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Lighthouses boost sustainability with Fourth Industrial Revolution transformation

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The World Economic Forum announces today the addition of 21 new sites to its Global Lighthouse Network, a community of world-leading manufacturing facilities and value chains using Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies to increase efficiency and productivity, in tandem with environmental stewardship.

By deploying advanced technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) in the production chain, more than half of all factories are making an impact on environmental sustainability through their 4IR transformations. A consumer healthcare company, for example, coupled advanced controls with green technology to deploy a sensor-fed automated system to cut energy consumption, resulting in 25% less energy consumed and an 18% reduction in CO2.

The Lighthouse network and its 90 sites are a blueprint for adapting to technology, improving processes and developing workforce skills to scale across the production chain. From pharmaceuticals and medical products and consumer packaged goods to a broad range of advanced industries, these diverse organizations spanning over 75 regions are demonstrating how 4IR technologies can increase profit, with a positive impact on the environment.

Among the 90 Lighthouses, three are receiving a new designation, Sustainability Lighthouses, factories and value chains achieving sustainability and productivity breakthroughs.

A new report, Global Lighthouse Network: Unlocking Sustainability through 4IR, outlines how manufacturers accomplished these results. Download the latest report HERE to learn how lighthouses are leveraging advanced technologies to achieve step-change improvements in sustainability and productivity.

“As discussed at the Forum’s Sustainability Development Impact Summit last week, increased global concern for environmental impact has made sustainability a must-have to maintain business viability. The Sustainability Lighthouses make it clear that by realizing the potential of 4IR technologies in manufacturing, companies can unlock new levels of sustainability in their operations and explore a win-win solution: greater operational competitiveness while simultaneously making commitments to environmental stewardship, leading in a cleaner, more sustainable future as a result,” said Francisco Betti, Head of Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Value Chains, World Economic Forum.

Enno de Boer, Partner and Global Head Operations Technology, McKinsey & Company and Global Lead of its manufacturing work, said: “Lighthouses have achieved a sustainability breakthrough. Companies no longer have to choose competitiveness or sustainability because smart manufacturing lets them achieve both. Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies – think artificial intelligence, robotics and the internet of things – amplify human capability and technological innovation to accelerate sustainability while also strengthening competitiveness. From using advanced analytics to predict exactly the inputs and outputs needed for a manufacturing process to augmented reality that simulates a production line so machines can be operated remotely, Lighthouses are reducing resource consumption, waste and carbon emissions, while increasing productivity and profit – all at once.”

The goal of the Global Lighthouse Network is to share and learn from best practices, support new partnerships and help other manufacturers to deploy technology, adopt sustainable solutions and transform their workforces at pace and scale.

The extended network of “Manufacturing Lighthouses” will be officially recognized at Global Lighthouse Network Lighthouses Live on 29 September. The event will feature CEOs and innovators focused on scale-up entrepreneurial solutions to tackle global talent shortages, the climate crisis and advancing sustainable development. Click here to follow the meeting.

The locations receiving new designation as Sustainability Lighthouses are:

Ericsson (Lewisville): Ericsson’s greenfield 5G factory is powered 100% by renewable electricity from on-site solar and green-e® certified renewable electricity from the utility grid. The smart factory integrates sustainable technologies such as thermal ice storage tanks with the industrial internet of things (IIoT) stack to proactively monitor energy usage and is designed to utilize 24% less energy and 75% less indoor water usage, avoiding 97% operational carbon emissions* than comparable buildings. This year it became Ericsson’s first factory globally to achieve LEED Gold® certification.*

Henkel (Düsseldorf):In an effort to improve visibility of factory consumption to drive better decision making, Henkel deployed utility meters on machines integrated in a digital twin that connects and benchmarks 30 factories and prescribes real-time sustainability actions that has led to 38% less energy (kWh/ton) used and has reduced water consumption 28% (m3/ton) and waste 20% (kg/ton) across factory baselines set in 2010.

Schneider Electric (Lexington):In order to capture greater energy consumption granularity, when and where it happens in the plant, the Lexington smart factory leveraged IoT connectivity with power meters and predictive analytics to optimize energy cost. This has led to a 26% energy reduction (GWh), 30% net CO2 reduction, 20% water use reduction, and a Superior Energy Performance 50001TM certification by the US Department of Energy.

*Calculation based on EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

The 21 new Lighthouses are:

Europe

De’ Longhi Group (Treviso): In order to step up competitiveness, the De’ Longhi Treviso plant invested in digital and analytics to become more agile (reducing minimum order quantity by 92% and lead time by 82%) and more productive (improving labour productivity by 33%) and achieving high standard quality (improving field quality by 33% and obtaining Food and Beverage industry certification).

Flex (Althofen): Confronted with strong competition from lower-cost regions, Flex’s site in Althofen deployed 4IR technologies to improve operational efficiency and agility. By meeting higher regulatory and quality standards, Flex attracted higher-margin and longer lifecycle medical business, increasing revenue by 50% within the same physical footprint.

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (London): J&J Vision Care transformed customer experience, through personalized 4IR technologies using Adaptive Process Control, AI and robotics to offset increasing complexity (+50% Units), which enabled 100% personalized packaging configurations, an eight percentage point increase in customer-service levels and reduced the carbon footprint for inbound freight by 53%.

Americas

Henkel (Toluca):This 1970’s factory characterized by low-mix, high-volume production, set out on a Fourth Industrial Revolution transformation journey centred on people, data transparency and availability to reduce processing costs by 15%, energy consumption by 14% and to enhance plant OEE by up to 90%.

DePuy Synthes, the Orthopaedics Company of Johnson & Johnson (Bridgewater):Faced with high complexity, cost pressure and operating room inefficiencies, DePuy Synthes deployed “Advanced Case Management”, a Fourth Industrial Revolution program leveraging open API architecture, machine-learning algorithms and a suite of digital tools across its joint restoration implant portfolio (hips and knees) value chain in North America. This reduced the number of instrument trays in the operating room by 63%, implant inventory by 40% and, ultimately, lowered the time to set up the operating room by approximately 15% per location.

Protolabs (Plymouth): Protolabs is a digital native manufacturer that embarked on a transformation journey taking it from a prototype-only provider to a production supplier by leveraging its digital thread to connect customers to its injection-moulding production services. As a result, it outperforms traditional manufacturing competitors by reducing production lead times to as low as one a day and generating a gross margin 20 percentage points above the industry average.

Asia

AUO (Taichung): Facing labour shortages, highly customized product requirements and extreme climate conditions in the very competitive industry of display panels, AUO Taichung Fab 3 invested in customized automation and developed a digital analytics and AI development platform to improve productivity by 32% and yield of advanced product by 60%, while reducing water consumption by 23% and carbon emissions by 20%.

CATL (Ningde): Confronted with increasing manufacturing process complexity and demand for high product quality, CATL leveraged AI, advanced analytics and edge/cloud computing to achieve, in three years, a defect rate per billion count at the speed of 1.7s per cell, while improving labour productivity by 75% and reducing energy consumption by 10% a year.

CITIC Dicastal (Qinhuangdao):Faced with rising expectations from automotive OEMs for smaller batch size and higher quality, CITIC Dicastal deployed flexible automation, AI and 5G to build a digital manufacturing system to improve flexibility with a batch size of one and reduce manufacturing costs by 33%.

Foxconn (Wuhan):To meet customer requirements for greater customization and shorter product order lead time, Foxconn Wuhan leveraged advanced analytics and flexible automation at scale to redesign its manufacturing system. This led to an 86% increase in direct labour productivity and cut quality loss by 38% and order lead-time by 29%, down to 48 hours.

Foxconn (Zhengzhou): Faced with a lack of skilled workers, unstable quality performance and demand uncertainty, Foxconn Zhengzhou adopted flexible automation to improve labour productivity by 102%, and utilized digital and AI technologies to reduce quality defects by 38% and improve OEE by 27%.

Haier (Tianjin):To meet increased customer expectations for diversified products, faster delivery and higher quality of service, Haier’s greenfield washing machine factory in Tianjin integrated 5G, IIoT, automation and advanced analytics to accelerate product design by 50%, reduce defects by 26% and save energy consumption per unit by 18%.

Innolux (Kaohsiung):In the context of fierce competition in the panel industry, and faced with increasing quality requirements from customers and severe decline in gross profit, Innolux fab 8 invested in advanced automation, IoT technology and advanced analytics to improve process capability by 40%, reduce yield loss by 33% and, in return, unlock niche product production.

LS ELECTRIC (Cheongju):To respond to an increase in demand and the need to reduce costs, LS ELECTRIC has transformed one of its plants in Cheongju, South Korea, with an IIoT-based automation, machine learning powered inspection and advanced process control, enabling mass customization and lowering production costs by 20%.

SANY (Beijing):Faced with growing demand and rising complexity in the multi-category and small-batch heavy machinery market, SANY Beijing deployed advanced human-machine collaboration automation, AI and IoT technologies to boost labour productivity by 85% and reduce production lead time by 77% from 30 to seven days.

Schneider Electric (Wuxi):Schneider Electric’s 20-year-old electronics parts factory in Wuxi, China, confronted increased demand for product adaptation and order configuration with a flexible production line by deploying 4IR technologies, such as modular cobot stations and AI vision inspection, to reduce time-to-market by 25%, and advanced analytics to auto-generate root-cause analysis and detect anomalies across the supply chain, which have increased on-time delivery by 30%.

Unilever (Taicang):To seize the booming business in e-commerce and big-box channel, Unilever Taicang ice-cream factory deployed one-scan, one-view platform to provide E2E supply chain visibility in manufacturing and food handling for customers, and combined the digital voice of consumers with an agile R&D digital platform to improve innovation lead time by 75%, from 12 to three months.

Western Digital (Penang):With an increase in flash memory demand of more than 2X, stringent quality requirements and the need to optimize costs, Western Digital Penang embarked on lights-out manufacturing journey based on Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. By automating production and logistics, they were able to deliver 32% factory cost improvement, and transitioned to build-to-order with intelligent planning system, thereby reducing product inventory and order lead time by 50%.

Western Digital (Prachinburi):With rapidly growing demand, rigorous quality requirements and cost pressure for hard disk drive (HDD), Western Digital Thailand leveraged connectivity and advanced analytics technologies to transform a capacity-saturated manufacturing site into a digital operation system, with real-time visibility in suppliers, production, logistics and customers and data-based insights and predictions. This ultimately increased factory output by 123% – avoiding 30% in procurement and production costs – and cut the product return rate by 43%.

Middle East

Arçelik (Eskisehir):Confronted with rising customer demand and increasing product diversity, Arçelik leveraged its agile studio to deploy, in two years, over 30 advanced use cases in automation, robotics-enabled logistics and data-driven AI systems to enable flexible manufacturing with a return on investment of 1.2 years.

Saudi Aramco (Abqaiq):Motivated by the need to access new levels of quality and sustainability, the world’s largest oil processing and crude stabilization plant has harnessed the power of data, advanced analytics and automation to transform its manufacturing processes, achieving a 21% increase in product quality and 14.5% reduction in energy use.

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Maintenance Tips for Second-Hand Cars

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With a shortage of semiconductors continuing to plague the automotive industry, many are instead turning to the second-hand market to source a bargain on their next car purchase – resulting in a boom in second-hand car sales. Second-hand cars, while cheaper to purchase initially, can present problems quicker without proper maintenance. Here are some simple ways to maintain your second-hand vehicle.

Read the Manual and Service History

The first thing you should endeavour to do with any second-hand car purchase is to scrutinise your car’s service history book and user manual. The former will give you crucial information on prior issues that have cropped up with the car, either giving you an idea of what may fail next or what not to worry about, while the latter gives you important details regarding points of maintenance on your car: where your oil pan is, where the safe anchor points for trolley jacks are, and the location of various parts of the engine.

Keep Your Oil Fresh

One key way you can ensure the longevity of your second hand vehicle’s engine is to learn how to replace its engine oil, and to replace its engine oil regularly. The oil cleans and lubricates the engine, preventing debris from clogging moving parts and causing wear. Over time, the oil becomes dirty with this debris, and can eventually pose a threat to the engine’s safe running itself. New oil ensures the engine stays clean, and keeps it running for longer.

Keep a Regular Service Schedule

As with any vehicle, taking your second-hand car in for regular appointments with a mechanic can keep on top of potential problems before they cause more issues; booking a car service online makes managing your car’s service schedule easy, and can make sure that your car remains healthy and well-maintained thanks to regular check-ups via a professional pair of eyes. Regular servicing can also reduce the potential incurred costs from failed MOTs.

Clean Your Interior

Keeping your car’s interior clean might seem like a relatively insignificant task with regard to your car’s overall maintenance, however taking car of the surfaces and fabrics in your car can increase their lifespan, reducing the need for potential re-upholstery and preserving your personal comfort while driving. Regularly vacuuming footwell mats and seat cushions can stave off wear and tear, while regularly cleaning and polishing trim can preserve their condition.

Drive Safely

Lastly, but by no means least, your driving habits can have a profound effect on the life span of your vehicle. Those who drive fast and brake hard are sure to encounter more issues quicker than those who adopt safe driving techniques and approach the road with a sense of calm. Simple things like coasting into corners and accelerating at a steady pace can ensure your brakes, suspension and engine live their longest possible life, giving you a great run with your new second-hand vehicle.

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Choosing the Best Engine Hoist for your Garage

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An engine hoist is an extremely valuable piece of equipment. It will allow you to remove an engine from a vehicle easily, without putting yourself or others in danger. People have been using ropes and pulleys for centuries to lift heavy objects – and some modern engine hoists work via the same principles. However, there are a few alternatives which offer distinct advantages.

So, what’s the best kind of engine hoist for your garage? Let’s look at choosing the best engine hoist for your next car repair job.

Manual

The manual hoist uses old-fashioned pulleys and cords to lift a heavy object. These tend to be the simplest option, and therefore the cheapest. Simply pull on the chain, and the other chain will move. The main drawback here is that the manual hoist needs to be suspended above the room. That means that you’ll need a suitably-rated ceiling that’s capable of carrying the load.

A manual chain can allow a single person to lift tonnes of weight, since the arrangement of pulleys will result in a larger transfer of force. The cost is that you’ll be moving the chain a large distance to move the engine just a small one.

Hydraulic Hoists

Hydraulic hoists work using fluid, spread over multiple vessels. By reducing or increasing the amount of fluid in one vessel, you can change the amount of fluid in another, attached by a length of hose. In this way, you can push or pull heavy loads. A telescopic boom arm actually does the lifting, with the help of pumps, cylinders, and oil.

Hydraulic hoists are positioned on the ground rather than the ceiling, and they tend to come with plenty of castors so that they can be moved from one side of the workspace to the next. The relative mobility of the hydraulic hoist puts it at a considerable advantage over the mechanical one in situations where you need to be flexible. You can even use a hydraulic hoist outdoors.  

Electric Hoists

The electric hoist is similar to the manual one, except that you don’t have to pull on the chain – an electric motor will do that for you. This makes life much more convenient – though you can expect to pay a little extra for the remote-control console. Electric hoists tend to be underpowered in comparison to hydraulic ones, which might be something to consider if you’re lifting loads heavier than a few hundred kilos.

Electric hoists tend to be operated by a single dangling button, which means that you might not have the same degree of precise control as you do on a manual hoist. For most applications, however, this won’t be an issue.

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Tech Start-ups Key to Africa’s Digital Transformation but Urgently Need Investment

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The World Economic Forum’s latest report, “Attracting Investment and Accelerating Adoption for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa” analyses the challenges Africa faces in joining the global knowledge-based digital economy and presents a set of tangible strategies for the region’s governments to accelerate the transition.

The Forum’s report, written in collaboration with Deloitte, comes just weeks after the announcement by Google of a $1 billion investment to support digital transformation across Africa, which centres on laying a new subsea cable between Europe and Africa that will multiply the continent’s digital network capacity by 20, leading to an estimated 1.7 million new jobs by 2025. Africa’s digital economy could contribute nearly $180 billion to the region’s growth by the by mid-decade. Yet with only 39% of the population using the internet, Africa is currently the world’s least connected continent.

Tech start-ups such as Kenya’s mobile money solution Mpesa and online retail giant Jumia, Africa’s first unicorn, represent what the continent’s vibrant small business sector is capable of. Despite raising $1.2 billion of new capital in 2020 – a six-fold increase in five years – this represents less than 1% of the $156 billion raised by US start-ups in the same year. Meanwhile, Africa’s investment in R&D was just 0.42% of GDP in 2019 – less than a quarter of the global average of 1.7%.

“African governments urgently need to drive greater investment in the tech sector and the knowledge economy,” said Chido Munyati, Head of Africa Division at the World Economic Forum. “Policy-makers can make a difference by reducing the burden of regulation, embedding incentives within legislation and investing in science and technology skills.”

The report breaks down these three policy enablers:

  • Pass legislation such as “Start-up Acts” designed to spur private sector innovation, reduce the burden of regulation and promote entrepreneurship, in which Tunisia and Senegal are leading the way.
  • Embed incentives for start-ups in legislation, such as start-up grants, rebates on efficiency gains through technology implementation, co-investment of critical infrastructure, tax-free operations for the early years, and incentives for R&D.
  • Invest in workforce education, skills and competencies. Currently, only 2% of Africa’s university-age population holds a STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) degree.

However, the analysis of 188 government incentives for business across 32 African countries finds that just 14 incentives – fewer than 10% – facilitate investment in Fourth Industrial Revolution technology. And most of these incentive schemes lack an efficient monitoring and evaluation system to gauge their effectiveness.

Delia Ndlovu, Africa Chair, Deloitte, believes that digital transformation promises to boost economic growth in Africa: “Connecting the region to the global digital economy will not only open new avenues of opportunity for small businesses, but will also increase intra-Africa trade which is low at 16% compared to markets such as intra-European trade which is approximately 65% to 70%.”

African governments have much to learn from each other. In Côte d’Ivoire, an R&D tax incentive has been created to direct investment away from commodities and into innovation. In South Africa, the Automotive Investment Transformation Fund created by the largest manufacturers in the country is facilitating the development of a diverse supplier base to realise the 60% local content target set by the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP). In Tunisia, the government offers state salaries for up to three start-up founders per company during the first year of operations, with a right to return to their old jobs if the venture fails.

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