Edward Dickson, President
The Next Frontier of Intelligent Manufacturing
The manufacturing industry is one of the most rigid sectors that have stayed almost aloof to the latest technological advancements. Though terms like “Lean” and “Industry 4.0” have been buzzing for the last decade, their practical adoption as a universal standard has been jarring and discouraging, to say the least, and the reason is apparent.
While most companies recognize the efficiencies of fusing the physical with the digital in manufacturing, they lack an intelligent solution to do so effectively. This forces them to rely on spreadsheets that overcomplicate the manufacturing process or on silos of manufacturing equipment that cannot provide clear control of the plant floor in real-time. Consequently, manufacturers are struggling to enhance productivity, improve agility, and eliminate unnecessary costs!
As industry-veteran and President of manufacturing technology powerhouse Tutelar Technologies, Edward Dickson explains, “Historically, manufacturing has been extremely labor-intensive, tedious and time-consuming; especially from a monitoring, controlling, and communicating perspective. While industries across the world advanced alongside technology, we stayed within the confinement of traditional legacy systems. Think about it - even a common technology like the smartphone, has more intelligence and capability than most manufacturing systems available today.”
Given the market’s current volatility, manufacturers are in dire need of a complete overhaul from a people, process, and technology standpoint. They need “people” with strong manufacturing acumen to help them build “process” agility via one robust piece of “technology” that serves as a single source of truth for all manufacturing intents and purposes.
Enter Tutelar Technologies! “For over 35 years, we have been on a mission to enable our customers to create new intelligent production environments by providing knowledge-based, time-critical, active management of manufacturing and warehouse processes, delivered by a creative, dedicated, and cross-functional team of professionals,” says Dickson.
Guided by 6 Sigma and Lean Manufacturing principles, the company provides a complete solution to control, monitor, manage, and improve the productivity and quality of a manufacturing facility – going well beyond the guiding principles of Lean 6 Sigma. Built from the ground up, Tutelar Technologies’ Ujigami platform is a comprehensive software system that can drive immediate results to the bottom line — quickly reducing the costs associated with inefficient production, poor quality, and missed deliveries. Their range of solutions is powered by Artificial Intelligence, with built-in Industry 4.0 capabilities and integrated IIoT.
Ujigami: An End-to-End Manufacturing Solution
Nearly three decades in the making, Ujigami offers easy-to-use, universally accessible, comprehensive plant floor software that delivers the highest levels of quality and productivity, resulting in the best performance for manufacturing and distribution. The software solution includes the Ujigami Product Directed Manufacturing System (PDMS), Ujigami Warehouse Management System (WMS), and the Ujiboard World Class Manufacturing (WCM.)
"The Ujigami PDMS actively controls the manufacturing of each part. It takes intimate, real-time control of the people, process, and technologies (PPT) that go into physically making a product. On the other hand, the Ujigami WMS is robust software that controls and manages the components in the warehouse before they get into production and finished goods before they are shipped out. For end-toend communication, Tutelar offers the Ujiboard WCM that focuses on the all the behavioral aspects of manufacturing that are not directly related to but are supportive of the manufacturing environment,” explains Dickson.
For over 35 years, we have been on a mission to enable our customers to create new intelligent production environments by providing knowledgebased, time-critical, active management of manufacturing and warehouse processes, delivered by a creative, dedicated, and crossfunctional team of professionals
To better elaborate, the Ujigami PDMS System goes beyond simply reporting production. By intelligently controlling each machine, device, and operation, it ensures each part is produced according to its specifications. Ujigami automatically makes real-time decisions to minimize downtime, scrap, overproduction, and other forms of waste. The Ujigami system uses a common, flexible IT infrastructure that requires minimal configuration. Ujigami excels in real-time interaction with all plant-floor devices and seamless integration with ERP/ MRP systems. Where other systems require significant custom programming, Ujigami is quickly configured in a web browser.
Unlike traditional shop-floor systems that provide limited input to the manufacturing process, Ujigami actively ensures accurate process execution and safeguards machines and operators from making incorrect decisions during production. This advanced level of mistakeproofing is done using a company’s existing tools, equipment, and operators to create technical controls that ensure parts are always produced to specification.
Manufacturing rules and intelligence are contained within the Ujigami PDMS software. Direct real-time connection with devices, machines, and people ensures proper setup and configuration of all machines allowing the production system to function as expected. Due to Ujigami’s native browser interface, using the software is intuitive and can be operated by both technical and non-technical staff. In addition, when an employee uses Ujigami, they are not only doing their job but also creating intelligence in Ujigami to be used for improved performance. Visual work instructions display information to the operator, but they also interactively ensure every device and machine is set up correctly, and process results meet specifications. Parts that do not meet specifications are positively contained immediately at the point of non-conformance. Ujigami is the only plant-floor system that also controls the repair, rework, teardown processes. For companies using Ujigami, quality escapes become a historical event.
Manufacturing Control from Dock-to-Dock
To extend Ujigami’s effectiveness, Tutelar Technologies provides an advanced Warehouse Management System that encompasses all material movement and inventory storage from dock-to-dock. Tightly integrated with Ujigami PDMS and all popular ERP/MRP systems, Ujigami WMS enables finite inventory accuracy and minimum inventory levels. Ujigami WMS is the only real-time warehouse management system capable of interfacing with all material handling systems, making deployment straightforward on existing hardware. In addition, it can be integrated with the Ujigami Material Control System (MCS) to improve the functionality and reduce the cost of warehouse automation, including conveyors, pick-to-light systems, sorters, carousels, automatic guided vehicles (AGVs), automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), and more.
These aspects, coupled with its ease of use and real-time control of the manufacturing environment, helps manufacturers deliver products with zero defects. Furthermore, with Ujigami’s extensive device compatibility, users can create new intelligent production environments without replacing existing equipment. That being said, having considerable knowledge of process flow and control plan for each part, the software can control each machine and operations intuitively.
Ujigami allows companies to perform better than their competitors by ensuring the highest levels of manufacturing — zero defects, on time,every time
Ujigami leverages big data to drive shop floor connectivity and automatically make effective business decisions and process corrections. Finally, as an added advantage, Ujigami’s architecture helps manufacturers bring their geographically distributed plants onto a single communication platform with real-time information sharing for greater transparency.
The last component is the Ujiboard World Class Manufacturing system. At its core, the software helps take control of all the processes that are not directly related to but is supportive of the manufacturing environment. It delivers core Lean Six Sigma tools to eliminate paper, engage your workforce, and drive continuous improvement. The system eliminates manual data entry, collation, creation, and sharing of reports by creating and automatically sharing work instructions, quality alerts, schedules, action plans, and more. It integrates with MRP/ERP and offers instant email/SMS messages or on scoreboards as production issues occur. The system is completely userconfigurable to capture and report relevant OEE, productivity, and quality events. Ujigami and Ujiboard can easily be scaled with no per-user fees.
Tutelar Technologies provides a complete suite of Lean tools— including standardized work, visual controls, Andon, Jidoka, Gemba, Kanban, OEE, Poka-Yoke, KPIs, and many others. Ujigami leverages these tools by permitting the user to implement technical solutions that integrate machines. This avoids the common Lean Manufacturing problem of implementing a behavioral solution that requires constant management review and follow-up. These technical tools ensure improvements are not lost when the champion(s) move on to other initiatives. In addition, configuring the software requires no programming or PLC knowledge so that current employees can achieve the desired results with minimal assistance.
Interestingly, these pieces of software work independently but have improved impact when they work in conjunction with each other. In Dickson’s words, “Ujigami takes a Lego-approach to reform manufacturing. Individual Ujigami pieces are quickly integrated to maximize productivity and quality while minimizing lead-time, inventory, and manpower requirements. Ujigami can be implemented as per the client’s requirement in any configuration to achieve the desired goals.”
The company has proven just how powerful Ujigami is in the field, with the most compelling evidence provided by their clients. A few years back, Briggs & Stratton, an American Fortune 1000 manufacturer of gasoline engines, decided to reshore the manufacturing of their most successful commercial engine back to the United States. They needed to implement an assembly system that works in U.S. plants with the specific requirements of local labor — high turnover with minimal experience. The system needed to ensure maximum quality while minimizing labor. In addition, the company required a rapid launch curve to meet customer demand. The transition to U.S. manufacturing with Ujigami was smooth and successful. Utilizing Ujigami, they addressed their specific manufacturing requirements and exceeded the expected ramp-up volumes. To repeat the success, Briggs & Stratton subsequently launched another engine line in another plant with Ujigami.
Today, many Fortune 500 customers take advantage of Ujigam’s flexible architecture, robust performance, and ease of use to standardize their manufacturing operations globally. Tutelar has partnered with a worldwide technical services provider to establish a local presence in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, Middle East, and Oceania to support this global roll-out. “Ujigami allows companies to perform better than their competitors by ensuring the highest levels of manufacturing — zero defects, on time, every time. With smart machines making their way into the market, we at Tutelar will combine and leverage their intelligence. These advancements continue to provide an opportunity for our customers to deliver quality-assured products at the lowest cost,” concludes Dickson.