Monthly Archives: December 2015

Setting Smart Manufacturing Goals for 2016

In 2016, technology opportunities abound for savvy manufacturers looking to grow their business. What are your manufacturing goals for the New Year?

By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software

Two Thousand And Sixteen Character Laptop Shows Year 2016

Are you setting Smart goals for your shop floor in 2016? Illustration by http://www.colourbox.com

2015 has been a year of changes and conjecture for manufacturing.  New technology and new ideas are having a disruptive influence on manufacturing, and many are wondering what comes next.

Embracing the Smart MES and Digital Manufacturing

Disruptive isn’t necessarily bad for the savvy manufacturer – it can also lead to opportunity. We’re at a moment in history when you can see the future taking shape. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), the Smart Factory, and digital manufacturing is becoming less conjecture, and more a reality that must be addressed.

This is a paradigm shift driven by the benefits of the technology on the shop floor. Even now, in the nascent stages of the tech development, we see the benefit. Suppliers and innovators continually develop new products and services utilizing the technology for manufacturing.

Some (maybe even most) of us face change with a pit in our stomach and reluctance in our heart. Change, any change, is risk. We know, understand and can control a paper build book, and the idea of relying on software, sensors and (even-limited) automation to manage manufacturing is new, untested and scary. But the benefits far outweigh the risk.

What Will You Do in 2016?

As one year ends and another begins, there’s a cycle of goal-setting and planning. Admittedly, this cycle often ends with goal-forgetting, but with so much opportunity out there, this is not the year to ignore setting goals for your manufacturing technology. 2016 has the potential to make a powerful impact on your company if you’re willing embrace new tools and ideas.

3d render of time concept roadsign board isolated on white background

How are you preparing for the future in 2015? Illustration by http://www.colourbox.com

Consider this the year you make a start. Look at a phased implementation for a new MES or MOM system. Start on one production line, move planning to a digital system and start collecting a few key pieces of data. Small steps like this will lower the initial cost, decrease the overall risk, and help prove the ROI. Once the initial phase is complete, evaluate and adjust, and then roll out the system to new areas.

Most companies are shocked with the results, and surprised they hadn’t embraced MES and paperless manufacturing earlier.

For some companies, 2016 will be the year they took a step forward and seized a competitive advantage in the market. Other companies will cling to the status quo; lose market share and the goodwill of customers, falling further and further behind the competition. In 2016, old tools and technology can’t compete. There has never been a better time to invest in technology.

So what will you do in 2016?

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The Benefits of MES Expertise

Spend enough time in the manufacturing software industry, and you’ll find software experts, manufacturing experts, and plenty of salespeople, but an MES expert is what you really need.

By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software

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MES Success is much easier with the support of MES Experts. Image by http://www.colourbox.com

For more than 20 years, CIMx Software has developed software solutions for manufacturers. In the beginning, it wasn’t called MES (Manufacturing Execution System) or Paperless Manufacturing. MOM (Manufacturing Operations Management) was still short for Mother, and IoT (Internet of Things) was science fiction and not imminent fact. Our system was known as CAPP (Computer-Aided Process Planning). CAPP was a powerful tool for manufacturing back then.

Today’s systems are built on modern software platforms – easy-to-install, implement and adapt. With the right system you plan production and manage your shop floor, the software becomes the foundation of an IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things) and digital manufacturing enterprise. The solution provides the discipline and data to implement a successful continuous improvement program. It eliminates the root cause of errors, reduces scrap and waste, and mitigates many of the risk factors that hold back manufacturing.

Working with manufacturers for more than 20 years to solve their costliest and most vexing problems has made CIMx MES experts. MES expertise is critical for success in an implementation for your shop floor.

Why You Need MES and Paperless Manufacturing Expertise

You have manufacturing expertise. You know how to build products and design workflows to maximize production safely and efficiently. IT experts maintain, implement and update technology. With enough time and money (okay, a lot of time and money) a team of software experts can build a software system.

Confidence Button Shows Assurance Belief And Boldness

A project guided by MES Experts gives you confidence in success. Image by http://www.colourbox.com

MES experts bridge the gap between those disciplines – bringing experience in manufacturing, an understanding of technology, and intimate familiarity of the software. MES expertise enables a solution provider to guide the implementation and cultural fit of the solution. They ensure you have the right solution optimized for your production operation by removing unnecessary complexity, lowering the overall cost and investment, and delivering better results.

Without this expertise, your shop floor may be forced to adapt to the demands of the software, rather than the software working for you. Systems like this will offer you the functionality you need, but at a much higher cost in productivity and effort than you expect to pay. The solution will never be optimized, and you’ll never see the benefit of a system optimized for you.

At CIMx, we know and love manufacturing and technology. We study the latest trends and technology looking for advantages for our customers. We work closely with manufacturers to understand their processes, and then apply the best technology solution for superior results.

Don’t assume a sales person or IT Solution provider has MES expertise. If a company representative doesn’t know discrete manufacturing from an assembly shop or MRO facility, or is just focused on their product and not your processes, then they may not have the MES expertise you need. You may be left with an overly complex, expensive solution that your shop floor doesn’t want to use.

Get to know your solution provider before signing a contract. Evaluate whether they have MES expertise. With the right provider, you shouldn’t have to figure out how you can make all the pieces of the solution work together for you. From the beginning the solution should support you.

Want to learn more, or see what a provider with real MES expertise can do for you? Then give CIMx a call today for a free shop floor evaluation by real MES experts. We’re always happy to help.

Say Goodbye to “MES Fear” in the New Year

Many companies play a waiting game with their shop floor improvements, letting profit and opportunity slip through their fingers.

By Lisa Kessler, Customer Relations with CIMx Software

Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”  As 2016 swiftly approaches many of us are considering the New Year’s resolutions we plan to make (and break) come January.

These resolutions are often personal – lose weight, quit smoking, and spend less time on Facebook and more time with family.  But what if we focused on a resolution to improve our business? What if we resolved to eliminate the fear of change? What if we quit ignoring the fundamental problems holding our shop floor back and invested in optimized production?

Embracing Opportunity with MES and Paperless Manufacturing

Many manufacturers run their core business on outdated software systems. They struggle with outdated paper processes because they fear upsetting the status quo, or are confused about the cost and benefits of a modern software system. Manufacturers fear manufacturing software systems are too complex and aren’t designed for manufacturing. They believe the production floor won’t be able to utilize the tools in the system, and the software will end up as shelfware. These fears force them to rely on old and inefficient processes. They know these processes cost them money and productivity, but they feel helpless to change them.   Scrap, data errors, paper-based operations and out-of-control production processes keep the shop floor from excelling.

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Embrace change and improve production by eliminating software fear in 2016. Image by http://www.colourbox.com

By embracing change and jumping into the future with a modern, easy-to-use MES platform you can quickly eliminate many shop floor headaches and start the New Year off right. Embracing a modern MES costs less money and is less of an investment in time and resources than you might think.  With a little planning and the right MES you will see a return on your investment before the end of 2016. You’ll be prepared for the future of manufacturing with a system that gives you complete shop floor visibility and control.

Consider the benefits of saying goodbye to fear and embracing change with MES and Paperless Manufacturing:

  • Operations scheduling. Work Order scheduling with Quantum eliminates guesswork, giving management confidence in meeting customer demand.
  • Performance analysis. Develop and utilize KPIs with a real-time dashboard you can access anywhere and anytime, helping focus and support data-driven process improvement.
  • End-to-end traceability. Mitigate risk and ensure compliance with automated product serialization and sequential assembly data for better supply chain management.
  • Quality management. Improve quality with minimal effort using real-time quality checks, automatic tolerance checks and a complete custom disposition system.
  • Workflow management. Procedure management, and process sequencing and control, ensures you have the procedural enforcement to optimize operations quickly and easily.
  • Resource management. Labor management and machine maintenance tools provide simplified shop floor administration – dramatically improving efficiency with minimal effort.
  • Document control. Quantum’s library of master planning, derived directly from your existing planning with additional error checks and security, complete digital audit records and product history eliminates inefficiencies based on error-prone paper-based records.

With a modern manufacturing software system that uses existing work instructions and processes, and an efficient phased implementation, your team will be trained and the system up and running in a few short weeks. You’ll have the benefit and tools you need to charge into the New Year with confidence and increased profitability.

Worried about cost?  A new system configured to your shop floor and manufacturing processes shouldn’t cost millions to digitally run your shop floor.  With a modern, Smart MES you don’t need to design an entire new system or add custom functionality that drives up the cost and complexity with limited benefit. With core functionality in place and a modern software platform, you can quickly map the system tools to your processes, getting software customized for your needs at a much lower cost.

Don’t let opportunity continue to pass you by. There has never been a better time to invest in manufacturing software. Going into the New Year plan for improvement and invest in optimized manufacturing.   If you are looking to forge ahead and leave fear behind, we’d love to help you build a case for improvement, ROI, and positive change.

For a free shop floor analysis contact CIMx, we look forward to hearing from you!