A new white paper from BOGE Compressors discusses the important role that compressed air systems must play in the development and management of the ‘Flexible Factory’.
The white paper, which is available via free download from the BOGE website, explains how world-scale manufacturing plants that are common in China and India are now a thing of the past for UK enterprise. A new manufacturing paradigm based on the so-called ‘flexible factory’, is now needed to boost UK manufacturing efficiency and provide the agility required to move away from a narrow mass production model to one that enables rapid change from one high-value production run to the next.
But what is a flexible factory? As the white paper explains, it is a manufacturing facility in which production assets are not fixed, but movable. The ability to reconfigure production quickly means that all associated systems in the factory, including the compressed air supply, must contribute to this concept of flexibility, and so must be designed correctly from the start.
The correct design and implementation of a compressed air system makes an important contribution to the overall concept of the flexible factory. Simple approaches such as the installation of lightweight aluminium air ring mains with push fit connectors, add an extraordinary degree of flexibility, enabling the delivery of compressed air to any part of the factory leak-free and with the minimum of effort.
Other compressed air related factors include the use of predictive maintenance techniques. These are fast becoming the preferred method of ensuring continuing asset availability in the modern flexible factory. Systems such as BOGE’s airstatus and Selectcair monitoring, deliver 24/7 compressed air system monitoring such as pressure, temperature and efficiency. As well as providing performance trending and machine condition analysis to extend the maintenance interval beyond the typical 3,000 hours of a BOGE compressor.
Mark Whitmore, General Manager at BOGE comments: “In concentrating on the subject of compressed air, this white paper makes a compelling case for asset adaptability and its relevance to the concept of the flexible factory. The food industry is used as a prime example of current flexible methodologies, but many other industries, from electronic products to various types of light engineering, could similarly benefit from adopting such a flexible approach. Helping them to maximise both the output and efficiency of their factories and ensure that UK-based manufacturers can compete with those from other regions of the world.”
Follow the link to download the free white paper from the BOGE website.