The Packaging & Processing event
Great day out for Uptime Consultant at PPMA catching up with old and new contacts!
If we are available this is always a show that is on the fixture list for us to visit.
Great to catch up with contacts from Yamato, Ishida, Flo Mech, Schneider and OEE Systems.
We usually head for the weighing and packaging as it takes us back to our roots with some vivid flashbacks of shifts spent battling banks of TNAs and Ishidas, interesting to see how some of these have now developed vision systems which for me is adding too much complexity to an already sophisticated asset.
This year there was a massive choice of multi-head weighers compared with previous years, there seems to be a glut of them in the marketplace at the moment.
It was also interesting to see the amount of 'pick and place' options with many manufacturers, new to me was the offering from Schneider with their modularised integrated solution.
If you are interested in Packaging or Processing then this show is one for your diary for 2020.
Mexico, Monterrey 🇲🇽 Maintenance
It's never been part of the Uptime Consultant strategy to work internationally.. although the requests arrive on a weekly basis!
When it comes to our most important client though we always try and cover all bases, this is difficult as the Uptime business is built on knowledge transfer and not a formula that anyone can deliver, it's our USP that differentiates us from the rest but is limited by our available time.
I even had commemorative sports t-shirts printed that went down well 🇲🇽
I had only visited Mexico as a tourist some years ago with a week in Cabo so this was going to be very different.
I was looking forward to working with the people as my previous experience had been vey positive, I wasn't disappointed as they were extremely helpful and open to new ideas about how to frame a new maintenance strategy in a research and development environment.
It was also nice to get fine weather as the UK was lashed by heavy rain storms for a full week.
Unfortunately I can't share anything about the actually work other than we made a great impact in just five days, thanks to the receptive nature of the workforce and my main contact being fluent in English!
We are going to reduce our air miles now by supporting via regular Zoom calls to support the initial work laid out in just the one week.
Great to catch up with old colleagues
The nearly total workforce taken back in the early 1990s at the Wolston factory
One of the most enjoyable periods of my time in engineering was with FFD Ltd from 1988 - 1994, here we all gathered for an anniversary photograph outside the main office; no digital or drones back then, I clearly remember the photographer perched on the tallest step ladders I had ever seen!
Last time we got together was 10 years ago and it was amazing to see how people had moved on or stayed in the same role, quite a few had transitioned to Ricardo who bought FFD in 1994 just as I left to move into the food manufacturing industry.
Ten years later and we are an older group with many attending last Friday at The Oak in Baginton well into retirement.
It was again great to catch up with old colleagues a couple of whom I served my apprenticeship with at Noel Penny Turbines Ltd which was in itself a feeder for talent to FFD, in fact part of the night could've been a NPT reunion as well.
With our increasing age it was agreed it may become an annual gathering as nearly everyone said how much they had enjoyed the evening.
I'm far left front row with the design boys wearing a moustache and boiler suit!
Excellent Workshop by Iconsys
Over twenty delegates made the day for this first collaborative workshop organised and hosted by iconsys at their Telford, UK headquarters. Here Andy Bunce the Sales Director introduces the mornings presentations.
This collaborative event was all about knowledge sharing with interested parties from across sectors including Automotive, Steel, FMCG, Food, Utilities and representatives from confederations.
I opened up the conversation with a 15 minute keynote on how with the advent of accessible sensors, cloud and artificial intelligence prediction will become more affordable and widespread in all industrial environments.
My job was to set the scene for the following three presentations that were more about the applications and hardware whereas I talked about the cultural shift in the workforce and a joined up approach.
Next up was Paolo Sermisoni from PCB Piezotronics to talk about why Vibration as a sensor technology is ubiquitous and for many is the application of choice where a lot of domain knowledge and experience already exists.
Paolo was accompanied by an old friend of mine David Smith the UK & ROI Sales Manager and the MD of PCB UK Bob Barrett; they had lots of interaction with delegates so it was a good job there were three of them!
After a short comfort break it was time to hear from Tom Hammond representing Siemens Mindsphere the Cloud part of this scalable predictive solution. The main trust of his presentation was more about how secure Cloud based technology is and the benefits it brings to accessing applications that are hosted on its platform.
It was good to see Simon Kampa CEO of Senseye giving an excellent overview of how and what their predictive maintenance software does in the real world, no blue sky thinking here but evidence of real results with major blue chip companies.
I believe this is the way forward to scale from tens and hundreds of data points to thousands of points of interest, checking the wellness of complete plants on multiple continents and highlighting those critical few that require the attention of a technician.
Andy Bunce then closed the presentations with a piece on how iconsys is working from the user end to design in or retro fit predictive devices to their control systems. This was followed by live demonstrations of sensors in their technical lab along with another live demo by Simon from Senseye of the software at work in real time on assets throughout the world.
I believe this is the first collaboration of this kind in the UK where all the domain experts in collaboration have put on an event that can talk about an actual working solution and more importantly how to get from proactive to predictive.
Launching online learning platform!
Coming soon, currently beta testing
Visiting Senseye Headquarters to deliver Predictive Maintenance Workshop
Kenneth Dibben House at Southampton University Science Park
It was a bit of a race to get back from the Reliability Ireland 2019 conference in Cork to be in Southampton by Friday morning but with some careful planning and a quick pit stop in Coventry I arrived there the night before.
Senseye have been friends and collaborators now for about two years and this has proved of benefit to us both.
I get to learn from groups of data scientists whilst sharing my 40 years of front line experience with the last 15 spent specialising in predicting asset failures and strategies of how to mitigate them.
This was the second half day workshop I had delivered to Senseye's team, both ran around the same format with the overall aim being to transport a group of software engineers, data scientists and product support specialists into what it feels like at the sharp end of manufacturing.
Having worked for many years in production industries, utilities and other areas I can field most questions about how things work, break and how to best mitigate future failures.
My last full time position working for PepsiCo I specialised for almost 10 years with predictive techniques and how best to deploy ever constrained resources; this usually comes down to how many hours, people and revenue was available.
In this environment there was only so much you could sense check with hand held instruments and a trained data collector, something has to give and this usually catches you out.
My vision back then was ideally an automated process that could handle 100s and 1,000s of outputs from disparate sources and trend them against each other in near real time.
This is what a good PdM Technician can do via spreadsheets and in their heads, but they can only cover 10s to a 100 and have to go home to rest and reboot; automation does not, it's 24/7.
This would for me be akin to the 'holy grail' of Predictive Analytics, we are now ten years on from those thoughts I had and I believe SENSEYE have designed and formulated the solution, a truly scalable predictive maintenance solution and at an affordable cost.
The workshop went very well with a lot of new faces as Senseye is growing at a fast pace.
Some attendees had experience of working in the connected industries but the speciality of Predictive Maintenance is somewhat new to them so this is where I come in.
In less then three hours I take them on this journey into a production environment, look at how people work, examine the interface between the technology and end user whilst fielding those all important questions they have about prediction, risks and consequences.
Many thanks to all the team at Senseye for being so welcoming, see you in April 😉
This for me is the standout Reliability conference in Ireland or the UK
Reliability Ireland 2019 was held in Cork on March 26 & 27th
This show had been recommended to me by Chris Hallum of UE Systems after he visited the inaugural one in 2017.
That was held in Ireland, then last year they branded it Reliability UK 2018 and it was held in Manchester.
I couldn't attend that one due to work commitments so made sure I cleared my diary for this years event in Cork, Eire.
The people behind the organisation are a team from T. E. Laboratories in Co. Carlow, thus they have a deep interest in Lubrication services and laboratory fluid sampling, I was therefore expecting a large emphasis on oils, lubrication and sampling, this was not the case.
The vendors and specialists attending and the presentations were broad, some software solutions, hardware like UE Systems, consulting firms, production including Toyota, Irish Rail, pharmaceutical and much more.
This show has grown from around 30 delegates in year one to about 100 in 2018 to 200 delegates this year, quite an achievement by the team at TelLab.
Below are some snapshots over the two days that included a social after day one with a trip to Jamesons Distillery for those who were interested in visiting.
The place to start lubrication best practice is with site storage
COSHH cabinets are an important storage facility when it comes to hazardous chemical and lubricant control.
The client we are helping at the moment was concerned about an upcoming external audit but had no resource to address the storage and control of these substances, so Uptime Consultant spent a day coming off the project we were working on to sort out the situation.
This work included removing all the paints, chemicals and other risky items and re-cycling them as hazardous waste.
We then went through the MSDS (Manufacturers Safety Data Sheet) file and made sure it reflected the stocked items, working with our contacts at INTERFLON we made sure the correct specification sheets were being applied.
Also added were the Oil Safe dispensers to further control with colour coding, this is reflected in the clients spec' sheet that I produced located in the master maintenance document and laminated on this COSHH cabinet door.
Some 'engineering' items remain that we have located in another cabinet with a smaller Yellow COSHH cabinet on the way.
This work will save the client many lost points when the audit does take place whilst putting best practice into action so that the Lubricants and Cleaners are no only out of harms way but controlled when it comes to application.
The next stage is to run a half day training session with the engineers and operators to them them correct application and inform them of what 'good' looks like.
Castle Bromwich Visit by Uptime Consultant Ltd
Jaguar goes Electric - Jaguar Experience Reception, Castle Bromwich, UK
This is another place like the Triumph visit of a couple of weeks ago that I have been trying to fit in, we had a free day so took the opportunity of visiting the Castle Bromwich facility over Birmingham.
They run these visits morning and afternoon and we opted for the PM visit that runs from 13.00 - 16.00, so three hours of touring three of the main production shops.
The site is so big that a tour bus transfers the group from one location to another, our group was only seven people so the tour was quite relaxed. Tea and coffee are available on arrival at reception before being taken through the all important safety video and putting on the hi-viz jackets.
The tour starts at the new £500 million assembly shop that builds three models of Jaguar to customers order. This was the main reason I wanted to visit to see the body assembly method with bonding and riveting of the aluminium shell, I had only been involved with traditional spot welded steel bodies before so the manufacturing method was new to me.
The main difference from a reliability perspective is that there are no welding contaminants in the air so less to infect the machinery preventing damage by carbon.
The tour moved on through to see the XJ build shop which is where thousands of Spitfires were built during WW2, you could smell the history in this building, we also visited what was the on-site hospital that looked after the workers back then; I didn't realise Lancaster bombers were also built there as well.
The tour moved on to the final build assembly where bodies meet drive trains all the way around to final inspection and dispatch.
We finished back at the visitor centre for coffee, cake and a look around the new I-Pace vehicle.
If you can free up half a day this is a great value visit for any engineer or car fan... recommended.
Uptime Consultant visits the home of Triumph Motorcycles
We had planned to get over to Hinkley for months but the summer got in the way, I finally went on-line and bought the last two tickets for the 10.30 tour yesterday for the bargain price of £18 each!
The home of Triumph is in Hinkley, UK but when I was a youngster it was still based in the village of Meriden, in fact one of my school mates Dad work as part of the Triumph co-operative before it collapsed in the 1970s.
The tour is 90 minutes long and there were 15 people on our tour which is the maximum I believe, it was just right and the two guides that showed us around were very informative. It starts in an ante room where everyone gets to wear a Triumph Visitor hi-viz and an in the ear device to listen to the chaps as they guided us around whilst fielding questions about the processes.
Everything is under wraps so no recording or any use of mobiles whilst on the tour, we still got to view some rare sights as we were there whilst 2018 production was giving way to the new bikes for 2019.
The first port of call was the logistics where all the component parts are received and dispatched to production, we then moved through to the high bay storage where finished motorcycles are racked on their own delivery skid seven rows tall.
The total capacity of the store which was half full is 6,500 bikes or approx £65 Million!
Each motorcycle we saw in stock is an order awaiting pick up and delivery to dealerships all over the world that their clients have ordered, they hardly make anything for stock at Hinkley.
The models they manufacture in the UK are all they high value high capacity type bikes hence all the Bonnevilles are manufactured in the far east for cost and parts logistics as most of the components or raw castings are manufactured there.
The tour then takes you around the Crankshaft CNC machineshop, past the R&D block, the Metrology in the centre of machining, the crankcase CNC shop then through to the main assembly.
Here you get to see the hand finishing operation with wheel pin striping before being taken around part of the assembly line where bare engines having shells fitting become a fully ladened machine. The last operations to fill the cooling system in less than a minute and the hydraulics in seconds is very impressive.
Finished bikes then get the rolling road treatment until the petrol is exhausted when the ECU is automatically locked for shipment, only the dealer receiving the bike has the code to unlock it, neat trick to thwart theft of complete bikes in transit.
This area is where we got to see six brand new 2019 spec Scramblers ready for dispatch for a press launch, impressive looking bikes they were to.
The tour ends back in logistics where more customer orders were awaiting delivery to France, Japan, Netherlands in fact all over the planet.
If you ever get the chance to visit and can be lucky enough to get a ticket it's a must visit.
Next door is their small museum and cafe with some iconic motorbikes on display.