SMBs alone insufficient to realize smart manufacturing

Chloe Liao, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs in 2018 began to promote installing smart machine boxes (SMBs) on manufacturing equipment to boost development of smart machinery, but SMBs alone are insufficient to completely reach smart manufacturing, according to industry sources.

SMBs mainly function for production management by virtue of web-based visual display and analysis of collected operating data, the sources said. However, the data do not reflect the entire production process of production, which also involves workers, components and materials handling, and disposal of wastewater or waste materials, the sources said.

For example, components and materials are in any of the four statuses: manufacturing, quality inspection, being conveyed and waiting, and manufacturing status, the only one of the four to make real value contribution, usually takes up less than 10% of the whole time incurred.

According to smart manufacturing solution developer Servtech, component/material management, such as efficiently feeding and switching them to minimize waiting time, is crucial to smooth production and a blind spot easily neglected.