Explore the optimum path to the smart cable factory with Cimteq’s webinar

Cimteq is pleased to announce that its webinar on ‘The Optimum Path to the Smart Cable Factory’ will take place on 12 December 2019. Two time slots will be held to accommodate to all attendee’s. Please click the link below to register!

The webinar will be hosted by Frederik Becker, Cimteq’s Regional Sales Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Its aim is to explore the steps needed to implement this methodology in the cable factory environment.

It is the third in a series of webinars on the subject of Industry 4.0, with Ali Shehab, Cimteq CEO and Yufei Du, Business Development Manager for APAC, having shared their experiences so far.

As Frederik explains: “The path to the ‘Smart Factory’ starts with collating core data from source. Core data can be defined as accurate and informative product data, machine level data and business data. Once this information has been captured in a meaningful way, it can be connected in order to build an MES system. It’s the building block for a series of business practices such as preventive maintenance which have a clear impact on bottom line.”

Format

The webinar will be introduced by Katy Harrison, Cimteq’s Marketing Manager followed by Frederick’s 20-minute presentation and a Q&A session.  There will be two time slots from which to select: 10am and 3pm GMT.

Registration

Register here for Cimteq’s webinar on Exploring the optimum path to the smart cable factory with Cimteq’s webinar.

For more information, please contact Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager, [email protected] or to book a one to one online demo, go to www.cimteq.com/bookdemo

A recording of the webinar will be made available to all interested parties who are unable to attend on 12 December.

Tying it all together through strong partnership.

The implications of choosing the wrong software partner are costly. Not only is time and expense wasted in abandoning an implementation that isn’t working, it causes reputational damage in the eyes of both customers and staff.

Five questions to help avoid selecting the wrong partner from the outset:

  1. Is the company committed to product development?

Your chosen supplier should have a clear roadmap that is responsive to client feedback and industry change. That’s not to say that it’s a company that issues product iterations on a regular basis. Far from it; the most robust software needs very little intervention if built on strong foundations. Its approach to the development of new software should be equally as measured; new products should address a different stage of the same clearly-defined customer journey as the core product.

  1. Is the company considered expert in its chosen field?

It is not always the case that software that has performed well in other industries will be fit for purpose for the cable industry. Choosing software that has been developed with and for the cable industry in mind gives the reassurance that your partner understands and can respond to the complexities of the industry.

Experience is further demonstrated by the articles and whitepapers written be your partner company, as well as the events where the company presents.

  1. Is it a good culture fit?

By nature, smaller suppliers are agile enough to offer the required level of support but compact enough to offer a personalised service. Your supplier should be open-minded and flexible in its approach to problem solving. Only a partner who listens can ever truly be responsive to your specific needs.

  1. Does the company take ownership of issues?

Any partner relationship is of course not without its challenges from time to time; the litmus test is how your partner responds to such issues. Measuring this before you have experience as its customer can prove difficult but a partner with confidence in its service levels should invite you to speak to long-term customers for their experiences.

Evidence of stringent quality assurance procedures and staff who have been in key roles for some years should add to your confidence that this is a supplier who can be trusted for the long term.

  1. Do you consider them to be a partner or a supplier?

Where both you and your supplier are actively building for the long term, continually investing in the relationship and sharing a common goal, it’s likely that the relationship has moved beyond supplier-customer and into true partnership. Operating at this level requires both trust and transparency in all areas including working procedures and practices but also financials.

To arrange a discussion on why Cimteq is chosen time and again as the partner of choice for cable design software, please email Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager, Cimteq at [email protected]

Seventh new appointment for 2019 signals Cimteq’s scale of ambition

Cimteq is pleased to announce the appointment of Anna Latacz as their newest Application Support Developer. Anna is the seventh new recruit for Cimteq this year following appointments to roles across the company in Development, Project Management, Commercial and Finance.

Anna will act as first-line support to Cimteq customers, with a particular focus on customisation of CableBuilder and CableMES. Her new role builds on a career experience across technical support, integration of products with client systems and quality assurance.

Anna’s analytical and investigative skills will certainly be put to good use in the cable and wire manufacturing environment.  She explains why she has chosen to develop her career with Cimteq: “My background in Support roles has given me a strong insight into client requirements and has allowed me to engender effective communication between various stakeholders. I wanted to apply these skills to a fast-paced commercial environment where there is an absolute commitment to developing and delivering products that are bespoke to client requirements.  Most of all, I’m looking forward to the most challenging questions and those tasks which require deep delving into the code!”

Anna graduated with a Computer Science Engineering degree from the Polish Technical University and loves nothing better than extending engineering to her home life – particularly ‘tinkering’ with prototypes to build her own trellises and planters.

Anna can be contacted at [email protected]

Weighing in on electrical harnesses

Wire harness or cable assembly? Whilst the terms are used interchangeably by many, there are some fundamental differences between the two. Since individual cables are already protected by their own exterior sheaths, a wire harness presents a simple and cost-effective exterior sheath to bundle the wires and protect them from their environment. Cable assembly on the other hand provides a more heavy-duty material which not only keeps cable organised in the same way as a wire harness but shields the bundle from specific environmental factors such as heat, friction, moisture and compression.

Which of these two approaches a manufacturer will opt for will depend very much on the operating environment. In either instance, this organised set of wires, terminals and connectors relay information and electric power and therefore play a critical role in connecting key components of end products such as within cars or washing machines.

Each electrical harness or cable assembly bundle must demonstrate two specific qualities:

  • Geometrically, they must fit into a specific space, in some cases also serving a much larger network of electrical wiring
  • Electrically, they must protect the cables from damage and adhere to the highest safety levels and standards for the industry in question.

Creating the perfect electrical harness or cable assembly begins with the robust design and manufacture of cable and wire – a process that is supported by Cimteq’s suite of software products. CableBuilder’s iterative approach to cable design allows engineers to model variations of the end product before committing to the cost of production. Similarly, the cost of production can be significantly reduced by spotting non-compliance issues early through Cimteq’s cable manufacturing system CableMES.

Investing in software designed with the complexities of cable and wire in mind – not just as products in their own right, but also how they perform in situ as an electrical harness or cable assembly – allows cable manufacturers to develop an end product that is truly bespoke to client requirement.

To find out more about how Cimteq’s design and manufacturing software supports cutting-edge cable and wire, please email Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager, Cimteq at [email protected]

Yufei Du

Cimteq webinar on Industry 4.0

Cimteq is pleased to announce that its next webinar will take place on 6 November at 10:00 GMT.

The topic will be ‘Applying Industry 4.0 to the Cable Factory Environment’. It follows the publication of a paper on the same subject at September’s IWCS 2019 Cable and Connectivity Symposium in North Carolina.

The webinar will be personally hosted by Yufei Du, Cimteq’s Business Development Manager for APAC. Its aim is to dispel some common myths around Industry 4.0.

As Yufei explains, “A top of the mind association with Industry 4.0 tends to be the purchase of new machines, equipment, implementation of big data, AI, virtual reality, robotics or even building a new factory.  Our webinar seeks to offer an alternative view to reaping the benefits offered by Industry 4.0 – that of flexibility, customization and future proofing – but in a way that capitalizes on current assets to make them more responsive.”

Format

The webinar will be introduced by Katy Harrison, Cimteq’s Marketing Manager followed by Yufei’s 20-minute presentation which will explore the adaptation of Industry 4.0 methodologies to the cable factory environment.  The session will end with a Q&A session.

Registration

Cimteq will be sending out invitations to its community. Should you wish to register your interest before then please contact Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager [email protected]

A recording of the webinar will be made available to all interested parties who are unable to attend on 6 November.

To register for the webinar and more information, click here.

I, Robot – where robotics present an opportunity for cable manufacturers

The use of robotics in manufacturing has come some way since the first industrial robot patent in 1954 and General Motors’ early adoption in 1962.

Performance of countless roles in the factory environment are better suited to robots: where parts are too small for human eyes and where workers need to be protected from high-risk tasks are two notable examples. Where work too is mundane or repetitive, using robots brings the added advantage of re-pointing human resource to more skilled work such as engineering or programming.

Robots require no climate control or lighting and, as such, can operate 24/7 in lights-out situations and long after human workers have gone home. Where manufacturers have lost business due to an inability to scale up in time to service a large contract, the use of robotics can significantly improve competitiveness. Of course, the rise in popularity of robots also presents an opportunity for cable manufacturers involved in the assembly of robotic cables.

Robots do not, however, come cheap. Not only are they themselves expensive so too is the assessment of the factory to identify where the use of robotics might make the most impact. It can take several years before a return on investment can be evidenced.

Perhaps what will dictate the adoption of robotics in the cable industry is how adaptable the technology is to a linear industry. Robotics are already well embedded in discrete industries such as car or mobile phone manufacture where the end product is not a complex one. In the mobile phone industry, for example, there may be only four different SKUs (stock keeping units) for an iPhone. For the cable industry, however, there could be thousands of different product iterations.

Cable and wire manufacture is rarely off-the-shelf and there will need to be significant advancements in robotics technology before it can be rolled out at pace to our industry. Even then, it is unlikely it will ever fully replace the human workforce. Implementing robotics still requires in-depth assessment and continual review; and of course relies on the unique capability of the human mind in anticipating issues that may lie ahead and adapting approach accordingly.

To find out more about how Cimteq’s design and manufacturing software is supporting the adoption of Industry 4.0 in general, please email Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager, Cimteq at [email protected]

Applying Industry 4.0 to the Cable Factory Environment

The 2019 IWCS Cable and Connectivity Symposium in North Carolina may have come to a close but the debate on how best to deploy Industry 4.0 methodologies within the factory environment certainly continues.

A top of the mind association with Industry 4.0 tends to be the purchase of new machines, equipment, implementation of big data, virtual reality, robotics or even building a new factory.  Cimteq’s paper seeks to offer an alternative view to reaping the benefits offered by Industry 4.0 – that of flexibility, customization and future proofing – but in a way that capitalizes on current assets to make them more responsive.

It was a topic that piqued the interest of so many delegates visiting Cimteq’s stand at IWCS.  Richard Cotter, Cimteq’s Sales Director, explains:  “It’s the learning element of the IWCS symposium which creates such a lively atmosphere and  interesting debate. How much does it cost to deploy Industry 4.0 technologies? At what stage should a cable manufacturer consider implementation?

“Cimteq is committed to helping its clients achieve the shortest time-to-benefit window in implementing their cable manufacture and design software.  Events such as IWCS present the perfect opportunity for us to illustrate how our software addresses particular scenarios.”

For a personal online demonstration on how CableBuilder and CableMES can address your Industry 4.0 challenges, please email Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager, Cimteq, [email protected].

Leading cable manufacturing software provider shortlisted for regional business awards

Wrexham-based Cimteq, leading software provider to the cable manufacturing sector, has been shortlisted for Digital Innovation in a regional business awards.

The West Cheshire and North Wales Chambers of Commerce has selected the launch of Cimteq’s new online learning resource centre (RLC), the Cimteq Academy, as one of the shortlisted entries into its 2019 Recognition Awards.  Cimteq has designed and developed the Cimteq Academy within its website to support skills growth in digital transformation across the sector and help potential customers better understand their challenges and how they can be addressed.

The Cimteq Academy has been shortlisted in the ‘Digital Innovation’ category as the RLC’s introduction demonstrates that the business has embraced digitisation and has used technology to increase its profitability, with measurable increase in its output of services or products.

The team at Cimteq possess a combined wealth of experience within the cable manufacturing sector.  In particular, Cimteq CEO, Ali Shehab, is a regular contributor to industrial publications, conference papers and presentations. He’s well respected within the industry, combining in-depth technical knowledge and the ability to understand and approach issues from a business perspective. Ali explains: “We recognised an opportunity to optimise our extensive bank of knowledge and offer our website visitors much more than just product information.  To this end we took the decision to develop a resource learning centre within our existing website.  Cimteq Academy was launched in June this year.”

The Cimteq Academy includes whitepapers, offering thought leadership from Cimteq and its partners on industry trends such as Industry 4.0.  It also includes case studies describing how Cimteq products have been successfully implemented across the globe.  Other areas within the academy include FAQ’s, videos, e-learning and webinars, all on subjects that matter the most to the wire and cable industry.

The winners of this year’s Recognition Awards are announced at a ceremony on 15 November 2019.  To find out more about The Cimteq Academy visit:  https://cimteq.com/cimteq-academy/

It’s electric! How cable is powering the cars of the future

Our carbon emissions are overheating the planet and causing immeasurable damage to ice caps, sea levels and, in turn, every organism on the planet.

Governments across the world are looking at ways in which to support a carbon-neutral economy. No more so than in the car industry where a consumer backlash over the emissions scandal and a growing awareness of the direct impact of dirty air on our health is driving industry change. The World Health Organisation estimates that no fewer than 4.2 million premature deaths globally are linked to ambient air pollution.

It is no surprise therefore that electric cars are gaining momentum in the race to save the planet and our health. Environmental credentials aside, it is starting to make more economic sense to buy an electric vehicle. As a general rule, it is estimated that an electric car in the UK costs as little as 2p/mile to run. Government tax incentives to car owners in the UK and many other countries have helped to lower the upfront purchase cost for the consumer. Employers too may benefit tax wise from installing workplace charging units.

In 2017, global sales of new electric vehicles (EVs) passed 1 million units for the first time (figures according to McKinsey’s Electric Vehicle Index). This growth trajectory would quadruple EVs by 2020, with the greatest growth in China where its EV market is larger than Europe and the US combined.

With this meteoric growth in demand for electric cars, so too comes an increased demand for rapid charging points. Added to that, EV providers and their partners want to bring down the cost of charging vehicles. As cable of course plays a significant role in optimising the performance of these charging points, cable manufacturers are in a winning position to capitalise on this industry’s growth. Deriving cost savings through cable design software has never been more timely.

To arrange a discussion with a Cimteq expert on how CableBuilder cable design software can help your company, please email Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager, Cimteq at [email protected]

Are your staff sufficiently skilled?

How do you define skills? The ability to perform a role well is perhaps what springs to mind first and foremost. But progressive companies know that the most valuable employees are also accomplished in interpersonal skills such as communication; decision making; time management; the ability to work under pressure; adaptability; and negotiation – all of which are required to succeed in the Industry 4.0 environment.

Most companies recognise the importance of a structured and methodical induction process; if only as a framework to advise a new employee on what’s expected of them during their probationary period. All too often however training for staff who have been in post for some time falls by the wayside. A common barrier is that it’s seen by factory owners as taking a significant number of man (or woman) hours from the day job.

Done well a robust approach to training can create an environment where the team is adept at contributing more: from an intuitive approach to problem solving to getting things done through more effective relationships.

So what does ‘done well’ look like?

Like the factory owner, the team may be reticent about participating – particularly if it means workloads mounting up in the meantime. Staff need reassurance that the training they’re receiving isn’t just as a box-ticking exercise (which can often be the case with compliance training). There are a number of ways of achieving this:

  • Relevance: making the training applicable to the roles.
  • Professionalism: a professional training course will have a clear agenda, outcomes and practical exercises. Even better, a certificate of attendance – whilst a seemingly small gesture – can help staff to recognise the training as meaningful. The CPD Certification Service is the UK’s leading independent continuing professional development accreditation and can offer some guidance in this area.
  • Internal champions: creating a core team of internal trainers is not only a cheaper alternative to hiring external contractors, it’s one of the best ways of quickly championing a new approach to training.
  • Personal development: there’s no better way to get staff commitment than to align learning to career progression. Working together to agree a training plan with an individual during their annual appraisal creates a shared responsibility between manager and employee to make that happen.
  • Acknowledgement: building a knowledge bank not only celebrates the achievements of those most committed to their own personal development; it sends out a very clear message to the staff and investors of today and tomorrow that yours is a company with a very tangible commitment to its workforce.

Invest in your staff and they will invest in you for many years to come.

To find out more about Cimteq’s own work in this area, please email Katy Harrison, Marketing Manager, Cimteq, [email protected].