For some SMBs, a journey towards industry 4.0 can seem daunting and inaccessible. With tech advancements feeling too expensive, or out of their league. But it doesn’t have to be that way says OFS.
OFS software is designed to simplify and democratise the whole IIOT process, giving manufacturers — no matter their size — the ability to run state-of-the-art tools and tech that turns any factory into a smart factory.
The difference between a factory and a smart factory is how they produce and analyse production data in order to drive change and produce more efficiently. With detailed and accurate reports curated through software like OFS, a manufacturer can finally uncover the right data to identify where the plant can perform better and what the key production constraints are.
The power of data delivered in the right way has the capability to take a company’s manufacturing processes to the next level but some of the SMBs on tight budgets have been reluctant to invest in new software, until recently.
“What we have seen historically is that the trend has probably been more towards well resourced, well-funded and large enterprises with really sophisticated production equipment implementing technologies like these to make sure that they perform the way they should,” said OFS CEO James Magee.
“There’s probably been a lack of belief among small to medium manufacturers who might be using quiet old antiquated production equipment who think they can’t bring this new technology onto their old kit.”
Over the last handful of years that trend has started to shift and craft brewers are a good example of companies that don’t shy away from the use of software and technology to improve wherever they can.
“A lot of brewers use our software on their packaging lines to become more efficient, to reduce wastage, to produce more with less” said OFS marketing leader Anthony Mordech.
“It is just one interesting niche vertical where they can see how larger breweries and organisations use data to drive efficiency and growth and now they can have something similar running in their business. And we service both, we have very large enterprise customers, but we also have a solution for smaller to mid-sized businesses and plenty of great craft brewers using our software.”
“Newer companies already deploy software products right across their business, whether it’s Xero as their accounting package, Salesforce as their CRM, an inventory management software and so on. So, start-ups do tend to come in and put some other software products in quicker, as such it isn’t a stretch for them to adapt OFS to help their lines run smoothly,” said Magee.
“But it makes no difference to us the age, make or manufacturing of the equipment, the way our technology works it is agnostic to all of those factors.”
Manufacturers who might think they cannot easily collect data because of the age of their equipment or still just manually collect data are two of the biggest barriers for adoption of solutions like OFS.
“That has been the way we have felt it in years gone by but what we have seen in the last three years has been a trend towards businesses thinking that if they have any intention of being around in five or ten-year’s time then they will need to focus much more on data collection and analysis,” said Magee.
“It’s not just the collection and analysis of data, the dynamics of the way they serve the market, customers, product innovation, and the way they make their widgets which could be done more efficiently”.
By mastering data you’re armed with valuable information that, when enriched with empowered operator insight, can improve efficiencies, and drive real change — where it matters. That’s the difference between where your factory is at now, and where it could be.
“Before a company commences a trial of OFS we will ask them to tell us how they are currently performing. In almost all cases, once OFS is live within a matter of days, they realise that their assumptions are off the mark…quite often by a long way. A classic example of this is the speed of production, which is almost always over estimated, Magee said.”
It then becomes clear where a business is losing money as OFS will display insights and opportunities via a suite or real-time reports, dashboards and analytics. Operators can instantly record notes and feedback against any downtimes, production events and also add details on shifts and jobs.
OFS is so confident in its software that a 30-day trial is offered to prospective clients who are looking to improve on their manufacturing processes.
Within those 30 days clients will see their own data streaming in real time and the boundless opportunities for improvement will be on display for all to see.