Industry Innovations

23February2021

Three Ways Connectivity Drives Valuable Audits

LightGuide connectivity and layered audit process data analysis bar graph

Connectivity is driving an unparalleled data exchange. Knowing how to audit that information can open more opportunities for lean, value-added business models. 

What is Connectivity

In the past, data had one path. It went from one system to one report and needed to be individually collected and analyzed. 

Since the introduction of Industry 4.0 technologies, connectivity has changed the way we understand information. Connectivity is the assembly of information from multiple smart technologies. It places data into the cloud and disperses that information on a wider scale so it is easier to analyze. And therefore, easier to identify value-drivers.  

However, it can aggregate an overwhelming amount of data, which makes it difficult to identify those value drivers. By knowing where to look, and assigning leads to analyze certain information, it becomes easier to manage the intake. 

Evaluating the Process

Assigning leads to manage our processes isn’t new. Process audits have been taking care of this. 

But normal process audits can be limiting. Due to their timing, they can overlook large amounts of nonconformities and accrue significant scrap and rework costs. A broader look at the process could identify these issues sooner. 

Layered Process Audits

Layered process audits provide a more holistic view of production while, ironically, limiting the view of the process by an individual auditor. This is because layered process audits spread responsibility across multiple layers of management. So, each auditor is only responsible for looking at a certain amount of data. 

In doing this data can be aggregated in a way that builds onto itself. Like working on a puzzle, data is identified one piece at a time. As pieces are added, the whole picture starts to show itself. 

By the end, you can identify how the process could have been easier and how to prevent issues going forward. 

Eskander Yavar explained more in the Manufacturing Leadership Journal,

“Ideally, information sharing up and down the supply chain provides an integrated view of an asset throughout the entire product lifecycle. The goal is to improve how people work together to generate collective intelligence and solutions that extend beyond the limited view of a single person, function or entity.”

This integrated view helps identify new ways to benefit the entire business model rather than one process.  

Combining Value

By combining Industry 4.0 strategies, audits become simpler and provide more value. There are three of the main ways this happens: 

1. Time is Saved

The distribution of responsibilities in a layered process audit causes an unexpectedly faster way to process data. Each person is responsible for less information and it is gathered in less time. That time saved can be returned to other value-added work. 

2. Data is Double Checked

Moving information up the chain creates a bigger picture of factory operations, but it also ensures its correctness. Before generating reports that have to be redone because of small errors, supervisors can spot those issues earlier. This could also lead to spotting repeated small-scale issues that could be easily fixed before moving up the chain of command.

3. Creating Transparency 

With more people involved in the process, it removes the need to repeat information. Information is more accessible around the entire plant and can be exchanged quickly. 

Lower-level auditors could see what’s happening at similar operations around the plant and combine information before moving it along. 

Mid-level auditors have all of the details available if needed, but more importantly, can start picturing what that puzzle might look like in the end. 

Higher-level auditors create transparency for the entire factory. They can see the whole picture and all of the pieces that led to it. 

Transparency at the highest level usually results in higher employee morale and satisfaction, benefiting overall company culture. The high-level auditors can then create new lean manufacturing models and further engage their employees to generate a more value-added business. 

To get the most value out of connectivity, it is important to understand the multiple ways to integrate it into your business model. It is a complex change, but it provides increased agility and insight that can put your operations ahead of the competition. 

To understand more about the importance of connecting all of your factory data, read “The Importance of Traceability in Optimizing Production.” 

For any questions about enabling layered process audits or connectivity, please contact us

8February2021

What is Industry 5.0? The Next Manufacturing Revolution

History of the industrial revolution industry 5.0 timeline

The next industrial revolution is returning the “smart” in smart manufacturing back to human intelligence.

Industry 4.0 to Industry 5.0 

Industry 4.0 is the revolution of connectivity. A digital transformation that connects us through “smart” technologies like cyber-physical systems, the cloud, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things. 

Similar to our current corona-economy, it has brought information together virtually, creating “chains” of information.

Read More

1February2021

[Video] Guiding Industry 4.0: Understanding the Skills Gap

“You need [workers] to be building the highest quality and productivity into products, maybe with even five minutes of training, as well as someone that has five years of training,” Light Guide CEO Paul Ryznar explains. 

To solve the skills gap, maintain jobs, and ensure agility, finding the right training programs is the key. But to have that competitive advantage, you need to understand what the skills gap is and what solving it means for your factory floor.

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11January2021

How to Use Augmented Reality to Upskill Workers with Light Guide CEO, Paul Ryznar

Augmented reality training station helps solve the skills gap

Heightened attention on the skills gap and finding ways to solve it has turned many companies towards Industry 4.0 technologies to solve training problems. 

The difficulty is finding technology that seamlessly integrates training into current processes and doesn’t interfere with production. 

Augmented Reality (AR) is enabling companies to simultaneously evolve workers’ skill sets and increase production. It is moving training programs from the computer directly to the production line. 

Light Guide CEO, Paul Ryznar, weighed in on some of the ways that AR is solving the skills gap.

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14December2020

Solving the Skills Gap: A Visual Guide on Upskilling

Upskilling is a buzz-word heard across every industry. 

Markets are shifting, bringing in new technologies and changing job opportunities, both of which change job requirements. New skills are required to fulfill those jobs. This results in businesses looking to bring their workers up to speed without any downtime. And that’s where upskilling comes in. 

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7December2020

Sandy Munro Shows Off Light Guide on Tesla Battery

Munro Live Sandy Builds Tesla Battery Bay

Sandy Munro, the CEO of Munro & Associates, is known for his innovative lean design methods, wit, and his YouTube channel. He frequently posts videos of Tesla Model teardowns and gives advice and tips on lean manufacturing techniques. In the latest episode of Munro Live, Sandy Munro assembled a Tesla battery bay with the help of Light Guide Systems. 

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30November2020

3 Effects of the Skills Gap on the Bottom Line

Effects of the skills gap on the bottom line

Over the past few months, the primary causes of the rise in the skills gap have been increased consumer demand and decreased employment. Factory activity rose to the same levels as this time last year but, 3.2 million more people between 56 and 74 years old retired this year compared to last, according to the Pew Research Center. Read “What Causes the Skills Gap?” to find more details about these changes. 

With a large percentage of the manufacturing workforce out of work or retiring, businesses are moving new employees into the open positions. But often, the workers brought in are from other departments, industries, or completely new to the workforce. 

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23November2020

What Causes the Skills Gap?

TrainAR

The average cost HR managers say they incur for having extended job vacancies is more than $800,000 annually,” according to a CareerBuilder survey in 2017. 

Since 2017, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed. The economic downturn in March caused profit loss for many businesses, even without the added cost of job vacancies. 

While the economy has started to recover, businesses are increasingly struggling to fill job vacancies. The issue isn’t finding candidates to fill these new positions, it’s finding workers that meet the qualifications necessary to do these jobs effectively.

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16November2020

How to Assemble a Face Shield for Automation Alley’s Project DIAMOnD

Automation Alley Project DIAMOnD Face Shield Work Instructions

Automation Alley partnered with Oakland County and Macomb County to create Project DIAMOnD to keep Michigan at the forefront of innovation. The program is designed to “address the urgent need to move companies into the digital manufacturing age of Industry 4.0 as fast as possible to help improve our region’s manufacturing agility and response to future disruptions.” 

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9November2020

Automation Alley’s Project DIAMOnD Keeps Michigan’s Manufacturing Agile

Automation Alley Personal Protective Equipment Grant as a part of Project DIAMOnD

Michigan is known for being an economic leader. Our history is based on our ability to create the rules and lead manufacturing into the future. But COVID-19 shed light on limits to manufacturing agility in Michigan. 

Automation Alley, partnered with Oakland County and Macomb County, created a Project DIAMOnD to keep Michigan at the forefront of innovation, at no cost.

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