SIDÓNIOS MALHAS JOINS INDUSTRY 4.0
Sidónios is ready for the Industry 4.0 era: automatic packaging machines and defect reduction tools using artificial intelligence are two of the examples given by Alexandre Silva, production engineer, in this interview with Jornal T. The transformation path has been made with SISTRADE's support, a partnership the Roriz company recommends: "they have a very proactive and innovative vision, with them we can always be one step ahead," he says.
Can you tell us a few things about Sidónios, including its activity and the markets it covers?
Sidónios Malhas is one of Portugal's leading companies in the production and sale of high value-added finished knitwear. Located in Barcelos, it is commonly known for its strong capacity to develop and produce exclusive knitwear. Given our wide variety of articles (Fashion, Children's, Sports, Protection, ...) we export directly to nearly every market in the world.
Sidónios is recognized as an innovative company. We know you've been investing in Industry 4.0. Can you tell us about the investments made over recent years in this area?
Anyone who knows and works with us knows that when it comes to challenges and developments, Sidónios is very capable of designing a wide variety of knits. Anyone who knows and works with us knows that when it comes to challenges and developments, Sidónios is very capable of designing a wide variety of knits. Although this is an advantage, it is also challenging to control and keep abreast of all developments. That's the reason why, over the years, we have maintained a great investment not only in new knitwear collections but also in technology, which helps us to better serve our customers and stay ahead of the competition. These investments are:
• Exclusive looms adapted to the market needs;
• Several tools for defect reduction and increased performance. Many of them are already installed when purchasing the looms, while others are later adapted using Artificial Intelligence to analyze and reduce defects;
• Automatic packaging machine and defect inspection and categorization software;
• Through an internal network on all the looms, we have access to Andon Boards for assisted production and setup management;
• Recently we have also invested in a customer portal, something we have wanted to offer our customers for a long time, but only with SISTRADE's help was it possible. Now, in this portal, our customers can access the automatically updated status of their orders, as well as access delivery notes and invoices;
• Gantt Planning;
• Looms integrated connection to the ERP.
Is it easy to find people and companies in this industrial digitalization field?
No, in my opinion, many technology companies are currently fleeing the industry. As there is a limited offer, there is also a limited development in this field. Fortunately, we were approached by SISTRADE, which wanted to expand its business, namely in the textile field.
Does Sidónios have an integrated solution for its business processes management? What advantages do you see in integrated management solutions?
Internally, it speeds up and simplifies our work. The fact that we can quickly access almost every part of our company via a web browser has revolutionized our working method. In a single software application, we can check whether a loom is running at the right speed, as well as information on invoices, orders, human resources... This all results in a much more assisted order management, more detailed and faster information for customers and suppliers, and a production planning with real-time information.
The Production Management is always the most critical and very important area to manage - can you tell us a bit more about the solution you use?
Our management focus is always based on the delivery date. The most significant aspect for us is to have orders ready on time. So, we design the tools to help us achieve that. We have a Gantt planning that is fueled with information from the looms and highly flexible for any spontaneous changes from customers or adverse problems. Andon Boards with information on each loom's performance, days left to deliver the order, setup priorities… We also have automatic monthly employee performance reports which helps us manage our workers.
Sidónios works in technically complex product areas. How does digitalization and Industry 4.0 solve the knit of technical data as well as production management?
With SISTRADE's help, we were able to create a very versatile module for technical data sheet generation, which includes all the essential information for creating and replicating the mesh. In addition, we have established multiple paths so all the orders received from customers are available to the employees who prepare and carry out the setup for that mesh.
Industry 4.0 talks about machine connectivity. Is there a connection to machines? How does it work? Can you explain the importance of this connection?
Yes. Connecting to the looms helps us obtain more detailed and faster information on production metrics. In our case, we chose a simpler solution, where we focus on what really matters to us: loom performance and defect reduction.
SISTRADE was selected as a partner in this area of Industry 4.0. Are you overall satisfied with their services?
Yes, it's a company that comes from other industries and isn't exclusively focused on textiles. They bring a range of techniques that have been developed for other industries, but which adapt very well to textiles. They have a very proactive and innovative vision where, together, we can always be one step ahead of the competition.
Would you recommend Sistrade software to other companies?
Absolutely. Not only for weaving but also for other textile sectors, SISTRADE has always proved to be on top of the challenges and very good with its solutions.
INTERVIEW Sidónios Malhas - Jornal Vida Económica [PDF Version]
Sidónios Malhas and SISTRADE partner in the production area
Sidónios Malhas is a nationally referenced company when it comes to production of knitted fabrics on circular looms. About a decade ago, the internationalization process began, the company has grown continuously and there was the need to increase efficiency in terms of production. As Alexandre Silva Sidónio, director of Sidónios Malhas, referred to “Vida Económica”, SISTRADE was chosen to provide this necessary support.
“According to Alexandre Silva Sidónio, “SISTRADE caught us half way through a process of changing the ERP. SISTRADE team made a presentation of the potential of their software, and this captured the interest of Sidónios Malhas, especially for the industrial part. Both sides recognized that there was a strong potential to establish a partnership, which ended up happening”. At the moment, the implementation of the program is underway, which is going to be concluded shortly. The most important aspect is that even though the textile sector is highly complex, SISTRADE has proved to be very strong in the production area.
A good scheduling solution for production area
The textile industry involves a whole series of complexities, since there is a large amount of product in stock, whether raw material or finished product. The development of the samples also increases difficulty. “All this requires a good production scheduling. The scheduling changes every day, and it is extremely important to have a good tool, good support in the IT area”. The response given by SISTRADE to a whole series of demands satisfies the head of Sidónios Malhas, bearing in mind that the positive results are already being felt.
For the entrepreneur, the industry solutions provided by SISTRADE are aligned with the future needs of Sidónios Malhas. “What is happening is that we are opting for as much automation as possible, without inducing mistakes”. In this context, he is satisfied with the IT company, not only in terms of the selected product but also with the team that provides all the necessary support for the implementation of the software. “People like understanding the area itself and this is an investment with a guaranteed return. The program will allow employees to orient their activity to other areas that are essential for the proper functioning of the company, not least because bureaucracy is also substantially reduced”, concluded Alexandre Silva Sidónio.
Exporting for a decade
Sidónios Malhas is a textile company founded in the eighties. Its main activity is the production of knitted fabrics on circular looms, with a strong focus on internationalization has been made in the last 10 years. Located in Barcelos, the company occupies an area of around 18 thousand sqm, of which 12 thousand cover a machine park comprising of 70 circular looms. Since its creation, Sidónios Malhas has grown successively, both in terms of turnover and in terms of facilities and staff. The company considers it essential to guarantee the commitment to the error prevention to carry out the activities according to applicable requirements, ensuring the continuous improvement of processes for the products and services to be both profitable and at competitive price.