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Bridging the cable industry’s skills gap

In 1982, the total number of jobs in UK manufacturing was nearly a quarter of the working population. Fast forward to 2002 and this figure dropped to 12%. Recent statistics show that this figure has now dropped to 8%. This is not unique to the UK  in fact, all industrialised countries with the exception of Brazil have seen manufacturing jobs decline since the 1990s.

Over the last 20 years in particular, factories have automated many tasks on the production line which have to some extent replaced jobs. Compared to the 1980s, there are a staggering three million fewer jobs in manufacturing in the UK. Government focus turned to industries which were seeing an increase in the value of GDP output. As a result, funding for and interest in STEM education dropped. This perfect storm led to only one outcome  the creation of a workforce with a stronger interest in other sectors.

Over most recent years, there has been a renewed recognition of the importance of STEM to the national economy. The Government’s Industrial Strategy has at its core a number of policies to help manufacturing ‘build a Britain fit for the future’. At the same time, the Industry 4.0 revolution has led to an evolution of employment in manufacturing. The Industry 4.0 workforce will increasingly focus on managing new operations; as well as managing, programming and maintaining robotics.

Cimteq was one of the first manufacturers to recognise the need for this new generation of skilled staff.
The automation offered by Cimteq’s CableBuilder cable design software means fewer repetitive, tedious tasks for design engineers and more tasks that require greater levels of judgement. These highly-skilled professionals can then get back to designing cutting-edge cable and wire. Similarly, CableMES’s manufacturing execution dashboards and reporting demand greater levels of judgement from operators.

For both roles, access to such advanced technology significantly increases job satisfaction. And for the factory owner, motivated long-serving staff equals fewer recruitment headaches and a product roadmap way ahead of the competition.

Find out how Cimteq can bridge the skills gap in your company: https://cimteq.com/bookdemo/

Cimteq exhibits at Wire-Toho 2019 in Japan

Cimteq is exhibiting at Wire-Toho 2019 in Japan from 10th to 12th June 2019.

Richard Cotter, Sales & Marketing Manager, Cimteq says, ” We are excited to be in Japan to showcase our core prodcuts, CableBuilder and CableMES and to demonstrate to the Japanese market our expertise as the leading provider of software for the design and manufacturing of cables to the cable manufacturing industry”.

For more information on how our software can transform your company by increasing efficiency, improving quality, decreasing lead times and reducing costs, Book a One to One online Demonstration with one of our experts today.

 

Where the Smart Factory meets the Smart Workforce

The biggest change to the manufacturing industry since The Industrial Revolution? That’s how the collection of improvement technologies commonly known as Industry 4.0 is often described. Whilst a huge advocate of Industry 4.0, Cimteq’s CEO Ali Shehab knows that investing in this area needs to extend beyond the purchase of the technology alone. Unless implemented in an intelligent way the concept of The Smart Factory can never become a reality.

He explains: “Introducing smart assets to a factory is probably the most important action a manufacturing company can take to improve its efficiencies. But it is only the first step on a transformational journey where adapting mindsets in communication, continuous improvement and collaboration must also play their part.”

How can a company introduce smarter mindsets amongst its management team and workforce? The answer lies in the implementation of the software.

An empowered workforce
Design engineers live and breathe innovation. That is of course the appeal when men and women across the globe train for this career. In reality, however, the day-to-day activity of these gifted experts can often be tedious.

Cimteq’s sophisticated cable design and manufacturing software liberates design engineers from repetitive tasks and allows them to get back to what they do best – designing innovative products that boost the company’s bottom line. The benefits to the company are very clear: a longstanding and personally invested workforce achieves more, quicker.

Communication
Companies embracing the Smart Factory take an holistic view. Different functions no longer ‘own’ their machines and reporting systems. Instead, there is a single virtual environment where key stakeholders can assess performance at the touch of a button. CableMES’ sophisticated dashboards and automatic alerts flag up any issues in real time. At a strategic level, they allow benchmarking of different areas of the factory or indeed different factories.

Collaboration
Cimteq’s team of experts are on hand to empower customers through appropriate data migration and system configuration of CableBuilder and CableMES.

To find out for yourself how Cimteq’s software can help upskill your workforce in the principles of Industry 4.0 contact Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager at Cimteq, katy.harrison@cimteq.com for a personal demonstration.

Does embracing Industry 4.0 really optimise growth

Industry 4.0 is the collection of technologies that employ computer controls, modelling, big data and other automation to improve manufacturing efficiencies. Increasingly, it is being adopted by cable and wire manufacturers who recognise its immeasurable value in improving bottom line.

Introducing such smart assets to a factory is the first step on a transformational journey in creating competitive edge. Helping to deliver this vision is Cimteq’s automation software with its proven track record in producing accurate costings, reducing waste and automating labour-intensive tasks.

Cimteq has been an advocate of Industry 4.0 for several years. It believes that a focus on three key areas of Industry 4.0 brings the dream of ‘The Smart Factory’ one step closer:

1. The Internet of Things
In the Internet of Things, the sensor connects to the cloud computer which in turn connects to the machine part. Separating the system in this way allows more individual configuration of each element to meet wide-ranging business outcomes such as triggering burglary alarms or saving electricity.

2. Digital twinning
Simulating a product or process through a ‘digital twin’ allows design engineers to perfect a product without creating multiple physical prototypes. This has an immediate benefit of calculating product price and in turn profitability before involving the production line. Where manufacturers have more than one factory, it allows them to benchmark one against the other to identify the most cost-effective production location. Cimteq’s CableBuilder fully supports digital twinning through complex algorithms which have been built by its inhouse team.

3. Big data
Sales figures, product design, production and quality information all constitute big data and typically reside in a company’s ERP, CRM or MES. The Cimteq suite of cable manufacturing software is fully compatible with these systems as well as single virtual databases such as Wonderware. Collating big data in such a real-time manner with instant ‘alarms’ accelerates issue resolution on an unprecedented scale.

See for yourself how Cimteq’s software is driving Industry 4.0 by arranging a personal demonstration with Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager at Cimteq, katy.harrison@cimteq.com. Book a Demo

Mission accomplished at Interwire 2019

May’s Interwire exhibition in Atlanta may have drawn to a close but the conversation on innovative cable and wire manufacture has only amplified for key sponsor Cimteq.

There were a number of objectives for Cimteq’s support of this event:

• Sponsorship of the Georgia Tech visit: 40 lucky delegates were invited to join Cimteq to view the new Georgia Institute of Technology Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility (AMPF). This new joint research and development facility between Georgia Tech, Delta Airlines and Boeing showcases some incredible work on digital manufacturing
• Providing best practice on enabling innovative cable production as part of the Innovation Operations Panel
• Delivery of the Smart Factory presentation and how this evolution goes hand in hand with communication, continuous improvement and collaboration
• Live demonstrations of Cable Builder and CableMES on the Cimteq exhibition stand.

As Ali Shehab, Cimteq CEO describes, the biennial Interwire conference continues to be a not-to-be-missed event in the Cimteq calendar: “There are few events that allow such in-depth engagement with over 4,000 cable and wire manufacturers from across the globe. Our months of preparation never fail to pay off. Meeting inspiring people who are truly transforming technology gives me the same vigour for our work that I enjoyed some 20 years ago.

We thoroughly enjoyed contributing to the debate on the Smart Factory and it’s a topic we’re wholly committed to at Cimteq. So much so that we’ve created a resource and learning centre dedicated to companies looking for support in this area. We look forward to sharing more information on that and an exciting announcement on our work in China over the coming weeks.”

Missed out on Interwire? If you’d like a copy of Ali Shehab’s presentation on the Smart Factory or to learn more about Cimteq resources to support your work, please email Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager, Cimteq, katy.harrison@cimteq.com.

The power to be green

Cable and wire manufacturers face a perennial issue how can they honour their green commitment to reduce energy use whilst increasing productivity?

Companies that have invested in Cimteq’s CableBuilder and CableMES software have discovered that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and growing productivity need not be mutually exclusive. So how exactly is Cimteq helping these forward-thinking companies? Put simply Cimteq’s bespoke cable manufacturing and design software shines a light on the most inefficient practices in a factory at two key stages of the manufacturing process:

Design – CableBuilder’s ability to create sophisticated 3D digital twinning of wire and cable allows for much leaner use of materials. It presents the opportunity to test different models to identify which is most fit-for-purpose and, critically, all before committing to the costs of production. It also supports extended product lifetimes  of great appeal to cable and wire customers and custodians of the environment alike.

Production – Scrap and rework are perhaps the most costly inefficiency within the factory environment. Creating the most robust and sophisticated cable design through CableBuilder is only part of the equation. Companies extending their investment to manufacturing execution system CableMES have a clear view of when quality or non-conformance issues hit the production schedule. CableMES’ automated quality recordings and real-time alarms allow immediate response to any such issues.

At a more strategic level, phasing out inefficient machines and factories can only be achieved through regular monitoring and benchmarking. CableMES allows operators to build a picture of best and worst performing machinery across their factories, helping them to make informed choices about where to scale up production.

An integrated approach to resource management presents by far the best opportunity to minimise waste. CableBuilder, CableMES and their integration with any ERP system presents the most robust application of its kind to cable manufacturers across the globe.

Find out how Cimteq can improve your sustainability commitments by booking an online demo at:
https://cimteq.com/bookdemo

Cable manufacturing software expert develops team

As part of the company’s continued commitment to growth, Cimteq has appointed four new members of the team to strengthen and support its ambitious plans for the future.

The new members of the team include a new Financial Director, Development Manager, Project Manager and Office Administrator.

Deborah Jones has been appointed as the new Financial Director and brings with her a wealth of experience gained working within the field of finance. Rob Cox, who joins the business in the role of Development Manager, will be responsible for the ongoing development of Cimteq’s software products and the management of the development team. One of his key drivers is to improve product quality through the introduction of Agile working processes into the business.

Francesca Marsh, Cimteq’s new Project Manager will take a lead role in the management and implementation of CableBuilder into one of the company’s new key accounts, helping the team prioritise tasks and working to Agile methodology. Meanwhile, Jenna Edwards will be supporting the team with general administrative duties, from overseeing customer accounts, payroll and assisting with financial and management accounts.

With their diverse backgrounds and varied experiences, all four new appointments are designed to strengthen Cimteq and position the business for the next phase of its development. Commenting on the new recruits, Amanda Shehab Director at Cimteq explains: “We are thrilled to be further developing our team with four such high-quality new appointments. There was an exceptional standard of candidates that applied for the roles, but Deborah, Rob, Francesca and Jenna stood out from the rest and I believe they will help us continue to progress.”

Cimteq offers software solutions specifically designed for the cable manufacturing industry. Its core products are CableBuilder – which has been designed to meet the demand within the cable manufacturing industry to simplify the complex management of cable design data – and CableMES, software which maximises plant production, improves quality, reduces inventory and ensures on-time delivery.

To find out more about CableBuilder or CableMES, or to book your personal demonstration please visit the website at www.cimteq.com or email Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager, Cimteq at katy.harrison@cimteq.com

Customers of CableBuilder3D sprint to market through faster product design

Cimteq’s CableBuilder software manages the complete cycle of cable design and manufacture through typical workflow milestones of Design, Customer Quotation, Ordering, Production, Quality Assurance and ERP.

Accurate costings, waste reduction and the automation of labour-intensive tasks – all with an immediate impact on the bottom line – are recognised by leading cable manufacturers across the world as the key outcomes of consolidating their processes and systems into the CableBuilder application.

The introduction of a fully integrated 3D CAD tool within the CableBuilder environment goes one step further in streamlining the cable design and manufacture process. Powered by Autodesk Inventor, CableBuilder3D generates 3D models at the touch of a button allowing a team beyond draftsmen to work with the images. CableBuilder3D integrates seamlessly with the CableBuilder design, quotation and manufacturing module as well as CableMES and ERP.

Shortening the lead time to product launch
Valuable time staying ahead in race to market is often lost when products are changed downstream. Not so with the flexible design environment of CableBuilder3D where the balance shifts to fewer physical and more virtual product iterations. Cost and waste reduction are an obvious result but there is of course an added advantage in allowing important engineering decisions to be made ahead of time. Shortening the lead time to product launch is a key way in which cable manufactures are gaining commercial advantage in an increasingly competitive global market.

Drawing cable is unquestionably time-consuming. Switching this activity to a virtual process frees up engineer time to work on more innovative activities that have a greater impact on the bottom line. Not only that, 3D models can quickly be included in production notes which further simplifies lay-ups for the production teams.

Creating your own professional marketing imagery
Professional, photo-realistic images are easily generated for use in reports, datasheets, quotations and catalogues. This removes the cost of hiring external photographers or agencies each time you add to your product range. CableBuilder3D gives you ready access to a continually up-to-date image library fully within your control.

Bringing your products to life
What better way for your customers to appreciate the innovative design of your cables than by seeing an iteration as close as possible to the physical prototype? CableBuilder’s 3D imaging can be integrated easily into your website, enabling your customers to search directly for their cable requirements through an impressive visual interface.
Learn how your company can improve through 3D product design by watching our 3-minute video or booking an online demo at: https://cimteq.com/bookdemo/https://cimteq.com/bookdemo/

Looking to simplify the complex management of your cable design and manufacture?

A staggering 80% of cable costs can be attributed to raw material alone. Cimteq arrives at this estimate with some 20 years’ extensive knowledge of cable design and software manufacturing. Reducing the cost of cable production is therefore key in maintaining profitability. And the starting point is cable design.

Cimteq’s CableBuilder software manages the complete cycle of cable design and manufacture through typical workflow milestones of Design, Customer Quotation, Ordering, Production, Quality Assurance and ERP system.

Reducing costs to maintain competitiveness
By consolidating different processes and systems into a single application, CableBuilder delivers three key benefits to cable manufacturers:

1. Accurate costings – Housing key product and pricing in spreadsheets alone is difficult to maintain. Too much information and too many versions easily lead to mistakes that impact the bottom line.

Consolidating all relevant systems and processes within CableBuilder’s one application:

– improves accuracy of data and full version control;
– saves time;
– automatically updates according to industry standards with no customer input required;
– provides the reassurance of full traceability for compliance and quality management; and
– captures the intellectual knowhow of key staff so that product knowledge can be accessed regardless of annual or unexpected leave.

2. Reduces waste – CableBuilder supports the production of a ‘digital twin’ through complex algorithms which have been built by its inhouse team. This allows design engineers to quickly and accurately cost different models before committing to the expense of manufacturing – significantly reducing waste as a result.

3. Automates labour-intensive tasks – Design engineers and commercial staff alike value CableBuilder for its support on time-consuming tasks. All calculations and costings are entirely configurable, which allows for both rapid design and rapid customer response. Reporting too is fully customisable with outputs in Word, Excel and pdf and in any chosen language.

Learn how your company can improve its bottom line by watching our three-minute video or booking an online demo at: Book A Demo

Training Fundamental Workshops at CabWire 2019

CabWire 2019 was held at Southampton University on 2nd and 3rd April 2019. Hosted by the International Wire and Machinery Association (IWMA), the conference included Training Fundamental Workshops by ferrous and non ferrous speakers on subjects including an introduction to armouring, fire performance of cables, steel wire drawing, an introduction to galvanising, an introduction to induction heating and dies for copper & aluminium wire drawing.
Amanda Shehab, Director of Cimteq and IWMA Technical Committee Chairman opened the conference on 2nd April, followed by a key note speech from Marcello Del Brunna, CEO of Prysmian UK.
There was a tour of the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory lead by Dr. Thomas Andritsch, a lecturer at the University of Southampton, where delegates were shown around the laboratory and watched high voltage demonstrations.
Ali Shehab, CEO of Cimteq, presented on “An Introduction to Automation Systems”, talking about The Smart Factory and Industry 4.o and its impact on the wire and cable manufacturing industry.
The evening was held at the impressive National Motor Museum where delegates toured the museum with its eclectic range of cars on show including the famous Bluebird driven by Donald Campbell, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Formula 1 racing cars and Harrods and Royal Mail postal vans of times gone by.
The 3rd April included an exclusive tour of The Prysmian Factory in Eastleigh, Southampton where delegates were shown their customer centre, telecom factory and special cables factory.
The IWMA considers that one of its primary functions is to promote education and growth within the wire and cable industry and the aim of its back-to-basics workshop sessions was to provide information on the manufacturing process best practices for those attendees new to the industry, as well as those more experienced attendees keen for a refresher.

Discover how our software can transform your company. Arrange a free online tour

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