About the Customer
Engineering USA has just begun work on the first phase of an ambitious multi-solution Industry 4.0 transformation initiative for a world-class manufacturer and global supplier of machinery for injection molding of plastics. Headquartered in Canada, the Heavy Machinery Manufacturing leader has additional production facilities throughout the United States, Czechia, Luxembourg, Brazil, China and India. Initially a small machine shop with no ties to the plastics industry, the customer now manufactures a wide range of state-of-the-art injection molding machines, injection molds, hot runners, robots and auxiliary systems used in plastics manufacturing.
The Customer’s Challenge
Thanks to our strong footprint and industry-leading expertise in Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), the customer came to Engineering USA seeking guidance in planning and implementing the right solutions to support their business’s digital transformation vision. They wanted to leverage our team’s broad knowledge of the Digital Manufacturing space, as well as our experience delivering and integrating the entire spectrum of digital tools for Industry 4.0, to better understand and define their own organization’s digitalization needs, gaps and priorities moving forward.
To achieve digitalization in manufacturing, a company must look across systems, business groups and processes, both manual and automated. Our consulting team led a high-level assessment of the customer’s requirements, infrastructure and manufacturing processes in order to first develop a customer-specific software maturity plan and implementation timeline that would lead them to their goal of Closed-Loop Manufacturing, and in a structured and cost-effective way.
About the Project
Although the customer already had many of the systems needed in place – a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and systems for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) – they were outdated, disjointed and under-utilized to support and synchronize their end-to-end manufacturing process. In phase one of this initiative, our goal will be to help the customer establish a strong digital backbone via the implementation and integration of core solutions needed to drive the efficient and correct execution of manufacturing operations from start to finish. This will include:
1. A New & Improved MES Solution with Siemens Opcenter
Updating the existing MES to the latest version of Siemens Opcenter Execution Discrete (Opcenter EX DM), thus enabling the customer to leverage the tool’s most cutting-edge out-of-the-box functionalities supporting the execution of orders and the monitoring of work-in-progress on the factory floor and throughout the production process.
2. Extending PLM to Manufacturing Process Planning with Siemens Teamcenter
Expanding the capabilities of the customer’s PLM system to manage all of the customer’s production data – not only from the engineering product side, but from the manufacturing product and manufacturing process sides as well. Currently, the customer has a solid engineering foundation within their PLM system, and they are utilizing it to create both their engineering Bill of Materials (eBOM) and their manufacturing Bill of Materials (mBOM), as well as to reconcile the two and enable change management. But now, they are ready to introduce routing alignment with the manufacturing Bill of Process (mBOP). By expanding their capabilities leveraging the same Siemens Teamcenter Manufacturing platform, the customer will extend the value of their existing PLM solution and facilitate even more efficient and synchronized data management processes across all levels of their organization.
3. A New DNC Solution for Machine Integration with Shop Floor Connect
Deploying Siemens Shop Floor Connect (SFC), a Direct Numerical Control (DNC) solution developed for Teamcenter that will connect to all the machines and equipment on the customer’s factory floor. SFC will bridge the gap between engineering and production, enabling the customer to automatically pull data from the central PLM database and deliver it directly to the machine controllers and operators executing production on the shop floor. We will also build a unique integration between Shop Floor Connect and Opcenter EX DM to enable critical production execution information to be transferred directly from the MES to the machine interface.
4. ERP Integration to MES and PLM
By integrating the customer’s existing ERP system to both PLM and MES, Engineering USA is helping the customer establish a closed-loop connection between the enterprise systems. ERP integration with Teamcenter Manufacturing will enable the customer to send and align manufacturing routings or the Bill of Process (BOP) between planning and execution teams. ERP integration with Opcenter EX DM will enable planning personnel to send work orders directly to the shop floor and monitor their execution in real time.
Engineering USA understands the concept of the Digital Thread and truly believes it can improve manufacturing companies’ processes, operations, efficiency and profitability. Our expert team works with customers from the beginning to virtually define and build out their entire manufacturing process, validate its feasibility in the virtual world, and finally ensure that it can be executed on the production floor and in the physical layers between PLM and MES.
By implementing the right, updated systems needed to support efficient alignment and collaboration between engineering design, manufacturing planning and manufacturing execution, we are helping the customer establish a strong digital foundation upon which they will be able to build as they move forward on their path towards true Closed-Loop Manufacturing.
In the second phase of this initiative, our technical experts will further extend the capabilities of the customer’s PLM, MES and DNC systems with additional customizations, more granular enhancements and integrations that will better support the specific needs and requirements of their unique business and operational environments. This will include Electronic Work Instructions (EWI) and User Interface (UI) customization, among other things. We look forward to the successful delivery of phase one and phase two, as well as to the continuation of our partnership and collaboration with this manufacturing leader as they progress along their exciting digital transformation journey.