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EDITORIAL Vote productivity.
MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY Preparing students for Industry 4.0.
FOCUS Let’s build a new pipeline for women.
from aliens to mechanically enhanced humans Engineering the exoskeleton -
Inspired by the ‘power loader’ exoskeleton worn by Sigourney Weaver’s character in Aliens, Richard Little set out to design and build a pair of robotic legs. The resulting REX Suits are operated by a joystick that allows the wearer to walk, move sideways, turn around, climb stairs, and exercise.
Rex Bionics in 2003.
Exoskeletons are hyped up as devices that will allow the injured and paralysed to walk, elderly and stroke sufferers to remain independent for longer, the military to get more from soldiers, and even turn all of us into mechanically e n h a n c e d humans.
Little said it was hard to describe the experience of watching someone stand and walk after being in a wheelchair for years.
They have captured the imagination of researchers across the world, from start-ups to NASA. A Scots-born e n g i n e e r, Richard says he was motivated to develop the system after his childhood best friend Robert Irving was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Little and Irving co-founded
Now NZ based, Richard is passionate about using technology and particularly robotics to help people.
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“Every time - it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen it before - it’s very emotional.” Researchers have developed exoskeletons controlled by a non-invasive system linked to the brain, allowing an even wider range of wheelchair users to walk. What’s more, when combined with virtual reality and tactile feedback the systems even appear to promote a degree of recovery for people with paraplegia. It’s a development that excites Richard, whose team have also been exploring the possibility of thought control with their own device. Richards latest business, Exsurgo Rehab, has been formed with an experienced medical and technology team to deliver medical devices that will alleviate the suffering and improve the quality of life of potentially millions of stroke sufferers world-wide. Richard is a multi-award-winning inventor and engineer with many patents to and inventions to his name. In the past Richard has held a range of Directorships and other senior positions in a range of engineering, military, and medical businesses. Richard Little is a keynote speaker at NMEC 2017 14-16 November 2017, Hamilton, NZ
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1-3 May 2018
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Read the Manufacturing Stories that Matter
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5 EDITORIAL Vote productivity. NEWS 6 BUSINESS Record high for steel consumption. TECHNOLOGY 7 MANUFACTURING Preparing students for Industry 4.0
Is Director of Maintenance Transformations Ltd, an executive member of the Maintenance Engineering Societyand the Event Director of the NationalMaintenance Engineering Conference.
FARO laser scanner extends portfolio. Finkel’s Law: robots won’t replace us…
PROFILE 10 COMPANY Phoenix Contact.
Is Executive Director of Export NZ and Manufacturing, divisions of Business NZ, NewZealand’s largest business advocacy group, representing businesses of all sizes.
11 FOCUS Let’s build a pipeline for female talent. ABOUT IT 12 THINK Why it is important to have a manufacturing base. 13 NZMEA Productivity and Wages. 14 DEVELOPMENTS No such thing as a bridge too far.
Control noise for safe happier workers. The best learning experience for engineers in NZ. ManufacturingNZ’s manifesto.
Chief Executive, New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association has a Ph.D. in plant biotechnology, consulting and senior management roles in R&D, innovation and international business development.
PRODUCTS 16 NEW Bonfiglioli 33M gearbox sets benchmarks. Hitachi to disrupt Industry 4.0.
MANUFACTURING 17 SMART Six things about China. Asaleo Care’s tissue machine future-proofs production. The key to ultrathin sensors and solar cells. Full-strength metal 3D printed parts go mainstream. Why AI needs big data to deliver business benefits. Innovations on show at Competenz Horizons forum.
Is Managing Director of Connection Technologies Ltd, Wellington and is passionate about industry supporting NZ based companies, which in turn builds local expertise and knowledge, and provides education and employment for future generations.
23 ENERGY What blackout? CHAIN 24 SUPPLY Series 6 – Inventory Management. AND SAFETY 25 HEALTH Navigating the minefield of H & S reporting and
MANUFACTURING 26 FOOD AI needs to create jobs for all, not the few.
Dr Wolfgang Scholz
Is HERA Director and a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers NZ.
Ingham’s NZ plant recognised for outstanding water management.
The Journey to Lean Maintenance.
29 DEVELOPMENTS Race to make robots spurs ABB. Nuance marks 20 years of Dragon. Immersive booths to bring business expos to life.
31 REAR VIEW
How the health and safety gravy chain is sucking productivity out of NZ manufacturing.
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
It’s all about to happen on Saturday. The government for the next three years will go forth with a whole new set of plans and ideas on how to make our lives better. We know there are serious social issues which are worrying, decidedly so, and there are business issues which affect the social issues…so let’s concentrate here on what the issues and this publication are all about. Better business and business opportunities for all manufacturers and businesses through increased productivity. The leaders have spoken a bit about improving productivity and it needs a determined focus to bring it up to speed. NZMEA, for example, is a focussed and committed organisation looking out for the better, they address this subject often…and now it is the new government’s turn. It’s a bit like the Minister for Manufacturing issue, it gets raised and put into the too hard basket; if this had been dealt with years ago we may not have a productivity problem as we have now. Initiatives for workers would be further ahead, streamlining of areas of study would see companies getting the staff they require earlier on. Productivity in the horticulture, agriculture and wine industries is ahead of ‘hard core’
manufacturing because the end – the order from the client overseas and locally is determined a long way ahead. Also having quality products in high demand helps. Increasing productivity comes at a cost as well, of course, as a benefit. Good workers upping their game and reaching targets for their employers deserve a decent wage. This becomes for many a real living wage. Increasing productivity means that as a country we keep on looking for the opportunities – with internal developments and infrastructure and overseas. But mostly productivity needs to be lived, to be way a thinking, a frame of mind to succeed. This is where the next government needs to step up. To show some mettle and get it done.
Success Through Innovation
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NZ Manufacturer September 2017
Customers are the most important assets any company has, even though they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t show up on the balance sheet. -Berry
Record high for steel consumption Overall our FY 2017(Jul16 - Jun17) heavy steel consumption reached just over 173,000 tonnes - 1.4% higher than last year and a new record in our steel statistics. This is a welcome outcome, supported by a buoyant steel construction sector in response to growing demand for seismic strengthened buildings and an expanding population in major regional centers. However it was not the growth rate some would have expected and likely the contribution from fabricated welded steelwork imports made up for this gap in the expectation. Plate was up 1.03% to 74,487 tonnes, sections by 1.16% to 86,353 tonnes and RHS by 0.9% to 12,174 tonnes compared to FY2016. This is evenly spread and demonstrates that it is not
just growth in sections fueled by the steel construction sector which is going well but likely also general heavy steel based manufacturing. In June, our heavy steel volumes stayed steady, indicating annual usage of 173,000 tonnes of heavy steel plate and sections. Steel volume has been linked to the Import Value (CIF-Cost Insurance Freight) Index, where the CIF index percentage correlates back to January 2000 where the value of the index was set at 100%. The price index in June 2017 was 118% points - showing landed steel
costs has risen in the last 16 years by 18% points only. This is remarkable considering that the comparative NZ CPI adjustment over the same period was a whopping 130%. So in relative terms steel has remained immensely cost competitive especially since the continuous reduction in prices due to world-wide oversupply and aggressive Chinese steel price
setting. However there was a recent upward price adjustment. When looking in more detail it can be seen the value of landed steel has increased by 17 percentage points over the last 13 months alone. A slight come back in April correcting the rather steep increase experienced over the previous three months. However as local and international steel price commentators have us believe, we need to accept a strengthening in our steel prices.
Find a great home for your business EAST TAMAKI A great place to do business
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Preparing students for Industry 4.0 RMIT University, a leading member of the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN), has selected the ThingWorx® IoT Platform, Windchill® software, and ThingWorx Studio technology from PTC to establish itself as an educational leader in the teaching and application of Industrie 4.0 skills in Australia. Also as part of its digitalisation initiative, RMIT is expanding its relationship with LEAP Australia Pty Ltd, a PTC value-added partner. The ATN is recognised as a global leader of a new generation of universities focused on industry collaboration, real-world research with real-world impact, and producing work-ready graduates with industry relevant skills. As a key member of the ATN, RMIT
industry partners.” In addition to deploying these technologies in a L&T context, RMIT is leveraging these new capabilities from PTC to expand its collaboration with local industry partners, especially companies without sufficient resources to comprehensively harness the transformative nature of Industrie 4.0 for their business. The university sees the potential for companies to use the real-time, real-world insights from Industrial IoT data to anticipate and address performance and maintenance issues more efficiently, and in many cases before they even occur in the field. Furthermore, it can help companies realize the business value of using Industrial IoT data in combination with
“A boost in the number of graduates with these Industrie 4.0 skills will also help to quickly improve the competitiveness of businesses in Australia and New Zealand.” University has identified a recent surge in demand for graduates with skills in Industrie 4.0, including the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR) for the enterprise. Combined with simulation technology from ANSYS, RMIT University is implementing the use of PTC technology across their engineering learning and teaching (L&T) framework. In addition, industrially-driven research programs are using PTC and ANSYS technology to combine real-time operational data from smart-connected products with robust digital prototypes to facilitate the creation of the ‘digital twin’ for individual assets. “We foresee the insights from Industrial IoT data, combined with AR for in-context display, to be critical to the business transformations that will arise from Industrie 4.0 and have partnered with LEAP Australia, PTC, and ANSYS to help infuse this technology into our courses in the most effective way,” said Pier Marzocca, professor and associate dean, School of Engineering (Aerospace). “Our goal is to comprehensively expose all engineering students to state-of-the-art virtual prototyping and Industrie 4.0 tools, and ensure that they acquire new employability skills and competencies that are increasingly in-demand in our extensive network of
AR to provide their workforce with asset-specific digital information, in context, and to the right person at the right time. “We see that the ThingWorx platform, with Industrial IoT, PLM, and AR capabilities, in combination with the ANSYS simulation platform already in use, will enable RMIT students and researchers to easily deploy comprehensive digital prototypes to analyse current operating conditions, rapidly identify and diagnose operations issues, predict future operating and maintenance requirements, and improve overall product performance,” said Greg Horner, managing director, LEAP Australia. “In an ever-changing industrial landscape, knowledge in Industrial IoT and AR and the potential of digital twin modeling is becoming an important differentiator for graduates in a competitive job market. “A boost in the number of graduates with these Industrie 4.0 skills will also help to quickly improve the competitiveness of businesses in Australia and New Zealand.”
opportunities for value creation in the economy. This transformation is radically reshaping the way companies design products and interact with customers, affecting many working roles within a manufacturing firm, and in turn, changing the educational needs of the next generation of engineers and designers. “In discussions with RMIT, we agree that product development will shift from largely mechanical engineering to a truly interdisciplinary, systems engineering approach,” said Michael Campbell, executive vice president, ThingWorx Platform, PTC. “PTC solutions incorporating the ThingWorx IoT platform have been purpose-built to fundamentally change how we connect, analyse, manage, and experience the ‘things’ in a smart, connected world. We are
proud to partner with universities such as RMIT, which require highly-capable, open, and customisable Industrie 4.0 solutions that are both easy to learn and designed to be easily deployed across complex organizations.” About LEAP Australia Established in 1996, LEAP is a leading provider of engineering, simulation and enterprise software and services for all industries across Australia and New Zealand. Using software technology such as CAD, PLM, Simulation, IoT and Augmented Reality, LEAP has assisted thousands of companies to modernise their product development tools and processes.
Alibre Design is back! Professional and Expert versions.
Upgrade to new Expert version for all exisng users on maintenance.
Proving that wishes do come true, the former Alibre Inc., management team have taken back ownership of their soware from 3D Systems and produced a new version of Alibre Design. We’re back on track looking at a very bright and posive future for the soware. New soware available late June. Expert version: $4020.00 + GST and Professional version: $2186.00 + GST Prices include First Year Annual Maintenance. Orders being taken now.
All users of Geomagic Design with current Annual Maintenance will automatically receive a copy of the new Alibre Design software. Anyone with an old Alibre or Geomagic license will be able to renew their maintenance without penalty and receive the new software. Best value for money Design soware
Manufactured products are evolving into smart, connected devices, each embedded across broader systems and creating unprecedented amounts of data, which dramatically changes the
NZ supplier and training provider for Alibre Design
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude. - Zig Ziglar
Focus 70 laser scanner extends portfolio The FARO Focus 70 is a high accuracy, short range scanner specifically designed for architecture, engineering, construction, product design and public safety-forensics professionals. Similar to the FARO Focus 70 introduced into the award winning FARO® Focus Laser Scanner portfolio in January 2017, the Focus 70 delivers industrial grade performance with an exceptional price/performance ratio.
The FARO Focus 70 also delivers a set of incremental, value-added functionality that makes it a perfect fit for those applications that require the short range scanning power of the Focus 70, the next level accuracy of the Focus 150 or Focus 350 and the unique power of real time, on-site registration.
This includes an Ingress Protection (IP) Rating of 54 for use in high particulate and wet weather conditions, HDR imaging and extended temperature range. Additionally, users will continue to have unrestricted freedom of choice to leverage the software tools most beneficial to their own workflow, including FARO SCENE and 3rd party software solutions such as Autodesk ReCap®.
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
Short Range with Best in Class Accuracy: • Designed for both indoor and outdoor applications that require scanning up to 70 meters and with accuracy of +/- 1mm
More Data Captured Faster: • Delivers acquisition speed of almost 1,000,000 points per second
Improved Productivity and Confidence: • Supports the real time, on-site registration functionality recently announced by FARO with the introduction the SCENE 7.0 software suite
This high value functionality enables the 3D scan data, whether it be from a single scan or multiple scans in process simultaneously, to be wirelessly transmitted (i.e., no SD cards needed) directly to an onsite computer workstation/PC in real time.
Total quality management is a journey, not a destination. -Berry
Finkel’s Law: robots won’t replace us because we still need that human touch Alan Finkel Australia’s Chief Scientist, Office of the Chief Scientist By now, you’ve probably been warned that a robot is coming for your job. But rather than repeat the warning, I’ve decided to throw down a challenge: man against machine. First, I’ll imagine the best possible robot version of an Australian Chief Scientist that technologists could build, based on the technologies available today or in the foreseeable future. Call it “ChiefBot”. Then I’ll try to persuade you that humanity still has the competitive edge. Let’s begin with the basic tasks our ChiefBot would be required to do. First, deliver speeches. Easy. There are hundreds of free text-to-voice programs that wouldn’t cost the taxpayer a cent. Second, write speeches. Again, easy. Google has an artificial intelligence (AI) system that writes poetry. A novel by a robot was shortlisted in a Japanese literary competition. Surely speeches can’t be so hard. Third: scan the science landscape and identify trends. Watson, developed by IBM, can already do it. Watson is not just history’s most famous Jeopardy! champion: he’s had more careers than Barbie, from talent scouting for professional sport to scanning millions of pages of scientific reports to diagnose and treat disease. Fourth, and finally: serve on boards and make complex decisions.
ChiefBot wouldn’t be the first robot to serve in that capacity. For example, an Australian company now sells AI software that can advise company boards on financial services. There’s a company in Hong Kong that has gone one step further and actually appointed an algorithm as a director. So, there’s ChiefBot. I admit he’s pretty good. We have to assume that he will capture all the benefits of ever-advancing upgrades – unlike me. But let’s not abandon our faith in humanity without looking again at the selection criteria for the job, and the capabilities on the human resume.
Man versus machine Start with the task we’re engaged in right now: communicating in fluent human. We’re sharing abstract ideas through words that we choose with an understanding of their nuance and impact. We don’t just speak in human, we speak as humans. A robot that says that science is fun is delivering a line. A human who says that science is fun is telling you something important about being alive. That’s knowledge that ChiefBot will never have, and the essence of the Chief Scientist’s job. Chalk that up to Team Human. Here’s another inbuilt advantage we take for granted: as humans we are limited by design. We are bound in time: we die. We are bound in space: we can’t be in more than one place at a time.
That means that when I speak to an audience, I am giving them something exclusive: a chunk of my time. It’s a custom-made, one-off, The real Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, dancing with a robot. 100% robot-free Australia’s Chief Scientist, Author provided
delivery, from today’s one-and-only Australian Chief Scientist. True, I now come in digital versions, through Twitter and Facebook and other platforms, but the availability of those tools hasn’t stopped people from inviting me to speak in person. Digital Alan seems to increase the appetite for human Alan, just as Spotify can boost the demand for a musician’s live performances. We see the same pattern repeated across the economy. Thanks to technology, many goods and services are cheaper, better and more accessible than ever before. We like our mass-produced bread, and our on-tap lectures and our automated FitBit advice. But automation hasn’t killed the artisan bakery. Online courses haven’t killed the bricks-and-mortar university. FitBit hasn’t killed the personal trainer. On the contrary, they’re all booming, alongside their machine equivalents.
Finkel’s Law Call it Finkel’s Law: where there’s a robot, we’ll see renewed appreciation for the humans in the robot-free zone. Team Human, two goals up. Let me suggest a third advantage: you and I can be flexible and effective in human settings. In our world, AI are the interlopers. We are the incumbents. It’s the robots who have to make sense of us. And we make it extraordinarily hard. Think, for example, of a real estate negotiation. We could rationalise it as an exchange of one economic asset for another. In reality, we know that our actions will be swayed by sentiment, insecurity and peer pressure. In that swirl of reason and emotion, the art of the real estate agent is to anticipate, pivot and nudge. The human real estate agent is the package deal. She can harness AI to sharpen her perceptions and overcome cognitive biases. Then she can hit the human buttons to flatter,
deflect or persuade. That human touch is hard to replicate, and even harder to reduce to a formula and scale. Team Human, three goals to nil. Here’s a fourth argument for the win. We humans have learned the habit of civilisation. Let me illustrate this point by a story.
The human future A few years ago, some researchers set out to investigate the way that people interact with robots. They sent out a small robot to patrol the local mall. That robot had a terrible time – and the villains of the story were children. They kicked him, bullied him, smacked him in the head and called him a string of indelicate names. The point is not that the children were violent. The point is that the adults were not. They restrained whatever primitive impulse they might have felt in childhood to smack something smaller and weaker in the head, because they had absorbed the habit of living together. We call it civilisation. If we want artificial intelligence for the people, of the people and by the people, we’ll need every bit of that civilising instinct we’ve honed over thousands of years. We’ll need humans to tame the machines to our human ends. I’d say that’s Team Human, in a walkover. Together, these points suggest to me that humanity has a powerful competitive edge. We can coexist with our increasingly capable machines and we can make space for the full breadth of human talents to flourish. But if we want that future – that human future – we have to want it, claim it and own it. Take it from a human Chief Scientist: we’re worth it.
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
Quality is not what happens when what you do matches your intentions. It is what happens when what you do matches your customers’ expectations. -Guaspari
Tool digitisation brings global giant closer to Industry 4.0 and delivers immense benefits Many companies are pursuing different paths as they attempt to realise Industry 4.0. For global electrical engineering manufacturer, Phoenix Contact, the focus has been on integrating digital data about its manufacturing tools to ensure their ongoing integrity and as a step towards creating an increasingly automated manufacturing environment. Phoenix Contact produces over 60,000 different products, including solutions for connection, interface, automation and surge protection. With so many models to produce and the continuous demand for new products, maintaining the operation and integrity of its dies is critical to its ongoing manufacturing success. The dies are used in the production of screws, plastics and metal parts, but also in highly automated assembly machines as well as punching, bending and injection moulding tools. Usually made from hardened steel, the dies can take months to create and are expensive to produce. Phoenix Contact realised that by digitising information about its dies it could create a lifetime digital document on each tool. This would allow it to quickly and easily track the quality of its tools, enhance its manufacturing process, and further interlink systems as it moved towards Industry 4.0. Consequently, all relevant information about each individual die was digitised. The data gathered included the year the tool was produced, material used to construct it, maintenance details, and so forth. It was then incorporated into the
overall manufacturing process via the internet so that staff and systems could automatically connect and communicate as well as track and monitor the dies performance, its usage, wear and tear, and to determine its availability in the manufacturing process. Since digitising the information, the benefits for the company have been immense. Dies are now automatically scheduled for maintenance based on usage. Staff and manufacturing systems communicate, and are notified in advance of the required maintenance. The higher-level control system accesses the maintenance schedule and sends a message to the relevant employee if a service is due. This not only assures the ongoing integrity of the die, it allows the efficient scheduling of equipment and ongoing production. In addition, the life expectancy of the tools has increased because the dies are systematically examined and efficiently maintained. The possibility of a die missing a scheduled service has been eliminated and helped Phoenix Contact save on die production. Digitisation has also meant that the die data is automatically combined with other digital information Ð project status, costs, materials, etc Ð to allow staff to make informed decisions, and in particular, solve urgent problems quickly. “By making all the relevant information about the die digitally available we are not only able to monitor each die, we can combine it with other data and make it available at the right time and in the right place for each operating
Displaying up-to-date information on a digital boards means that decisions can be made directly in the working area.
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
Computer tomography replaces conventional measuring technology.
step within the manufacturing process to ensure any issues are resolved quickly and our machines are always working at their optimum,” said Dr. Sven Holsten, Head of Tool Shop Plastics, Business Unit Manufacturing Solutions, Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG. The digital data also contributes to faster tool testing of the quality of the die. Previously all necessary measurements required to test tools were acquired manually. For some complex dies, up to 2,500 test dimensions could be required. This is now a virtual process. A computer tomograph generates a real image that is overlaid with the digital twin of the tool. The pseudo colour image allows any deviations to be immediately detected. The smallest of details are now measured in the resulting image and no longer on the real product. This has helped to make the entire tool testing process much faster and efficient. Phoenix Contact has also digitised the physical tracking of its dies to integrate its systems further and help enhance manufacturing. As the tools need to be physically transported from the warehouse to the relevant machine, Phoenix Contact fitted the gates of the factory halls with sensors.
The sensors detect which tool is being transported in which direction by means of an RFID tag. The recorded data is used to track the whereabouts of the die and is also fed into the manufacturing process. The machine can then identify the tool via the RFID tag and automatically downloads the appropriate program from the master computer so that production is ready to commence. For Phoenix Contact to be able to react quickly to market changes, it must create a concatenated, scalable manufacturing system. All of the requisite workstations, assembly and process cells, assembly machines, and testing cells required in each development stage of the production process need to be linked to this system. The digitisation of the die information is helping to make such a system a reality as we move towards Industry 4.0.
The ideas of control and improvement are often confused with one another. That is because quality control and quality improvement are inseparable. -Ishihara
Let’s build a new pipeline for female talent Naadiya Moosajee, Co-Founder, WomEng
I am a female engineer. When I introduce myself, I still get gasps or looks of surprise. This isn’t a surprise to me as women account for just 11% of employees in architecture and engineering. There are a number of reasons for this, including what has been dubbed “the pipeline challenge”, that is points all along the engineering talent pipeline where we lose women and girls. At the beginning of the pipeline girls are not aware of engineering careers. There is still a perception that it’s something for the boys. As a civil engineer, people are surprised by my small stature as they expect heavy lifting when it comes to building mega infrastructure. I prefer to frame it as heavy lifting with the mind.
Sheer dumb luck Most of the female engineers I know entered the profession in one of three ways: their dad, uncle or another man was an engineer and was their role model; a teacher said they were good at maths and science and that’s what engineers did, so they went to study engineering; or the third category, which is where I found myself, through “sheer dumb luck”. I got lucky and really enjoyed the aspect of solving humanity’s greatest challenges as an engineer. It is why I have become a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) evangelist and co-founded WomEng to develop women engineers. Our latest campaign is to support a million girls through our GirlEng STEM education programme.
I have maintained that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring a unique opportunity to use technology not only to overcome development challenges, but also to help women break gender barriers and become creators and owners of technology, rather than just consumers. Our programme has a number of elements, including creating an awareness of engineering careers and the future of work; providing skilled mentors for girls; providing access to local role models and funding for scholarships for engineering; and building confidence and acceptance that engineering is for everyone.
Pink hard hats The last of these elements features our pink-hard-hat transformation exercise. We took the stereotypical hard hat seen on many construction sites and made it bright pink – fighting a stereotype with a stereotype. This has proven incredibly effective at inspiring girls and is a coveted item that has been worn by many supporters, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2016. We have been running the GirlEng programme since 2009 and in 2014 we saw girls, who started the programme as high-school students, graduate as engineers, proving that simple
Naadiya Moosajee: ‘As a female engineer, when I introduce myself I still get looks of surprise’
interventions can have a lasting impact.
No more ‘missing middle’ When we talk about the pipeline, however, it’s not enough to just open the talent pool at the beginning only to see it narrow very quickly. Many women leave the sector within three to five years, creating a “missing middle”. The sector is experiencing a cohort of missing female talent, which presents a leadership vacuum and perpetuates the low number of senior women in the sector. While the assumption has been that women leave to pursue other lifestyle choices like having families, another part of the challenge has been what we call the “world of one”. Being the only female engineer within a company can cause female engineers to feel isolated, and leave. A second common reason behind the missing middle is a financial one, as STEM skills are desirable and engineers are sought after by a variety of sectors where the pay is higher. Furthermore, the industry has generally been both slow to transform and welcome
diversity. Many women leave rather than battle against barriers every day. When working on retention rates for female engineers, a vital approach is to engage hearts and minds. Engaging hearts comes through work that brings about change, which is largely what engineering is about, and helping to create better cities and better worlds. Engaging minds comes through championing career development for women and opening opportunities for them within companies and the sector. The sector needs to embrace other systemic changes, including providing better financial incentives and pay parity; creating an inclusive and respectful culture; and having male leaders champion the careers of female engineers. As we embark on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, STEM skills will be as vital as reading and writing. More importantly, so will skills such as empathy, teamwork and good communication, often considered more “feminine” skills. With these competencies in mind, female engineers are well placed to revolutionise engineering.
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NZ Manufacturer September 2017
THINK ABOUT IT
Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again. - Andre Gide
Manufacturing matters: why it is important for an economy to have a manufacturing base
Economist Nicholas Kaldor (1908-1986) proposed that economic growth and enhanced standards of living were positively correlated with national industrial activity. He suggested that growth in GDP was positively related to growth in the nation’s manufacturing sector. Productivity in the manufacturing industries was also positively related to growth in this sector. He also suggested that the productivity of the non-manufacturing sector was associated with growth in manufacturing.
As manufacturing jobs were moved offshore there was a significant amount of structural unemployment. By the end of the 1980s the majority of employment was to be found in the services sector and there was talk of a “post-industrial society”.
Kaldor was a controversial figure in economics. He criticised mainstream economists for what he saw as an excessive focus on “equilibrium” approaches, condemning them as “barren and irrelevant”.
Over the past two decades the emergence of China as a global manufacturing powerhouse has further challenged the existing manufacturing base within other countries. This raises further concerns over whether or not it matters that an economy retains a manufacturing sector.
He preferred to focus on the creative function of markets rather than their ability to simply allocate existing resources. His analysis of the decline of the United Kingdom’s manufacturing sector argued in favour of greater economies of scale and expansionary fiscal stimulus by national governments combined where necessary with import controls.
The problems facing manufacturing in industrialised nations such as the UK were attributed to poor industrial relations, inadequate investment in R&D, insufficient investment in technical education and training and poor management.
America seeks to rejuvenate manufacturing sector
They also highlight the protracted, and often bitter, disputes that occur within the circles of economists as to how a national economy should be managed.
Why manufacturing matters The issue of what has been termed the “deindustrialisation” of the developed world has been exercising academics and policy makers since at least the 1980s. Low productivity growth and the emergence of new challenger nations such as Japan and Taiwan led to a shift in the majority of industrial economies.
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
It also seeks to build up the level of innovation through the creation of advanced manufacturing clusters, networks and partnerships.
Such a view over the importance of manufacturing was articulated recently by Professors Gary Pisano and Willy Shih of Harvard University’s Business School. According to Pisano and Shih, without a manufacturing sector it will become very difficult for an economy to sustain innovation.
However, they raise some interesting questions as to the overall importance of manufacturing to the long-term economic growth and general productivity of a national economy.
Support for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) is also highlighted. This includes enhanced management development support and apprenticeship schemes to help boost the capacity of these firms.
According to some analysts manufacturing does matter and the loss of manufacturing jobs is not good for an economy.
Not surprisingly this “supply-side Keynesian” approach was roundly condemned by monetarists and neoliberal economists.
Kaldor’s theories on economic growth and the role played by manufacturing are therefore not without their critics.
sector is the ability to draw together a range of macro and micro level elements. Government policy plays an important role. However, so does the cost of labour, energy and the quality of infrastructure, legal and regulatory systems.
more skilled and talented students to the United States, with a view to retaining them within the workforce.
This view echoes a similar call from the US Council on Competitiveness, which launched an initiative in late 2011 entitled “Make: An American Manufacturing Movement”. The underlying philosophy driving this program is the view that manufacturing matters. Rather than a “dumb, dirty, dangerous and disappearing” industry, manufacturing must be seen as a mechanism for driving innovation. It is a sector that should be viewed as “smart, safe, sustainable and surging”. According to the US Council on Competitiveness manufacturing in the United States directly employs over 11 million and contributed around US$1.7 trillion to the national economy in 2010. It also has one of the highest multiplier effects of all industry sectors and is a provider of skilled and well-paid jobs. The report highlights the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, a joint initiative with Deloitte. As shown in the following diagram, the key to a competitive manufacturing
Key Drivers of Manufacturing Competitiveness. The list of recommendations emerging from this substantial report is lengthy, but in essence they call for action by both industry and government. There is a call for fiscal reform to transform the taxation system and reduce regulatory and structural costs that impede innovation and new venture creation. The report also calls for changes to the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) laws, international standards for interoperability and export control regimes to enhance exports. A key feature of this is to work more closely with trading partners to enact anti-counterfeiting programs. The report also calls for a substantial investment in education and training targeted at encouraging more students to enter the fields of engineering and relevant technology and production areas. In the development of human capital, it seeks to use the mechanism of international education to attract
This involves the modernisation of factories to include more technology-enabled smart manufacturing processes. Finally, the report seeks an investment in transport, production and telecommunications infrastructure that is smart, sustainable and resilient. As the United States has shown, the key to enhancing our manufacturing industries is to address a series of macro and micro level issues simultaneously. Fiscal policy, including taxation rules need to be overhauled to encourage industries to transition into a more competitive future through investment in capital equipment and R&D. There must be greater assistance, particularly to SMEs, to help local manufacturers connect with global supply chains. Our universities and technical training colleges must be funded to provide best practice programs that can supply the future needs of industry. It must also become easier for manufacturers to connect with such institutions for research, education and training.
Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan. -Joshua J. Marine
Productivity and Wages By Dieter Adam, Chief Executive NZMEA At the first Leaders’ debate of the 2017 general election, productivity received some discussion, with the Prime Minister dismissing claims that productivity in New Zealand was low by comparison and not showing any signs of improvement. Following this, there was a number of quality pieces of work on the issue, specifically by Newsroom’s Bernard Hickey and ex RBNZ economist, Michael Riddell – you can see a summary of these articles on the NZMEA website. Today I want to discuss some of the data they bought up and particularly focus on the core link between wages and productivity. The debate referred to a recent JB Were report showing trends for GDP per person and GDP per hour worked, with the former growing at around 1% and the latter actually falling currently. The Prime Minister stated that, “JB Were are just wrong. They are way over-stating the case.” As other evidence of the problem, there was a recent OECD report, which we have discuss previously. This showed New Zealand’s flat to slightly negative labour productivity trend over the last 20 years, and at significantly lower levels than the United States and Australia. Michael Reddell posted a related graph on his blog, showing that in terms of real GDP per hour worked, from 2008 to around the end of 2012, we saw similar low but positive results as
Australia. However, since around the start of 2013, New Zealand’s real GDP per hour worked has been flat, while Australia’s has continued to increase.
as automation, 3Dprinting and networked manufacturing may offer more opportunities as they become more cost effective.
The other problem we face with low productivity growth is how much – or how little - room there is for wages to grow. As our manufacturing members well know, the core driver for what a business can afford to pay its staff is their productivity – producing more value for less is what allows wages to rise.
We believe, however, that Government must also play a role in creating settings that can push our economy down a more productive and high-value path.
However, continued wage increases in the absence of rising productivity does add real cost and competitive pressures. In Reddell’s post, he showed a graph with real wages and productivity growth across all sectors of the economy – in the last 15 years, real wages have consistently grown somewhat faster than productivity (represented by average real GDP per hour worked). Obviously, every business needs to keep investing in making their business more productive. Continuing lean processes and investing in better equipment (when it can be afforded) are always an indispensable path, and new technology, such
While there are some initiatives that are helping, the data for our economy as a whole does not paint a pretty picture. Increasing productivity and supporting high-value businesses, such as manufacturing, need to be at the core of Governments economic thinking – focusing on filling skill gaps, boosting research and development and creating settings and support where companies can invest in equipment and processes that improve productivity. It is interesting to compare wage growth in the public and private sector. CPI inflation is currently sitting at 1.7%, though obviously, the cost of housing has been increasing at a higher rate. Wage growth in the private sector is currently lower than this, at a bit over 1%, while in contrast, public sector wage growth is sitting at just over 4%. Average weekly wages
in manufacturing increased 2.56% between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017 – we also often hear, anecdotally, of increased wage pressure in areas of skill shortages, as manufacturers face competition for talent, not only domestically but internationally. Of particular concern in this context are recent moves by local councils to move to paying a so-called living wage. While the intent might be noble, and funding such increases not an issue – you can always raise rates if necessary – the signal sent by these moves are not at all helpful, as they suggest that there is a certain wage level that ought to be met, irrespective of increases in productivity. We need to do our best to point out in the public debate how wage levels and productivity are linked in the real economy. By Dieter Adam Chief Executive New Zealand Manufactures Exporters Association
2017 New Zealand Manufacturer Excellence in Manufacturing For an Entry Form and further information contact: Doug Green, Publisher, NZ Manufacturer P: 0064 6 870 9029 E: email@example.com
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. -Peter F. Drucker
No such thing as a bridge too far Work to replace Queenstown’s iconic Kawarau Falls Bridge with a two-lane bridge has presented many challenges for developers – and they overcame the elements, and a river running 43m below, with the help of shipping containers. The new 250m long link will be located just downstream from the old one lane bridge which is perhaps best known as one of the country’s ultimate bungy jumping destinations. Mark De La Rosa, Project Administrator at McConnell Dowell, says building a bridge is never an easy task, even in ideal conditions, and the Kawarau project has thrown up everything from extreme weather through to challenges around working on either side of a very wide river. “The site is unique because while it is tight on either river bank, you also have to manage the expanse of the site across the river. Royal Wolf’s range of shipping containers were the ideal solution because they are highly portable, very durable to cope with the
extreme weather conditions, and they come in a range of sizes to suit our specific needs.” The Kawarau Bridge project site is made up of two 20-foot lunch room containers, an ablution block, three mini cube containers – which are less than half the size of a traditional 20-foot container – used for storing tools, and an eight-foot Dangerous Goods container. “The site has come with many unforeseen obstacles but with everything housed inside containers, including our guys lunch room through to our tool supplies, it means the onsite crane can move equipment from one side of the river to the other very easily. “They’re strong and weatherproof too, but for big steel boxes they are also incredibly versatile and mobile and can be stacked if needed which helps ease pressure on a tight site,” says De La Rosa. Paul Creighton, Royal Wolf Executive General Manager NZ, says the Kawarau
Bridge project shows how adaptable containers can be and how they can be modified to meet a specific need. “The beauty of Royal Wolf’s containers is that they can be used for everything from simple and reliable storage solutions through to modified and bespoke containers that take the shape of everything from toilet facilities and meeting rooms through to Dangerous Goods containers.” Royal Wolf has many containers located around New Zealand being used for a range of different projects – from retail and food outlets to covered pedestrian walkways (known as hoardings) around construction sites. It has also supplied many containers for the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) in Kaikoura to assist teams working to repair State Highway 1 and the Main Trunk rail line following the November
2016 earthquake. “With the ongoing activity in the construction industry, containers are becoming more and more prominent on streets and around construction sites. They are one of the easiest and most practical solutions for managing safety on these sites and they’re ideal for keeping both the public and workers safe,” says Creighton. “It also means, on a practical level, there is limited disruption around building sites, which are often in high pedestrian areas, or in the case of Kawarau Bridge, the containers provide a highly efficient solution to keep the site running smoothly.”
Control noise for safer happier workers Businesses must look beyond earmuffs for appropriate workplace noise controls, says WorkSafe New Zealand. WorkSafe recently visited Metco Engineering which, through its health and safety committee, takes a very proactive approach to keeping staff safe at work.
Spring & Wire form manufacturing company where solutions are created for your problems. 09 277 5982 • www.natspring.co.nz
Metco Engineering’s Mark O’Donnell said, “After twenty-five years of senior management I have witnessed many work place incidents, and almost all were preventable.” Those experiences shaped Mark’s approach to health and safety, and he says that health and safety is no longer a taboo subject and that it is a key driver for any business. “At Metco, I’ve given our [health and safety] committee the power to make changes in the business. If there is a good reason, we’ll do it because for Metco health and safety is of paramount importance.” “As a result of management and committee suggestions we recently modified our press machines to reduce noise. We ground shear angles onto the cutting faces of the press tool punches, reducing tonnage required to punch out parts, thus reducing noise.” “We’ve also put vibration pads beneath most of our industrial machines. These large pads reduce the noise, and they have the added advantage of cutting out vibrations, another health risk to our staff.” For the machines that were not able to be directly quietened, they built sound-reducing boxes around them,
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
which have dropped the noise levels by up to 60 percent for those machines. “Staff who took an active role in the noise reduction programme couldn’t believe they were working beside the same machines.” “We’ve managed to drop the noise by over 30 percent on the manufacturing floor which has made the environment better for our entire business - on the shop floor and in the office,” added Mark. In a recent noise test by the council, a lawn mower at a neighbouring house registered higher on the monitoring equipment than Metco’s workshop. WorkSafe’s construction sector lead Vadim Spice said, “Sustained noise in workplaces increases stress and can lead to a significant can drop in productivity. “It is encouraging to see innovative products, such as acoustic mats for construction sites, starting to appear as businesses realise they need to better manage the risks from noise. “The real gains will come when businesses consider noise at the time of planning. Installing quieter machines, or designing ways to control noise at the very beginning, reduces the need to rely on workers using the less effective administrative controls, such as earmuffs.”
If you need a new process and don’t install it, you pay for it without getting it. -Ken Stork
The best learning experience for engineers in NZ As a professional Maintenance Engineer, you keep the machinery of our country working while you constantly strive to improve your plant up-time, reduce un-planned down-time, reduce plant operating costs, increase efficiency and improve productivity. “Here at the Maintenance Engineering Society of NZ, we share your passion”, said Barry Robinson the President of MESNZ. “We are committed to helping grow good maintenance professionals by advising, mentoring, training, and connecting engineers of all levels – from apprentices to plant owners.” Many plants battle with the same problems, and it is so wasteful to learn expensive lessons that other organisations have already learned. “At MESNZ we can help them to help you’, Robinson added. “By connecting you with other engineers and technical experts your plant could improve performance, save resources, reduce budgets and achieve real benefits at minimal investment”. The National Maintenance Engineering Conference (NMEC 2017) is without exception the very best practical and real learning experience for engineers
in NZ. “Everyone loves to learn and grow, and by connecting you and your engineers to a wealth of knowledge, experience and training your plant will immediately benefit from increased engagement and application of learning. And NMEC is very, very cost effective professional development is premium quality event, but its run by MESNZ volunteers who are mad about improving productivity for New Zealand.”. “The programme for 2017 has just been announced with high quality speakers and a wide variety of topics that are going to challenge and absorb participants. Take a look at this line-up said Robinson, there is something that will directly benefits every maintenance engineer in NZ.”
Speaking at a function officially launching the new facility, Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns said. “Our strategic alliance with Oji Fibre Solutions, and others, has enabled us to invest with confidence.” “The demolition of Shed 12 at the Northern end of the Terminal has allowed the Port to add a further 800 ground slots for containers and to build this new enhanced facility here at the southern end of Sulphur Point“. Oji Fibre Solutions chief operating officer Terry Skiffington said the event marks another sign of Oji’s plan for growth in New Zealand and Australia. “Since Oji Holdings and INCJ purchased our business in 2014, we have seen a $30 million investment
• Machines live and die by lubrication – how to get it right.
• How to protect your business from Counterfeit and Poor Quality materials
• Compressed Air and Steam essentials
• H&S made simple, logical and real. How not be drawn into the ‘smoke and mirrors’ gravy train of the H&S industry. • Filtration and meeting the Food Safety Standards • Main-streaming of full-strength metal 3D-printed components in NZ • Women make great Engineers – but where are they? • The future of Safety Reporting on the shop floor
• Lean Maintenance
• Serious Stress Raisers – how the life of steel is affected by what you do it.
• Complete Shut Management
• Failure analysis case studies
Oji Fibre Solutions and Port of Tauranga open new container warehouse Oji Fibre Solutions and Port of Tauranga have together officially opened a new container warehouse, ‘Shed 16’, which provides a world-class warehouse facility for paper and timber products and allows the port to expand its operations across the Sulphur Point area.
• Engineering the exoskeleton – from aliens to mechanically enhanced humans
into modernizing and expanding our food-products paper bag site in Penrose, $60 million investment in a new greenfield corrugated packaging facility in Yatala near the Gold Coast, which is on track for completion this year, and a $22 million upgrade at the Tasman Mill in Kawerau, scheduled to be completed next March.” Mr Skiffington said Port of Tauranga is an important business partner for Oji Fibre Solutions. The port is the gateway for delivering more than 1 million tonnes of export cargo produced in Oji’s two large pulp and paper mills in the Central North Island, to its global markets. The facility is a purpose-built 22,000m warehouse and is the culmination of more than three years work, involving proactive collaboration between Oji Fibre Solutions, Port of Tauranga, and C3 Limited. This facility, and associated changes resulting from the replacement of the old Shed 12, allows for vital infrastructure development supporting the economic growth of the Bay of Plenty region and beyond.
• Machine Tool alignment
• Insulation breakdown in electrical machines • PLC’s – don’t get caught out when they fail • Common myths Speed Drives
Send your Plant and Maintenance Engineers to the National Maintenance Engineering Conference (NMEC) in Hamilton this November 14th, 15th & 16th. Go to website www.nmec.co.nz for detailed information and to view and download a registration pack here or book on-line through the website.
ManufacturingNZ’s manifesto ManufacturingNZ Executive Director Catherine Beard says manufacturers in New Zealand are leaders in innovation, and they want better outcomes from the education system. “Manufacturing is succeeding on the back of talent-driven innovation, and manufacturers need more employees with the right skills. They would like to see our tertiary institutions doing more to deliver the practical, technical and other skills necessary for 21st century manufacturing,” Catherine Beard said. “In addition, they recognise that immigration plays an important role in easing skill shortages, and they would like easier access to key skills when needed. “Manufacturers have an interest in a workable system for encouraging research and development and would like to see an improved system for
accelerated investment in innovation. “ A n d manufacturers want a fair and equal opportunity to win tenders in local supply chains. They would like to see large government tenders placing greater emphasis on the economic, social and environmental impacts of their purchasing, along with ‘whole of life’ costs, which would help local firms contribute more to large government-led projects.” Catherine Beard said manufacturing was an important part of the economic landscape, employing a quarter of a million people and producing around 50 per cent of New Zealand’s exports. “Manufacturers would like to see a Government elected that is responsive to the needs of this important sector.”
Manufacturers want a fair and equal opportunity to win tenders in local supply chains. www.nzmanufacturer.co.nz
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
There are many experts on how things have been done up to now. If you think something could use a little improvement, you are the expert. -Robert Brault,
Bonfiglioli 300M planetary gearbox range sets industry-leading torque benchmarks Bonfiglioli is introducing to Australasia its new 300M range of planetary gearboxes, which achieve greater torque without increasing the size of the gearbox, to produce greater performance, efficiency, and cost saving for many industries such as bulk materials handling, mining process equipment, food and beverage, materials handling, water treatment and waste handling.
The 300M series has eight new sizes from 310M to 318M, all of which have a significant improvement in torque over their preceding models and set new industry benchmarks for torque ratings at one million cycles. Depending on the size, torque has been improved by up to 45%, as shown in the graphic below. Torque increases in the new Bonfiglioli 300M series. 1Average Nominal torque
[Nm] of 4 stage reduction and in-line gearbox configuration. For right angle and combined gearbox 3/A 3/V performance increases, contact Bonfiglioli for further information. One of the innovative improvements in the series is the addition of a new bearing design. The 300M series uses a customised roller design with an inner race on the pin and an outer race on the planet gear. This creates a bigger roller diameter, with a higher load capacity and greater torque. “The new 300M series has been engineered to the highest standards of quality. The gearboxes are built for reliability, durability and improved performance,” Malcolm Lewis, Managing Director, Bonfiglioli Australia and New Zealand. ”A significant advantage of the higher torque capacities is that a smaller size gearbox can do the same task that a larger one would have had to do previously. This can mean savings in power, space and costs, both up-front and ongoing,” he said. The 300M series is completely interchangeable with the
existing 300 series gearboxes, and no machine modification is required when upgrading to the new units. Major applications for the 300M series include: * Mining Ð car dumpers and stacker reclaimers * Materials Handling Ð screw conveyors and apron feeders * Cranes and Winches Ð jib cranes and ship loaders * Food and Beverage Ð spiral freezers and flaking machines * Water and wastewater Ð mixer agitators and band screeners ”These are competitive industries where companies are always striving to improve efficiency, minimise downtime and reduce costs. The 300M series has been designed with these goals in mind, and the industry-leading torque benchmarks will greatly optimise their performance,” says Mr Lewis.
Hitachi to disrupt Industrial IoT platform market with Lumada Software Stack Hitachi’s first commercial Lumada Internet of Things (IoT) platform offering, the Lumada IoT platform has been fully updated with an elegant, portable architecture that enables it to run both on-premises or in the cloud and to support industrial IoT deployments both at the edge and in the core. The new software stack is designed to help customers quickly and easily gain insights, predictions and recommendations from their data, and can be easily adapted to support mid-to-large-scale environments. Lumada’s integrated advanced analytics have also been enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) functionality at scale. The result is a highly intelligent and flexible platform that accelerates superior outcomes for enterprise and industrial customers, such as increased operational efficiencies and cost savings, enhanced operational safety and reliability, improved asset utilization, performance management and product quality, and the creation of new business models.
as a digital proxy for business and industrial assets and providing rapid data-driven insights into their health and performance, with continuously updated sensor values. This approach helps to eliminate “blind spots” in operation-critical systems by providing improved access to – and insights from – business, machine and human data, which can help users move more rapidly from measurement to management to improvement. The newly enhanced software stack also provides IoT developers and architects with powerful design tools and features that simplify the creation and deployment industrial IoT solutions, with faster time to insight. Since introducing Lumada to the market as a co-creation platform in May 2016, Hitachi has hardened and optimised its Lumada IoT platform. These improvements are based on numerous deployments in proof-of concept (POC) and co-creation project engagements with its customers and partners, as well as in its own factories.
Asset avatars provide a digital representation of physical assets and rich metadata for analytics, serving
Hitachi worked with customer Daicel Corporation to co-create an image analysis system using Lumada that improves product quality and increases productivity by detecting signs of facility failures and deviations in front-line worker motions. This system has allowed Daicel to improve the in-process guarantee rate for products.
Among the notable advancements to the Lumada IoT platform are asset avatars, Hitachi’s unique approach to what is commonly referred to as “digital twins.”
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
Another customer, Okuma Corporation, worked with Hitachi to co-create an advanced high-efficiency production model with Hitachi to support mass customization in its manufacturing plants. The target of this joint demonstration experiment is to double productivity and reduce production lead time by 50%. Based on the best practices developed throughout projects like these, Hitachi has enhanced Lumada’s functionality to simplify management of business and industrial assets, support greater asset utilisation and accelerate the time to value of IoT deployments. Its next generation architecture is highly flexible, composable and adaptable to support customers’ existing business and IT environments and help them to more rapidly achieve highly optimized outcomes. Customers looking to accelerate their IoT initiatives using Lumada will benefit from engaging Hitachi’s co-creation services, tapping its expansive expertise in both operation technology (OT) and information technology (IT) to create customized IoT solutions that are tailored to their unique requirements. Hitachi’s next-generation Lumada IoT platform architecture has been fully updated with five major layers to form a flexible, portable and composable software foundation with comprehensive security capabilities and
expanded support for unstructured data uploads. IoT developers and architects will also benefit from Lumada’s dynamic design features, rich analytics and robust asset management capabilities, including: • Lumada edge: Allows any variety and velocity of data to be easily ingested, transformed and analyzed in close proximity to physical assets. • Lumada core: Provides asset registry, identity and access management and simplifies the creation of asset avatars. • Lumada analytics: Blends OT and IT data to uncover patterns with powerful analytics, machine learning and AI.
• Lumada studio: Delivers predefined widgets to simplify the creation of dashboard applications; issues alerts, notifications or just straight-through processing. • Lumada foundry: Offers foundational services to ease deployment on-premises and in the cloud, as well as security, microservices and support features.
ADVISORS Mike Shatford is an expert in the field of technology development and commercialisation. His company Design Energy Limited has completed over 100 significant projects in this vein by consulting for and partnering with some of New Zealand’s leading producers. Among Mike and his team’s strengths are industrial robotics and automated production where the company puts much of its focus.
Sandra Lukey is the founder of Shine Group, a consultancy that helps science and technology companies accelerate growth. She is a keen observer of the tech sector and how new developments create opportunity for future business. She has over 20 years’ experience working with companies to boost profile and build influential connections.
Phillip Wilson Chris Whittington
Senior Lecturer at AUT, Chris Whittington is a versatile Engineer, Educator and Researcher. Chris has had many years experience in senior engineering and product management. Chris has a strong background in computational modelling, 3-D scanning and printing, and a strong interest in engineering education.
Phillip Wilson of Nautech Electronics has over 25 years of experienced in the development, commercialisation and implementation of advanced manufacturing technology, robotics, automation and materials. Serving companies operating within the aerospace, automotive, offshore, defence, medical and scientific industries on a global basis. More recently specialising in change management and business re-alignment for a range of commercial entities from medium sized SME’s to divisions of large corporates.
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can. - Richard Bach
It’s take-off time for China’s drone market.
Six things about China 1. China’s digital payment market is 50 times bigger than America’s. Research from Tencent, China’s mobile and media giant, shows that cash continues to decline. Last year, Chinese consumers spent $5.5 trillion through mobile payment platforms, with young people and women leading the charge. More than half (52%) of users on the social platform WeChat said they conduct less than a fifth of their monthly transactions with cash.
to light up the sky as a clean alternative to fireworks, and to spray crops. According to the South China Post, drones helped to bring pollution in the manufacturing hub of Dongguan down to levels close to central Paris. 3. China installed more industrial robots than any other nation last year. It bought a third of the world’s new robots, with shipments jumping 27% to 90,000 units, as part of its “Made in China 2025” plan to
Image: 2017 Mobile Payment Usage in China Report
create the automated factories of the future. It’s also building its own intelligent machines. A Bloomberg report says China’s increasing automation will have knock-on effects for the global economy.
2. In China, you can use an app to report pollution – and summon a drone.China already dominates the global drone market with about 70% market share, but it is becoming increasingly inventive at home. Drones are now used to investigate citizens’ complaints about pollution,
4. China’s most innovative company is not digital. The highest ranking Chinese entrant
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
on Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 most innovative companies isn’t tech, it’s biotech. Shanghai RAAS Blood Products, which applies new technology to healthcare, ranked fourth in the world. Overall, six Chinese companies made the cut: Tencent came in 24th, Kangde Xin Composite Material Group was 47th, online travel firm Ctrip 55th, search leader Baidu 60th and pharmaceuticals supplier Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine 82nd. 5. China has a head start in the race for AI. China already has the fastest two supercomputers in the world. When it comes to Artificial Intelligence, the country
has three advantages, according to Bloomberg: “A vast pool of engineers to write the software, a massive base of 751 million internet users to test it on, and most importantly staunch government support that includes handing over gobs of citizens’ data –- something that makes Western officials squirm.” 6. China is building the world’s most powerful laser. The new “Station of Extreme Light” scientific complex will use a laser 20 times more powerful than its predecessors to simulate conditions in the core of stars and black holes. It’s part of China’s focused investment in fundamental science.
Everything can be improved. - Clarence W. Barron
Asaleo Care’s tissue machine upgrade future-proofs production Tissue machine upgrade leverages control, drives and safety features of the Integrated Architecture platform and the application knowledge of the Global Solutions team at Rockwell Automation Asaleo Care is a leading personal care and hygiene company that manufactures, markets, distributes and sells essential everyday consumer products across the Feminine Care, Incontinence Care, Baby Care, Consumer Tissue and Professional Hygiene product categories.
base paper manufacturer in New Zealand. To address obsolescence issues, Asaleo Care called on Rockwell Automation to design, manufacture and commission a control and drive upgrade to their tissue machine that would also incorporate the latest safety technologies.
The company’s products include Purex, Sorbent, Handee and Tork and are used daily in households and businesses across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and a number of countries in the Pacific. Asaleo Care has eleven manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
Tissue making perfection
Asaleo Care is committed to introducing the latest technologies to their manufacturing plants to continue to produce quality products and meet evolving safety standards. The manufacturing plant in Kawerau, New Zealand was established in 1955 and to this day is still the only tissue
Asaleo Care has been manufacturing tissue related products since 1952 and is committed to meeting customers’ needs. The manufacturing plant in New Zealand produces 50,000 tonnes of tissue related products annually. To maintain their niche in the midst of intense competitive pressure from imported products, the company decided to upgrade the control and drive system of their tissue machine to incorporate the latest technologies while continuing to meet current safety standards. According to Paul Stevenson, electrical
engineer at Asaleo Care, “We must stay competitive in order to remain in business over the long term and that’s a key reason for the upgrade.” The tissue paper making process at Asaleo Care starts with responsibly sourced pulp. The pulp entering the Kawerau site carries a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. This pulp is blended to slurry, formed pressed, creped and dried. The company is the only known tissue manufacturer that uses geothermal steam, a renewable energy source at Kawerau, for drying the tissue. Driving production Drive technology has advanced in leaps and bounds providing greater flexibility, productivity and ease of use. The existing drive system at the Kawerau plant was an analogue, direct current system, requiring periodic maintenance and being 30 years old, was also facing obsolescence. “Over the years we became familiar with the processes required to maintain the system but we had to replace the brushes quite a lot. One of the things to bear in mind is the risk profile, if it gets to the point that its breaking down every week we couldn’t afford the risk of the machine being down for weeks while we are waiting on parts,” said Stevenson. By moving to an AC drive system, maintenance requirements were reduced. The system was designed to take into account various factors relating to AC drives system such as excessive electrical noise and motor circulating current. The new system was also designed for integrated safety control using Allen-Bradley® GuardLogix® with safe speed monitoring and safety gates.
Asaleo Care produces well known brands including, Purex, Handee, Sorbent and Tork knowledge to engineer a solution that incorporates the latest technologies. The drives also included Safe Speed Monitoring allowing the operators safe access to the machine for maintenance purposes.” High Speed trending provides accurate information about the drive system and to assist with fault finding by picking up any process changes that may require resolution. PanelView™ Graphic Terminals display application status information graphically for the drive and control systems. “We are positioning ourselves with this upgrade so we can improve speed and increase productivity. The drives have always posed a limitation. We were looking to future proof the drives and sizing was an important aspect,” said Roy Ormiston, Paper Machine Operations Manager at Asaleo Care.
The upgrade included new motors and eight new Allen-Bradley PowerFlex® drives for the tissue machine line. The Active Front End (AFE) capability provided regenerative braking for energy savings as well providing Harmonic mitigation for all the common bus line drives. By placing two AFE’s in parallel, the DC bus capacity reached 2470 Amps, providing power for all the tissue machine’s common bus drive system.
PanelView Graphic Terminals display application status information graphically for the drive and control systems
According to Liam Hayes, project manager at Rockwell Automation, “We leveraged our application
The upgrade included new motors and eight new Allen-Bradley PowerFlex drives for the tissue machine line.
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
Willful waste brings woeful want. -Thomas Fuller
Hassle-free commissioning The entire solution was engineered, manufactured and delivered from the Lane Cove Assembly Centre in Sydney, Australia. The Rockwell Automation Global Solutions team have numerous software standards that have been developed over the years to reduce risk by providing the capability for these machines to be configured correctly the first time.
“To keep downtime to a minimum during commissioning, a full Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) was conducted at Lane Cove, which allowed us to test the equipment prior to installation. The FAT provided the opportunity to get a lot of the ‘leg work’ done, with the exception of the encoders, so we were confident that commissioning would be hassle free,” said Project Manager Paul Kirsopp. “These machines are not designed to stop and the process does not allow for it in terms of our supply channel so time is always a limitation. We had to keep downtime to a minimum and took advantage of the two week shutdown to complete some additional work at the site,” he said.
drive system specialist, with specific experience in tissue machines and paper machines they have an in depth understanding of the entire machine and how to engineer the drives to meet the specific application requirements.” “The system does not require an enormous amount of technical input and with improved reliability as the primary outcome, the productivity will start coming when we start increasing the speed. In addition, the machine is so much quieter that we had to check that it was still running at times. We are extremely happy with the outcome and the relationship established with the Global Solutions team,” he said.
S ol u tio n s Integrated safety and control • Allen-Bradley® GuardLogix® controller integrates machine control and safety • Upgrade incorporated 8 AllenBradley PowerFlex® drives with Safe Speed Monitoring
Res u l ts Ease of commissioning
Improved reliability • Maintenance requirements were reduced • Diagnostics and machine reliability were improved
• The Active Front End Bus provides regenerative braking for energy savings as well as mitigating harmonics
As a result of the upgrade diagnostic information is more readily available and the level of support to be able to access, repair and maintain the system is improved. The machine is more reliable and has advanced capabilities for guarding and productivity gains. Kirsopp explained that “Global Solutions was more than just a
• To design, manufacture and commission a tissue machine control and drive system upgrade that addresses obsolescence issues
• Detailed FAT prior to commissioning reduced downtime during installation
Kirsopp added that, “the cooperative approach by everyone involved in the project allowed for ahead of schedule delivery despite the challenges of working alongside two other major upgrades at the plant.”
The new system was designed for integrated safety control using Allen-Bradley GuardLogix with safe speed monitoring and safety gates
Cha l l en g es
Future-proofing production • The system addresses obsolescence issues and has the capability to increase production if required
The New Zealand plant produces 50,000 tonnes of various tissue related products.
The key to ultrathin high-efficiency sensors and solar cells Future ultrathin solar cells and light sources could have their surfaces covered by tiny trenches, after A*STAR researchers found such structures enhance efficiency by four orders of magnitude. Joel Yang from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering was
part of an international collaboration that achieved a 20,000-fold increase in the photoluminescence of a one atom-thick layer of tungsten diselenide, by mounting it on a gold surface patterned with narrow trenches.
ultra-sensitive, ultra-thin light sensors, solar cells and light-emitting diodes, because of its ability to absorb light and re-emit at a different frequency. However, this effect only occurs for a single atom layer, so its efficiency is very low – most of the light passes straight through.
Tungsten diselenide is promising for
Yang’s inspiration was to mount the layer on a gold surface and trap the light energy at the interface of the two layers in the form of surface plasmons. To enhance the absorption of light, they added trenches to the gold layer under the tungsten diselenide. “It was very surprising that such a large enhancement could be possible,” says Yang. The key was matching the trench size to the energy so that the plasmons were trapped in the trenches through a resonant process known as the Purcell effect.
A*STAR researchers find tiny trenches patterned into a gold surface enhance photoluminescence efficiency.
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
The team shone 633-nanometer light onto the sample and measured the output at 750 nanometers. They found 12 nm wide trenches in a grid pattern with spacing 200 nanometers gave the highest photoluminescence –
20,000 times more than a bare layer of tungsten diselenide. To create the structure, the team etched a very flat silicon crystal to create a grid of ridges. Next they deposited a layer of gold onto the silicon and then peeled it off to reveal trenches where the ridges had been. “The narrowness of the trenches and the flatness of the metal film is important,” Yang says. “Any roughness will interact detrimentally with the two-dimensional material.” The gold was immersed in water and a film of tungsten diselenide floated on the water’s surface. The gold was then slowly raised out of the solution, emerging with the thin layer on top. The simple structure has many advantages, says Yang. “The entire surface is exposed to the user, which makes it easy for further research, such as functionalizing the surface with chemicals or adding electrodes”. It is also easier to manufacture than other plasmonic devices, which require a second layer above the thin layer, creating a sandwich.
Amateurs work until they get it right. Professionals work until they can’t get it wrong. -Author Unknown
Full-strength metal 3D printed parts go mainstream Tauranga-based Rapid Advanced Manufacturing (RAM3D) is a hi-tech manufacturing company producing full-strength metal 3D printed products. RAM3D is recognised globally as a world-class 3D metals printing facility where production parts and prototypes are easily, efficiently and cost effectively produced. Warwick Downing, the CEO of RAM3D has been involved since 2008 with the decision by BoP Dental company, Triodent to invest in the technology. . “We have always been a pioneer in the 3D printing industry. We had one of the first 3D metal printing machines
in the southern hemisphere. In those days, the software and laser tools were basic, but technology has advanced very quickly since 2013 which is when RAM3D was set up”, said Downing. “3D printing is now a recognized mainstream method to produce
Figure 2Titanium lug for RAM3D bike designed and built by Bastion Cycles end-use parts as well as prototypes, and with the right design can be very cost competitive”, he said. “In a recent project where replacement parts for a manufacturing process were required, RAM3D not only delivered the parts in a shorter period but the parts worked out cheaper to 3D print than having them machined”. RAM3D have broad capabilities. They print in Titanium 6-4 (Ti 6AI 4V), the most common titanium alloy used for medical and aerospace applications. They can also print in a high strength food grade 15-5Ph Stainless Steel
Figure 1Suppressors for Oceania Defence
list as requested by numerous clients in the food sector, marine and dairy industries. RAM3D supply production parts to a very broad and diverse industry base, ranging from aboriculture, aerospace, medical, defence, general industrial, marine and many more. They supplied high-strength light-weight titanium boat parts for Emirates Team NZ in the 2017 America’s Cup race, and also make the titanium connection lugs for high-end Australian custom bikemaker Bastion Cycles.
For the defence sector RAM3D prints in Inconel 718, which is a nickel super alloy used for high temperature applications such as firearm suppressors.
Warwick Downing will be a subject matter expert speaker at NMEC 2017 – the National Maintenance Engineering Conference to be staged in Hamilton this November 15 & 16.
In the last month RAM3D has added Stainless Steel 316 to their material
Warwick Downing – phone 07 557 0344
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
Don’t waste time learning the “tricks of the trade.” Instead, learn the trade. -James Charlton
Why artificial intelligence needs big data to deliver business benefits For example, the input could be customer support tickets with email threads between a customer and a customer support representative (CSR). The outputs could be a categorisation label from one to five, based on the company’s specific category definitions. The more volume and detail available in this data, the more effectively the machine can learn.
Big data is proving to be the missing piece of the puzzle that will let businesses profit from artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). While AI and ML aren’t new technologies, they have begun to really demonstrate their business value as a result of being informed by big data, according to Teradata. Alec Gardner, director, Global Analytics Business Consulting, Teradata, said, “AI and ML have grown exponentially over the last few years. Their business value lies in the fact that these technologies can automate business processes that would usually require human intelligence. However, it’s one thing to apply deep learning and artificial intelligence tools to data. It’s another to realise meaningful results that can make a real difference to the business. “To do this requires massive amounts of data, which helps AI systems better understand how to make the right decisions that will deliver optimum results. AI and ML don’t just apply a fixed set of rules to prescribed situations; they constantly adjust and learn as new information is provided. Therefore, the more information these systems have, the better and more accurate their decision-making will be.”
AI has, in the past, been held back by limited sample sizes and an inability to process huge amounts of data fast enough to be useful.
are fed the right data, they will be able to evolve and deliver a competitive advantage.
AI and ML solutions can be used for applications such as preventative maintenance, anti-fraud applications for banks, as customer service robots, and to provide e-commerce recommendations. If these solutions
2) ML relies on training data. Training data is the initial data set that the machine will learn from. Training data has inputs and pre-answered outputs so the ML model can look for patterns in any given output.
Teradata has identified three key reasons data is essential for the success of AI and ML solutions: 1) AI is enabled by big data. AI has, in the past, been held back by limited sample sizes and an inability to process huge amounts of data fast enough to be useful. Now, AI can take advantage of larger databases and process data fast enough to provide meaningful learning and results. This makes it more useful in real-world scenarios where accurate, fast decision-making is essential.
Learning is ongoing. The key feature of ML is that it learns rather than simply applying fixed rules. So, as it digests new data, a ML application adjusts its rules. This makes it even more important for ML to have an abundance of data to learn from so that it can apply sophisticated ‘thought’ processes to decision-making.
Alec Gardner said, “AI and ML have come into their own because of big data. Businesses looking to get maximum value from AI and ML must ensure they’re coupling these technologies with big data.”
Innovation on show at Competenz Horizons forum Forward-thinking businesses shared their stories of innovation and the challenges of keeping pace with change at the inaugural Competenz Horizons forum in Auckland on 6 September. Sixty business leaders from around the country attended the event at Villa Maria Estate to hear from Pernod Ricard Operations Manager Anthony Quinn, PMP Group Managing Editor Simon Ellis, Stainless Design CEO Peter Pooran and DB Breweries Talent and Organisational Development manager Melissa Muirhead. Competenz CEO Fiona Kingsford said the industry training organisation works the heart of a unique network of business owners and leaders who are committed to skills training and focused on the future. “We see common challenges in the area of workforce development. By bringing this network together, we wanted to encourage people to share their knowledge and explore potential solutions.” The speakers showcased their latest innovative products and business models, and answered questions from
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
the audience in a panel discussion hosted by MC Andrew Patterson, presenter of the NBR Sunday Business podcast. For Peter Pooran, it was a chance to share his experience of the challenges his company faced when the dairy industry had taken a global downturn and farmers had stopped spending. “We were facing a bit of headwind. So we had to identify the things that really drive our business and increase profitability,” he said. Instead of monthly reflection, daily targets were set and progress was displayed at all times with visuals around the factory floor. “We could see how each team was doing and fix any problems before they compounded throughout the month. Moving to real-time was a powerful step-change. And it worked for us.”
Stainless Design in Hamilton is an innovative leader in the metal processing industry and has grown from a handful of employees to 130 since 1998. The company invests in developing its workforce, which Pooran says is a key component in enabling Stainless Design to meet its performance targets. Employees learn on-the-job, gaining qualifications developed and delivered by Competenz. “Our people are just as important as the technology and machinery we use,” Peter says. “Competenz supports our apprenticeship programme
and ensures the qualifications stay up-to-date with our business needs.” The sheer pace of technological change was evident in a presentation from keynote speaker Frances Valintine. She presented a clear picture of the young people who will be joining the workforce in just a few years, and challenged employers to think about the benefits and difficulties this will present. Guests were also treated to a presentation from Paralympic medallist Liam Malone, who is passionate about ensuring young people are encouraged to explore all of the career opportunities available.
It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises but only performance is reality. -Harold Geneen
What blackout? How solar-reliant power grids passed the eclipse test Eclipses are fun, but no one wants to be left in the dark by a blackout. Dev Tayal Energy Researcher, Curtin University The total solar eclipse that captivated the United States was more than just a celestial spectacle (and a reminder to take care of your eyes). It was also a valuable lesson in how to manage electricity grids when a crucial generation source – solar power, in this case – goes temporarily offline.
up and down. The shortfall was covered largely by gas-fired power plants, and extra hydro capacity. California faced a particularly tough challenge because of its relatively high level of renewable energy; last year 10% of the state’s electricity came from solar photovoltaic (PV) power.
The last total solar eclipse to pass over the US was in 1979, a year when President Jimmy Carter was in the midst of the energy crisis and struggling with ballooning oil prices. In response, he made a concerted shift to greater energy independence through alternative energy sources such as solar. In 2017, almost the whole world is grappling with the transformation of the electricity industry and the move to renewable energy. Eclipses have – and always will have – a lot to teach us. While this eclipse did not cause major disruption to the US electricity network, it gave system operators a better understanding of how future intermittencies can be managed.
South Australia), and increasingly predict how the share of intermittent generation from renewable resources will be matched and secured. According to the Clean Energy Council, Australian renewables provided 17% of the country’s electricity generation in 2016. In world terms that looks rather unimpressive. But this figure does not reflect the growing impact of behind-the-meter solar PV that is slowly but surely reducing reliance on grid electricity during the day.
As outlined in a previous FactCheck, Australia has the highest proportion of households with California’s solar output during the eclipse. California ISO PV systems on their roof of any country Given the recent scrutiny on Australia’s in the world, at over 15%. (However beleaguered electricity grid, it makes our total energy produced from solar sense to ask how our power system is somewhat less than Germany, Italy, Belgium and Japan, which have a propensity for larger systems). Of course, all this distributed solar adds to the complexity for utilities and grid operators, and underpins why we have technical rules and connection standards to ensure that households connecting individual systems to the grid do not cause unintended consequences for local network areas. As the forecasts for rooftop solar installations continue to be revised upwards, AEMO nevertheless remains sanguine about the potential for grid disruption:
would fare if faced with the same challenge. Take a walk through almost any suburb and you’ll see dozens of solar panels glinting from roofs. How much have they destabilised our grid? Would we pass the eclipse test?
…it is technically feasible to integrate this amount of rooftop PV into the network over the forecast horizon, through a mix of market, network, and non-network (such as storage) solutions to address issues such as increasing variability in system demand, low daytime demand, and increased ramping at morning and afternoon electricity system peaks.
System managers and market operators such as the Australian Energy Market Operator already intricately balance demand and supply levels throughout the day, and must deal with unexpected outages at power stations, extreme weather events (think of
Utilities themselves are acutely aware of the “non-negotiable social contract of keeping the lights on”, as mused by Frank Tudor, chief executive of Western Australia’s regional utility Horizon Power, in an opinion piece written before the eclipse.
The path of the eclipse, shown relative to the positions of major US solar power installations. US Energy Information Administration
Despite the rapid decline and rebound in solar power output during the event, operators were able to manage without a hitch. Their thankless task reminds us of the importance of having resilient and robust electricity systems with sufficient backup capacity. Solar plants lost around half of their ability to generate electricity during the two and a half hours of the eclipse, dipping and rising almost three times faster than the average rate at which power stations can ramp their output
The emboldened South Australian government may take further comfort in the fact that its newly minted 150-megawatt Aurora Solar Energy Project would come into its own during such weather interruptions (more often due to clouds than eclipses), with its capacity to store solar power in molten salt storage tanks, to be dispatched as required during peak periods.
Lean and green machines The eclipse also underlines how crucial the innovations in technology and data analytics will be in ensuring that electricity grids can still operate seamlessly as the share of renewable energy grows. We are seeing this already in many small, isolated power networks across the country, where microgrids, particularly in coastal tourist towns with a proclivity for clean technology, are already pushing the limits of hosting capacity and driving utilities to explore big data solutions to assist with the integration of increased levels of solar PV. One such example is the sky camera trial being conducted in Carnarvon, Western Australia, that will track weather patterns and anticipate cloud cover to help with grid stability. The trial is using machine learning to help predict the impact of weather on the grid, and to balance the fluctuations with other energy sources, thus helping the network to withstand such events without losing reliability. With our energy systems becoming ever more distributed and decentralised, the US eclipse provides another of nature’s lessons on the need to be smart about creating resilient networks. The next total solar eclipse for Australia will be in 2028, and will pass straight over Sydney. In the meantime, a hybrid eclipse will cross Australia’s northwest in April 2023. Time will tell how much of an impact these events will have on our power grids. But given the importance of electricity for our health, wealth, transport and so much more, let’s hope our system operators and policy makers aren’t blindsided.
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
It is more than probable that the average man could, with no injury to his health, increase his efficiency fifty percent. -Walter Scott
Supply Chain Excellence: Series 6 – Inventory Management For accountants “inventory is an asset” and it is shown that way on balance sheets! Is inventory really an asset? Inventory is an “idle resource” and takes up space, consumes money and needs a lot of time to manage it! In Lean thinking, inventory is categorised as a “waste” and is depicted with a “tomb stone” icon in Value Stream Mapping by Toyota! But, as a matter of fact, inventory is required in most businesses to satisfy their customers. So, the question is how much to keep? The answer depends on the type of industry you are in and what level of customer service level (DIFOT) you would like to achieve. Is 100% DIFOT practical? May be or may be not! Again it depends on the type of industry you are in. But, surely you would the DIFOT to be closer to 100%. The more inventory you keep, the better is the customer service level. In essence it is a balancing act. The question as to how much inventory to keep also depends on the type of environment your business works in, i.e., “Make to Stock”, “Make to Order”, “Assemble to Order” and “Engineered to Order” and the expected Lead Times by your customers. Inventory Management and Inventory Control are the most widely discussed topics globally. Though businesses have been using computerised systems such as MRP, we still seem to get it wrong even today with advanced technology and ERP systems. The reason is simple...we don’t stick to the basics! The fundamentals of MRP haven’t changed in decades and MRP is still
the heart of every ERP system along with many added bells and whistles.
How does MRP work? The inputs to MRP are: 1) Stock on Hand, 2) Forecasts or Customer Orders, 3) Master Data and Parameters such as
a. Bills of materials b. Economic Order Quantities c. Lead Times d. Minimum Levels
e. Safety Stock and f. Re-order Point The outputs of MRP are: 1. What to Order 2. When to Order 3. How much to order Doesn’t it look very straight forward? If it is so straight forward, why do we get it wrong? That’s because we lack discipline! Just the way we need to maintain our body on a regular basis with food, water and exercise, we need to maintain the computer system. What it means is that we need to ensure that the data is accurate, which means we need to review it on a regular basis and make amendments as required as everything around us keeps changing.
10 Tips For Your Inventory Control & Management: 1. Work on getting the end-to-end “Visibility” in your supply chain; 2. If making to forecasts, ensure that
the forecasts are as accurate as possible with input from your sales & marketing teams; 3. To ensure the “Stock On Hand” is accurate, introduce Cycle Counts and make sure the book / system stock and physical stock match within a +/- 2% accuracy; 4. Ensure stock rotation is done. In many businesses the raw materials and finished goods have certain shelf-life. To ensure you are using the correct shelf-life materials, use FIFO (First In First Out) or the items which are expiring first;
8. Store the materials as per ABC categories, i.e., Here the ABC’s refer to Fast Moving, Medium Moving and Slow Moving. Keep the A’s closer to the exit to reduce transportation and minimise damages and C at the far end of the warehouse;
9. Introduce 5S in the warehouse and implement “A Place for Everything and Everything in it’s Place”. In case your computer determines randomly the storage area, ensure that the records are accurate, i.e., if you physically move the items ensure to make amendments to your system. This would reduce your searching time hugely and increases productivity;
5. Ensure that all your Bills of Materials are accurate and if you are using “back flush” function, make sure you add a small “wastage %”;
10. Introduce Kanban systems where appropriate.
6. Ensure that the inventory parameters (items 3b to 3f in the inputs to MRP above) are reviewed and adjusted at least every 6 months;
1. Inventory Turns (Cost of Goods Sold / Average Inventory Value)
7. Conduct an ABC Analysis and manage your inventory accordingly, i.e., keep a close eye on the A items, have less stock of them and procure frequently as they cost a lot to keep in inventory; a. A inventory accounts for about 20% of the items and 80% of the dollar usage; b. B inventory accounts for about 30% of the items and 15% of the dollar usage; c. C inventory accounts for about 50% of the items and 5% of the dollar usage;
The Important KPI’s / Metrics for Inventory Management:
2. Stock accuracy This article is written by Vishnu Rayapeddi, a Lean Manufacturing & Supply Chain Operations Specialist, who works as a volunteer Executive Committee Member of NZPICS, the only Premier Channel Partner of APICS in New Zealand. NZPICS Offers the following courses in Supply Chain in affiliation with APICS: CPIM (Certified in Production & Inventory Management, CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) and Principles of Operations Management, which is a fully customisable solution to businesses. For further information, please visit www.nzpics.org.nz or call on 09-525 1525.
Attain Global Certifications in Supply Chain, CPIM, CLTD and CSCP
with the help from NZPICS! Enrol now! Contact us Now! Phone: (09) 525 1525 (09) 525 1535 E: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com Web: www.nzpics.org.nz
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves. -Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Navigating the minefield of H&S reporting and auditing Does the thought of Health and Safety reporting and auditing send shivers up your spine and turn your normal ‘level head’ into a spin? You are not alone; however, the need to manage your health and safety closely is a requirement of all businesses. Unfortunately, 18 Australian workers do not make it home in the manufacturing industry each year. Plans are in place at a federal level to reduce the incidence of serious injury by 30% by 2022; but there are things you can do within your business right now to reduce and better manage the Health and Safety of your people. Use people presence software to get the insights you need In a world of data overload you need to know that any data you extract will add value to your business. Good people presence software allows you to report on the basic functions like who is visiting, for how long and how frequently. You can also drill deeper to gain usable insight to speed up process, reduce time management and ensure you are meeting contractual obligations. For Oceania Dairy (a manufacturer run under their parent branch, Yili, in China) WhosOnLocation was the right solution. They wanted to improve Health and Safety measures by signing multiple people in at the same time, managing inductions, contractor and visitor permissions on-site. Oceania Dairy now have sign-in points (mostly iPad kiosks) throughout their site. Their main reception set-up has a touch screen monitor, keyboard, mouse, scanner and printer. Best of all, the software was easily and effectively implemented, without a big outlay for equipment and programming. From a Health and Safety point of view, Oceania Dairy noticed the change in the effectiveness of their people
management immediately. Now they know exactly who is on-site, for how long, and how frequently.
job productively, correctly and safely.
But better people presence management should be just one part of your overall Health and Safety strategy. Here’s how you can have a more thorough approach:
Updating procedures and policies is good practise, but to ensure they have the desired effect and are followed by employees, you need to keep them informed of the changes with regular whole company training.
1. Promote a positive Health and Safety culture This is so important! The benefits of promoting a Health and Safety culture within your business is vital to manage your Health and Safety requirements. To succeed, drive the culture right from the leadership level by: • Integrating Health and Safety into management processes (for example, have Health and Safety as a standard item on your agenda) • Having clear Health and Safety values and standards • Thinking strategically about your corporate responsibility • Rewarding exemplary Health and Safety behaviour • Working through issues as a team and discussing how you can improve • Creating a culture of pride and personal responsibility for Health and Safety 2. Induct employees The benefit of taking all new employees through induction training reduces staff turnover, helps you meet your compliance obligations and ensures your new employee is armed with the right information to do their
3. Update staff on changes to policies, procedures and hazards
Have good signage, do regular hazard checks and create a culture where hazards are reported and fixed quickly. 4. The best policies are nothing without accurate records Without accurate records and reporting, the best health and safety policies and procedures are pretty worthless. Reporting doesn’t have to be a daunting task, today software can automate the management of many of these tasks. The most thorough people presence software will allow reporting and insight on inductions, evacuation, movements of anyone on-site, worker qualifications and more, as well as allowing custom questions, reports and notifications. Using software like WhosOnLocation you can do all of this with ease. And by managing everything online, you can have accurate tracking and reporting too – you’ll never need to fear an audit again as you’ll have all the information you need at your fingertips. Please add the following in a boxed or its own section.
The 5 Most On-Site Injuries
(and how they can be avoided and or managed) Of course, it’s unrealistic to expect to reduce injuries to zero! But with appropriate health and safety measures, you can reduce the risk and frequency of injury. 1. Falls 10-15% of falls happen from simple tripping. Wet floors and cluttered floor spaces are major causes. How to reduce risk: Have good signage, do regular hazard checks and create a culture where hazards are reported and fixed quickly. Offering a reward to staff for quick reporting can help imbed deeper within the culture. 2. Lower back pain This is the leading cause of work loss days in Australia costing around 4.8 billion in healthcare! How to reduce risk: Train staff on how to use equipment correctly and where possible use ergonomic equipment to minimise back pain. 3. Falling objects Shelves and storage not correctly packed can fall and injure staff unexpectedly. How to reduce risk: Arrange stock well, do not over pack, make sure shelves are fixed to the wall and where possible cage stock to avoid falling objects. 4. Machine entanglement Loose clothing, jewellery, unbound hair and jewellery often get caught in machines causing minor to severe injuries. How to reduce risk: Train employees to use protective clothing, barriers and guards to avoid injury.
Stress and mental health This is possibly the most overlooked workplace injury as it’s not always outwardly visible. How to reduce risk: Keep your workplace as healthy as you can by identifying possible workplace practices, actions or incidents which may cause, or contribute to, the mental illness of workers and take action to minimise or eliminate.
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
A bad system will beat a good person every time. -W. Edwards Deming
‘For the majority of us, AI will take away the most repetitive and boring tasks’
AI needs to create jobs for all, not the few Stephane Kasriel CEO, Upwork Whenever I talk to people about the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, it’s clear there is a lot of anxiety surrounding these developments. And no wonder: these technologies already have a huge impact on the world of work, from AI-powered algorithms that recommend optimal routes to maximise Lyft and Uber drivers’ earnings; to machine learning systems that help optimize lists of customer leads so salespeople can be more effective. We’re on the verge of tremendous transformations to work. Millions of jobs will be affected and the nature of work itself may change profoundly. We have an obligation to shape this future — the good news is that we can. It’s easier to see the jobs that will disappear than to imagine the jobs that will be created in the future but are as yet unknown. If, as The Wall Street Journal suggests, we think of AI as a technology that predicts, it’s much easier to map its impact. We must push ourselves to do that and understand the future of work. Here are six principles to keep in mind as we imagine how the world of work will evolve. 1. Expect massive disruption As Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, explains, we’re in the midst of a “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, after steam power (the first), electric power (the second) and digitisation (the third). The fourth, which incorporates AI and robotics as well as other technologies, will have an even greater impact.
time as they eliminate old jobs, but there is rarely a perfect correspondence between these two forces. The people whose jobs go away aren’t easily retrained for the new jobs and that can lead to anger and social unrest — and, in the short term, massive inequalities, across both geographies and groups of people. It’s essential to prepare for change by keeping abreast of new technologies, both in general and in your specific field. Learn as much as you can and keep your skills up to date. 2. AI will replace repetitive tasks more than jobs Recent studies, including one from McKinsey and another from the OECD, have poured cold water on earlier estimates that nearly half of American jobs are at risk of being eliminated by AI. Newer studies look at specific, repetitive tasks instead of whole jobs and find that, for most of us, some fraction of the work we do each day could be done better with AI. But for most jobs, computers aren’t going to replace everything we do. For the majority of us, AI will take away the most repetitive and boring tasks, enabling us to spend more time on creative problem-solving and on the parts of our jobs that involve complex human interactions and relationships. To help prepare for this future, investigate AI-powered tools in your own field. Learn how to use them and exploit them to increase your own productivity. 3. Middle-skilled jobs will be hit hardest
Of course, most new technologies create new opportunities at the same
The job market will not, however, be untouched by automation. The OECD estimates that 9% of US jobs are in
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
principle automatable. If that happens, it’s going to have the worst effect on people with mid-level skills. Both mid and low-level jobs will be the easiest to automate, but there’s a stronger business case for replacing mid-level workers with machines because they are more expensive. If the people replaced by AI and robots aren’t retrained well, they’ll be forced to apply for low-skilled jobs, leading to an oversupply of workers at that level and depressing those wages even further. At the same time, there will be fewer people qualified for high-skilled jobs, increasing wages in that segment. This dynamic, if unchecked, will hollow out the middle of the job market and lead to even greater polarization. To mitigate the impact, society needs to
provide education and job placement opportunities for those most affected by automation. 4. Opportunities will be unequally distributed — at first Over time, jobs will return. But they won’t be the same kinds of jobs and they will, in all likelihood, appear in different parts of the country to the jobs that automation has destroyed. For instance, researchers Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo have examined the impact of robots on jobs in the US. What they found is a strong regional impact: for every new robot introduced in a particular metro region, an estimated 6.2 jobs were lost in the same geographic area. But when examining the country as a whole, they found that the impact was about half or equivalent to three workers losing
We are too busy mopping the floor to turn off the faucet. -Author Unknown
their jobs for each additional robot. One possible explanation is that the automation of industrial jobs in the Midwest and US south is partially offset by new types of jobs in coastal cities. But that’s no comfort if you’re living in one of the states with a net decline in jobs. Those who have lost their jobs need retraining and we need an education system that prepares all US children, not just a privileged subset, for the jobs of the future. We also need to acknowledge the uneven geographic impact of automation and take steps, as businesses and collectively as a society, to increase opportunity in geographic areas that are affected adversely. 5. Technology responsibility
Ingham’s NZ plant recognised for outstanding water management Inghams Group Limited (ASX: ING), Australia and New Zealand’s leading integrated poultry producer, has been recognised for its outstanding water management by a global leader in sustainable water use. Ingham’s Te Aroha primary processing plant is the first New Zealand site to achieve certification from the international Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) and only the seventh site in the world to be certified. The Te Aroha plant was recognised for the management of its water
life cycle from collection at source to treatment of wastewater. The plant’s certification is the second for Ingham’s with its Somerville processing plant in Australia certified in 2015. Managing Director of Ingham’s New Zealand Adrian Revell said: “Our company is continuously listening to our customers and consumers who want us to be completely authentic in all that we do.” “For the past 10 years, we have implemented best practice management of our water life cycle
which includes our impact on the local catchment area and how our wastewater is treated. “We are very proud to have achieved this recognition from AWS and thank our local community for engaging with us and for the constructive feedback they have provided us along our journey.” Ingham’s utilised the Alliance for Water Stewardship’s stringent standards as the framework to engage and work with the wider community to look after the local water catchment area.
The ethical mandate is not just in education, but also in the design of technology products themselves. Autonomous technologies are not value-neutral with respect to the jobs they impact. Carnegie Mellon robotics professor Illah Nourbakhsh makes the case in a recent podcast that the makers of robots and AI software need to think ethically. Are they creating technologies whose sole purpose is to replace human workers or are they facilitating human productivity and happiness? Designers, computer scientists and CTOs all need to understand the ethical implications of how we create and use robots and AI. This needs to be a topic of discussion among business leaders on national and global stages. Merely calling for a universal basic income is sidestepping the question: technology makers need to account for human dignity and work in their very products. 6. The long-term trend can be positive — if we make it so
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Eventually, after the Industrial Revolution, there were at least as many jobs as there were before and they were better ones. The net result was an increase in productivity and in the number of people employed, which raised overall wealth. But that wasn’t a foregone conclusion. In the 21st century, we’re facing a massive change in the technologies and types of jobs available, similar to that faced by our grandparents in the early 20th century. Like them, we can’t be certain that both productivity and employment will rise. We, as a society, need to make the commitment to guide our technologies responsibly and to capitalize on the prosperity we are creating, just as those who came before us did. That way we will ensure that AI technology creates opportunity for all, not just for a lucky few.
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NZ Manufacturer September 2017
A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo. Use it often. -Shigeo Shingo
The Journey to Lean Maintenance
achievable reality once the maintenance function has made the journey from being fire fighters to harnessers of the business technical intelligence. Instead of the maintenance plan being finance driven, the finance plan is reliability driven, giving traction to Asset Management outputs.
- Craig Carlyle
Lean Manufacturing is not news to anyone in industry and, if actioned properly can truly be a revelation. From its roots in Toyota’s TPS to the uber-trendy 5S and Simplify advocates, the systematic method of waste minimisation and reducing anything that does not add value has helped companies reign in rampant inefficiencies and provide growth out of years of evolution. While Lean Manufacturing enjoys the limelight of industrial fashion and boardroom mantra, a quiet revolution has been taking place in New Zealand maintenance departments. Up to the 1970’s technical age, engineering and production ruled business, but that all changed in the (sweaty palms) era of the 80’s where accountants assailed the boardroom and Chief Engineers became “Asset Managers”. The Academic Age of the 1990’s saw Maintenance Heroes decimating engineering departments with their 3 letter acronym theories, riding off over the horizon before disaster struck, leaving engineers befuddled by their fate. The financial controllers still needed to convince the directors that the assets were being protected so the solution was to tack maintenance into global financial systems. This was a win-win for everybody except the engineers who were now effectively shut out of the ability to manage their maintenance. It has taken some time since the halcyon 1970’s for engineers to awaken to the fact that they too can evolve to add unlimited benefits to the operation and fill the vacuum they once occupied. There is no benefit for the upwardly mobile in admitting that the value is actually added at the bottom of the food chain so for most top-heavy companies the solution must be provided by professionals, usually by pursuing the holy grail of Asset Management. However, a gap exists between the academic approached of Asset Management and the practical realities of Maintenance Management.
at the feet of international “gurus” spouting their particular 3-lettered solution to the world, yet actual examples where the planned theory was driven through into scheduled reality in the sustainable long term were non-existent. It took a new breed of engineers focused on regaining their professionalism to create Maintenance Excellence using modern computerised maintenance management tools and a reversal of the value chain. Cases began appearing where engineers added immense value to the operation by increasing plant availability (as opposed to reliability) and reducing cost, often by NOT doing tasks. Some plants began to reap the benefits of continuously running for
• JIT purchasing • Reduced or removed stock inventory • Fully developed task resources including safety and permit resources • Manageable processes
• Manageable non-maintenance work request systems • Increased plant reliability • Reduced maintenance cost • Smaller maintenance windows • Improved trades staff effectiveness • Greater task satisfaction for trades staff • Real time integration between the maintenance plan, the production schedule and the budget.
Engineers awakening to the need to improve their lot were left bowing at the feet of international “gurus” spouting their particular 3-lettered solution to the world. years without a shutdown, or reducing traditional shutdowns from months to days. Others challenged traditional “feel good” fixed frequency preventative maintenance routines into fully optimised invasion plans. The benefits, which measured in millions of dollars to the bottom line, coincided with 2 things: • Upwardly driven computerised maintenance management systems • Reversing the value chain Rather than trying to rebuild their sites with Asset Management theories or RCA strategies, these engineers focused on continuous learning driven from the tradesman’s experience and used the computerised tools alongside site supported systems and processes.
The devastation of technical departments from the previous decades extinguished the transfer and growth of maintenance management skills and confidence.
From this leveraged institutionalised knowledge, they grew their confidence and competence, removed firefighting, reduced budgets by not doing the un-necessary, improved plant reliability, created optimised zero based plans and challenged preconceived PM notions.
Engineers awakening to the need to improve their lot were left bowing
The achievable benefits of maintenance excellence are:
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
• Zero based maintenance plans
While Maintenance Excellence is the method to bridge the gap between Asset Management and Maintenance Management, it is only the first step towards an even higher level of business improvement, Lean Maintenance. The foundations of Lean Maintenance mirror those of Lean Manufacturing; stability, continual improvement, production leveling, JIT, Jidoka and Quality. Both concepts will not work if imposed too early in an organisations evolution, often falling prey to hidden agendas and self preservation. It is however a simple extension of the logic developed achieving Maintenance Excellence to perceive the maintenance function as a flexible lean manufactory that can lead or adapt to the business needs. What does the business need? More plant availability? More (or less) throughput? Lower maintenance cost? Smaller or removed maintenance windows? Greater compliance confidence? What could the business aspire to if the maintenance function can deliver the unimaginable? The grandest visions can become the
Trades resourcing can be based on bankable maintenance invasion plans rather than comfort zones. Resource levels can be planned up or down without the institutionalised knowledge leaving in the toolbox. Plants running turn-key processes shackled with conservative manufacturers maintenance plans can reduce cost by negotiating optimised plans directly related to their specific environments. Sub-functions such as clerical/ purchasing become amorphous as the cmms is now doing most of the work and the inventory requirements move further up the supply chain. Indeed, the interaction with the supply chain becomes a true partnership as forward hedging based on rolling maintenance schedules reduces the delivered cost. In short, the entire maintenance function can now achieve turn down/ up ratios to suit the business needs. The Lean Manufacturing process is often delivered in expensive and patronising methods by consultants and “experts” while the real work and success is delivered by those on the factory floor. Unfortunately, as humans it is all too true that the degree of expertise is inversely proportional to the radial distance from the site. Or in other words, we are less likely to listen to those near us. On the upside, those consultants are only a tool themselves, acting as a conduit to facilitate the change process. My advice to engineers uncomfortable with their state of play and constrained by the current rulers of the workplace is “Kick down the CEO’s door. Ask him what he needs from the Process to achieve his business goals. Assure him you can deliver. And then ask him for the tools to do the job.” If you work in isolation, a great starting point is by talking to your peers and mentors at the Maintenance Engineering Society (MESNZ). MESNZ strives to support and lift the game of maintenance engineers in New Zealand. The society achieves this by encouraging engineers to share their experience and achievements, recounting their collective experiences and inspiring maintenance engineers throughout the country, via print, mentoring, the National Maintenance Engineering Conference or connecting problems with solutions.
The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. Albert Einstein
Race to make robots for China spurs ABB to double capacity ABB Ltd. is accelerating expansion in China with a plan to double robot production capacity as part of a bid to become the biggest provider worldwide of the industrial-automation equipment, said Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer. The blueprint includes doubling the number of robotics research employees in China, where a close rival Kuka AG -- backed by Chinese appliances-maker Midea Group Co. -- is seeking to unseat ABB’s lead in the $11 billion industry in the nation. ABB also plans to seize on a growing industry in China for electric vehicles by supplying more charging facilities, Spiesshofer said. The push is part of ABB’s broader ambition to surpass Fanuc Corp. of Japan as the top global provider in robotics and automation and also take the lead in e-mobility infrastructure in China, which this month unveiled a decision to phase out combustion-engine cars. The moves come as Spiesshofer prepares to wrap up a four-year restructuring plan under which the Swiss company regrouped operations and resisted investor pressure to break up its businesses to better realize shareholder value. “ABB is ahead of Kuka globally, we are ahead of Kuka here in the market and our ambition is to stay so,” Spiesshofer said in an interview in. ABB leads Kuka and Fanuc in the Chinese market, while the Swiss company trails Fanuc in global sales of robotics equipment, according to an ABB presentation. Zurich-based ABB also “absolutely” has the ability to be No. 1 in e-mobility
infrastructure in China, said Spiesshofer, adding that he met with the mayor of Shanghai to discuss the company’s plan to boost robot production. He didn’t provide a timeline or figures for the increase in capacity and research employees. ABB currently employs more than 17,000 people in 139 Chinese cities. China Automation China is installing more robots than any other nation as its vast manufacturing industry increases automation to move up the value chain. The country added about 90,000 robots last year, a third of the global total, and this will rise to 160,000 in 2019, figures from the International Federation of Robotics show. The government wants domestic robot makers to have half of the market by 2020, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. ABB is willing to provide technology and other forms of support to its local partners to help them become strong players in their own right, Spiesshofer said. More than 80% of the robots ABB sells in China are “developed, produced and shipped” in the nation, he said. The recent decision by China, the world’s biggest auto market, to determine a timetable to end sales of vehicles powered by fossil fuels in line
with a global trend provides another growth opportunity. Spiesshofer said ABB is working with regional governments on pilot projects for charging facilities in places like public carparks, where it’s more common for drivers in China to leave their cars than in private garages. EV Charging As many as 800,000 charging stations will be built this year alone, according to the official China Daily. ABB has the manufacturing capacity in place to support that pace, Spiesshofer said. Charging stations are part of ABB’s electrification products division, which contributed $9.9 billion in revenue last year, or about 29% of the company’s total. The robotics and motion business, which includes robots as well as motors and drives, accounted for $7.9 billion, or about 23 percent. These are among four new divisions, the other two being industrial automation and power grids. ABB regrouped its businesses after Spiesshofer resisted a call -- led by its second-largest shareholder, Swedish activist investor Cevian Capital AB -- to break up the company. It also placed the power grids business under review and promised to cut costs to boost profitability. “That page is turned and we are
moving into the future,” the CEO said. The shares rose 0.3% to 23.51 Swiss francs, valuing the company at 51 billion francs (US$53.2 billion). He said organic growth would be the company’s focus, with acquisitions a secondary possibility. In April, it paid $2 billion for Austrian company Bernecker & Rainer Industrie-Elektronik GmbH to help the company move away from its traditional hardware business and expand in higher-margin software. Spiesshofer declined to comment on whether ABB is bidding for General Electric Co.’s industrial solutions business, which the U.S. company is looking to unload amid a shift in its portfolio. “Consolidation in the robotics and automation industry is ongoing,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jawahar Hingorani said, referring to ABB’s potential interest in the GE business. “The U.S. is a strategically important market for ABB,” and it “wouldn’t be surprising” to see the company look to shore up market share there, he said. Spiesshofer said ABB’s restructuring efforts would be completed this year, after the company’s unclear identity led it to move in a “convoluted” direction when he started as CEO four years ago. “Today we have a crisp, clear identity. We know for what we stand,” Spiesshofer said. “2018 will be the first year of what I call the new normal. It will be then steady-state sailing.”
NZ Manufacturer September 2017
If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else. -Lawrence J. Peter
Nuance marks 20 years of Dragon Nuance Communications today announced that its signature software solution – Dragon – turned 20 this year. Since its launch in 1997, Dragon’s trajectory has been impressive and its future appears equally exciting.
dictation from pretty much any device and from any reasonable environment. The user can expect excellent and instantaneous performance as the software quickly and accurately transcribes spoken words into type.
voice recognition and transcription increased considerably over the years according to Derek. ‘Since the solution was launched we have seen a steady clipping of Dragon’s average error rate by around 18%.
To understand just how far voice recognition software has evolved, consider that in the early 1980s technology experts were struggling to develop a system that would understand about 35 words that were spoken carefully, deliberately and in isolation.
‘The vision from the beginning was that Dragon would transform the way people create documents,’ said Derek Austin, Dragon Business Manager, Asia Pacific, Nuance. ‘Instead of typing contracts, reports, correspondence, records, case notes and so forth, people would use their voice to create documents to help boost productivity.’
‘The software has also been able to take on more ambitious applications. Initially Dragon could only be deployed in a quiet environment with people using headsets and careful enunciation. Today, users speak naturally, can dictate from a distance and in a variety of environments, including noisy offices, outdoors and inside cars.’
Today, Nuance’s Dragon difficulty understanding
has no natural
Dragon’s ability to deliver quality
These improvements have occurred thanks to a combination of factors. Algorithms applied to recognising speech have been getting steadily better, while the evolution of more powerful computing platforms allowed Nuance to use more training data to improve its sophisticated models. However, the most transformative factor has been the influx of deep learning into speech recognition. This has propelled Dragon’s performance rapidly. Today, Dragon leverages the latest in Deep Learning technology to constantly learn and adapt to the user’s unique voice and environmental variations, even while the user is dictating, to deliver new levels of personalised accuracy and productivity.
So what does the future hold for Dragon? Its versatility is key. Not only will the software continue to drive document creation, its speech recognition capacity underpins the capabilities that virtual assistants will deliver in the future. ‘We are already seeing a glimpse of this,’ explains Derek. ‘Dragon not only creates messages, it can also send an email, do a web search and control applications on your device if instructed. ‘As virtual assistants evolve, they will probably follow the user from device to device, and a combination of natural language understanding, artificial intelligence, voice recognition, knowledge representation and other modalities will allow the user to interact with an immensely rich world of content, services and smart devices. ‘For instance, in the future you arrive at your hotel and your room is icy cold. You could try and work out how to adjust the temperature in your room or you could tell your portable virtual assistant to raise the temperature for you. ‘By using standardised protocols the virtual assistant will be able to interface with devices, understand what they do and how to operate them, and translate your request to achieve the desired outcome.’
Immersive booths to bring business expos to life Technology that brings standard exhibition booths alive with video projections has launched this month.
something over your face in a crowded room is such that you just can’t do it. But we wanted to find a way we could produce an immersive type experience without having to interrupt someone naturally,” he said.
The immersive booth technology is the brainchild of Andy Roberts, the founder of Rogue Lumens, a technology company in Adelaide, South Australia.
Roberts and his team came up with a software program that allows projectors to seamlessly turn the three sides of a standard 9sq m booth into screens.
In a previous role, Roberts had travelled the world attending conferences and was constantly uninspired by the static displays of posters and logos on show.
The software package allows companies to upload photos or videos and easily produce them into an eye-catching display that moves across all three walls. Companies can also upload professionally-produced work.
“At an exhibition in October 2016 I was standing there and it occurred to me that we could do a lot more in a booth by introducing new technology,” said Roberts. He first looked into incorporating augmented or virtual reality but found the technology was not ready for a mass market. “The uncomfortable interruption of having someone ask you to put
NZ Manufacturer August 2017
and incorporates a human outline to ensure the scale is correct. “It is all put together with a bespoke interface that companies can make with their own content – such as photos and video – and the software scales it,” said Roberts. “We’ve had the luxury of actually being in the position of being at exhibitions so we are solving a problem we’ve had ourselves. We were thinking about the tools we would have wanted and we would have needed, which gives a very different insight on how you approach the problem.”
“We built our own software and web portal to solve how we would populate this size of screen,” said Roberts.
The business model is to approach expo hire companies to lease the technology for large conferences, which will keep prices comparable to normal booth kit out fees.
The web portal allows users to see what their booth would look like from all angles as people approach the stall,
Roberts displayed the technology at the Adelaide Convention Centre this month, highlighting the work of IIoT
company Dematec Automation. “Because we have approached this with a price sensitive mindset there are no consumables, just a bit of labour, and this brings the price down,” said Roberts. “We want to make a difference to conferences. We want to make sure that lots of booths look good, not just one or two, and that’s why we have worked hard to bring the price point down to a point that is acceptable to the people who are going to be exhibiting.”
What gets measured, gets managed. -Peter Drucker
How the health and safety gravy train is sucking the productivity out of NZ manufacturing Barry Robinson, Chairman MESNZ
Are you being suckered by the H&S gravy train? You can save money immediately by reading the following. Test and tagging of electrical appliances and leads is NOT a legal requirement in NZ industrial plants.
then it must be the specified standard that needs to be adopted in all industrial operations large or small”.
If you Google it you’ll find any amount of references convincing you that it is a legal requirement, but follow those links and you will always come to the test and tag industry many of whom are cultivating this fallacy and who ultimately benefit financially from your confusion.
Robinson, who has spent over 30 years safely and healthily running NZ’s largest hot forging and heat treatment plant, makes no apologies for his confrontational approach.
“In the view of the MESNZ this is but one example of the unhelpful ‘smoke and mirrors’ rubbish that gets seized upon and promoted by health and safety advisors and HR practitioners, particularly within larger organisations” said Barry Robinson, Chairman of the Maintenance Engineering Society of NZ. “What is happening is these misleading H&S processes become de-facto norms and get mimicked by the media and smaller organisations who think that because the big plants are doing it,
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Other examples are: Compulsory wearing of safety glasses, hard hats and hi-viz vests in industrial plants; proliferation of orange cones; Stress-inducing beepers on machinery, and banning of ladders. These things waste time, money, and productivity. Worse, in many cases they can actually expose us to greater risk. “A common example of increased risk is the wearing of safety glasses: Safety glasses detract from our natural vision and senses in several ways - fogging, limiting or obscuring of peripheral vision and immediate upper and lower frontal vision, irritation and pressure). By wearing safety glasses,
competent and trained, there needs to be a good standard of record keeping, and if faults are identified during testing or when undertaking pre-use checks, any un-safe appliances need to be taken out of service immediately. This is the standard, simple, basic stuff.
we are imposing additional risks on the wearer – so we had better have a really excellent reason for forcing this increased risk on ALL our staff in our industrial plants”. “It is infinitely better to simply wear safety glasses where there is an actual risk to the eyes. When worn under earmuffs the glasses prevent the earmuffs from doing their job, thereby exposing us to real hearing damage over time, whilst looking like we are ‘being safe’. You get the idea?’ said Robinson. He added “everything here has happened to me”.
It is a little bit like a pilot checking the aircraft before flight – just because the plane was checked yesterday doesn’t mean it is safe to fly today. An extension lead unknowingly damaged this morning (but still with a current Tag on it) could kill you this afternoon if the user does not give it a 5-second check for obvious damage before use.
“Don’t get us wrong”, he said, “at MESNZ, we are all for keeping people in plants safe and healthy – but we achieve far better results by using simple logic and keeping it real.”
A company that just gets its gear tested and tagged every 6 months looks like it is doing a great job of H&S, but unless it also has RCD’s and does pre-use checks, the users are lulled into a false sense of security. It is just lip service with no staff engagement in real health and safety.
So, in the test and tag example, portable appliance testing (PAT) can be done in-house, and it does not have to be carried out by a registered electrician. PAT testers do need to be
Don’t put up with BS in H&S!
NZ MANUFACTURER • September 2017 Issue • Features
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