Keys for Unlocking Business Benefits from Micro-scheduling: Use Case 

The Purpose of Micro-Scheduling of Manufacturing with AI Apps 

Production scheduling, in practice, comprises tasks such as production planning, monitoring activities, and controlling processes. The planning and scheduling team works with the manufacturing goals in mind. Unplanned process deviations or sudden changes in demand can affect the production performance or disrupt a schedule even. The shop floor realities and organizational decisions influence a scheduler at work and, consequently, the output. Micro-scheduling with AI provides a new definition for this vital part of manufacturing. It facilitates significant flexibility, precision, and efficiency in the manufacturing processes, which is difficult to achieve through manual scheduling. 

Here is a quick peek into how a European pharmaceutical company, a world giant providing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) used AI to optimize processes and thus, maximized productivity while utilizing the existing resource pool with increased efficiency.  

Bodhee® Integrated Micro Scheduling AI App Solved the Business Problems: 

The challenge was to generate an annual production schedule flexible enough to accommodate any sudden change in demand, such as prioritizing certain products in a particular month or adjusting production in response to events on the shop floor. Several products used a combination of equipment lines and areas in different buildings for final processing. The company needed to scale the site for both process and resource optimization.  

Bodhee® Integrated Micro Scheduling AI App enabled an integrated approach for real-time event-based production planning.   

  • Enhanced their existing macro planning deployed for the long-term by closely aligning with day-to-day production events.  
  • Micro inputs on LIVE production status and predictive data analytics helped prevent unplanned asset downtime or process degradation.  
  • Timely alerts and actionable insights or recommendations enabled the production teams to define new objectives, adjusting parameters and constraints as and when required.  

Thus, by providing an end-to-end view of the upstream and downstream activities, Bodhee® Integrated Micro Scheduling AI App facilitated the creation of customized production plans. Simulation of not only one but multiple versions of the plan allowed production planners to publish the version that promised the best results for optimum capacity utilization.  

Bodhee® Integrated Micro-Scheduling AI App helped their large-scale commercial production facility plan, develop, and implement efficient production scheduling. 

What Business Benefits Did the AI App Unlock? 

Post deployment of Neewee’s specialized ML algorithms and AI apps for synchronized production planning, there was a significant positive impact on the productivity within 8-12 weeks  

  • AI-enabled Real-time batch monitoring and comparison visualized actual process efficiencies, not theoretical or hypothetical scenarios. 
  • Minimized WIP 
  • Reduced working capital and cost-effective production
  • Reduced batch cycle time by the removal of hidden buffers. 
  • Flexible production scheduling helped meet manufacturing goals.  
  • Optimum capacity utilization increased productivity. 

You can also download the detailed Case Study here!  

Pro Tip: 

Whether it is improved production performance or maximized productivity that your organization wishes to unlock, the use of AI apps in manufacturing is the Master Key you are looking for.  

Contact us to get the best technological solution customized to your business goals and needs.

Let’s optimize!

Micro Scheduling AI: Unpacking the True Benefits of Scheduling for F&B Manufacturing

“Time is money!” Who better than a businessman to know the weight of those words written by Benjamin Franklin in an essay titled Advice to a Young Tradesman? To expand on the thought—poor planning and lack of time management come at a cost. Wise business gurus have stressed the importance of reducing non-productive time to minimize the amount of money lost in pursuits that do not deliver on results or goals. 

Of all the businesses, food manufacturing, processing, and packing factories are the most time-sensitive enterprises. As delivery time and shelf-life are crucial goals for the F&B industry, production planning, and scheduling forms the backbone of the high-risk business. Yet, we all know how traditional scheduling methods have failed the F&B manufacturers, time and again. 

The Business Challenges That the Food Manufacturing Factories Face:

Food manufacturing companies strive to provide consumers with the most delicious, fresh, healthy, and convenient foods. However, they face several challenges in their endeavours and deal with uncertainty. Factories need to ensure every product gets packed and delivered as per schedule. However, orders could change as per weather, season, or other market variations. In case of a sudden spike in demand, production planners need to be prepared to alter the processes and increase the yield within a short time, or they face the risk of losing out on the opportunity. All the products must be packaged and shipped quickly to avoid spoilage. Scheduling at such times needs to be precise to leave enough time for inspection and sorting of the products. Inventory also needs to be tracked and managed to avoid shortage or overstocking. 

A wide range of food products and drinks are made from fresh raw materials and packed in appropriate food-grade containers or wrappers for storage, distribution, and sale. Besides the packaging material, the production process and finishing time also play a vital role in preserving food quality, protecting from external elements during packing, storage, and transportation, guaranteeing safe shelf life until consumption. 

The production and packaging processes of these food and beverages require skilled workers to be involved, who must deliver perfection every time. As it employs human expertise at different stages of production, there is more scope for error and lapse in food safety. Factories need to establish a clearly defined system and provide proper training to the workforce. The workforce may still find it hard to identify why there is a deviation in the workflow. Pending WIP or accumulated inventory of perishable items could mean wastage, which can spell disaster for the manufacturer.

It can also get humanly impossible to assemble subject matter experts at the last minute to solve manufacturing problems. Avoiding failure at maintaining delivery schedules can seem like a superhuman feat.

Fortunately, Artificial intelligence (AI) has made planning possible, even when variables change. Machine learning (ML) algorithms or Reinforcement Learning (RL) can help with scheduling to save time and money by optimizing the workflow through a plant or factory. Micro Scheduling with our AI app can enable the food processing and packing industries to ensure efficient production, optimized yield, and timely output. 

Let’s look at how F&B manufacturing today is revolutionized by AI/ML technologies.

The Advantages of Switching to Bodhee® Integrated Micro-Scheduling AI App:

Micro Planning is defined as the planning and implementation of goal-oriented processes that get influenced by the decisions of the production planner. Our Bodhee® Integrated Micro Scheduling AI app is a data-driven problem-solving technological innovation for production planners with an interactive inquiry process and real-time actionable insights.  

Ithas an extremely user-friendly interface with readymade production models. However, your synchronized production plan can also get customized to suit your plant size or production volumes. 

  • Recommendations for the Current Plan 

Our AI app monitors manufacturing events—LIVE—to not only show what happens on the shop floor but indicate the impact too. It then provides recommendations for actions almost instantaneously.

The Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithm is a powerful machine learning tool that enables a process improvement strategy based on accomplished tasks. It leverages the data acquired from the food sorting, filling, packing, sealing, etc., and recommends changes based on the results. Backed by RL, our AI app guides production managers to make better, informed decisions for future action. 

  • Rescheduling Your Campaign

Due to the convenient and simple User Interface, what might have otherwise been a daunting task becomes as easy as drag-and-drop. Rescheduling or planning a production campaign is always a multi-team activity. You have to work in coordination with the supply chain team, logistics team, production team, maintenance team, quality management team, and the HR management team also, in some scenarios. With our AI app, you can get asset-level planning, quality-level planning, and, if required, human resource planning too.

  • Optimized Delivery Target

The production, processing, and packing of various food and drinks— whether dry foods, dairy products, fresh produce, or meats— follow different procedures and scheduling. The production processes may vary, but accuracy and delivery adherence remain crucial for all. Our AI App helps you define critical orders so that you do not miss out on delivery dates.

RL algorithms utilize historical production data for scheduling micro-tasks of multiple steps. For predicting and solving specific manufacturing problems, our AI app uses the data information of key performance indicators (KPIs) such as processing times, setup times, breakdowns, etc. That substantially improves the scheduling process, outperforming the manual practices in most food processing, production, and packing companies.

  • Optimizing WIP Inventory

Our AI app helps you set capacity constraints to avoid under or overutilization of assets. Avoiding overutilization will save you from a surge in investments. Avoiding underutilization of capacity prevents the idling of resources that turn the cost curve upwards.

The RL algorithms have end-to-end visibility on every step in the production process—from receiving the raw materials to delivering the finished goods—providing transparency on the inventory. Our AI app will give a complete visual of all the stock levels, the overstocked and the under stocked WIP, as per the consumption, typically your demand plan or sales order. Thus there is clarity on what alterations in the production parameters would be necessary. You could also create daily, weekly, monthly, or even long-term production schedules accordingly to minimize wastage or prevent incurring extra production costs due to pending inventory.

The True Benefits of Bodhee® Integrated Micro Scheduling AI App

As a production planner in the F&B manufacturing industry, you can become the wizard of Industry 4.0 by implementing the Bodhee® Integrated Micro Scheduling AI app.

Then, sit back and watch as, within just 8-12 weeks, the Bodhee® AI App delivers—

● 8-10% Capital Reduction

● 5-7% Improved Capacity Utilization

●  3-5% Reduced Batch Cycle Times

Unpacking the Intelligent F&B Manufacturing and Packaging System!

The best production systems can fail to meet their manufacturing goals when there is a gap between the planning and shop floor reality. Invest in data-powered AI/ML initiatives for the benefit of your business as you scale. A Smart manufacturer can achieve transparent and efficient manufacturing, maximizing resource utilization and reducing human error. 

“A plan is what while a schedule is when; it takes both a plan and a schedule to get things done.”

Peter Turla, author, president of National Management Institute

Contact us to book a demo or for more information on implementing intelligent food processing and packing in your manufacturing.

The Lazy Manufacturer’s Way of De-risking Christmas.

As the year-end approaches, we can imagine, there is no place busier than Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole. Under the diligent guidance of our dear old Santa Claus, his legendary team of efficient elves make marvelous toys and presents for all the children around the globe.  

In contrast to that singular legendary workshop, some lazy manufacturers put off production until just a couple of months before Christmas when they see they really need to get to it. And before you laugh it off, allow us to light some candles for you. Lazy Initialization can prove to be a SMART performance optimization strategy. Pay close attention to how you could avoid WIP or wastage, improve throughput, and still manage to meet the increasing demand during the festive season. 

You can easily sense there is overall fatigue from the pandemic and the crowds of people are out on a buying spree to de-stress. These are clear indicators of the increased demand this winter for product manufacturers. No manufacturer would want to miss the peak sales period! However, you would think the lazy manufacturer who has started his production a little later in the day runs the risk of not delivering in time for the Christmas fervor.  

Well, that notion may be true. To meet consumer demands, reducing production time and increased efficiency in inventory management becomes crucial. Stock-out due to underestimation, or the delay in raw material procurement, could disturb the product assembly and prevent the fulfillment of customers’ orders. That could, in fact, translate into a manufacturing disaster. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Applications have emerged as the solutions to such tricky situations.  

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” 

– Arthur C. Clarke 

Like the elves on the shelves and their Elfinmagic, AI apps can also control the production processes. One of the mythical spells is called Elementumkinesis —the power to manipulate all elements. Our real-world AI solutionsdo not have such tricky names.

We simply call it the Bodhee® Integrated Micro Scheduling AI App. It improves process control by synchronized and LIVE end-to-end production scheduling. It gives a direct business benefit of optimized manufacturing with improved capacity utilization of 5-7%.  

Together with Machine Learning algorithms, our AI app tracks and prevents unexpected delays or unforeseen stoppages in work with high accuracy. Thus, it considerably reduces the risk of impact on your production schedules and improves work order closure rate by 15-20%.   

Our Reinforcement Learning algorithms help streamline your manufacturing with data-driven optimum inventory management. It catalyzes line efficiency and labor productivity by preventing downstream bottlenecks and thus helps prevention of delays in batch cycle-time by 3-5%.  

To wrap things up…. 

 Year-end festivities and Christmas present a great opportunity to leverage AI applications for handling demand and ensuring business growth. The adoption of AI in manufacturing allows companies to optimize production and efficiency. Quicker production can increase sales and customer satisfaction.  

In the past, Christmas was a time where businesses saw a lull in production and had to lay off employees. Now, Christmas can be a time for joy and celebration for manufacturers, too! With the implementation of AI, a manufacturing system can increase production, in tandem with the growing demand, without hiring more staff or investing in new equipment. Some also successfully bag their annual manufacturing goals and golden ROI during the peak period.  

Much like children, adults also revel in the joy of Christmas through gifting. Intelligent, agile manufacturing can enhance the spirit and be the greatest gift to all shoppers during Christmas. 

References: 

Foglia, E. (2018, November 8). “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” CCCB LAB. https://lab.cccb.org/en/arthur-c-clarke-any-sufficiently-advanced-technology-is-indistinguishable-from-magic/ 

How to get a 3x productivity boost using Lean Manufacturing with AI

Does the philosophy of Lean Manufacturing with AI have actionable meaning? Simply put, Lean Manufacturing is a management philosophy that urges you toward eliminating waste and improving productivity. It is a legitimate methodology for manufacturers and business owners to adopt, which will help them optimize production, give value to customers, and thus transform into market leaders. But, what is a manufacturer really expected to do to join the burgeoning crowd in Lean Thinking? 

Even Henry Ford, regarded as the Father of Lean Manufacturing, inadvertently created waste in his ambitious attempts at minimizing it. At the Highland Park manufacturing plant in the early 20th century, they tightly monitored the production line of the Model T automobile. The process ‘flow’, from raw material being sourced to the point of sales of the automobile, got planned to the T. (Pun intended!) Although high production standards got achieved and maintained, flexibility in the processes was zilch! There was no scope for variations or any modifications. Also, Ford failed to consider consumer demand and kept pushing finished automobiles into the market. What could one expect from the large pile-up of cars pending sales? He had eliminated operational inefficiencies, but the unsold inventory was another form of waste and monetary loss.  

Offloading the costs incurred by wasteful production processes onto the customers is a big no-no! On the contrary, customer satisfaction is at the core of Lean Manufacturing. Not giving customers value for money will only damage your business relationships. For retaining position between tough competition, production must be flexible and adaptable to customer demands. So how can a manufacturer pull off this feat, improve production efficiency while also reducing wastage and being sensitive to consumer expectations? 

There are a few ways to boost productivity triple-fold (3X) with Lean Manufacturing, and it begins with just one step — embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI). Manufacturing gets Lean when AI breaks down siloed data and facilitates transparent coordination between diverse production teams. AI applications can help manufacturers streamline processes, eliminate waste, and achieve the ultimate goal — customer satisfaction. 

How it gets done — 

  1. Reducing batch cycle time: Manufacturers have to fulfill orders within tight deadlines. Any delay in fulfilling orders can cause huge losses for manufacturers, so being ahead of the game is critical. Bodhee® Golden Production Run AI app helps you identify quality parameters impacting batch performance through real-time visibility of patterns created by the Golden Digital Thread. Experience quality improvement by 10-12% and reduction of batch cycle time by 1-2 %. 
  1. Increasing workforce productivity: Lean thinking with AI brings a radical change in company culture with improved workforce management. Bodhee® Production Performance Monitoring app helps monitor production and Key Performance Metrics such as Overall Labor Effectiveness (OLE) with just one click. It gives manufacturers a competitive edge by reducing errors and requirements for reworking by 15%. It optimizes warehouse operations and improves product delivery time by 8-10%. 
  2. Increasing capacity utilization: It is essential to have dynamic planning in response to the events on the factory shop floors or in the supply chain or user feedback that keeps the businesses agile. Bodhee®Integrated Micro Scheduling AI app facilitates synchronized and Live micro-planning of the entire production process. Manufacturers can work out every tiny detail and customize it, thus ensuring shorter lead times, quality improvement, tailored solutions, and many other desired production goals. 

Studies suggest that 80% of manufacturers who adopted AI over the past two years realized a value increase between a moderate 23% and a significant 57%. Many of them who had latent IT and OT data assets harvested data from IoT sensors, which AI then leveraged to optimize processes and business results (1).   

As the manufacturing industry evolves with the Industrial revolution 4.0, and realizes the multiple potential benefits and value addition in Lean manufacturing with AI, it will soon become a norm or even mandatory for assured productivity.

Neewee Joins the SAP® PartnerEdge® Program

Bengaluru, India, September 23, 2021

Neewee announced today that it has joined the SAP® PartnerEdge® program as a partner that designs, develops, and builds software. 

“We are happy to announce Neewee is now an SAP partner,” said Harsimrat Bhasin CEO, Neewee. “This is a new milestone in Neewee’s journey and we would like to thank the entire team for this achievement. With Neewee’s leading-edge artificial intelligence apps in industrial analytics, manufacturing companies can improve their quality, efficiency, and productivity by leveraging the power of the internet of things (IoT) and AI.” 

Neewee enables manufacturing companies to see the larger context by collecting, connecting, and analyzing data from every point of the manufacturing process. This helps discover underlying patterns, uncover high-potential opportunities, predict deviations, and prescribe solutions. In turn, this intelligence augments day-to-day operations, empowering analysts, managers, and shop-floor staff to take crucial business decisions in real time. Neewee’s AI apps developed specifically for the manufacturing industry help identify parameters impacting yield, quality, production efficiency, consistency, and cycle times. They provide real-time recommendations and integrate with existing Information Technology/Operational Technology systems and platforms. 

As a partner in the SAP PartnerEdge program, Neewee is empowered to build, market and sell software applications that supplement and build on SAP software and technology. Neewee has its platform agnostic AI apps deployed on SAP Business Technology Platform. The SAP PartnerEdge program provides the enablement tools, benefits and support to facilitate building high-quality, disruptive applications focused on specific business needs – quickly and cost-effectively. The program provides access to all relevant SAP technologies in one simple framework under a single, global contract. 

About Neewee

We here at Neewee believe that a data-filled world needs a data-first approach. Neewee’s proprietary AI applications are optimizing manufacturing operations for leading global companies, and we have offices worldwide. We are driven with the vision of enabling complete digitalization of manufacturing to accelerate industrial transformation and profitable growth. 

Any statements in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties described in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent annual report on Form 20-F, that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. SAP cautions readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which SAP has no obligation to update and which speak only as of their dates. 

SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries.
Please see https://www.sap.com/copyright for additional trademark information and notices. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies. 

For more information, press only: 
Visit: https://neewee.ai/ 
Contact: letsconnect@neewee.ai 

Understanding the Difference between Digitization, Digitalization, and Digital Transformation.

91% of industry leaders have increased digital transformation investments in the past year,says the newly released 2021 State of Manufacturing Report.

Rising out of the phase of uncertainty brought by the global pandemic-driven shutdowns, the global manufacturing industry is now putting its back into regaining stability. Implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies is not an option for manufacturing companies but imperative to strategize the full recovery of business and achieve greener processes with more agility. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) leverages the 3 Ds of technology- Digitization, Digitalization, and Digital Transformation. 

Although the word ‘digital’ has been around for a few decades now, constantly advancing technology has changed its meaning dramatically over time. Also, the difference between digitization and digitalization is not clearly understood by many. And how these two terms are essential for digital transformation.

Digitization converts information available in the old analog form by scanning and encoding to store, process, and transmit in a computer-readable format. Essentially, digitization is the acquiring of data in the form of binary numbers to be processed by digital computers. 

In the manufacturing context, digitization of a product involves recreating an image of the physical product with the help of software tools, e.g., a clay model of an object gets designed in 3D CAD file format. The production process also gets digitized by creating a digital twin that mirrors every step in the process, end-to-end. With the help of AI applications, the entire manufacturing process- from product design and workflow of the production line to the finished product gets coded into the machines connected by the Internet of Things. Digitization replaces the paper-based processes even at the shop floor, where physical product design is no longer handed out but transmitted to a device. Thus, digitization is the foundation of digitalization — the latter cannot occur without the former.

The two terms, being closely associated, are often confused. But, scholars emphasize the analytical value in understanding the distinct difference between digitization and digitalization.

Digitalization is less about the specific process of going from analog to digital and more about a strategic and radical change in business operations. Gartner defines digitalization as the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business. Accepting the overwhelming process of digitizing your traditional manufacturing processes and embracing automation and the Industrial Internet of Things is just one aspect. Digitalization also involves the workforce of your organization. In the wake of automation factory- workers and other employees need to shift from manual processes and adapt by acquiring digital skills relevant to their field of work. 

And thus, we arrive at understanding what digital transformation means. The strategic and considered move of upgrading the old factories to optimize your manufacturing processes by adopting technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Robotics, etc., is radical business transformation through digitalization. And equally vital to the transformation are the people working in the organization. But, digital transformation initiatives cannot stop at the implementation of digital technologies only. It goes beyond digitalization. For how can we forget that business is people, after all?

Digital transformation (Dx) is primarily a change in mindset that shifts the focus of organizational activities toward satisfying customer expectations, understanding pain points, and solving customer problems. Customer and employee experience is a crucial driver for successful digital transformation, as identified by the MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research. And the other driving factor is the operational efficiency of the organization. Embracing digital transformation means being willing to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to augment and free up workers for performing higher-value tasks. Harnessing technology for enhancing customer experiences while also aiming for a real-time lean manufacturing ecosystem will give massive business benefits —including cost efficiency, improved innovation potential, and the quintessential customer relationship. 

The unexpected advent of the COVID-19 pandemic made health and safety a major priority, which saw the whole world scrambling to cope with the new normal of remote working. And as a consequence, most enterprises converted into digitally functioning businesses for the sake of survival. There was an unprecedented change in human interaction, customer behavior, and people’s attitude toward exploring digital possibilities. There was a drastic paradigm shift, and it has come to stay.

Almost all business sectors have undergone slow but escalating digitalization. And we can surely expect that in the post-pandemic era, digital transformation — accelerated and deliberate — will become inevitable for all areas of manufacturing. If you wish to thrive (not just survive) in the next normal, your manufacturing industry has to turn agile and SMART.