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Internet of Things set to Disrupt and Revolutionise Manufacturing

by david.nunes

Internet of Things set to Disrupt and Revolutionise Manufacturing

The disruptive power of Forcam’s Smart Factory technology so impressed US

company growth consultants Frost and Sullivan that they have awarded it

their ‘New Product Innovation Leadership Award’ for 2014. World-wide, Forcam

is a leader in the application of the Internet of things (IoT) in shop-floor

applications. More than 50,000 machine tools and processes are under the

control of its Factory Framework shop floor manufacturing execution system

(MES) software.

“We are all aware of the Internet of things (IoT). The discussion so far has

centred on smart homes, intelligent cars, building management and systems

that can monitor our fitness and health, but the major breakthrough is in

manufacturing. Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication will allow UK

manufacturers to improve productivity, quality and the pace of innovation to

become leaders in the new industrial revolution,” explained Charlie Walker,

Forcam’s UK manager.

The latest Factory Framework innovation, Release 5, gathers and presents

relevant and customised options, in real time, to mangers, supervisors and

shop floor technicians. This requires masses of data and huge computing

power so the software embraces big data, using complex event processing,

in-memory technology and the power of the cloud to gather and process this


Forcam CEO, Franz Gruber explained, “This is not just a management tool, but

a system and a philosophy that the whole team – workers, supervisors and

managers – can use to create more productive, competitive and profitable

enterprises. Given globalisation of manufacturing this has a crucial role

for the viability of factories in advanced economies.”

Weir Minerals is one of the first UK companies to adopt Factory Framework.

Their Todmorden factory recorded a 12 per cent improvement in output in the

first year and continues to see incremental improvement. Aerospace component

suppliers Hyde Group has also applied the system with beneficial outcomes.

Auto manufacturers Audi, BMW and Daimler, fastening specialist Hilti and

aero-engine maker MTU are all early adopters, some achieving efficiency

improvements of 20 per cent or more in the first year. All are using the

system within their continuous improvement programmes (CIP) to achieve still

higher year-on-year productivity, keeping them competitive against lower

cost overseas manufacturers.

The internet-of-things means far more than controlling the central heating

from your smart phone or your fridge re-ordering the tomatoes. Forcam UK is

working to ensure it will have a major beneficial effect on industry and

will bolster the revival of manufacturing in an advanced economy such as the


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