Turn your factory into a factory of the future

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November 20, 2018
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November 29, 2018

It can be easier than you think

Mikael Damberg, Swedish Minister for Industry and Innovation stated in an article on digitization that the need for increased digitization places new demands on industrial companies. For companies that keep up with the development there is a lot to gain. Companies that are not equipped to meet the challenges of a more automated and data-driven business world risk losing their competitive edge.

How and when to start.
At CodeIT the company meets daily with industrial companies that have Industry 4.0 and digitization on the agenda. These companies’ big question is always how and where to start? states Christian Öhrn, CEO of CodeIT’s Swedish operations. It’s good to think big but it can be an obstacle to getting started and moving in the right direction. Getting started doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. A good way to start is to take what you’ve got and upgrade it to give it digital functionality. Starting small and creating opportunities to scale up fast is often much easier than most people think. With an innovative partner with the right tools, companies can modernize the systems they already have and gain new features, without having to replace existing functional systems and equipment.

Create partnerships with customers
It’s important to create a partnership between supplier and customer, and at CodeIT we are are convinced that it’s not only the right way but also one of the most important components in being able to master the moment while being ready for a world in constant change. Our experience shows that an in-depth relationship serves to develop both the supplier and the customer, with new and innovative products and solutions being created along the way. In fact, CodeIT’s proprietary integration software, CodeIT Enterprise™, is under continual development in close collaboration with customers. Because of this, two additional products, LegalPrint ® and eMRB ®, have recently been added to the company’s product portfolio. Both come from in-depth partnerships with customers.

Shorter conversion and lead times.
There’s no doubt that more and more customers are looking for customized products and solutions. This in turn increases demands on suppliers to provide greater variety in their offerings. Along with this, one of the fundamental goals of Industry 4.0 is production with shorter conversion and lead times. By way of example, for label converters that process end products with a nicely designed labels, great emphasis has been placed on digital printing technology, and one of the aims has been to meet the end customer’s demand for more variation and shorter conversion and lead times. In this respect, Coca-Cola pays tribute to the consumer by putting millions of individual people’s names on individual bottle labels. This clearly shows that we are moving towards more customized and personized products. However, the main challenge for manufacturing companies is to be able to efficiently produce customized products at mass production prices.

Automation and integration of existing systems.
A first step towards meeting the challenges of digitization is by modernizing the factory with state-of-the-art automation and integrating existing systems. Many manufacturing companies have already started doing this and come far. They are good examples of what future factories will look like. What CodeIT term as “Smart Factories” will have fully integrated systems for both the value chain within their own business and the entire value chain from raw materials to the consumer. In Smart Factories all machines and equipment will be connected, which means lots of data is available for analysis, production optimization and traceability.

From field to fork.
Lantmännen Cerealia has production sites in all the Nordic countries and CodeIT is one of their key suppliers. Lantmännen excel at what they do and is active in the entire value chain. It’s summed up in their brand promise “Together, we take responsibility from field to fork”. Being a key supplier and partner enables the team at CodeIT to offer products, knowledge and staff to help with digitizing the entire chain, from field to fork. It is through strong partnerships like this and in-depth relationships with customers that sustainable, future-proof solutions are developed.

No one wants to be left behind.
Terms such as “Industry 4.0”, “Smart Factories” and “Digitization” are concepts that have surfaced in recent years. The terms are used extensively, and even though many different people have many different interpretations of what is included in the concepts, one thing is always the same – no one wants to be left behind in the fourth industrial revolution! In this context, CodeIT sees itself as a strong partner. To CodeIT what these buzz words mean is delivering the ability to be flexible and scalable. Flexibility and scalability are fundamental at CodeIT where we also believe that a Smart Factory is only “Smart” if it is designed to keep on delivering when demand takes off!

Take care of the present and prepare to meet the future.
It’s not often that new factories are built. Usually the challenge is to optimize an existing factory with older automation and plethora of old and new systems, equipment and printers from different suppliers using different technologies. In these situations, CodeIT has a major strength with its Enterprise solution. Enterprise has been designed from the bottom up to take care of the present and provide flexibility and scalability to meet future requirements. As mentioned before, flexibility is one of the key concepts at CodeIT and in this context we interpret it to also mean that customers must be able to keep the systems and equipment they already have if they fulfill a purpose.

Improve utilization and efficiency.
CodeIT Enterprise is a unique, open software that does not require any programming. Think of it as a configuration tool with unlimited possibilities. Your Swiss-Army knife. CodeIT Enterprise works independently of any business system or other systems used, and regardless of which brand of hardware or technology is used on the production floor. Enterprise works as an integration hub that converts large amounts of data collected from production equipment into valuable insights. Being able to monitor, visualize and analyze real-time production data provides many benefits. One of the most important being the ability to increase production capacity by simply improving utilization and efficiency of the machines.

Think big but start with what you’ve got.
The world’s largest salmon producer, Marine Harvest of Norway, first chose CodeIT as a partner way back in 2013 and is a good example of thinking big but starting with what one’s got. After that initial implementation CodeIT Enterprise has since been rolled out in five factories in Norway, Scotland, Ireland, and the United States. The next factory in line is in Canada. CodeIT Enterprise takes care of all labeling and connects planning, production, product flow and order data, which in turn creates insights vital for effective production and traceability. It’s all been made possible because CodeIT was chosen as the company was perceived to be a good, long-term innovative partner and CodeIT Enterprise as a solution that is the epitome of usability, flexibility, scalability with consistent use of open standards, says proud CodeIT founder, Bjørnar Torsnes.

One last tip for success.
Everyone agrees that the manufacturing industry faces some major changes and lots of challenges, but our simple tip for success is to link up with a competent partner, identify the challenges and get started with the work.