Digital Lean Manufacturing In Plastics & Rubber Industries

Epicor MES system will help businesses improve production processes, minimize losses and control time for manufacturing businesses using lean production methods.
March 25, 2024 by
Uyen Duong

To reduce losses in the manufacturing process, manufacturers apply digital technology and lean manufacturing principles to optimize production and control risks and equipment downtime. The Epicor MES system will help businesses improve production processes and limit waste.

I. What is digital lean manufacturing?

With the purpose of sharing insights on issues of applying physical and digital technology in the industry 4.0 era, which have created new achievements in production thanks to the connection of machines, equipment (testing…), and tools (weighing, measuring temperature, humidity, noise, light…) at factories, workshops, testing rooms, raw material warehouses, etc. Accordingly, digital technologies and lean manufacturing principles are meeting in what is called “digital lean manufacturing”—a strong and coherent combination of lean manufacturing principles with digital technologies.

Lean manufacturing principles have long been used in manufacturing to increase efficiency and reduce waste, but the new application of digital technologies to lean manufacturing is pushing businesses to the limit of what can be done. initial investment costs, organizational culture changes or project implementation time... However, the ultimate goal of this method is still aimed at what is mentioned above.

II. The necessity of OEE in lean manufacturing methods

For lean production, it is necessary to mention the concept of OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), which is the gold standard for measuring production productivity. Simply put, it determines the percentage of production time that is truly productive. If OEE is 100%, it means we are only producing good products as fast as possible with no downtime. In OEE terminology, it means 100% quality (quality = 100%)—only good products; 100% performance (availability)—no machine downtime.

Through measuring OEE and baseline losses, businesses gain important insights on how to systematically improve their manufacturing processes. OEE is the best measure to determine losses, standardize progress and improve productivity of production equipment, which means eliminating unnecessary waste.

III. Overview of the plastic industry - How is lean production method successfully applied to this industry?

1. The current trends in plastic industry

  • Ban on single-use plastic products
  • Increasing awareness of recycling and circular economy
  • Replacing plastics with eco-friendly products

The plastics industry will continue to receive pressure from multiple stakeholders.

2. The future trends in plastic industry

2.1 Development trend of plastic packaging.

  • A trend is predicted to grow in the future is the use of high-quality sustainable packaging for reuse many times. The extended lifespan of the product also partly reduces the burden on the environment.
2.2 Development trend of engineering plastics
  • A trend is predicted to grow in the future is the use of high-quality sustainable packaging for reuse many times. The extended lifespan of the product also partly reduces the burden on the environment.
  • Plastic is also an important part of technical equipment. The trend of growth in the engineering plastics segment depends mainly on the automobile industry and the electrical and electronics industry.
  • Despite chip shortages, electric vehicle adoption will drive long-term growth in engineering plastics due to their ability to reduce vehicle weight and energy consumption.
  • Additionally, the electrical and electronics industry offers growth opportunities, supported by government policies promoting foreign direct investment (FDI). Large corporations are shifting production chains, with Vietnam becoming appealing due to its proximity to China and efforts to diversify the global supply chain.

3. What can the Epicor MES system solve for the factory? 

In general, the system supports three types of online monitoring, as follows:

Production monitoring: counting the speed at which products are being produced, thereby recording losses.

  • Machine status (running, stopping, preparing…).
  • It indicates how much of the product has been produced and how much remains to be produced.The machine is running too slowly or too fast.
  • The running machine produces too much scrap.
  • When will the production order be completed?

Process parameter monitoring: measure variables at the time of production, including temperature, pressure, vibration, compression, velocity, etc. Process monitoring is essential to analyzing the root cause of production problems, thereby recording losses.

  • Why is the product so thin?
  • Is the filling time enough?
  • Is the pressure too high?

Quality monitoring: Check the condition of manufactured products, including size, weight, appearance, etc., thereby recording losses.

  • Process parameters (temperature, pressure, etc.) can be recorded at the moment a product is being manufactured.
  • Warnings and notifications can be sent when products manufactured exceed specifications.
  • The connected factory is a manufacturing environment where machines can communicate with other machines and devices across the entire factory. Using an MES system to collect information from machines is an important part of analyzing efficiency and waste.

IV. Digital lean manufacturing with the online Epicor MES System for the plastics industry will help to solve these issues:

  • More production capacity without needing additional assets such as machinery and equipment…
  • Reduce downtime for more parts and lower costs.
  • Improve machine speed (throughput)
  • Analyze and show losses: output rate, cycle time, and line speed.
  • Improve product quality and reduce scrap.
  • Indicate the losses and reasons.
  • Improve overall OEE.

V. Conclusion

I hope that the above article has provided you with useful information Digital Lean Manufacturing In Plastics & Rubber Industries and then put forward several solutions that ERP system can handle. If you have any questions, please contact us immediately for further advice.