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How a Python, an iPad, and an Industrial Printer Helped to Automate Production on a Concrete Manufacturer's Shop Floor

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Conference Program
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A small IT department from a Pittsburgh based architectural concrete manufacturer adapts their perspectives, technology, and awareness of automation. Their change is occurring over time, but the catalyst was a time-study at a bottlenecked operation that inspired the team to act. Using a constrained set of tools and resources, learn how they are adjusting the infrastructure, their employees, and the machines on the shop floor to utilize automation.

In this presentation, we will cover:

  1. The genesis of the business problem and its solution - time-study at a bottleneck operation.
  2. Automating the Hard Stuff - What does the ERP do now and what do we need from it later?
  3. Pathway forward - how to iterate and adapt the solution with limited resources.
  4. Hardware and Software - what was incremented along the path, why industrial printers?
  5. iPads and Apps - how to make existing technology more dynamic without disrupting the business.
  6. The Build - Identifying and hiring a development team to build applications (Xcode, Java).
  7. Integrations - Hooking the application into the ERP with Python.
  8. Testing and Deployment - getting the app to the shop floor.
  9. Analysis and Metrics - what are the results and gains?
  10. Conclusion - Next Steps and Adaptations.

Learning Objectives:

  • Inform SMB leaders of the unlimited shop floor automation possibilities
  • Educate manufacturers on using agility, adaptation, and incremental development for iterating technological objectives
  • Inspire companies to think differently about how to use data, leverage technology, and make things