As the Engineering Employers Federation convenes for their annual conference, productivity pioneers Forcam will be joining for the first time. Technology leaders in shop floor networking, the company has over 60,000 machine tools and processes connected by its Factory Framework software. The message for UK manufacturers is that this can increase productivity by up to 30 per cent. In many cases the end user can achieve pay back in less than one year.
Forcam software enables the real-time performance measurement and benchmarking of industrial shop floors that ensures optimal production decision making. Their systems are used throughout industry, in automotive, aerospace, medical devices, and oil/gas industries. Clients include Mercedes-Benz, AUDI, BMW, BorgWarner, GKN Aerospace and Weir Minerals. These businesses rely on Forcam to drive productivity and give shop-floor intelligence.
The company was founded by Franz Gruber a former executive at SAP, the ERP company, who identified a need for computer networks to reach down to the shop floor to gather data and integrate operations. Factory Framework works at the individual machine level, enabling manufacturing instructions to be streamed to the shop floor, production to be monitored and live data gathered on real-time performance. On a corporate level this data can also be streamed into the ERP system so senior management decisions can be based on real time data for greater accuracy and reliability.
"The concept of networking manufacturing operations is variously referred to as Industry 4, or the Internet of things (IoT) applied to the factory floor – whatever you call it it’s about revolutionising manufacturing and represents a huge opportunity for UK manufacturers," says Forcam’s Andrew Steele. Adding, "Don’t just take my word, look at those of Terry Scuoler, chief executive of EEF."
"The fourth industrial revolution will change the global face of manufacturing beyond recognition. The UK must take a leading role if we are to realise our ambitions for a healthy, balanced and growing economy. The next decade will bring great and rapid change and the early-adopting nations will maximise the opportunities presented by new technologies and thrive as a result. There will inevitably be winners and losers, which is why we should take note when manufacturers say there is a real danger of the UK being left behind." Terry Scuoler, February 23, 2015.
Forcam UK executives will be on hand throughout the conference to discuss shop floor networking, a process that many describe as the fourth industrial revolution. The company has its global headquarters in Ravensburg, Germany with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, and Asia.
Press release issued: February 24, 2015
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