Building the datadriven manufacturing ecosystem
With over a decade of professional experience in the manufacturing industry, Willson Deng, 5-HT X-Linker Alumni and CEO of Arcstone, strives to break new ground and spearhead digital manufacturing solutions in some of the world’s most transformative nations. In an Interview with 5-HT, the entrepreneur talks about customer-centric manufacturing, the real value of IoT and advantages of Arcstone’s solutions as they strive to interconnect the global manufacturing supply chain.
Arcstone is focused on making Asia´s chemical manufacturing processes transparent and visible to the world. Within manufacturing, especially in the chemical industry, we have scattered data silos found in sensors, equipment, and all sorts of solutions sitting in different areas. There is a lack of digitalization as well: Manual pen-and-paper processes may not capture all manufacturing data accurately and is prone to high rates of human error.
“We aim to simplify Industry 4.0 and enable a more responsive, responsible, and sustainable manufacturing ecosystem for everyone by digitizing and integrating manufacturing operations from the shop floor, across the global supply chain, right to the hands of consumers,” said Willson Deng.
Arcstone understands that manufacturing can be complicated, but strongly believes that data has the power to simplify it and to make it better. “We draw on our team’s deep expertise that spans the manufacturing ecosystem in order to configure solutions that address challenges and pain points unique to the industry and enable them to operate with greater agility and deliver innovation, opportunity and growth through data.
We help our customers improve their businesses by applying data to the fullest extent through easy drag-and-drop digital tools. At Arcstone, we take the time to understand our manufacturer’s needs and put these at the heart of everything we do to develop the right digital solutions for future scalability.”
arc.ops: Reveal hidden value
Arcstone developed its own next-gen manufacturing execution system, termed arc.ops, with 40+ different modules to deliver real-time data, and enable full visibility, control, and optimization. “With arc.ops, our customers can utilize the data that is flowing through the factory floor all the way to senior management to run advanced analytics. As well as identify areas of improvement, perform preventive maintenance, and ensure workforce accountability.
These toolsets enable manufacturers both big and small to experience the benefits of harnessing real-time data to actively monitor processes that will smooth out operations, deliver quality products to end customers, and reduce overall production costs.”
Helping manufacturers gain visibility over production operations
“One of the key things that we've always started with in the very beginning was: how do we help manufacturers gain visibility over the production operations that they're managing? And when we start, we start looking at the shop floor production operations at the factory level. What are people doing? What are the machines doing? How's material flowing back and forth? How are the processes progressing? How's the quality control? There are so many different silos of areas within a manufacturing process that you need to know in order to be able to improve the whole process. Visibility became the most important factor and the foundation to the rest of the company’s success.”
How do you define customer-centric manufacturing?
“Traditionally, mass manufacturing has always been about simply producing to specifications and at economies of scale. These orders are given from some customers, and the job of the manufacturer is to build to that blueprint. Customer-centric manufacturing involves getting in touch with the final user of the product that you’re producing for. This is to understand not only the requirements, but how these requirements may change during use, which parts break down most often in the field and what can be added or expanded for the next product iteration. Gone are the Ford car days where anyone can have a car as long as it’s black. Now even raw material providers need to be aware of how consumer tastes and trends change to better adapt to requirements.”
Are manufacturers disadvantaged by being disconnected from their consumers?
“To a certain degree, yes; retailers, distributors and resellers do have a more direct connection to a customer compared to manufacturers. However, what we would also need to consider is that having the right manpower and talent to deal with direct customer reactions as well as feedback along with product design and iterations is an expensive and costly affair. For certain manufacturers, it may still be worthwhile to maintain retailer relationships, but the relationship needs to evolve to incorporate data sharing and customer reaction/preference sharing to make their relationship more symbiotic compared to the traditional buy, sell, and resell approach.”
How do you overcome this?
“Maintaining a data-first policy is a critical one to bridge the gap between manufacturer, reseller and consumer. This can be the setup of a real-time data transfer between the manufacturer and the reseller to get immediate feedback and changes due to consumer tastes and requests. For example, using Arcstone’s arc.net toolset, a multi-leveled blockchain tool that links suppliers to the end manufacturer helps to provide end-to-end transparency in production and product design and rapid just-in-time production. Building in data generating toolsets into a product (sensors, feedback tools, etc.) will allow automatic customer feedback, which will help manufacturers iterate on product designs. Emphasis from both manufacturer and reseller should always be to get the highest fidelity data on consumer feedback and from the product utilization.”
What is Arcstone’s mission?
“With a mission to accelerate the digitization of the global supply chain, Arcstone is a fast-growing manufacturing software company providing the tools for Industry 4.0 and beyond.
By working with us, manufacturers gain better visibility and optimization of their production processes. By digitally monitoring, maintaining, and controlling manufacturing equipment and processes, they can unlock the value of data. Our toolsets provide management and workers an intuitive and powerful solution for running their day-to-day operations, with the ability to visualize and optimize their facilities in real-time.
We have successfully delivered our solutions to global and innovative companies across countless industries. Arcstone's current suite of tools operating in facilities globally to power them towards the digital age of manufacturing.”
What experiences do you take away from the 5-HT X-Linker?
"The 5-HT X-Linker was a great event that helped expand Arcstone’s exposure but also for us to learn and improve on our product, our offerings, and our solution. Connecting with potential corporate collaborators was also fantastic to foster longer term partnership potentials. We hope to work closer with the 5-HT team in the future!"
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