U.S. manufacturing is one of the few industries experiencing sustained growth. Positive economic indicators in late 2021 and upticks in production, capacity utilization, and new order placement into mid-2022 have experts projecting the trend to continue.1
That’s seemingly great news for manufacturers. However, the impact of the ongoing labor shortage and supply chain instability temper rampant optimism. Case in point: 18,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs were filled in May 2022, but industry employment is still 17,000 jobs behind the pre-pandemic February 2020 benchmark.2
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Next generation tissue paper making technology aligns with next generation operators
Much has rightfully been made about the 2.6 million baby boomers expected to retire from manufacturing jobs by 2030.3 The skillsets and experience they take with them arguably diminishes productivity and overall operational efficiency, but its impact can be mitigated through digital manufacturing solutions.
Technologies and equipment that embrace the “smart” principles of Industry 4.0 enable less experienced operators to work with speed, precision, and accuracy. Breakthrough digital solutions within the Kӧrber ecosystem prioritize ease of use. They also leverage technology, which is intuitive for many younger workers since computers have been a part of their lives since childhood.
Remote applications and simple, icon-prompted human-machine interface panels (HMIs) on Kӧrber tissue equipment provide operator safety, assistance, and confidence when using Kӧrber advanced technologies such as:
Sam Operational Solution (Sam)
Acting as a virtual production supervisor, Sam Operational Solution performs real-time and reliable measurements of mission critical properties of both raw material and finished product, regardless of the skills and experience of the operator.
Sam enables production line machines to identify production patterns, detect deviations, and make data-informed decisions. This all occurs with minimal human intervention, thus making it easier for less experienced operators to guide production.
Manufacturing Operations Management (TMOM)
Developed specifically for tissue converters, TMOM is a complete solution that allows for real-time control of the four areas of the factory: production (MES), quality, maintenance, intralogistics, and warehouse processes.
TMOM’s simple modules-based design and accessibility on mobile devices, industrial PCs, and desktops make it invaluable for end-to-end manufacturing process management. Workers with varying degrees of experience can easily find production recipes, electronic job instructions, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) requirements.
TMOM streamlines reporting, too. Experienced or novice operators and managers can easily capture production performance results, materials usage, work planning, and other key metrics. Since the data is automatically gathered, there’s no undue typing errors or complaints that could skew production or result in expensive downtime.
Kӧrber makes artificial intelligence real
Sam Operational Solution and TMOM are part of K.optimize AI®, a product family that offers solutions that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the availability, performance, and quality of tissue production machines. K.optimize AI also captures data that improves digital communication and documentation, and simplifies worker-process interaction.
As tissue industry thought leaders, Kӧrber innovates for the future. K.optimize AI is one offering in our latest selection of smart services and digital solutions that leverages AI to make big data and Kӧrber field-proven technical expertise even more powerful.
Tissue manufacturers can also optimize resources including labor, maximize profitability, and manage costs with:
- K.explore®: a product family that focuses on machine connectivity and infrastructure scalability to promote factory transparency. K.explore services include on-premise and cloud-based Tissue Connect data-sharing solutions, and a user-friendly Tissues Analytics smart application for collecting and analyzing critical data across machines, production lines, and/or locations.
- K.support AI®: remote-enabled solutions that allow expert Kӧrber technical consultants in the Tissue Performance Center to help tissue manufacturers manage assets, systems, knowledge, and data to ensure continuous operations. K.support AI uses technology as a digital asset that is essential for humans-machines synergy and integration of data, solutions, and systems.
There’s no question that tissue manufacturers are feeling the effects of the labor crisis and other impactful external factors beyond their control. Moving forward is the only way through tough times, and strategic partners like Kӧrber provide the drive, innovation, and support you need to succeed. Reach out to the Kӧrber team for more information on our suite of digital solutions.
1Deloitte, 2022 manufacturing industry outlook, Undated
2U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Highlights, May 2022
3Penn Foster, Who Will Replace Retiring Boomers in the Manufacturing Industry?, May 14, 2020
Written by Claudio J Muñoz
An experienced executive in the Tissue and Pulp & Paper Industry, with wide-ranging global experience in brand management, marketing, engineering, product and process development initiatives, Claudio Muñoz brings a unique blend of innovation and strategic insight to his role as Senior Global Director of Strategic Marketing and Head of Marketing - Americas for Körber Business Area Tissue. He holds a bachelor's in Chemical Engineering from Universidad de Concepcion, Chile, and master's degrees from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, and the University of Wisconsin - Madison.