The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly presented a host of challenges for the manufacturing sector. The situation has become more complicated for businesses that either depend heavily on on-site workers or off-shore supply chains. Due toworker hesitancy, jitters over the credit markets, and supply chain bottlenecks, they are struggling to seamlessly run everyday operations. Today, more than 80 percent of the players across this field believe that the pandemic will have a substantial impact on their overall operations and will negatively impact the top and bottom-line revenue for a prolonged period.
Given the uncertainty of COVID-19 in 2021 and still sensitive economy (in the U.S. as well as other major markets known for off-shoring), it is perhaps time for the manufacturing industry to deploy automation technologies that help them stay operational, decrease worker density, ensure zero defects in manufactured products, and guarantee customer satisfaction.
Ensuring total plant floor integration of equipment and manpower solutions, Tutelar Technology is enabling manufacturing companies to create an intelligent manufacturing system that offers the highest levels of production and quality control. Tutelar allows companies to remodel shop floor operations, improve workflow efficiencies, streamline product life-cycles, and stay viable in a competitive business environment. The company’s flagship offering, Ujigami, is the next-generation plant floor software that delivers the highest levels of productivity and quality at the lowest cost. Its unique real-time active controls, combined with extreme capability, flexibility, and ease-of-use, are unmatched in the industry. It provides all the functionality of traditional manufacturing and quality methods with the added benefits of AI, built-in Industry 4.0 and IIoT capabilities, 100 percent outgoing quality, robust mistake-proofing and quality control, extensive management reporting for improvement opportunities, and more.
In an interview with CIO Applications, Edward Dickson, CEO, Tutelar Technologies, sheds light on the current trends and challenges within the manufacturing space and how Ujigami can help companies respond, adapt, and thrive in such a volatile environment.
Please tell our readers about the impact of the pandemic on the manufacturing industry.
Over the last few years, we have been observing two key trends taking over the industry. First, access to skilled labor has been declining. Companies today have recognized their dependency on human resources and their scarcity. The situation became complicated with the advent of COVID-19 that made workers more concerned about coming to work and falling prey to the virus.
The other trend that we see is a total change in outsourcing direction. For the last few decades, the world seemed to be shrinking, with companies actively sourcing components globally. Companies accelerated offshore purchases in an effort to reduce costs, while holding inventories to protect against possible quality concerns.
However, the past year highlighted the risksof an extended supply chain. Companies are acknowledging that having a significant amount of supply business overseas may not be the best due to interruptions. So a lot of our customers are starting to re-shore their businesses and localize their manufacturing to have better control and easier access to each and every component of the supply chain.
Ujigami is uniquely positioned to address their concerns. Ujigami provides the tools to permit businesses to be cost competitive in local manufacturing plants. They can bring their manufacturing back to the U.S. and take control of the entire manufacturing process while improving their quality levels and reducing their costs. They don’t have to worry about shipping costs, costs of failure, repair, rework, scrap, and labor costs because Ujigami provides the ability to reduce labor while simultaneously significantly improve quality.
Tutelar’s software addresses the issues around the scarcity of labor by allowing users to do more with less. Meaning, it enables them to reduce the hands-on labor and support staff of manufacturing components, parts, and assemblies. The best part is that users don’t need technical acumen to work with Ujigami. Lower skilled resources any person from shop floor supervisors, technicians, etc. can configure the software to solve problems without knowing how to program. Also, our built-in AI and industry 4.0 connectivity capabilities automatically maximize the performance of every device on the plant floor. Our customers’ employees simply use Ujigami to perform their regular tasks. The Ujigami software ensures those tasks are translated into exception performance that is sustainable
What are the factors that make Ujigami the most sought-after solution?
Our system takes a very different approach when compared to other available plant floor systems. The difference is connectivity and Artificial Intelligence. Ujigami is quickly configured with the knowledge of how to produce every single part that is manufactured. It knows all the components, processes, machines, orders, and sequences required. Like a GPS system, Ujigami receives production orders and creates a roadmap to produce each part and reach its final destination this is why the software is called “product directed”. But Ujigami is much more than a standard GPS. Not only does it track progress along the build roadmap, it also actively controls the machines, operators, and devices to mistake-proof the entire manufacturing process.
Ujigami configures all the requirements for each machine and work cell to the correct set up, and then makes sure that the components or assembly are manufactured to specification. Ujigami constantly controls, monitors, and makes adjustments to ensure Tutelar’s customers achieve their goals.
Could you provide us with a case study that highlights the benefits of implementing Ujigami?
Briggs & Stratton, an American Fortune 1000 manufacturer of gasoline engines, decided to reshore the manufacturing of their most successful commercial engine back to the United States. They needed to implement an assembly system that works in U.S. plantswith the specific requirements of local labor high turnover with minimal experience. The system needed to ensure maximum quality while minimizing labor. In addition, the company required a rapid launch curve to meet customer demand. The transition to U.S. manufacturing with Ujigami was smooth and successful. Utilizing Ujigami, they addressed their specific manufacturing requirements and exceeded the expected ramp up volumes. To repeat the success, Briggs & Stratton subsequently launched another engine line in another plant with Ujigami.
What does the future look like for the company?
We find ourselves particularly well suited and poised for the current manufacturing environment. Ujigami’s native browser framework is suited to being able to review, support, and share information in a distributed nature. Remote access is now favorable as people are still cautious about face-to-face meetings. Going forward, we will continue to listen to our customers and implement solutions that ensure they are the best in their industries.