Jendamark’s ODIN Manufacturing is designed to provide digital solutions to real-world problems on our customers’ factory floors. To make the ecosystem more accessible and easier to implement for customers, the offering has been restructured into two distinct clusters of support.
Head of ODIN Manufacturing Juane Schutte says the solutions can be broken down into those that support complex, discrete manufacturing processes and those that support critical maintenance and shopfloor tasks.
“We’ve identified these two distinct problem areas where our customers need support,” explains Schutte.
“If you need support for your production process, we recommend the base product, ODIN Workstation, and if you are looking to digitise your maintenance function, then we start you off with ODIN Checkpoint.”
Depending on the customer’s unique situation, Schutte says, a combination of various add-on products can be incorporated to provide a tailored solution. Below is an overview of how ODIN Manufacturing can solve common production or maintenance challenges.
When it comes to production processes, the base product is ODIN Workstation – a digital infrastructure solution that increases efficiencies on your production line. Its core features are enhanced operator guidance, quality assurance, direct device integration and production planning.
As a standalone product, ODIN Workstation provides a multitude of capabilities and features, while its add-on solutions unlock further potential.
For example, if you are struggling with defective parts due to incorrect orientation during assembly, the ODIN Phantom AI vision system could assist with process tracking, while ODIN Ensure digitises your end-of-line checklist to improve traceability and process security for your quality assurance process.
ODIN Engage tracks the performance of individual operators, so that you can support them by identifying areas for improvement and training, while ODIN Insights provides comprehensive production-level reporting to accelerate root cause analysis when there are problems and to minimise downtime.
As the stand-alone base product to improve the support processes around your factory, ODIN Checkpoint is a user-friendly, cloud-based solution for preventative and predictive maintenance. Set, track and control all your maintenance and service tasks to prolong the lifespan of your assets.
You can assign and schedule planned maintenance activities without reams of paperwork. If your senior technicians are not available, digitised work instructions can help junior members carry out more complex service tasks.
When it comes to urgent, unplanned breakdowns, the Raise Alert system can be used to notify relevant team members of the problem and assign someone to take action. ODIN Checkpoint helps your technicians become accountable for performing planned maintenance tasks effectively and in time and for managing unplanned incidents. Detailed reporting and analytics gives managers a clear picture of both the technicians’ performance and the health of all assets in your factory.
The addition of the ODIN Raven sensor, which works with our ODIN IOT software, turns machine vibration data into useful information that allows your team to detect anomalies and take pre-emptive action.
While many equate Industry 4.0 with robotics and full automation, Jendamark’s human-centric approach puts people at the beating heart of the manufacturing process. Humans will always have an important contribution to make – despite the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).
When it comes to a realistic assessment of the role that humans play, one must first acknowledge that humans have been, and will continue to be, an integral part of manufacturing, argues Jendamark India director Himanshu Jadhav.
“Throughout history, humans have solved problems and created technologies to make life easier – to meet a need. Even with the smartest manufacturing facilities, it is the humans in that environment that make it a success,” says Jadhav.
“This is especially true when it comes to complex, qualitative scenarios,
which require all facets of human intelligence to resolve.”
On the one hand, machines, unlike people, do not get emotional, and their output is not dependent on how they were feeling at the start of the working day, he says.
“Like their human co-workers, machines with AI can now identify production problems and stop the process until the problem is rectified,” concedes Jadhav.
But, he says, arriving at the solution to that problem involves choosing the best method with the least impact, identifying the priority actions, and possibly weighing up several variables. These are complex scenarios that require creativity, emotion and sound judgement. Many situations can’t be solved by an algorithim.
“We rarely see EMOTION as an admirable human quality. But, in manufacturing, it is often the difference between doing something wrong and creating a viable alternative solution.”
Emotion, it seems, is the human motivator for problem solving. We engage in out-of-the-box critical thinking and do “impossible” things because of emotional drivers, such as passion and curiosity.
With the populations of developed economies declining, and the number of skilled workers in the manufacturing sector declining with them, autonomous production processes fill a real need by doing more with fewer human resources, explains Jadhav.
“Having said that, it takes a highly skilled human to develop, operate and maintain an automated machine. While humans are less involved, they still have a critical role to play as the process demands a more advanced skill set.”
Technology is getting smarter every day, so keeping up with and implementing it is the main role of humans in so-called first world countries.
In developing economies, which tend to have much larger, less skilled populations, Jadhav says less automation along with more employment and job creation are critical to improving socio-economic conditions and general living standards.
“Here, humans must be more involved in manufacturing, being in control of mostly manual production processes, to facilitate overall economic advancement.”
As production systems evolve, he says, people and technology are being integrated more closely and intensively than ever before.
“It’s essential that we fully understand how to best design and operationalise both human and technological functions.”
Why Jendamark’s human-centric approach works
Let’s review the numbers
3: The decades of machine-building experience that Jendamark has
3000+: The number of assembly facilities built
95%: The average efficiency rate of our machines over a period of time
75%: The average efficiency rate of human operators over that same period
Production output = human efficiency rate x machine efficiency rate
Improving overall efficiency
For machine builders such as Jendamark, it is relatively easy to improve machine efficiency using smart technology. But this will not significantly improve production output if the human efficiency remains low.
That’s why ODIN Manufacturing solutions focus on supporting humans through worker guidance and process security solutions to eliminate errors and improve the overall quality and quantity of the end product.
We understand that literacy levels, skill sets and expertise vary, so our software solutions make it extremely easy for even novice operators to complete assembly tasks with fewer errors and highest efficiency.
By connecting field devices like cameras, sensors and machines, we create an ecosystem that ensures that none of the assembly process steps can be skipped. These process security checks also apply where collaborative robots are employed in conjunction with ODIN Manufacturing. Where the robot is assigned to a particular station, the camera will check the process security measures, which are recorded in the ODIN system.
By implementing these two core solutions, customers can improve not only production efficiencies but also the efficiency of the plant.
Ensures that even a new operator is able to do an assembly task with minimal or no training. Unless every process step is correct, the part does not leave the station.
Ensures that the machines are well looked after. This is a cloud-based maintenance solution for scheduling tasks and guiding inexperienced technicians to perform complex maintenance tasks.
While there has been a lot of hype around Industry 4.0, the digitalisation of factories has not scaled up as expected. A fundamental misconception of what it’s all about and a slow-to-change mindset are two of the major impediments to successful implementation.
A flood of new products on the market and a misplaced focus on the technologies themselves – rather than their practical uses – leaves many customers overwhelmed, says Jendamark innovations director Yanesh Naidoo.
“There are a lot of buzzwords, like the integration of IT and OT on the shop floor, and I think people get befuddled by all the jargon and consulting talk,” Naidoo says.
“Simply put, Industry 4.0 is just a set of technologies that you can use to solve your manufacturing problems.”
A tech toolbox
It helps to think of Industry 4.0 as a toolbox with a set of tools inside, he explains.
“However, having a toolbox full of tools mean nothing unless you do something with them. You must first understand the problem you’re trying to solve in your factory, and then invest in the right tool for the job.
“A hammer has many uses, but how you apply it depends on your situation. Also, you may be trying to hammer in a screw, when what you really need is a screwdriver.”
For example, if frequent machine breakdowns are a problem, Naidoo says an anomaly detector could help to highlight a downward trend in performance, which could be addressed and fixed before it becomes a serious problem, avoiding unnecessary downtime.
Proactive vs reactive approach
“Essentially, Industry 4.0 is about using tools to be more proactive, rather than reactive. But it all means nothing if our mindset doesn’t change.”
Naidoo draws parallels with the preventative approach to health and longevity outlined in Dr Peter Attia’s book Outlived.
“Medicine 2.0 has been extremely successful in treating lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. You go to the doctor, they diagnose you and give you insulin, which has saved many lives.
“But this book argues for a transition to a more preventative approach to medicine. Don’t wait to get diabetes; monitor your health, get the check-ups, make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes, and prevent it from happening in the first place.”
Factory health screening
Until now, manufacturers have not had the technology or toolbox to take a preventative approach to maintaining the overall health of their factory assets, but Industry 4.0 is changing all that. The difference, Naidoo says, lies in the data that comes from continuous measurement rather than a static, point-in-time measurement.
“A factory audit, like a glucose test for diabetes, is not an accurate reflection of your lived reality,” he says.
“For the glucose test, you fast the night before, then go for the blood test. If your results are just within the acceptable range, everything is deemed fine, so you revert to your bad dietary habits. You’ve prepared your body for the test but that’s not how you live your life, and you can expect future problems if you don’t continuously monitor your glucose levels and make lifestyle changes,” explains Naidoo.
Similarly, he says, a factory audit usually runs quality and production checks using the best operators, the best maintenance team, and the best raw materials on the line.
“It’s a fake perception. What you need is live information from the production line that can be used to understand where the problems are and improve the process by making iterative changes.”
The problem with OEE
With the right technology in place, everything on a production line can be measured continuously – from operator speed to press force and scrap rates. The problem, Naidoo believes, is that every plant manager’s performance is measured on Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), which is a widely used, retrospective, reactive measurement.
“It tells you what happened yesterday, but nothing about what is going to happen tomorrow. Plant managers should be measured on what is going to happen, because they can still have an impact on that.”
Like the human body, all production lines are not the same, so trying to meet a set OEE key performance indicator of, say 85%, might not be practical, given the age of the line, or the quality of the incoming raw material.
“The measurement needs to be unique to a particular production line. As the line gets older, there’s more wear and tear, and breakdowns. So, you need dynamic baseline data that reflects the current situation and can be improved year on year.”
Naidoo says technology can help to predict the risks associated with the people, machine, and product parameters on the shop floor. “Then you can proactively do things to mitigate the risk before it happens.
“We know everyone is under pressure to produce. But at some point, when you see the data trends going in the wrong direction, a manager must have the foresight to make the decision to stop the line and fix the problem, knowing it’s eventually going to hit the limit.
“It’s critical to be proactive because when it hits the limit and things break, you will stop the line. And you will have to make the time and budget to fix it. You’ll have far less downtime if you make adjustments when you notice a spike in anomalies, even if they’re still within tolerance.”
Ultimately, Naidoo says, Industry 4.0 is a must for manufacturers who want to remain in business in a rapidly changing environment.
“The world is getting far more competitive. You have to squeeze every single cent you can out of your production process. One of the key things is to become more agile because variation of product, or mass customisation, is now a demand from customers. Your production line needs to be able to adapt quickly and effectively, and also manage fluctuating volumes, without massive capital cost or too much downtime.”
So, what does practical digitalisation look like and where does one start?
If a customer is still hesitant to make changes on the production side, Naidoo says one easy entry point is digitising the maintenance function to facilitate the scheduling of tasks and a more preventative approach to asset health.
“Then once you start seeing the benefits, you can start optimising your assembly process efficiencies by introducing, for example, operator guidance systems. If you choose the right supplier and technology, digitalisation is designed to start small and grow with you step by step, so you get your return on investment.”