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How Digital Transformation Is Driving Manufacturing Industry

By Jagdip Kumar, General Manager, Cosmo Films

Cosmo Films Limited is a global leader in speciality films which are used for flexible packaging, lamination, labelling and industrial applications. Founded in 1981, the company is the largest exporter of BOPP films from India and the largest producer of thermal lamination films in the world with plant cum distribution centres in the United States, Korea and Japan and global channel partners in more than seventy countries.

Digital technology is shaping businesses and reducing conventional ways of structuring and conducting them. In a nutshell, digital transformations are happening in leaps and bounds and as far as the packaging industry is concerned, it has run on set business models until recently. With digitisation has come efficiency in conducting businesses.

The manufacturing industry has been way ahead in adopting technology to increase business productivity. One of the leading packaging companies has successfully completed SAP Database Migration from Oracle to HANA. The company has adopted cloud technologies like SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud for mission critical applications and advance data processing SAP Success Factors (HCM) for empowering and improving employee experience Sales force (CRM) for enhancing customer experience.

"For manufacturing companies, it has become important to redesign and redefine the manufacturing process with the use of available technologies to sustain & grow the market"

Digital Transformation Trends in Manufacturing  Industry
For manufacturing companies, it has become important to redesign and redefine the manufacturing process with the use of available technologies to sustain and grow the market. The companies are taking advantage of technological advancements and are adopting Artificial Intelligence(AI) for forecasting, robotics for process automation and machine learning for maintenance For manufacturing companies, it has become important to redesign and redefine the manufacturing process with the use of available technologies to sustain and grow the market. The companies are taking advantage of technological advancements and are adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) for forecasting, robotics for process automation and machine learning for maintenance in their manufacturing facilities to increase productivity. One of the leading packaging company is using PLC, sensory measurement, HMI, SCADA etc for automation of manufacturing process. The company has enhanced machine productivity with inhousemachine upgradations. We have incorporated automation in BOPP manufacturing process, nonncontact type thickness measurement and control in close loop. We ensure complete synchronization of manufacturing from raw material feeding to final mill roll production. Implementation of AI, robotics and machine learning are in process.

                                                           

Digital Transformation for  Inventory Management
Inventory management is also one of the critical issues for manufacturing industry. In packaging sector delays in truck loading & missing rolls are regular phenomenon. To overcome this problem, the companies are automating the whole process with the help of RFID & bar codes to reduce the loading and unloading time of materials and provide  complete traceability.

For inter plant transfers we enabled the RFID on rolls and for customer sales we have started using the bar codes. Packaging personnel at the shop floor were given scanners and TABS with a customized screen in SAP with very less inputs. A customized hanger which could control the TAB and scanner was developed to ensure the hands free movement of the personnel on the floor. By these initiatives, companies are able to reduce the container loading time from 3 hours to 30 minutes which was a huge saving for us. With limited number of loading points, it helped to load more containers in less time with more accuracy. Also, all the validation for rolls like right customer mapping, quantity mapping and right packaging type used or not could be done in no time.

Customer Relationship Management tools
One of the most important areas where digitisation can help the manufacturing industry is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Organisations have successfully managed to reduce non value adding conversations between the customer and the company by introducing the CRM tool.

Now a days, the packaging companies have implemented an end to end CRM tool/solution at their office. Within a span of couple of months/introduction of the tool, they have been able to significantly reduce non value adding conversations between the customer and the company as all the required information is sent out to the customer by auto email alerts, or is available for him to retrieve it online. This has considerably improved the ease of doing business and also allowed the sales team to focus on value adding activities like business development and sales. There have also been some measurable results like increase in revenue of approx. one percent by proper follow up and SEO integration and 20 percent reduction in customer complaints.

Digitisation of Internal Processes
Another area where digitisation could help in ease of managing internal affairs is using Business Intelligence (BI) Tools like IBM Cognos Analytics, IntelliFront BI, Dundas BI, SAP BI and many more.. Traditionally, most key decision making reports/MIS were prepared by the finance teams using Microsoft Excel. In the past, a lot of effort went into collecting information from various departments and keeping a close tab on any changes or modifications at Cosmo. Through the SAP BI/BO tool, information is now available online for all departments like production, purchase, finance and sales to view any time of the day. Auto generated mails are also sent at specific timings during the day based on the role of the person. Reports generated through the BI tool can be viewed by all departments for things like finding the production conversion ratio, inventory trends along with ageing of inventory with non-moving bucket, production line efficiency, along with down time analysis, purchase trends along with vendor ratings and delivery time trends v/s defined norms.

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