Long before the current buzzwords such as IIoT and AI were defined, Edward Dickson, President and CEO of Tutelar Technologies Inc., developed a vision for an advanced manufacturing environment. He realized the need for an intelligent, connected plant and began work on the Ujigami Product Directed Manufacturing System (PDMS) software. As an answer to the mounting pain points of the manufacturing industry, Ujigami emerges as the real-time control system that can direct, detect, correct and control all processes during the manufacturing of individual parts instantaneously, as they are being manufactured. In this interview with CIO Applications Edward Dickson explains how Tutelar Technologies, as a software company specialized in OEM and tier 1 manufacturing, is revolutionizing the industry.
Tell us about the value proposition and unique abilities of Ujigami software.
Many years ago I realized that we are limited by the skills and experience of our technical resources. Our people are our greatest asset. And our greatest constraint. As a result, we spend vast amounts of funds to attract, train, retain, develop, promote, and generally maximize the effectiveness of our people. There are many companies and industries whose sole purpose is to help us get more from our pool of people. A technical pool that unfortunately is shrinking at a time that demand is rapidly increasing.
But what if there is a way that an intelligent, connected manufacturing environment can help ordinary people, and machines, achieve extraordinary results?
In 2002, building upon my background in advanced Machine Intelligence and OEM manufacturing, I began development of a new kind of software system. Software that is device agnostic, intelligent, able to connect to all machines and devices on the shop floor, and makes decisions in real time. Software that is easy to use, powerful in its results, and runs on any platform. Because the software contains the knowledge of how to produce each part, and then controls the machines and operators to make sure parts are built to their unique specifications, we call it Product Directed Manufacturing.
A Product Directed Manufacturing System (PDMS) acts like a GPS, guiding parts through the appropriate machines and operators, and making accurate and proactive decisions for every part being produced. The PDMS calculates the best route for the manufacture of each individual part to be manufactured. Then each part is tracked through the manufacturing process to ensure quality output, continually making decisions based on real-time feedback.
The knowledge and experience that Tutelar brings to each project at no additional cost far exceeds the cost of the software
Manufacturing rules and intelligence are contained within the Ujigami PDMS software. Direct real-time connection with devices, machines, and people ensures proper setup and configuration of all machines allowing the production system to function as expected. Due to Ujigami’s native browser interface, using the software is intuitive and can be operated by both technical and non-technical staff. In addition, when an employee uses Ujigami, they are not only doing their job but also creating intelligence in Ujigami to be used for improved performance. Visual work instructions not only display information to the operator, but they also interactively ensure every device and machine is set up correctly and process results meet specification. Parts that do not meet specification are positively contained – immediately, at the point of non-conformance. Ujigami is the only plant-floor system that also controls the repair, rework, teardown processes. Quality escapes become a historical event for companies using Ujigami.
These functionalities deliver a highly connected, intelligent manufacturing environment where daily work is translated into a comprehensive, integrated, and robust manufacturing system.
What other advantages does Tutelar provide their customers?
The Ujigami suite of software is rounded out by our Ujiboard World Class Manufacturing System (WCM) and the Ujigami Warehouse Management System (WMS). Ujiboard WCM contains all the tools for a company to go completely paperless and drive the highest performance in Overall Equipment Effectiveness. Ujiboard can be deployed in days with immediate OEE improvements exceeding 10%. Ujigami WMS is a comprehensive warehouse management system that manages and controls all receipts and movement of material. Tightly integrated with Ujigami PDMS and all popular ERP/MRP systems, Ujigami WMS enables finite inventory accuracy and minimum inventory levels. Ujigami WMS is the only real-time warehouse management system that is capable of interfacing with all material handling systems, making deployment straightforward on existing hardware. The Ujigami suite is capable of solving all plant floor problems, dock to dock.
To further support our customers, Tutelar Technologies Inc. provides a team of skilled technicians that act as an extension to the client’s team. With expertise in real-world manufacturing and software implementation, the Tutelar team helps clients quickly solve production challenges.
With companies seeing an increasing rate of knowledgeable people retiring, the manufacturing sector needs a robust and cutting-edge solution to preserve the knowledge and best practices that these seasoned personnel have acquired over the years. Ujigami PDMS provides a tool for clients to capture this production intelligence and retain employee technical expertise for years to come. Ujigami then applies this knowledge to existing and new manufacturing processes enabling high-quality, mistake-free products. It also assists new engineers and personnel to make informed decisions.
Could you cite a specific customer success story to demonstrate the efficacy of your solutions?
One of our customers, a Tier-1 aluminum assembly supplier, was functioning in their traditional manufacturing environment, relying upon manual control of machines and equipment. Due to the inherent product quality problems, they were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in product containment and expedited shipping costs every month. With Ujigami’s advanced, real-time intelligent mistake-proofing capabilities, the client swiftly transitioned to a higher standard of production within weeks.
The Product Directed Manufacturing System has created a manufacturing environment with intimate technical controls. This led to the removal of all extraneous containment and shipping costs. Their OEM customer is enthusiastic about the proven capabilities and is looking forward to Ujigami being deployed more globally. In the end, the client quickly transformed their traditional manufacturing methodology to a next-generation manufacturing environment with technology-driven controls.
What does the future roadmap look like for Tutelar Technologies?
Tutelar Technologies provides a turn-key plant-floor manufacturing solution for companies that require Zero Defect production capabilities as a key differentiator, something which Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing approach but cannot deliver. With Ujigami, our customers deliver 100% outgoing quality in highly regulated and fast-paced industries such as automotive, health care, aerospace, and distribution. Ujigami allows companies to perform better than their competitors by ensuring the highest levels of manufacturing — zero defects, on time, every time.
"Ujigami delivers Zero Defect capabilities for highly regulated industries such as automotive and distribution, and allows companies to become more competitive by ensuring the highest quality product manufacturing — on time, every time"
Tutelar will continue to propagate our vision and take Product Directed Manufacturing capabilities into new production environments to transform the manufacturing arena. With smart machines making their way into the market, we at Tutelar will combine and leverage their intelligence. These advancements continue to provide an opportunity for our customers to deliver quality-assured products at the lowest cost.