Factory of the future

Factory of the future

Realize your factory’s potential

Technology has transcended the factory floor. Today, we can connect employees, processes, machines, data, and customers far beyond what was ever imagined—and change is happening now. 76 percent of manufacturers already have smart factory strategy or are actively formulating one, speeding up production and enabling customer-centric processes with artificial intelligence (AI), industrial internet of things (IIoT), and digital twin simulations.

Empower your people with smart factory solutions

Manufacturers with smart factories see productivity grow an average of 17–20%.  85% of manufacturing executives expect human-to-machine environments to be common by 2020. The human-to-machine collaboration will enable specialists to construct prototypes faster, incorporate customer feedback during production and build more useful products within budget.

95% of business leaders expect to use IIoT in their factories in the next three years. With IIoT, companies allow for smooth processes and boosting customer satisfaction. They are able to visualize real-time usage, performance, and asset health data to optimize performance securely via a centralized hub with Remote Monitoring.

Digital twins will help improve training and test full-scale models. Create safe holographic training scenarios, give clients 3D prototypes, and address problems before work starts in immersive mixed reality with Microsoft HoloLens.

Transforming manufacturing beyond Industry 4.0

Far from just a concept based on longstanding aspirations of Industry 4.0, the factory of the future means going beyond the walls of production to transform the entire connected manufacturing ecosystem. Where we once imagined a factory focused on the digital, robot-driven production floor, reality has transcended the factory floor to include the entire manufacturing ecosystem—connecting employees, processes, machines, data, and customers—far beyond what was once envisioned. Instead of automation and robots replacing people, the “factory of the future” is actually empowering people, including:

  • Manufacturing business leaders using data from hyperconnected networks to develop customized, meaningful products and services.
  • Factory workers using continuous insights to predict and prevent machine failures and improve operational effectiveness.
  • Customers providing real-time usage data and experiential sentiment to inform how manufacturers innovate to support valuable experiences.

Empowering digital leaders in manufacturing

Connected intelligent machines and IT systems provide continuous insights, enabling manufacturing leaders to make better-informed decisions with objective, up-to-date market data; manage inventory in near-real-time, and revise processes and drive new innovations to meet demand. Such hyperconnected networks of free-flowing data will enable manufacturers to work with shorter lead times, forge a tighter link between supply and demand, develop new business models as market demand and opportunities arise, and accelerate new product introductions to the market.

Empowering manufacturing leaders hinges on supporting real-time insights, and one way Microsoft enables this is Remote Monitoring. Developed for the Microsoft Azure platform, Remote Monitoring enables manufacturers to make targeted improvements to business processes by getting real-time use, performance, and asset health updates from nearly anywhere, and use that data to optimize performance securely, anticipate problems and solutions, and boost customer satisfaction.

The result? Improved visibility to support proactive response across the business; the ability to make targeted improvements to business processes to save time, money, and resources; and new business insights to spot trends and opportunities to advance the business.

Connecting specialists in news ways across the organization

Today, immersive human-to-machine collaboration and advanced analytics are enabling specialists—from R&D,
to the production floor, to logistics and supply chain management—to prototype new designs faster and more affordable, build more useful products faster, and continually support meaningful customer experiences.

One technology at the heart of this vision is the digital twin, enabling manufacturers to simulate and iterate
through the end-to-end stages of design, production, and service with a digital representation of the plant floor, supply chain, and product lifecycle. What used to be considered technologically abstract or out of reach is now tangible and available, supporting advanced problem solving and reasoning with machines, simultaneous work across virtual and physical models, and effective cross-team collaboration on a global scale.

Microsoft is redefining the digital twin through HoloLens, which allows users to interact with and improve full-scale
models in immersive mixed reality. Now, manufacturing teams can create flexible, safe holographic training scenarios in the real world, give clients 3D prototypes to visualize and inspect, and identify and address problems before work starts. Processes that once took weeks can now take days through this reduction in physical prototyping.

Developing a truly customer-centric manufacturing process

While factory workers, machines, processes, data, and other elements of production support smart factories, empowering transformative customer experiences is truly at the heart of the factory of the future. The desire to
adapt to quickly-evolving customer demands is nothing new, except now technology trends such as AI and IoT
are being adopted and integrated into ways that finally deliver on this real-time, customer-centric vision.

One example of how the customer experience is being completely transformed is Predictive Maintenance, in which manufacturers boost equipment reliability and stay ahead of the unexpected issues that can easily derail production. By capturing customer sentiment, usage, and other data and analyzing it with machine learning algorithms, manufacturers can gain insight to fine-tune processes and make modifications that improve product quality and increase customer satisfaction. Going forward, IoT-driven data and AI will bring new levels of performance insight directly from customers for customer-driven product design and faster innovation cycles.

From our factory to your factory of the future

Through a robust technology platform, preconfigured solutions, and longstanding experience as both a services provider and manufacturer, Microsoft is empowering humans to capitalize on the unprecedented opportunities of the factory of the future in three fundamental ways.

First, empowering organizations to achieve breakthrough productivity with intelligent, mixed reality, and cognitive
services by bringing together humans, machines, and AI. Second, building broader ecosystems through partnerships
that include telecommunications, network, hardware, and software partners. And third, delivering a highly-flexible,
robust software platform that allows the hyperconnected world to operate in hybrid models, supporting IoT, people,
and services working together.

Find out more about our manufacturing solutions on our website. Contact allonline365 if you are looking to digitally transform your business. Email us on info@allonline365.com or call us on   +27 (21) 205 3650.


Resource Credit | @MSFTDynamics365

Netronic: Visual Scheduling Add-On For Manufacturing

just plan it


Production scheduling for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials

Are you (or your customers) a small or mid-size make-to-order manufacturer? Do you use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central as your ERP system or are you thinking about using it? In both cases, you might have already noticed that while the manufacturing module of Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium is quite a bit oversized for your purposes, the Essentials package lacks essential production planning functionality matching the requirements of your business. So far, you haven’t found a satisfying solution to this problem? Just plan it has the solution.

So let me help you further by showing you how easily this dilemma can be solved by using our cloud-based software just plan it for visual production scheduling tailored especially towards small and mid-size make-to-order manufacturers.

Why enhance Dynamics Business Central at all?

As a user of Dynamics 365 Business Central you certainly know your ERP system as a powerful all-in-one business management solution that’s easy to use and adapt, helping you to connect your business and make smarter decisions. So perhaps you are asking yourself now why you should subscribe to another software.

As I mentioned above, the manufacturing functionality of Dynamics Business Central Premium does not seem to be tailored towards the scheduling requirements of volatile high-mix low-volume producers such as job shops and machine shops, whereas all other standard Business Central functions are ideal for these type of companies. If you decided on the Essentials package, you certainly get easy management of commercial business processes, like quotes, orders, invoices. However, Essentials does not include a production planning functionality matching the requirements of make-to-order manufacturers so that important information such as an overview of delivery dates, utilization, and usage of resources and production status is missing.

This is where we come in – let us help close the gap and add production scheduling functionality to your Dynamics Business Essentials by our scheduling software just plan it.

What is just plan it?

Just plan it is an easy time and resource scheduling software that was made with a clear focus on small make-to-order manufacturers such as job shops and machine shops. It is a visual scheduling application built for production planners and owners of small businesses allowing easy-to-understand drag & drop changes of the schedule. Moreover, just plan it also allows bringing execution (i.e. “live” shopfloor data) into the schedule and hence running the shop with an always current schedule.

So if by now you got convinced and are tending to give just plan it a try for bringing production scheduling functionality to your Dynamics Business Central, there is certainly one question left before you get going: How will the connection between the ERP system and just plan it be established in practice? Let me tell you: nothing will be easier!

Close the gap: the just plan it 365 app

To connect Dynamics Business Essentials and just plan it we have landed our latest coup: The free add-on app just plan it 365 being available on AppSource.

The app was designed for Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials especially and integrates just plan it with Business Central, enabling you to automatically create production orders in just plan it from items that you add to a sales order/ quote in Business Central. The app provides you with “production finish” information on the fly, thus bringing production scheduling to Business Central Essentials.

The video below vividly shows how easily the just plan it app integrates just plan it with Business Central and how comfortable managing your schedule will get once the connection is established.

Find out more information on Netronic and Microsoft Dynamics Business Central capabilities. Let allonline365 be your business partner through your company’s digital transformation.  Contact allonline65 on  +27 (21) 205 3650 or email us on info@allonline365.com.


Resource Credit | Netronic

K3 Business Technologies: Transformation & Innovation

supply chain

Transformation & Innovation in the Supply Chain

The supply chain for apparel companies is often faced with unique challenges resulting from internationalization, the advancement of the trend cycle and consumer demand for quality and transparency. There is also the need to reduce losses and increase profits amidst an increasingly competitive fashion and apparel market.

The State of Fashion 2018 report, issued by The Business of Fashion and McKinsey, revealed that one of the biggest challenges fashion companies are likely to face in the coming years is the digitalization and improvement of the supply network. 75% of the executives examined confirmed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be implemented in some divisions of their companies. The implementation will be expected to achieve increased flexibility in this new, fast-moving era.

Flexibility in the supply chain

Innovation in the supply chain impacts all processes of a company, and automating certain processes in the supply chain system can help build efficiency and allow businesses to adapt to change quickly. ERP systems streamline key functions such as financials, procurement, and manufacturing, allowing you to manage these operations at the touch of a button.

Data monitoring and interpretation tools can allow companies to react to new trends in a more agile way. An example of a situation that needs quick reaction is the need for increased production of a specific product that became an overnight sensation as a result of a successful product launch campaign or a viral social media post. Such a situation is common for companies in the retail sector but can only be resolved in a timely fashion and with little impact via innovation in the supply chain. Fashion brands such as Zara rely on data analysis to keep their supply chain agile and create runway-inspired apparel within a matter of weeks.

Transparency and quality in the supply chain

Consumer demand for transparency and quality has led to the need for changes in the supply network. This change is driven by an increasingly diligent and socially responsible buyer. Tragedies such as the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, which housed workers that produced clothing for global fashion brands, have highlighted the oppressive conditions many items of clothing are made under. As a result, methods that track and document all levels of the supply chain are coming into focus. Solutions such as blockchain are being used to make supply chain practices more transparent for both brands and consumers.

Adapting to shifting consumer purchasing cycles

Social media has led to the need for immediacy. Fashion brands have had to adapt to the ‘see now, buy now’ mentality of the ever-demanding consumer. In this sense, many companies have advanced their product monitoring with the use of ERP systems tailored for the fashion and apparel industry, which enables them to sample collections before launch and control their stock.

With the help of the sample tracking tools, it is possible for the supply chain for apparel companies to run effectively. Brands can measure the popularity of a product and predict demand before the complete collections hit the market. This strategy allows for more accurate projections of production needs, optimization of resources and reduction of potential losses.

If your company is interested in learning more about K3 Pebblestone, based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, or K3 Fashion, embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations – let allonline365 be your guide. allonline365 is a reseller of K3 Business Technologies solutions. Contact allonline365 on  +27 (21) 205 3650 or email us on info@allonline365.com today.


Resource Credit | K3 Business Technologies 

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