Global Supply Chain Crisis: Disruption Effects and Solutions in Industrial Automation
In today’s world, the supply chain is more fragmented than ever before. Companies are buying materials from different suppliers, manufacturing different products from different vendors, and getting them to end customers through multiple channels. This fragmentation is a huge advantage for companies because it makes things easier when everything needs to be shipped from one place to another. However, this also creates new challenges for businesses that are trying to ship their goods faster with more efficiency. It’s now much more difficult for businesses to predict exactly how many units of a given product they will need at any given time. This is mostly because supply chains are so fragmented that there isn’t necessarily enough stock in the various locations where they need it, more specifically with industrial automation here compatibility is sensitive and resources are getting scarcer due to various reasons such as natural disasters, pandemics disease, peak season demands, shipping restrictions, and labor strikes – just to name a few.
In addition, very often companies have systems that are non-universal without a standards-based approach, creating boundaries and difficulties in interaction and integration between systems, and even worse, have no backward compatibility.
Ti2 is a premium distributor for CODESYS, providing seamless, full, turn-key solutions with easy adaptation to different system requirements and environments, and integrated functions for practice-oriented automation devices.
End users employ CODESYS for successful creation of simple and sophisticated automation applications for industrial controllers that are used in factories, mobile machines, power and building automation systems, as well as many other areas. Several features and properties of the system help in this work.
With complete IEC 61131-3 programming system – from classic PLC programming to object-oriented controller programming, everything is integrated in a single user interface
What Is A Disruption In The Supply Chain?
A disruption in the supply chain is when one or more parts of the chain experience an unexpected disruption. This can include a change in demand, a change in the conditions of one or more elements in the chain, a decrease in availability, or a shortage of commodities. When a company doesn’t have enough inventory of a certain product or raw material, or when a supplier doesn’t have enough capacity to produce what is needed at the same time, it can lead to a disruption in the supply chain, causing delays in production, lost sales, and even customers if they don’t receive the products they ordered at the specified time.
Inventory Loss Due To Discrepancies
It’s common for companies to lose inventory due to discrepancies. This is often due to customer returns or mislabeled products that are sent out to customers. When you sell products, you may have very specific instructions for how to package and label the product. You may even have employees who check to make sure that the employee at the shipping department is following your instructions. However, it’s entirely possible that some inventory will be mislabeled and sent out to customers anyway. When products are returned to you, you may put them in a new box and send them back out again. This type of inventory loss can add up quickly and be a major issue if it’s not caught right away. The only way to stay away from such flaws and mistakes would be through an automated system where programmed cobots help reduce human errors. Reach out to Ti2 for proven industrial automation solutions.
Incorrect and Disrupted Inventory Management
If you’re not paying close attention to how much inventory you have on hand, you could end up running out of vital products. This could lead to a major disruption in the supply chain due to stock unavailability or shipment delay. Something most manufacturing and production companies are facing today due to geopolitical and pandemic challenges.
For example, metallic and minerals, as important raw materials are very necessary for most manufacturers. With the transportation and logistic restrictions, with China on peak lockdown, etc., production and manufacturing automatically face disruption.
This is a critical part of the supply chain, a company that is dependent on this vital part, will not have enough capacity on hand, will and have lost a serious amount of revenue. Many lost their business due to the loss of customers due to the crash of quality and quantity assurance.
Natural Disasters or Force Majeure
A natural disaster, like a hurricane, flood, earthquake, or volcano is a force majeure. An unexpected event may cause problems that are unprecedented. Most of the time, facilities will require insurance for damages that are caused by such situations. If a natural disaster has caused a shortage of a vital raw material that you need for production, you may have to temporarily close your facility and/or delay your shipping until the facility reopens.
Pandemic Or Infectious Disease Outbreaks
When there is an outbreak of pandemic disease, you may not be able to get the raw materials you need to produce your product because the suppliers will have been affected. For example, let’s say you need a certain type of lumber to create your product, and the lumber mill has been shut down due to an infectious disease. If you don’t have a backup supplier or another alternative, you will have a disruption in your supply chain.
With industrial automation, today, companies are looking to work with providers such as CODESYS to have a wider range of vendors that can provide everything they need, through one user interface, without compatibility issues.
Peak Season Demands, shipping restrictions, or custom clearance delays
During times of peak season, you may have orders that are coming in faster than your suppliers are able to produce the goods. To make sure you can ship the product to customers in a timely manner, you may want to increase your inventory and/or find more suppliers. During shipping, you may get stuck waiting for lengthy customs clearance delays. If you have products that need to be shipped by a certain date, but customs slows this process down, you could have a disruption in your supply chain.
Strategies To Overcome Supply Chain Disruptions
When disruptions happen in your supply chain, it’s important that you identify the cause and the severity of the disruption. You will then need to assess your options and decide which is the best course of action. If you have a short-term disruption, you will likely have time to make adjustments and find solutions with your trusted vendors. However, if you have a long-term disruption, you’ll need to take more drastic measures. Such as establishing with vendors that are able to adapt to your current technology and have better adaptability and versatility.
Today is an agile era. We need technologies that will work forward, and backward. And when the supply chain crises are no longer here, you’ll be able to get back to your previous system state, but oftentimes, a new solution is just what you need to scale your business and keep it from the verge of breaking down.
One of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions is to manage your inventory levels carefully. This means being aware of your demand and supply forecasts, managing your inventory levels, and having a supplier management program that is designed to help you get the raw materials you need.
With CODESYS, easy adaptation to different system requirements and environments is offered:
- Product available as a modular single-source runtime system for different device platforms
- Support for all common processors and operating systems for industrial systems, including native usage of multicore architectures (multicore support)
- Projectable development expenses: Development of industrial controllers with pronounced technical characteristics by means of defined interfaces and qualified adaptation support
- Numerous available reference systems and platforms (e.g. for popular ARM/Cortex or embedded systems)
- Easy implementation of specific device properties by means of library modules (e.g. for own I/O functions)
- Adaptation and extendability of the user interface by manufacturer-specific plug-in modules (e.g. templates, editors, configurators, and wizards)
- Integration into existing system architectures by means of lean proprietary interfaces or standards, such as OPC / OPC UA.
Size and functionality of the modular runtime system can be scaled.
Finding Alternative Solutions
If you experience a disruption in your supply chain, one of the first things you should do is assess the situation. Are there other suppliers who can fill the void? Are there other distributors or channels you can use to aid the system?
- The CODESYS Group: Product development by expert engineers and computer scientists by means of a proven, agile development framework (Scrum)
- Practice-oriented support from experienced project developers in the development of automation devices — from the initial idea to its implementation and product maintenance
- Fast response times to market demands with market-ready products: e.g. extend existing logic controllers to be flexible CNC controllers, provide them with integrated OPC UA servers, implement automated device and applications tests or TÜV-certified safety controllers
- Reliable maintenance, care, and quality assurance of all products and features by means of practical processes, ISO 9001-certified (since 2005)
- Long-term and confidential cooperation with device manufacturers from different branches and regions
- Transparent management with distinctive communication culture (e.g. by means of regular coordinating meetings at different levels, direct access to database for product improvement and ideas)
- High market acceptance of CODESYS-compatible automation devices by means of wide distribution among tens of thousands of users worldwide
- Services for common product marketing (e.g. at trade fairs, events, and online)
CODESYS offers a reliable and widely used system for established industrial applications
- Globally established system platform
- Over 10,000 application developers in the field
- Over 100,000 different applications
- Programming interface for approx. 1,000 different industrial controllers and over 1,000,000 devices sold every year
- Established use of CODESYS in applications with
- 50,000 OPC elements
- 25 MB application source code
- 800 MB PLC data
- Approx. 200 synchronised drives
- Widely used in educational institutions: For training future technicians and engineers in schools and universities
- Large global community of knowledge: Expert support for application development from third-party vendors, e.g. specially trained companies (CODESYS system partners) or independent programmers and consulting engineers, online forum for easy communication with other CODESYS users
The CODESYS Group sets milestones in automation technology — either alone or in research projects with other automation companies and universities. As a member of standardisation committees, the CODESYS Group makes sure that automation programmers benefit from progress (e.g. by taking advantage of current Internet technologies or innovations in information technology).
Ti2 is currently very focused on working with its global partners to secure stock and avoid long delay times in delivering products to their customers. Together with our trusted partners, we are here to provide solutions.
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