Volume 3 Issue 10 October 2021
In this Issue
Welcome to Industree 4.0 for October 2021, exclusively sponsored by SAP.

By Alfred Becker, Head of Mill Products Industries Business Unit, SAP
5 Tips To Navigate Sustainable Logistics
Last week I bought t-shirts and shoes from a well-known online fashion store in Europe. The very next day, I had three different tracking codes for my parcels which would be delivered on the same day, at different times. From a consumer perspective, it is impressive to see how fast big supply chains work. But from a sustainable logistics perspective, it seems more like our world is drowning in a sea of packaging waste and smothering the carbon emissions for the cost of rapid delivery.

Does it really have to be like this?

The answer is definitely not. Finding cost-effective sustainable solutions today is much easier for businesses compared to the past. Especially in the post-COVID-19 world where society became more conscious about the responsibility to the environment, we hear everyday news about corporations stepping in the game of being carbon neutral from design to operate. In this alignment, achieving sustainable logistics operations should and must not be an exception. A good example are the achievements in packaging design, allowing for wrapping and protecting goods at constant levels while using less packaging materials.

What practices can businesses apply to increase sustainability within logistics operations? Here are five tips to consider.

1. Harness data for end-to-end visibility

I don’t know if it is just me but whenever I leave home for 5 minutes, the delivery guy will turn up in the same time slot! Are they hiding around the corner waiting for me to leave? Recently, I discovered one logistic provider that enables me to live-track the truck which carries my parcel and gives me the chance to change the delivery time up until the last hour. This helps the driver to plan the route to simultaneously lower last-mile carbon footprint, and eliminate a wasted trip, not to mention putting less stress on the customer.

Placing the data at the heart of supply chain operations enables businesses to work more efficiently and effectively. Improving freight collaboration, material, and goods tracking with an open logistics ecosystem connects business partners to manage logistics operations better by monitoring the transport methods in real-time and identifying the best alternatives. Also, businesses can eliminate the risk of empty mileages by loading vehicles to optimum capacity, which is both environmental and profit friendly.

2. Do not only collect tons of data, build & optimize processes on it!

With us consumers ordering many goods over the internet, last-mile delivery emissions associated with e-commerce are increasing, and logistics providers are under pressure to find ways to reduce the carbon footprint, which is one of the key measurements of truly sustainable supply chain logistics. Packaging converters are well aware of the issue of distributing low-margin products to a wide-spread customer base. This is the main reason why there are so many converting plants spread over the country, each of them close to their markets!

Interestingly, which also applies in a Business to Business context, the last mile can cause severe irritations in an otherwise well-balanced supply chain, especially for paper and packaging businesses.

Many paper mills have limited yard space for shippers who are unloading or picking up loads; thus, they need a smart way to manage the arrival times of trucks. Trucks often arrive early and often they have to wait on the public highway for hours before there is a slot in the shipping yard for them to get loaded. During cold winter months, the engine -or at least separate heating- had to run for hours to keep drivers warm while waiting. This complicated situation begs for a solution that could take signals from shipping departments, yard management, shippers real-time location data, traffic and road information, weather, and more to propose alternate arrival and route options to truckers.
For example, truckers could decide to stop for fuel first instead of getting to the mill and waiting or look for a rest stop away from the mill. 

3. Use alternative vehicle or fuel technologies

Looking out of my window, every day I see delivery vans driving to my neighborhood. Most of those delivery trucks use diesel as a fuel source since it is an affordable option. Not that gas engines are good for the environment, but compared to gas engines, diesel trucks increase the carbon footprint by exhausting 13% more CO2.

Using lower carbon fuels such as biofuel instead of fossil fuels, replacing the old trucks with eco-friendly vehicles would be the measures taken toward ecological and social sustainability goals. There is a wide range of eco-friendly solutions in the market which challenges traditional ways. Sea shipping, eco-friendly train solutions, hybrid or electric vehicles are available green alternatives.

We are already seeing companies shipping goods at the lowest possible emissions rate which is a major shift away from the mainly using the cheapest or fastest mode which has been common for decades. The pressure created by environmental awareness of consumers and investors has made this shift possible.
There is a need for data exchange from carrier to shippers, covering all types of transport, including both bulk and containerized. This is highly relevant for all mining companies, which are the biggest maritime shippers, and they have been working on this type of data exchange for years already. But of course, producers of eco-friendly paper, who also must pay attention to the overall environmental footprint of their products, can leverage this concept. Finally, there is increasing pressure on nations to introduce a global tax to better control carbon emissions. There is expected to be a sharp increase in demand for vessels that are using lower emissions fuels (LNG).

Also, the emissions associated with the distribution facilities can be eliminated via clean energy-powered electricity, solar systems, and water recycling systems. 

4. Optimize on-site resources, planning, and execution

Have you ever wondered how those huge containers are being carried and transported in between rail, ship, and trucks? What kind of truck is going to carry those pallets or boxes? How those containers will be moving to the next step and transported to the yard?

This is the point businesses use yard logistics to run smooth logistics operations with higher throughput and minimal environmental impact.

Yard logistics is part of the supply chain execution platform which businesses can use to strengthen the bridge between warehouse and transportation management. Efficiently planning the steps and activities in the yard helps to avoid long breaks or processing gaps in between the logistics operations; results in eliminating the waste, transport, and labor cost, and of course carbon emissions.

5. Utilize IoT for simple improvements

Did you know that driving on the highway at 80 kilometers per hour can save about 10 % of fuel? Eco-driving education is another significant way to reduce fuel consumption. It also minimizes the risk of possible damages to the driver, overall vessel, and products in it. As a part of the education, IoT and sensors can be used to monitor and collect the data on speed, fuel consumption, and breaking behavior of drivers.

Also, keeping tires at optimal pressure is an effective tool for keeping fuel consumption under control. With sensors mounted to the rim of the wheel, drivers can monitor the current tire pressure on the display. Using tire pressure sensors helps fuel consumption by up to 12 % at lower speeds, as well as extending the tire lifetime.

There are many ways to make businesses sustainable from design to operate: using sustainable materials, reducing waste, adopting clean energy resources, investing in eco-friendly technologies, and more. Implementing environmentally friendly logistic solutions is one of the important building blocks of creating a sustainable supply chain in a journey to become carbon neutral.

If you’d like to learn more about sustainable supply chains, check out our Executive Summary which SAP and Oxford Economics surveyed 1,000 supply chain decision-makers worldwide and across industries: “The Sustainable Supply Chain Paradox Research 2021.

By Pat Dixon, PE, PMP

Vice President of Automation, Pulmac Systems International (pulmac.com)

Most of us are aware of the silver tsunami. For those not familiar, you might notice that many of those responsible for providing and maintaining automation systems have thinning, receding, and graying hair. We prefer to think of our hair as silver as opposed to gray. You may also notice that there are not enough of us for the growing demand of automation. This is exacerbated by many of these aging engineers leaving the workforce in a wave of retirement.  As we become increasing reliant upon automation with a diminished workforce, this wave of retirement is a silver tsunami that could leave industry wiped out.

Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) is addressing this by filling the pipeline of young talent into industrial automation. Last year Miami conducted its first Systems Automation Springboard to Internships (SASI) program. This is an intensive 3-week workshop to present students with the full spectrum of automation, from field instrumentation to the top of the enterprise. The purpose of SASI is to not only prepare students to enter an internship/co-op assignment in automation, but also to spark interest in pursuing a career in automation. The workshop is conducted by a team of faculty and industry experts, with lab assignments.  

Based on feedback from the inaugural SASI program, it was very successful. The companies that sponsored these students gave high marks for the SASI program. For example, one of the sponsoring companies stated "You have a very strong intern with a wide range of knowledge.” Every sponsoring company said that the SASI intern came up to speed rather quickly.  

Miami is looking for companies to express an interest in sponsoring a SASI intern. Sponsoring companies will get resumes and interviews with prospective students to select an intern, and the compensation terms are determined by the sponsoring company. Commitment for sponsorship is desired by November 15. There are 2 components to sponsor a SASI intern:
- fund the $1500 fee for the students to participate in SASI
- provide a process control/automation internship in the summer of 2022 for the student

Details on SASI can be found at https://www.miamioh.edu/cec/sasi/, including testimonials from students that completed SASI last year. Contact Gary Rudemiller, Executive Director of the Paper Science & Engineering Foundation at Miami University at rudemigr@miamioh.edu for further information.

Don’t get swept away by the silver tsunami. Invest in a SASI intern to fill your pipeline of automation talent.

Cross Fleet Scheduling
I know we will have "arrived" when we routinely do "Cross Fleet Scheduling" in the containerboard business. What is "Cross Fleet Scheduling?" I am glad you asked--I just made it up.

As I envision it, CFS will happen when a manufacturer with a fleet of containerboard machines across a wide region has process control of their machines that their largest customers will accept orders produced on any of the machines.

Then, as the orders come into a central process facility, something of a shared services concept on the order side, they can be scheduled on the machine that has the optimum energy costs, logistics costs and fiber costs for that order. All without human intervention (unless central management sees a need to override the computer selected decision).

This optimizes the profitability of the order.

Further, it tells management, system-wide, which machines are optimized and most productive. Look at a month long trend--if a machine or mill is always picked last in the scenario, you know where the problems are in your fleet--automatically.

Yes, we will have "arrived" when we can do Cross Fleet Scheduling.
How IoT Transforms Facilities Management Processes
The increased availability of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has allowed facility managers to implement automation which was previously impossible with legacy facilities management systems. IoT devices have also allowed facilities managers to gather a rich data set that allows for more data-driven decisions.
Discovering the Keys to U.S. Manufacturing Recovery
By Geoff Giordano,
Contributing Editor, SME Media
To be clear, the past 18 months or so weren’t filled with just bad news. Medical and other manufacturers turned on a dime to begin producing copious amounts of personal protective equipment for health-care workers and employees in other industries deemed essential. Companies embraced more online training and sales interactions and rolled out enhanced websites to engage with customers. Some automation companies reported having ample product in their pipeline and were still able to fulfill orders while seeing automation projects prioritized.
Powering Condition-Based Maintenance Sensors
ELE Times
A high percentage of electrical infrastructure worldwide is greater than 25 years old, so increasing failure rates are a concern. Therefore, system designers include redundancy for critical system elements to cover single or even double failures, depending on the application and rate the components used with wide margins for a more reliable operation. However, ‘wear and tear’ is a fact of life in mechanical components and even in electronics, where capacitors dry out, surge limiters become compromised and semiconductors accumulate crystal lattice defects over time.
4 Steps for Transitioning to Insight-Driven Manufacturing
By Artem Kroupenev
Insight-driven manufacturing is a subset of Industry 4.0, focused on using automated insights from technology like artificial intelligence (AI) to make better decisions across a manufacturing operation. As AI in manufacturing matures, we’re seeing the emergence of three distinct elements -- insight-driven decisions, outcome-driven use cases and workforce empowerment.
Industree 4.0 is exclusively sponsored by SAP