Industrial manufacturers and producers across industries are implementing smart manufacturing initiatives into their enterprises.
To succeed, they require smart machines that can easily integrate into a facility, provide access to information and be flexible to quickly react to changing market demands.
As a result, end-user companies are challenging machine and equipment builders to deliver custom, smart and innovative machines that meet their specific needs, and can help them compete and supply globally.
However, building customized, modular machines requires more time and resources – both of which are being stretched thin for many OEMs.
Since this is not an optional task for those who want to stay competitive, machine and equipment builders need to find the right balance between designing standard machines for efficiency, and customizing machines to meet specific needs. They also need to select a solution that meets customer requirements and stays within budget.
A solution? OEMs can create standard, scalable building blocks to leverage when designing machines.
By organizing how they build with a small upfront investment of time and resources, OEMs can more efficiently modify existing designs to build customized machines. This will help them save time and resources over the long term.
OEMs don't have to start this process from scratch. Free, online tools available from companies like Rockwell Automation help them create scalable building blocks; select the right, “just-enough” products; and more efficiently develop customized machines based on the standard blocks. The tools cover the four system, life-cycle phases of a machine, allowing OEMs to concentrate on creating more innovative and differentiated intellectual property.
- Select the Right Equipment: When OEMs start designing a machine, they can use performance and capacity tools to assist with product selection and configuring the architecture. These tools can help OEMs choose which controller will work within the defined parameters of the machine's architecture; get a jump start on CAD documentation; choose the right architecture to meet standards requirements; identify the best motor-drive combination; and more.
- Develop Smarter: To kick off machine development, OEMs can leverage design, conversion and sample code guides that can help accelerate time-to-market. For example, OEMs can use a software, sample-code library to organize and store code by library function. The library provides OEMs an easy way to find and re-use existing code, which leads to generating less new code, producing machines more efficiently, and still meeting customer requirements.