Coahuila, on the way to the digitization of processes

The Coahuilense entity has the necessary tools to digitize its production processes

By Luis Mendez. March 2021

Coahuila is a benchmark in the field of manufacturing, the state is a nationwide power due to its high level in the production of auto parts, a department that dominates over the squares of Chihuahua, Nuevo León and Bajío.

In recent years, the Coahuila Automotive Industry Cluster has formed an Innovation and Industry 4.0 Committee, dedicated to change management, innovation and advanced manufacturing.

They have assumed the general objective of sharing and developing best practices, projects and content on technologies focused on improving the manufacturing processes in the plants that are members of the CIAC.

Ricardo Uribe, coordinator of the Committee, shared that in the state there are already some cases of success in companies that have begun to use characteristics typical of the fourth industrial revolution in their operations.

In this sense, the interviewee spoke about the benefits that will be had in the manufacturing lines, such as the convergence of the physical and digital world through the Internet of things, big data and machine learning that allow the obtaining and analysis of data in real time, a fact that is making work models more efficient, generating significant economic savings.

In addition, the use of raw materials can be measured at the moment during a process, so that the system can make the necessary adjustments, optimizing the consumption of materials and reducing costs. Elimination of defects through statistical and advanced control with industry 4.0 tools reduces the margin of error.

The manager shared some of the projects he is working on, such as the application of digital dashboards for quality control, IT / OT convergence systems to determine the use of assets and allow predictive maintenance of machines, among others.

Erik González, specialist in digital transformation, explained about the advice given to companies in the area, such as the use of mixed reality glasses for collaborative work between different plants around the world. He said that this currently allows people to not have to travel to receive training due to the environment of the Covid-19 pandemic, which means an advantage to avoid the risk of contagion; furthermore, its use can be extended in areas such as maintenance and engineering.

In that sense, in the Cluster they hope to promote the development of solution providers for Industry 4.0, forming a synergy with the state government to seek to integrate the Coahuila Technology Park, where it is intended to incubate projects that arise from the needs of the region, allowing to increase the competitiveness of the state.

PRODUCE THE FUTURE LABOR

The link between the industrial, educational and government sectors has focused its efforts on generating a highly qualified workforce to supply personnel to the manufacturing plants in the region.

Ricardo Uribe explained that through dual training programs multiple benefits are obtained for the region in the context of the digitization of processes.

“Academic institutions benefit from updating their study plans and programs in a more agile way,” said the manager.

Educational institutions, such as the National College of Technical Professional Education (Conalep), stand out at the state level for the quality of education they provide to their students to train a competitive staff.

In this regard, José Francisco Barajas, director of Conalep l in Saltillo, Coahuila, said that the institution is focusing on implementing careers that are consistent with the emergence of industry 4.0 due to the needs that are currently demanded.

The manager shared that during 2020 the factories’ ability to carry out their operations was tested. Due to the health issue, many of them were affected and that forced them to look for alternatives to avoid another similar situation.

“The large assemblers and their suppliers faced something that they believed could never happen, such as stopping operations; That made them think about the issue of digitization for their production lines and the automation process, if they had had this tool, they might not have recorded such great losses. We know the needs that exist right now and we understand that many are going to seek to accelerate their Industry 4.0 processes, so we have the mission of training people to meet those demands ”, declared the institution’s leader.

The training models have gained great relevance, it is estimated that in the Southeast Region there are approximately 2,600 Conalep students under this system; however, due to current conditions, many of those programs are on hiatus and could be resumed in April or May.

Conalep tries to involve its students in the fourth industrial revolution, therefore, in the Mechatronics career they have started with education on the subject of advanced manufacturing and digitization in production processes.

On the other hand, manufacturing companies such as Nemak, Magna, Lear Corporation and Mabe, have welcomed these students so that they can put their teachings into practice and, through experience, can increase their competitiveness in the field of manufacturing.

Manufacturas Zapalinamé is another of the companies that seeks to increase the talent of young people, it has three classrooms in its facilities for the machine and tool career, which represents an advantage to become familiar with the working hours in the plant.

For now, they are focusing on students being able to transform raw materials, using the most advanced technologies to optimize their processes.

The facilities and capacity of these students is compared to that of the best educational institutions in the country, such as Tec de Monterrey or the different polytechnic universities in Mexico and in the state.

Finally, José Barajas affirmed that they are on the way to training an even more skilled workforce than there is, without ruling out that the potential of the Southeast Region in the automotive sector will be an incentive so that in 2024 or 2025 there will be a good amount of companies with their digitized processes

Source: Mexico Industry