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The 5 pathways to ACTIA’s Factory 5.0

ACTIA is among the top 5 EMS providers in France in turnover generated by electronics production*. In 2020, its showcase factory in Colomiers, near Toulouse, generated a turnover of 283 million euros, which is 10% of the French EMS market.

The site has a high level of industrial excellence and is continuing its reconfiguration which began in recent years through a Factory 5.0 programme with a deadline set for 2025. This ambitious, innovation-driven project involves a 360-degree transformation of the factory in five key areas: industrial, energy, environmental, security and social.In this article, ACTIA reveals the details of its Factory 5.0 road map.

The Industrial pathway

ACTIA’s Factory 5.0 plan consolidates industrial performance by modernising, digitising, automating and securing ACTIA’s industrial position, particularly for small- and medium-size production runs.

Special production runs

The industrial vision of special production runs remains the same within the ACTIA teams: implementing flow production and, just like in large runs, making better use of data that are already available in order to connect people, facilities and systems.

These types of production have a specific need for:

– connectivity

– streamlined production

– an agile specialist or non-specialist workforce

– shortened logistics cycles associated with increasing economic, societal and environmental constraints.

ACTIA aims for “plug and produce

In the industrial world, “on-demand” manufacturing is tending to gradually replace buffer stockpiling. This is a response to the reduction in time-to-market for new products.

The almost instant transmission of data makes it possible to improve responsiveness and optimise production, in perfect keeping with customer requirements.
The challenge is producing the product in a variety of forms and customising it, while maintaining a single production line. ACTIA is therefore aiming for “plug and produce“, i.e., flexible production based on digitised and modular production units.

The WCM programme

The World Class Manufacturing (WCM) programme deployed by ACTIA on the group’s various industrial sites complements and supports the “plug and produce” approach.
For the benefit of customer satisfaction and industrial performance, WCM steers and structures continuous improvement action plans with teams and in the field.

The programme therefore tends to streamline production runs and ensure the flow of information and data. Within the WCM, the digitalisation of production entails:

  • – reducing human intervention
  • – data management
  • – training
  • – and predicting future events via models.

To this end, ACTIA’s Factory 5.0 programme will be based on:

  • – A Data Lake: which allows all production data, products, machines, people, etc. to be made available in real time.
  • – Artificial Intelligence: which is complementary, in order to provide not only analyses and KPIs but also predictions of the flow of workflows and even of problems that production staff can use and above all avoid.
  • – The automation of certain processes, with the installation of robots, AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicle) and 3D and RX automated optical switches.

The energy and environmental pathways

The eco-responsible component of ACTIA’s Factory 5.0 plan aims to improve the factory’s energy and environmental performance by reducing its carbon footprint and energy consumption.

The factory’s energy mix

The energy mix is the distribution and weighting of the various primary energy sources in the production of directly usable energy such as electricity or heat.

  • 80% of the Colomiers factory’s energy mix is broken down as follows:
  • – 60% of the site’s energy consumption is from manufacturing processes.
  • – 20% of the site’s energy consumption is attributed to heating and cooling the premises.

ACTIA is therefore working on these two optimisation levers to improve its showcase factory’s energy balance.

By 2025, ACTIA aims to reduce its process-related energy consumption by 8% and its CO2 emissions by 0%.

The actions to be taken

Continuing its approach initiated in recent years, specifically with a major project involving the insulation of the infrastructure and the humidification of the workshop, ACTIA is following the recommendations resulting from the audit carried out in September 2020.

These include:

  • – The introduction of a process-related energy control system for 60% of the consumption mentioned;
  • – The installation of sensors on the main energy consumers: machines and air conditioners;
  • – The continuous measurement and monitoring of particulate matter in the workshops in order to ensure an ISO 8 or 9 according to the zones;
  • – The shift towards a consumption of 100% guaranteed renewable electricity (using hydro, solar or wind power).

The Security pathway

As regards cybersecurity, ACTIA’s Factory 5.0 is a continuation of its comprehensive approach to protecting all its assets. The challenge is to ensure the continuous improvement of the security of the factory (already ISO27001 certified) with respect to various risk categories, including the risks associated with cyber-attacks.

The cyber-physical factory

The programme introduces the notion of the cyber-physical factory: connected, simulated and reconfigurable with, in particular, the digital back-up or digital twin of the factory, one objective of which is to ensure business continuity.

The cyber-physical factory operates on the basis of a constant, dynamic and intelligent link between the virtual world and the real world. Digitalisation offers opportunities for the re-industrialisation of a region or a country, but it also involves new risks. Increasingly connected, the factory is faces greater exposure to cyber threats. Cyber security issues are therefore at the core of the cyber-physical factory.

Managing the introduction of 5.0 uses

The cybersecurity component of ACTIA’s 5.0 factory extends the ISO 27001 cybersecurity approach by taking the cyber risk into account in its entirety. This includes setting up a secure ecosystem allowing 5.0 uses to benefit industrial performance, such as AI, machine learning and augmented reality.

This involves establishing secure control infrastructures between automatons and connected objects, between information systems and PLCs/connected objects, between information systems and the Internet, etc.

Read about ACTIA’s industrial cybersecurity approach: Producing-communicating-objects-in-connected-factories-the-challenge-of-industrial-cybersecurity

The Social pathway

Specialists often connect the term Industry 5.0 with cooperation between humans, robots and smart machines. These tools help humans work better and faster by taking advantage of advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data. From this perspective, Industry 5.0 adds a personal human touch to the Industry 4.0 pillars of automation and efficiency. Robots to help human workers, not replace them.

Social performances objectives

The social chapter of ACTIA’s Factory 5.0 goes beyond this purely technological consideration. The plan includes measures to increase operator employability and increase the attractiveness of workstations within the factory.
True to its commitments and its human values, ACTIA aims to expand its employees’ skills and involvement through greater adaptability of resources and above all through an “employer-employee” relationship which is constantly being questioned.

  • Social performance measures include:
  • – measures for supporting change, in particular the shift towards the concept of the augmented operator
  • – developing and preserving jobs, irrespective of the reconfiguration of industrial activity
  • – predicting the skills and training needed, in the short term, in particular to increase versatility at the workstations, using AI tools connected to the Data Lake.

Training at the core of ACTIA’s Factory 5.0

is therefore the main focus of this social transformation. ACTIA’s objective is to become a learning industry which encourages employees to become proactively engaged in their own careers. The Factory 5.0 version of training involves access to real-time learning for operators on their workstations and facilitates self-monitoring and accountability.

  • For example, the ACTIA project includes the development of innovative Human/Machine interaction solutions such as:
  • – e-learning solutions
  • – augmented reality to assist both the trainer and the trainee
  • – augmented reality workstations
  • – new digital HR management tools
  • – …

The project also sets up indicators relating to operator employability with regard to new industrial technologies and for measuring social cohesion at the Colomiers factory.

A favourable climate

The Colomiers site is being reconfigured in a favourable and promising climate. This climate is a response to several consecutive factors such as:

  • – A response to the growing demand of particularly consumer markets for small production runs of complex products: the aeronautics, space and rail markets.
  • – Its willingness to continue to reduce the industrial site’s carbon footprint and to implement the recommendations of the environmental audit undergone by ACTIA.
  • – A need to continue its approach and to increase the site’s resilience to the cybersecurity risks related to the connected objects that ACTIA produces.
  • – A desire to develop an ever more data-oriented ecosystem of suppliers, customers and standards.
  • – The certainty that human competence is at the centre of this transformation.

Things to remember about the ACTIA Factory 5.0 project

  • – The innovative solutions developed to carry out this project will be under severe constraints to reduce the site’s environmental footprint.
  • – They will also be driven by a desire for simplification based on digital technology and automation.
  • – Factory 5.0 cybersecurity is a continuation of the current global cybersecurity approach, taking into account the risks associated with these 5.0 technologies.
  • – Collaboration between humans and machines will lead to a flexible economic model.
  • – Local production and new employment opportunities will also contribute to the sustainable development of the local economy.
  • * Estimated market share recalculated on the basis of the turnover generated in France from the EMS sector, each competitor’s turnover and ACTIA’s turnover
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