Using data to create a more effective, and smarter factory


Data and analytics are vital to making the right business decisions. New methods of analysis don’t just test the performance of individual work stations. They give you a vivid picture of processes across your entire manufacturing facility – which is crucial for success

Smart Factory

It’s no secret that data and analytics play an important role in any modern business. It is vital to collect objective information on the people and processes within your organisation. This provides a solid platform from which you can improve efficiency and cut costs.

But today, using data and analytics is much more important than just promoting commercial success. It’s about determining the right steps to improve both business-critical processes and the working environments of your people. Something needed now more than ever.

So, the decision for business leaders isn’t if they should be using data, but how?

How data can increase savings and reduce waste

Imagine a production line where supply exactly matches demand. Where everything happens as efficiently as possible. So material and labour usage is perfectly optimised and nothing is left to waste.

This is the ultimate goal of data and analytics when it comes to productivity. By compiling metrics on all of your factory’s key variables, business leaders can make decisions at an exceptionally detailed level.

Even the smallest of improvements can lead to considerable savings in time and money – such as how Ricoh’s Telford facility saved over £300,000 a year, simply by pinpointing the optimal conditions for toner cartridge filling.

How data can empower your people

It isn’t just your machines and processes that can be greatly improved through data and analytics. They can improve the productivity of your people and create smarter and safer workplaces too.

Through data, you can manage your workforce much more effectively. Predicting what resourcing you will need based on the output required.

You can also accurately designate resources on even an hourly basis – meaning you never have too many people on one job, and no one person ever feels like they don’t have enough support.

How data can help predict costs

Data can create an incredibly clear picture of your entire manufacturing business – especially when it comes to cost.

Accurately cost every item produced in your factory, from material costs and components, right through to energy, labour and storage. Then make precise and confident business decisions when it comes to planning and cost optimisation.

Four things to consider when planning for the future of data

New and improved methods and technologies that use data and analytics to improve the commercial prospects of an organisation are continually being introduced.

If you choose to take greater advantage of data for your business, here are some of the latest features to look out for:

Real-time machine optimisation

An innovation that uses telemetry to collect data from machines in real-time. Those machines can then be adjusted live – as they’re running – to ensure optimum performance and overall product quality.

Automated cost reduction

Using data and machine learning to make accurate predictions that allow for improvements in efficiency – even the most minuscule of which can lead to huge savings.

Predictive maintenance

Data also enables AI solutions to accurately predict when a machine is likely to fail, scheduling repairs automatically to minimise downtime.

Collaborating with a partner to make the most of data.

Working with a partner is a fantastic way to introduce improved ways of using data and enhance your business.

Ricoh is an industry leader in the latest data and analytics solutions.  With its innovative ‘Connected Factory’ system it can tailor a specific solution for your manufacturing business.

Ricoh’s Connected Factory 

Ricoh has a great deal of experience in using data and analytics as a driving force for their business. And it’s through data that they’ve designed and implemented their Connected Factory system in their UK facilities.

This system doesn’t simply look at how to improve individual areas of a business, but analyses all aspects of the manufacturing process. Bringing together large amounts of data to create a complete picture of your organisation.

Connected Factory also incorporates innovations like Microsoft Azure and BI Analytics to support machine learning and automation and gain even richer insights. Leading to new opportunities that can heighten your organisations commercial position.

 

 

To learn more about the connected factory concept, reach out to Richard Aston, Digital Operations Engineering Manager on LinkedIn.

You can also hear our experts discuss the latest technology, insights, and innovations. Featuring examples from both Ricoh and around the globe via our series of on-demand webinars. Download our informative videos and watch them at a time and place to suit you.

Please visit our Work Together, Anywhere Webinar Series page to find out more


Dave Morrow
Dave Morrow
dave.morrow@ricoh.co.uk

Dave Morrow - Data & Analytics Practice Lead at Ricoh UK & Ireland

Read all articles by Dave Morrow