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Big data to boost productivity of NZ manufacturing sector

The whole New Zealand manufacturing sector may benefit from an Auckland factory’s digital solution to become more productive.

According to a recent report, New Zealand’s Innovation Agency, Callaghan Innovation, worked with Avondale-based manufacturer, Mastip, for the digital dashboard that will answer the manufacturer’s productivity questions.

The company makes hot runner, which is a specialist tool used for injection moulding of plastic products.

It supplies companies making everything from plastic containers to automotive parts and mobile phones.

The global market for the said tools is booming.

To take advantage of this growth, the company invested up to NZ$ 2 million in new manufacturing technology over the last 18 months.

They realised, however, that it was not producing as efficiently as it could.

The company’s CEO shared that they had a long-running view that their productivity was relatively poor, through purely financial indicators, which they have observed is a systemic issue for New Zealand.

Still, there was a big black hole as to what the reasons for the poor productivity were.

Callaghan Innovation’s Advanced Manufacturing team worked with Mastip and Beckhoff Automation to come up with a way of measuring what is happening on the factory floor.

The information is then relayed back to staff in real-time.

A dashboard on a 50-inch screen now gives staff at the Avondale facility a view of how each of the factory’s CNC machines are operating at any one time.

The payoff is a huge step forward for the company in understanding what productivity looks like, how it can be consistently measured across a range of processes, and how it can be represented to the manufacturing team so that they understand.

The company is sharing its learning with other Kiwi factories with the hopes that it can also help other manufacturers as well as improve New Zealand’s position in the global productivity ranking.

There are several possible reasons why a machine is not running at full capacity, from tooling changes to inefficient scheduling.

Planners are now able to make better decisions about routing work through the factory since the information is repeatable and highly visible.

It was not easy to set up the system as it meant applying a modern digital solution to equipment that ranged from 15-year-old legacy machines through to the latest intelligent gear.

The company was faced with the challenge of physically getting the data. Thankfully, Beckhoff’s skills and hardware were able to address that.

The next hurdle was how they will present the data to the people.

The company installed digital interfaces and data loggers to all machines and then daisy-chained them into a network PLC acting as database server outputting to an SQL database.

Then it needed an integrator to design what to do with it. They are a manufacturing company and this required big data, and they had no experience in dealing with big data.

This is where Callaghan Innovation came in. Its Advanced Manufacturing team designed the software that interpreted the data, and then visualised that on a dashboard so that staff could understand what was going on.

Callaghan Innovation has been an essential partner on the project. The bonus to working with the Government’s innovation agency was the opportunity to help other New Zealand companies.

Bringing online and real-time data into the mix gives businesses a competitive advantage.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.