SMALL MACHINE SHOP MAKES BIG MOVES WITH INDUSTRY 4.0
Prosper-Tech Machine & Tool is a small machine shop providing precision machining and plastic injection tooling. In nearly two decades, they have diversified by adding medical and aerospace companies to their automotive client base. The company prides itself in providing high-quality manufacturing products. Currently, the company operates out of a 10,000 square-foot facility with 10 employees. The machine shop has experienced an impressive growth, primarily credited to its embracement of Industry 4.0, which encompasses integrating digital technology into every aspect of the industrial process, from sensors and data collection to artificial intelligence and 3D printing.
Increased productivity = increased revenue: The firm understood how useful employing Industry 4.0 technologies would be when customer orders exceeded what they could accomplish in one shift, but a second shift was too costly. They discovered that a robotic system could boost productivity for the organization to satisfy its production requirements. Yet, the transition required a significant conceptual change and a significant financial commitment. However, after exhaustive testing, the company took the plunge and upgraded its equipment to include a new robotic component. The machine enables smooth service without operator control, which has resulted in improved efficiency and shorter order fulfillment times. The company’s sales increased by 69 percent between 2017 and 2020. Since the robotic machine assumes multiple production activities, it has allowed the plant operators to collaboratively work on other production tasks, such as quality inspection, thereby improving the quality of their products. Annually, the company invests in developing its employees through continuous training events and other employee benefits. Employee upskilling has been critical as the business competes for talent in the face of a skills shortage.
What can be done to improve productivity: The company aims to investigate how sensor technologies and artificial intelligence can be combined to improve system management. AI-enabled sensors could warn operators of potential system failures, eliminating the need for human control and, in the end, enabling the enterprise to fix problems earlier, prevent prolonged outages, and minimize losses.
How can we help: IndustryX can be leveraged to help provide intelligent solutions for the company. Our extensive expertise in collaborative research, development, and industry partnerships place us in a position to lead in the disrupted environment. IndustryX’s key objectives are to promote operational excellence, follow through with new ideas to create practical solutions and empower entrepreneurship. These are essential factors that would help Prosper-Tech succeed in their business.
Automation Alley (2021, April 7). Small machine shop makes big moves with Industry 4.0.