electron Devices “Equipment operation remote monitoring kit”
“Equipment Operation Remote Monitoring Kit” is an IoT starter kit that allows you to remotely monitor production equipment through the cloud (Microsoft Azure). By attaching a tower light sensor to the stacked lights in existing production equipment, the lighting status (on, off, blinking) will be automatically monitored. The collected information is visualized on the cloud and can be checked from a remote computer. Since it is a wireless kit that uses wireless communication technology, there is no need for power supply wiring or installation work, making it easy to install at low cost. The collected data can be output as a CS V file, which is useful for analyzing equipment utilization rates and production efficiency.
Kannetsu Co., Ltd.’s ” ComP ass” is a solution that visualizes the operating status of production equipment. Using this system, you can visualize not only the current operating status but also past failure history and data linked from other systems in real time. It centralizes and manages a variety of information, from the environment inside the factory such as temperature and humidity, to the clean environment such as clogging of equipment filters, to the entry/exit status based on the movement of people and doors. By visualizing information, you can identify problems and their causes, search for solutions, and realize the PDCA cycle with the aim of improving productivity.
Toshiba “IoT Standard Pack”
“IoT Standard Pack” provided by Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation is a cloud service that allows visualization and remote monitoring of industrial machinery and equipment. By using this service, you can remotely monitor various equipment such as industrial machinery, factories, buildings, and plants, and even visualize the operating status.
“IoT Standard Pack” can also be linked with various applications of Microsoft Azure. It has a process flow function that allows remote monitoring of the operating status of production equipment, and automatic edge software distribution and backup functions. It is a global IoT system that visualizes and monitors a huge amount of equipment not only in Japan but also at overseas locations.
Remote monitoring of production equipment has various benefits, such as improving work efficiency and promoting work style reform. Why not take a step toward introducing IoT at your manufacturing site by referring to the information on the typical remote monitoring systems featured in this article?