How can we combine the power of smart connected services and organizational capability to improve general maintenance in manufacturing plants?

At Hexagon Live 2023, I spoke with many SMEs on Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence’s EAM Solution, commonly referred to as “Hexagon EAM”. Their solution is compatible with other PLM or asset management programs that promote when machines need regular or unscheduled servicing. So how can we tie together the organizational leadership capability of EAM with IIoT and maintenance mechanics?

With a rise in smart connected products, many solution providers present machines, sensors, or processes that give powerful insight into predictive failure modes. Yet in today’s environment, it is still up to the on-site resources to turn the wrench. Engineers must take in data or AI insights from their machines and decide to either shut down their lines or keep them running to do maintenance work. The next step is empowering and planning the appropriate work and timelines for technicians or mechanics.

A solution such as Hexagon EAM helps engineers make these decisions. Hexagon EAM stores all information on when, where, and by whom any maintenance work may have occurred on an asset. Lines, machines, or even specific tasks can be auto-populated to the appropriate mechanic for the job based on skill and shift. Hexagon EAM supports task management, machine efficiency, and downtime avoidance all at once. Hexagon EAM is a valuable tool for manufacturing directors, managers, and supervisors to keep close to project timelines.

Hexagon has also cleverly paired up with APM, quality, and other manufacturing solutions such that an entire manufacturing plant can run on Hexagon-supported software. When able to look into the life and heartbeat of your machines, manufacturing engineers and directors can make the right decision for their plants. While hiring practices, training, and leadership also plays a critical role in successful maintenance manufacturing departments, Hexagon Solutions provide the knowledge and power to implement these decisions successfully.

For plastic injection designers and manufacturers of all sizes, how can we integrate technology to address your machine shop needs?

I had the opportunity to listen to Alexander Freund speak at the Future of Manufacturing Summit at hexagon live 2023. Their mission is to provide the best design and engineering workflow solutions for mold makers, and I am grateful to hear Alexander and the Hexagon team present their solutions.

Currently, mold and die techniques and processes need to be updated. With historical equipment and methods aging out, the need for smart technology in the mold and die industry can be felt. Not to mention, materials and their compositions are becoming increasingly complex. Modern material demands call for a product that is recyclable but durable, lighter but stronger. Plastic injection design and manufacturing engineers need to consider more than they have before in history. Integrating technology into manufacturing and engineering will fill this gap to help job shops work more efficiently and productively.

Integrating technology into the workflow from quote to delivery empowers engineers to be more efficient and sustainable than ever before. With technology, job shops can see themselves having high utilization of materials and equipment, contributing to their sustainability initiatives. Engineers can predict phenomena in the material to optimize the processes and reduce costs. Tools such as Hexagon’s Mold, Die, and Tooling solutions offer these benefits by integrating significant automation that drives toward efficiency.

Hexagon offers a competitive suite of dedicated CAD/CAM, engineering, and automation tools geared towards mold and die and tooling manufacturers to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and produce high-quality parts for their customers regardless of industry. With a portfolio of 22 products for production software and the support of the Hexagon team, this solution could fit into any size shop production facility and immediately begin helping manufacturers and engineers alike. Hexagon’s tools find out where defects can occur and inform the user, such that engineers can make educated decisions if the plastic needs to be injected differently or if it needs to be a different material.

Knowing this type of powerful information throughout the entire production process is incredibly valuable, and I do not doubt that the Hexagon Tool and Die Suite can help cut costs, save material, and shorten timelines for businesses. It provides an efficient, safe, high-quality finishing toolpath for a productive manufacturing environment.