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Manufacturing & Supply Chain

Getting the competitive edge

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Getting the competitive edge

Getting the competitive edge
July 27
09:00 2017
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Based in the Nexus Innovation Centre in University of Limerick, data capturing firm Smart Factory was set up to help companies identify hidden losses, increase productivity and maximise efficiency. The firm was established by Brendan Sheppard, Cathal Murtagh and Anthony Kelly; all three founding members come from data-centric backgrounds and have years of invaluable experience in various sectors which has helped make the company the success story it is today.

Identifying a gap in the market in terms of data capturing, the members set about devising solutions that could capture data where nobody thought of capturing data before. Smart Factory’s system is a non-invasive retrofit system that overlays onto the existing process with minimal intrusion. This solution wirelessly gathers production information from any type of equipment, using low-cost IIoT devices. The company’s smart solutions reduce the amount of resources required to gather and communicate critical information across an organisation and dynamically translate this data into actionable intelligence. Solutions are built on the industry proven technology of Smart Factory’s hardware partners Siemens and Turk Banner along with its data acquisition, analytics and visualisation tools which are considered best-in-class.

Smart Factory has also developed a solution for manufacturing which includes tough tablet PC’s and wireless buttons, sensors and light stacks. The manumatic (part-manual, part-automatic) system counts the number of units, rework and scrap produced and provides a visual indication when the semi-automatic production process is running at the required cycle speed. The operator logs in to the “work-cell” using the barcode or RFID reader on the tablet. The system reports equipment efficiency (OEE) in real-time, per work-cell and can also be used to report the output per operator. If the cycle-time of a given process exceeds a pre-set target, the operator is prompted to add a comment/explanation via a pop-up on the tablet.

Customers currently include medical device firms but such is the scope and potential of Smart Factory’s solutions that companies operating across a variety of sectors could benefit from it. Virtually every employee, tool, robot, or device contains valuable data that can potentially improve a firm’s manufacturing operations. Such data can identify inefficiencies, spot potential problems and provide improved quality control. The outcome could produce a competitive edge and that’s what Smart Factory can provide.

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