U.S. automaker Ford has decided to use drones to conduct high-risk inspections in its Dagenham Engine factory in London. The company found that using drones instead of inspection teams provides a much more time- and cost-efficient solution.
Such inspections previously required a complete plant shutdown at least once a year, so that inspections up on high structures, on the factory roof or other difficult-to-reach areas could be conducted in enough time. However, with drones, inspections can be carried out while the plant is still operating. The drones are fitted with several cameras, including a thermal imaging camera, a wide-angle lens and a close-up lens. The drones provide a more impartial maintenance record, preventing disputes over diagnoses and solutions.
An example of an inspection that the drones now perform is that of the overhead structures known as gantries. The plant has a total of 200 gantries which need to be inspected in case they breakdown or fall apart onto the equipment or unsuspecting workers. During a typical shutdown, a team of about 6 workers would be needed to move lifts and build scaffolds to assist inspections in each machine line. It only takes 2 drones to do the work of 12 employees, and instead of 12 hours it now only takes 12 minutes to inspect a 120-foot gantry.
Click here for further details.
Coca-Cola makes a bid on Costa Coffee
This week the Coca-Cola Company announced that it wishes to acquire Costa Limited for a hefty amount of $5.1 billion from UK company Whitbread PLC. This purchase would give the company access to a strong coffee platform, with around 4,000 retail outlets in 32 countries, across parts of Europe, Asia Pacific, The Middle East and Africa.
By acquiring Costa Coffee, Coca-Cola will benefit from its extensive knowledge and expertise across the coffee supply chain, including sourcing, vending and distribution. This will augment the company’s existing capabilities and Costa’s brand enables Coca-Cola to easily penetrate the hot beverage market and growing markets such as China. It is estimated that entering the hot beverage market would increase the company’s current market value by a further $0.7 trillion. Cola-Cola is at a much greater advantage to expand the Costa chain, quickly and more cost-efficiently than its current owner. The company hopes to expand Costa’s product line by offering more ready-to-drink hot and cold coffee products, as well as at-home options.
For more insight on this, click here.
Wilhelmsen teams up with the Ivaldi Group to enhance the marine spare parts supply chain
Importing and replacing shipping parts can be a costly and wasteful process for the maritime industry. This is why maritime network leader Wilhelmsen has partnered with the Ivaldi Group to develop an in-port additive manufacturing (AD) micro factory, designed to make 3D printed marine parts on-demand. The micro factory will be based in Wilhelmsen’s Ships Service facilities in Singapore, located within a busy port.
Wilhelmsen is the Ivaldi Group’s first partner as part of its Parts Replacement as a Service (PRaaS) model, which will transform the logistics of the spare parts supply chain by employing a digital inventory and on-site production in close range to end-users. The idea is that manufacturers and end-users will benefit from reduced inventories, quicker delivery times, reduced costs and lower emissions when files are shipped instead of parts. Ivaldi’s PRaaS model will be marketed as a subscription service in which OEMs are able to offer digital versions of their replacement parts in a cloud-based inventory where end-users can print them at the point of use.
For more information on this partnership, click here.
Have a nice weekend.