In June 2022, The Editor's Pick saw guest editor Anita Davenport-Brooks speak with 4 industry leaders from the Made in Group regarding their latest news stories - with us here focusing on the insights provided by Wrekin Sheet Metal Sales Director Simon Orpe.
Anita spoke with Simon regarding what benefits the company had experience through embracing industry 4.0. This conversation was spawned from an article titled "Can SME Manufacturers benefit from Industry 4.0?".
1. Clearer Communication for the Customer
Simon spoke about how the company recognised first around 15 years agothat the need for communication coming off shop floor was crucial for providing visibility to the customer.
Simon candidly spoke about how some inspiration came from seeing the Dominoes pizza clock ticking on the application after ordering! The company therefore wanted to show customers clearly where there products were in a similar way, however, in order to do this, it was vital to have the right systems in place to give customers the required data.
2. Understanding the True Capacity of Machines
As well as improving the communication outside of the business, it was equally important to use the benefits of industry 4.0 to improve communications inside of it.
After investing in machinery last year, Simon spoke about the need to embrace industry 4.0 to fully understand what capacity the machines had. This allowed Wrekin Sheet Metal to understand the performances of the machines, and ask whether they are operating at speeds they are capable of?
This ultimately means the company can make smarter and faster decisions, as the software feeds live data on machines so that the company can understand why certain machines aren't being used to theire full capacity and also forecast routine maintenance. As a whole this greater understanding boosted efficiencies across the whole operation.
3. Reducing Stress for the Workforce
Ultimately, Simon emphasised that there had not been any issues with the workforce embracing greater use of the benefits of industry 4.0.
The workforce were able to embraced this change as it gives them clear visibility of what's ahead of them; with a clearer direction and understanding of the plan ahead came reduced stress levels on the shop floor.
Industry 4.0 helped with this reduction in stress levels due to facilitating a much better amount of planning and foresight which can be done beforehand.