MillenniumIT (MIT) ESP is gearing Sri Lanka for the future of manufacturing by transforming businesses with Automation and Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The company thrives on its basic philosophy of ‘Industry 4.0 made easier by IoT and data’ – where traditional manufacturing processes are digitized and automated. As a complete Enterprise Solutions Provider, MIT ESP maintains an active presence in Sri Lanka and is expanding its operations globally into new regions. Over the years, the leading tech company has worked with leading manufacturers in tea, rubber, apparel, FMCG, and several other industries to revolutionize their processes with the power of data.
In conversation with Arteculate Asia, Senior Engineer at MIT ESP, Dasun Kariyawasam, shared, “IoT is a game changer for customers to drive digitalization. With data being the new oil, it is an invaluable resource that businesses can use to obtain a holistic view of what is happening in their production line and make strategic decisions for better operation.”
Leveraging the Power of Digital for Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 is a transformative concept that emerged to leverage several innovative technology trends as companies had to increase production to meet demands. In the past, manufacturers relied on human labor, which was empowered by newer machinery to increase productivity. Yet, there was a lack of visibility that enabled them to fully maximize the productivity of their resources. But the addition of sensors collecting data regularly negated this problem. Thus, offering complete visibility of a factory to optimize it to run at total capacity. As such, Industry 4.0 leverages the power of digital to expand a factory’s capabilities in cyberspace with minimum physical transformation.
MIT ESP offers intelligent bespoke solutions to its customers using Industry 4.0 technologies, which meet their unique needs and deliver the greatest value. Its engineers first visit the customer’s sites and engage with factory managers, production engineers, and mechanics to understand the process and aid in data extraction. With IoT devices, data from the operations are then captured and processed to provide valuable insights into the entire process line. “Through this, we offer our clients recommendations that can take their existing resources to operate at 100% capacity before expanding physically while also improving overall productivity, cutting down costs, and increasing the quality of their products,” conveys Dasun.
The Importance of Data Visibility in Manufacturing
Not everything would operate at maximum capacity in a manufacturing facility’s production line if run blindly. Therefore, it is vital to first identify the pinch points in the line that requires visibility. Through the data received with IoT technology, businesses can conduct the necessary analyses to increase their decision-making capacity. As per Dasun, this should be the main focus of anyone looking to implement IoT solutions. Moreover, data from multiple sources, such as suppliers, sales teams, and customers, may also be combined for better insights.
“In a short period, you’ll see minute improvements in efficiency. But the real power lies in vast amounts of data collected over long periods, such as 5 years or more. At this point, it’s possible to observe patterns and make predictions to help businesses prepare for market opportunities or disruptions before they arise,” Dasun explains. Once this milestone is crossed, it’s clear to all stakeholders that Industry 4.0 systems will be a crucial driver of growth for the organization.
How MIT ESP Improves Visibility and Quality through IoT
Industry 4.0 relies on improved data visibility obtained through the implementation of IoT technology. For MIT ESP, the process starts with a visit to the manufacturing facility and gaining a detailed understanding of its processes. Following this analysis, a proposal for a customized solution is put forward that’ll offer improved visibility for all stakeholders. These solutions feature end-to-end reporting with live dashboards, BI reports, and data from recent years for big data analytics. “At this stage, technical challenges are easily overcome with the wide variety of sensors and resources out there, but it is often difficult to convince the client of the indirect long-term ROI with this increased visibility,” states Dasun.
Elaborating on a recent case study, Dasun shares that the MIT ESP team improved the quality of a renowned pioneer in the FMCG industry by correctly identifying the pain points in their production and sales line. “The texture of our client’s ice cream begins to deteriorate when the surrounding temperature falls. Using IoT, we enhanced their visibility and automated the temperature to maintain it at an optimum level.” Moving beyond the factory gates, they identified that a temperature drop was observed at the refrigerator in the retailer’s distribution center, and necessary action was taken to correct the fault.
All of this is possible because the IoT solution provides full visibility of all operations at the factory. This includes utility monitoring, machine monitoring process, and production visibility. In doing so the operations staff gets an understanding of the live environment and the progress of every single task that’s being carried out at any given time. Additionally, the management gains invaluable insights into the costs, wastage, and more using BI tools and data analytics. Ultimately, the IoT solution developed by MIT ESP helped the FMCG company to maintain the quality of the product, to plan better, and predict the future behaviors of factory operations and costs.
Adapting to the Future of Industrial Transformation
In closing, Dasun notes that Europe has been the leader in transforming its industrial sector with the latest developments in the industrial space. The most significant contributor to this region’s advancement has been the COVID pandemic. “These manufacturers quickly identified the power of data and began moving in the direction where it was no longer necessary to be physically present in their factories.” A similar phenomenon has been observed among Sri Lankan manufacturers as well. Outside of Sri Lanka, MIT ESP operates in Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Singapore. The common thread across these different geographies is that as the world evolves, it’s becoming crucial for manufacturers to partner with technology companies like MIT ESP. In doing so, they can leverage the power of data and optimize their operations to drive future growth and ensure continued success in a competitive world.