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Siemens Googles Into Ford Plants

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mrdon
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Virtual Plant Visits
mrdon   12/20/2013 9:52:11 AM
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Rob

I see big benefits behind this Virtual Plant Visit tool: one being a reduction in company travel expenses. The fact that one can drill down to individual assembly stations to see development of new components being manufactured is an awesome feature of the tool. Combining this tool with Video Conferencing will allow quick response to resolving manufacturing concerns between suppliers and OEMs within hours as opposed to days. Very nice article!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Virtual Plant Visits
Rob Spiegel   12/20/2013 10:13:59 AM
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Thanks MrDon. This kind of visibility into one plant alone would be a big move forward. The fact that it goes into multiple plants just increases the possibilities of optimizing production.

mrdon
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Re: Virtual Plant Visits
mrdon   12/20/2013 10:25:50 AM
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Rob

Welcome. Yes, this tool has tremendous benefits as mentioned and production optimization is definitely top on the list.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Virtual Plant Visits
Rob Spiegel   12/20/2013 12:52:32 PM
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Yes, MrDon, they can look at seven different plants and see how each does a particular task. they can take the best iteration and deploy it across all plants. They can do this function-by-function to reach optimal efficiency.

mrdon
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Re: Virtual Plant Visits
mrdon   12/20/2013 9:25:48 PM
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Rob,

With that visual capability, the manufacturing world is truly small and reachable in the virtual world. Truly an awesome piece of software.

 

 

naperlou
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Re: Virtual Plant Visits
naperlou   12/20/2013 1:19:11 PM
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mrdon, you have a good point.  With a high fidelity model of a plant a lot of this travel can be elimanted.  I know an engineering manager whose company has plants all over the world.  He has to go to customer locations, but he also finds that he is traveling to company locations to review how they are doing and how they do things.  It takes a lot to even get a hold of the designs and drawings from these plants.  This will be one challenge to many companies that have operations in multiple countries.  They often do not share.

mrdon
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Re: Virtual Plant Visits
mrdon   12/20/2013 9:36:31 PM
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naperlou

Another item that isn't taken into consideration of New Product Development  cost  is travel expenses. This tool would definitely save dollars by reducing travel expenses. Also, delay in work hours will be minimized based on reducing travel hours as well. To much wasted work hours occur because of waiting in airports and air fly time. Again, this virtual plant tool would keep projects on task because of reduction in travel time.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Virtual Plant Visits
Rob Spiegel   12/22/2013 11:33:24 PM
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Absolutely true, MrDon. That was one of the points Siemens made -- this technology will save on travel.

mrdon
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Re: Virtual Plant Visits
mrdon   1/20/2014 1:20:04 PM
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Rob,

I can see this software technology being used in either industries, thereby cutting cost on travel and improving productivity for business overall.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Virtual Plant Visits
Rob Spiegel   1/22/2014 11:04:31 AM
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I agree, MrDon. this really is a terrific idea. I'd love to see how it gets used and what features turn out to be the most helpful.

taimoortariq
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Re: Virtual Plant Visits
taimoortariq   12/25/2013 12:38:07 AM
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I agree the essential purpose of this software is optimization. They are optimizing through transport costs,positive comparison,better communicaton, name it. Ford has certainly made a very smart production decision.

taimoortariq
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Re: Virtual Plant Visits
taimoortariq   12/25/2013 12:48:02 AM
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You are right, transport costs can be cut down alot. Although, as long as the company is centralized, sharing information between the plants should not be a problem.

AnandY
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Re: Virtual plant visits
AnandY   12/30/2013 7:52:55 AM
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Sounds like a great idea to ensure that there is complete uniformity in the assembly of Ford cars across all the company's plants. But there must be additional measures to ensure that the production or assembly process runs throughout without any halts even at times when there is downtime (in that unlikely event) in the connection between multiple plants.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Virtual plant visits
Rob Spiegel   12/30/2013 4:01:01 PM
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AnandY, as I understand it, the connection through Siemens and Goolge will have no affect on the Ford assembly process -- other than to watch it.

a.saji
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Re: Virtual plant visits
a.saji   12/31/2013 10:03:17 AM
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@Rob: Yes it does require sometime isn't it ?   

AnandY
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Re: Implementation
AnandY   12/30/2013 8:19:30 AM
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Though it will probably take a while to implement the new systems across all plants, and train staff on how to use the system properly, the long-term benefits will be visible soon. Aside from the savings to be made on the travelling costs, there will also be some significant savings to be made on the litigation expenses that usually come with faulty or defective parts in assembled vehicles.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Implementation
Rob Spiegel   12/31/2013 9:55:57 AM
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Litigation costs is a savings I hadn't considered, AnandY. Ultimatley, the greatest savings will likely come from spreading best practices across multiple plants. Increased uptime and the overall optimization of production will deliver savings over and over.

a.saji
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Re: Implementation
a.saji   12/31/2013 10:02:01 AM
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@Rob: Yes there are certain factors which needs to be considered here but I feel it all depends on how long you have been doing it and what are the ultimate goals of your business is 

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