Mister Beacon Episode #96

Optimizing Manufacturing with Bluetooth Pallet Tracking

August 13, 2019

There’s been a lot of talk about the new Bluetooth Angle of Arrival (AoA) standard. This week we have a first-hand account of what it took to deploy AoA technology and how well it worked in a large scale manufacturing environment. At the Quuppa Partner Conference in Finland, we had a chance to sit down with Bob Grimm, an IT Enterprise Architect at NGK Automatics Ceramics USA, Inc. Bob had just been on stage talking about NGK’s recent deployment of Quuppa Angle of Arrival technology as part of the architecture for a real time location system (RTLS). NGK Ceramics, creators of an indispensable part for automobile catalytic converters, have massive manufacturing centers which equates to many assets and moving products that need to be accounted for. Bob described the pre-RTLS process as “finding a pallet in a sea of pallets” and the environment as exceeding production capacity that was out growing their rack based inventory control process. With the RTLS system in place, NGK immediately saw value from the increased efficiency in their production lines and now even higher value in the analytics they can derive from all the data. In this episode, we also hear about how the workplace can become more harmonious with clear, instantaneous answers rather than speculation.

Transcript

  • Narration 0:07

    The Mr. Beacon podcast is sponsored by Wiliot, scaling IoT with battery free Bluetooth.


    Steve Statler 0:17

    Welcome to the Mr. Beacon podcast. This week here we are in Finland with Helsinki. I'm with Bob Grimm, who is one of the key members of the technology team at NGK ceramics who make ceramics that go into the tailpipes and cars.

    Bob's just come off stage, we came offstage day before yesterday at the Cooper conference, talking about ng ks experience pioneering the deployment of an angle of arrival RTLs system. So we're going to talk about that now. So Bob, thanks very much for joining us on the show. Oh, you're welcome.


    Bob Grimm 1:01

    Thank you for having me.


    Steve Statler 1:02

    Yeah. So I think, you know, what you guys have done is really, really interesting. So, tell us a little bit about NGK to start off with and then we'll, I'd love to explore why NGK decided it would be a good idea to deploy and RTLs. And you know what it was and, and basically what happened, how it worked out.


    Bob Grimm 1:31

    Start off with ng ng k, turns 100 years old as a global company headquartered in Japan. North American operations started about just over 30 years ago in 1988. Making again, the insights of catalytic converters, relatively unknown industry when you think about it, because it's one of our one of my members of my team and partner in our team that says is, we make the piece of a piece of a part of a finished product in a car. So in the large picture of it, how eventful was that, but we're really good at it. We're only one of two providers globally that make the product and how we first started down the RTLS path. Back in 2013, we put in rack systems in the facility, it actually preceded my employment there. I started with the company in 2014. But they put the rack system into inventory automation, replace all the forklift driving around the plant.


    Steve Statler 2:31

    And these rack systems are not this is not just shelving, this is an automated computerized system with its own inventory. And


    Bob Grimm 2:42

    yeah, absolutely, yeah, we have automatic ground vehicles that actually deliver the product from the end of the production line over to the storage, it tracks it when it goes into their storage rack. And when it's retrieved from the storage rack, that's all tracked. So it was great for inventory control, when our production capacity and our production throughput was able to hold everything within the rack system, what we encountered shortly after installing it, because as with any company, from the time you get the budget from concept and you actually deliver especially something as complex as an automatic delivery system, where you have to cut in the concrete and install wiring and do everything to get it installed from the time you get the concept in place until you get it actually built and installed and are able to gain value from it. production capacities can change. So what ended up happening was our production was far exceeding the capacity of our racks. So what was happening on the floor was they were delivering product, measuring putting squares on the floor, delivering product to those squares dropping it off. Well, now you don't have any clear way on how to track that product on the floor. So what do you end up doing is you end up having people walking around with a list.


    Steve Statler 3:56

    Just pause for a little bit just to give some context, we are surrounded by what we think Canadian geese. And we're actually sitting on a swing by a lake. So So just some context. So back to the back to the story and just one step back. So NGK is Japanese company. That's correct. And so you from, from my perspective, very well organized, structured, automated production processes and you operate around Kaizen principles, is that the right way of expressing it? Yes, absolutely. So this is kind of a philosophy of constant improvement. And, you know, my sense and if, you know, full disclosure, NGK were a client of mine when I was in the consulting business and we worked together a little bit on this, this project, but you know, my my sense is, things were going things you operate in a very tight ship. But there was a desire to track pallets basically know where things were and keep get an extra level of inventory control is that? Yeah,


    Bob Grimm 5:17

    well, yes. But it was also capacity, I mean, the plants capacity had exceeded what the rack system was originally designed to hold, we had other square footage that was not didn't have rack coverage, but it was sitting in the similar areas, our processing, is creating a product, finding the product in the kiln as the name implies ceramics, finding the product in the kiln, and then inspecting the product, packaging it up for shipment to the customer. What was ended up happening was they were storing and putting in product anywhere they could find place on the floor. And now you have people walking around looking to locate that product on the floor in the best possible way they can, which is give me a list of the products. And let me by identifying the product over time, obviously, experience expertise, you know what you're looking for, more or less, but now you have to go find a pallet in ECM pallets. And that's where kind of the concept come about from my predecessor. Within the IT arena was how can technology better help looking for locating a pallet? What if the pallet could tell me where it was. And that's when we started going down the path of looking for a solution. Coming through multiple variety of solution, as you know, from the very beginning, and there was a lot out there that will meet the needs. But every need is slightly different in their specifications and every need that one technology is not going to suit all of them.


    Steve Statler 6:42

    Right. And so it seemed to me, you know, when you've your manufacturing plant is massive, it's the size of several football pitches. So you had kind of a lot of space to cover. But these pallets seems they look very similar. And they're very close together. So you're kind of finding a needle in a very large haystack. So so how does that translate into accuracy? How accurate does this real time location system need to be,


    Bob Grimm 7:13

    we needed it to be sub meat or sub three feet was the goal. So we could track it down to a three foot by three foot section was that was a goal we were going into ideally? Because we wanted to know, okay, is it the first pallet in the row, the second, the third and the fourth, it would also help for us to come in. From which angle we were going to come in to get the pallet and retrieve it from that area. And again, reduce the time it took to locate, identify, locate and obtain the pallet and deliver it to the next phase in the process. Right.


    Steve Statler 7:44

    And, you know, this is more than a red dot problem isn't at the center of it is you need a very accurate red dot. But you've got these other business processes for the red.to be integrated in can you describe a little bit about without going into too much confidential detail? But how does how do you pair a red dot with the way the business looks at these palettes? Well,


    Bob Grimm 8:13

    I think first of all is in putting take a little step back further and talk about we had to determine what truly the did the business haven't need to locate the red dot how much effort was going in to find those dots on the map so to speak, before we could look at even automating it. You know, it wasn't really truly a need. And then how are we going to be able to find that need. And as we found out going down this path was in any customer going down this path would be we don't know what we don't know, we don't know what's out there. We sometimes don't as a customer don't even know what our need is, we have an idea. But it doesn't mean that that's going to be the end result as we started walking down this path. And I think it's a matter of being open and understanding. And ultimately looking at yes, we want to know where the red.is but then what else can we obtain from the value on that red.we know where it is right now? How did it get there? Where did it go from there from beginning to the end of the process? And I think really, and we've jumped ahead a little bit now. But really the next steps are going to be what kind of analytics can we get from looking@that.on the map?


    Steve Statler 9:19

    So it's not just finding the pallet in an instance of time you're talking about tracing its journey?


    Bob Grimm 9:27

    Absolutely. We went into this looking for the palette, but then realizing from an analytical perspective, and this is clearly going to be we're not at this phase yet by any means. It's looking at going to that next phase because that's truly where the value is going to be as in the analytics of it all and it falls right in line with the Kaizen mindset of you know, how can we streamline a process? Where does the what are the miles within the plant that a product travels or the feet or the yards or the meters or whatever it may be within the facility because if you can reduce the amount of time In the facility, then you can obviously become more efficient. And less inventory, you have better quality control measurements and across your throughput through the facility.


    Steve Statler 10:08

    And, you know, why do you care about the path of the pallets if it's a robot that's moving the panelists around? Well,


    Bob Grimm 10:18

    everything, everything has a value associated to it. Whether it's maintenance on the robot every time, the wheels turn on a particular piece of equipment, whether it's a forklift, whether it's an automatic vehicle, whether it's a pallet jack, there's wear and tear occurs on those products. So the less you are moving, turning a will, for lack of a better descriptor, on a manufacturing floor on a concrete floor. The less maintenance you need to perform on that particular piece of equipment again, whether it's a pallet jack or forklift. I mean, it's amazing to think that people use a pallet jack in a warehouse, you never think about them were wearing out until you walk past the dumpster and used to see four or five pallet jacks sitting in the dumpster to be replaced. Because they lifted pallets. So many times the wheels have worn off of them but being pulled across concrete floors. Forklifts have maintenance on their wheels, automatic ground vehicles have maintenance that needs to be performed. So the least amount of wheel turns you can get, the less maintenance you can have to do on any particular piece of equipment.


    Steve Statler 11:18

    So we'll take a step back and cover only what the system isn't there. But we're into an interesting area. So. So it sounds like if you have a spaghetti diagram or a trace of where are these 1000s of pallets of moving, you have the opportunity to simplify to optimize to take a more direct path and save time and save maintenance on the on the equipment.


    Bob Grimm 11:43

    Is that absolutely, absolutely, there's quite an opportunity. And then if you can further move analytics one step further, which is the future of analytics is going is when anyone can identify the path a product should take, and what the automatic vehicles you can take that path but what happens if it goes to a different location, that means one, it's either obviously not on the automatic vehicle to deliver it or somebody programmed in to deliver to the incorrect place than they should have identified it to be delivered to. Or it's on a forklift or manually being moved. For whatever reason, a part of the process caused it to be manually moved, and it is now moved outside of its normal route. Well, if I can look at analytics and determine the frequency, we have a product that doesn't follow that expected path, then I can determine the impact is it worth me, Okay, I just need to inform somebody that the product was someplace it shouldn't have, and send email notification they can look into the next day, or if it's happening frequently enough. And it's happening enough. And I won't know that till we start doing the analytical aspect of it, that it may be worthwhile for me to actually notify the forklift driver of hey, you're putting this part where it this part needs to go over here, something's Miss identified it something's is Miss directing you without coming out and saying you're being Miss directed, or you're putting it someplace where it doesn't belong. It's okay, this product normally doesn't follow this path. Are you sure this is where it belongs. And to put that safety check in because again, the sooner I can either identify that it's outside the normal expectation or expected path, then I can have action based on that. And therefore either reduce the amount of time I've even sometimes go look for it on as a.on the map, because I can now use analytics to determine that, hey, this dot doesn't belong in this area of the map. Let's move it where it belongs to or if you say no, for a particular reason it has to belong here, then now at least I've notified somebody that that palette is sitting there, maybe it's waiting for the next phase, maybe it's pulled to the side for an extra quality assurance or an extra inspection step. Because again, part of the manufacturing process, you have variables that adjust or change or customers demands that maybe there is a reason it was put there. And there was a reason why it went outside those analytics. But until you start really analyzing those analytics, you don't know what you're going to find in them. And things may be running smoothly, and you don't even use the everything's running flawlessly, which is perfect. That's what you want to obviously see in any kind of a manufacturing facility.


    Steve Statler 14:07

    So that's great, you have some real data to understand the exceptions how often they're happening. And that can help just expedite a particular order for a customer but it can also help you make the system better. So let's take that step back and just recap. So there was an RFP process you looked at, I think almost a dozen different vendors, all sorts of technologies, ultra wideband technology, different kinds of Bluetooth Bluetooth based on signal strength, Bluetooth based of an angle of arrival. fast forward through that that process, what did you end up choosing and what does the system look like?


    Bob Grimm 14:49

    We ended up choosing the Cooper system. And we did not realize going into it the value that the angle of arrival or the angle of departure really played into Do the dynamics of the system, again, until you really start looking at trying to locate that thought on the map, or better yet, seeing the map map move in real time, one of the selling factors for us was the ability to put the tags on our ground vehicles and actually watch, it served two purposes, it allowed us to really do some quality control to make sure that the virtual map matched the physical layout of the facility. And then as as pallets were moving, we could see the accuracy of that moving, because by attaching one of the tags to the AGV system, we could actually stand on a balcony and looked at look at a digital map on our hand, and look down and actually see the product moving in real time below us as we're watching it move on the map. And that gave us the ability to actually get more pinpoint accuracy. By seeing something move in real time, you know, am I looking at the map and seeing it roughly where it's supposed to be on the floor? Or am I seeing it three, four, or five, six feet off, if I'm seeing it three, four, or five, six feet off, I fine tune the system a little bit better, tweak it a little bit more to get my accuracy down to where I want it to be. And it really gave the wow factor to have been able to show, hey, here's the doc move in and look off the edge of the balcony. And look, there's there's where we expect it to be. So now you're actually delivering to the business and showing the business what the potential of this system is.


    Steve Statler 16:24

    So just to recap the the architecture, so you have battery powered Bluetooth tags that are attached to it's not exactly on the pallets attached. What are these tags attached


    Bob Grimm 16:38

    to? Yeah, that was part of our selection process. Because of through our manufacturing process, the product moves from pallet to pallet. Obviously, you cannot run a wooden pallet through a kiln, so that you have to remove the product loaded and unloaded back to a pallet. So we chose was to associate it to our travel ticket, which traveled with a pallet from the beginning of the production cycle all the way to the inspection cycle. So we had to work through those dynamics whenever we first brought the initial pilot in. Yes, it's great. This works, we see it Okay, now well, how do we move from pilot to full production where now you're involving hundreds of people in the process, as opposed to just a handful that know all the details of the tags. And then what we actually ended up going with was we have a barcode on every one of our pallets, we had every one of our tags required to have a barcode on the back of them. So we went in with Apple pairing and unpairing. So at the beginning of the process, again, growing pains going from production, you know, we tried multiple ways, we ended up settling on attaching a small plastic bag sticker to the back of our travel ticket. At the beginning of the process, they scan the travel ticket, the scan the tag, slide to tag in, it is now attached to that travel ticket and stays there throughout the whole process. And then once it reaches our inspection department, what happens is once it reaches the inspection department that power has been inspected, it gets put into a bucket, so to speak, to be delivered back to the front. When it reaches that phase of the process, it is automatically unpaired. So it requires no human intervention to go in there and say, Oh, let me separate this tag from this particular travel ticket. Automatically the system knows Hey, I'm in this location. I've been inspected. I'm Let me prepare this tag to be reused. And then work out the logistics, how do we get those tags moved back to the beginning of the process, separated across our production lines. So then they can reuse them and begin to begin their travel through the facility all over again. Attached Janell a new product, a new travel ticket for that particular point in time


    Steve Statler 18:36

    and say you've got a travel ticket, which is a document, you've got a Bluetooth tag and they're attached together. What's the device that you use to read these QR codes? Is it a QR code? Yeah, it's


    Bob Grimm 18:49

    a QR code. And we went with we tried given things throughout the process, we were looking at using phones and cameras and the speed of reading was way too slow, we end up settling on a natural barcode scanner that we have them at the beginning of the process. Fortunately, like I said, we do not need to have them at the end to separate them. But at the beginning, we put a barcode scanner at the beginning of each of our production lines. And the forming technician or the the leader of the area will whenever he prints out the travel tickets for that particular shift and that work, he will then take and scan and associate all those travel tickets. And it became very it was well received by the shop floor that technology was well received. I mean, we live in a technical way so when you deliver a technical solution, and you can get the business to get behind it and it almost make it there you say fun at work, but I mean when you have technology and you see how it works and the value of it, you know and the competitive nature of people of okay, how fast can I get these tags paired together scanned and prepare for production. And it's almost a competitive between the lines. I mean, I think it's it's a competitive nature that people have. We can embrace this and do this and also to it Cool, it's flashy, it shoots a red signal. I mean, that's, it's all aspects of the world we live in today. So system


    Steve Statler 20:06

    components, we've got the tags, we've got the the, the the documentation, the tags that are associated with which rides along with the pallets as they go through the production process, you have locators in the ceiling. So talk a little bit about roughly how many there are, how much space, how big is this factory,


    Bob Grimm 20:29

    the fact that I think what we have covered is over, I want to say it's over 300,000 square feet. We focused on the lanes of travel, when we were putting apart the locators because that's where the product is going to be moving. We also tried to cover the rack systems as best we can to gather the inventory moving in and out of a rack so we can tell if they were actually moving into the rack or being removed from the rack system. And I I'm trying to think last count, I want to say we have ADA locators throughout the facility.


    Steve Statler 21:02

    Things like little white Frisbees, and a little bit smaller than a Frisbee. And how are they? What can you talk a little bit about how they were located in the ceiling? And kind of?


    Bob Grimm 21:13

    Well, we Yeah, I mean, it was an interesting thing growing through that process, because we have a very high ceiling. So we had to figure out how to get the mat in approximate height. We could not, no matter how much we tried, we could not come up with a standard height and say, okay, every single one we're gonna install at 21 feet. Because we been a manufacturing facility. It's amazing. If you look up a new ceiling, how much stuff is suspended from the ceiling installed in the ceiling. Plus, our facility grew multiple times over multiple years. So you may have a wall that only comes down 10 feet from the ceiling. And it's been removed over the years on the floor level. But they didn't move it all the way up. So we had to overcome those obstacles. We also have an extremely hot environment where to put them next to our kilns what our pilot was actually done in the middle of August next to the kiln. So we had technicians up there in the lift, going up 30 feet off the ground to install an antenna only to come down soaking wet covered in sweat from the heat, they killed the temperature outside and everything. So it was a learning process. All of these are we have them POV out of our switches power over the Infinite Power over Ethernet installed. The actual installation logistics all that moving adjusting was a learning process for us because unlike a office building or unlike any I hate to say cookie cutter building, you know where you know, okay, the floor is made out of concrete, the walls are made out of sheetrock. In a manufacturing facility, you have metal steel, we have kilns we have robots, robots moving around, we have walls, we have all kinds of metal, we have all kinds of fans running to keep the place cool inside. I mean, there's something in your way everywhere you look. So every one we would install, we didn't stop where we thought it was going to go try to get the system calibrated, maybe go up and have to move it foot to the left foot to the right. Other times we went looking at a normal pattern, say okay, this would be a great place to put it we look I believe, well, there's no way we can hanging from the ceiling there. Because there's a giant heater in the way there's a giant fan in the way there's something in the way. So it was all a slow process to get into. But in then calibrating the system was key. Because again, the dynamic of the system is you can be calibrated, you can adjust it, you can make it and then you're getting it linked to a virtual map that we could then pair with the physical map was crucial for us


    Steve Statler 23:40

    very good. And the metaphor that I liked that sometimes referred to in this process was it's like putting a street lamp up and you're kind of looking at the the comb that's illuminated there. And you want a little bit of overlap. So there are no dark spots on the floor. And if you go up higher than you have got over, the cone gets bigger. If you're lower, then you need more street lamps because the the radius is smaller. So there's a lot that you guys went through to do this. And I don't know how you did it because it was just hot as blazes environment. But okay, so we've got the tags, we've got the barcode readers, we've got the locators in the ceiling. And then there's like a server, right?


    Bob Grimm 24:26

    Yeah, yeah, all the data is collected. We on the initial pilot, we just pushed everything up to the cloud and had an analyze there because again, we weren't sure what we were going to it was a proof of concept. We had to get something stood up something to show the business. Now internally, what we've done is we do all the data collection internally. So it's on premise. And again, we haven't moved to the next phase of analytics right now we're happy to see a series of blue dots displayed on the map or whenever the production floor workers needed to go and actually locate a product. They walk up to a kiosk they key in a particular part number and it will show them where that particular Part Number, they can search it by part number, they can search it by travel ticket, if they've been told, okay, we need this group of travel tickets, they can look it up by that group of travel tickets, and then it will show them where the products located on the floor, if it's not in our automated racks, again, this was always designed to be a complement to our automated storage system for when we had production overflow, that float outside of the storage and the racks.


    Steve Statler 25:22

    So this is literally you type in the travel ticket number to identify the batch that you're trying to locate. And then what do you see on your display screen at a kiosk and you see a map or


    Bob Grimm 25:38

    you will see a map of the plant floor and you also see a blue.or, if you're looking if it's a single product you're looking for, you will see you should see or will see the single blue.on the floor if it's located within our facility. If you're looking for a particular part number, you will see however many pallets of that particular part number are located within the facility and exactly where they are within the facility. So we've had examples of where we product was miscounted at one of our next phases of the process, and they went back to the first phase and said, Hey, you never, you didn't send me over my 20 pallets, and they pulled it up on the system. And he was able to look and say, Oh, no, here's where all the 20 pallets are, let's go look and see if we can find them and go together. So yep, here they are, they're all sitting where they're where the system reported them to be. You know, and with anything else, I mean, you're always going to have dynamics and changes in the environment or interfering. One thing in the manufacturing world we have to deal with an unknown we're gonna have to contend with in the future is they're gonna make a change or move a piece of equipment or machinery and all of a sudden, we're gonna have a locator that's gonna have to be relocated to a different place, and we have to recalibrate it. But again, we deal with that with the dynamics on anything within the manufacturing facility, whether it be wireless, or whether it be the BLE technology.


    Steve Statler 26:52

    Yeah, I think you've described these interactions, you have different team leaders, and they might have a different view of what reality is, what a product, how many this product went from me to you. And now you have a system of record it takes seems like it potentially makes for a more harmonious environment.


    Bob Grimm 27:12

    Oh, absolutely makes for a more harmonious environment. And it takes the speculation out of it. It's not a well, let's see if we can locate these we don't know where they are, we know that what I finished, I'm gonna ship them over to you know, we need to find these. It takes it out. And you can have instantaneous answers. Now, instead of going and spending time looking for the product, you go to a system and can pull up and actually see, Okay, where is the product? And sometimes it's as simple as account. You requested 20 I shipped over 20 Or you requested 20 I shipped over 19. Well, where's that missing one? Oh, look, it's what's this one hanging out over here? Where it shouldn't be? Let's go see oh, here it is. It's taking the timeframe from searching for something to now definitively knowing where something is.


    Steve Statler 27:52

    Very good. And so if you were to summarize the business benefits of this, if you kind of I'm sure that Well, I know that there was a very analytical ROI that was calculated beforehand, but we don't need to go into the numbers. But basically, how do you justify something like this, why


    Bob Grimm 28:14

    it's multi tiered, I mean, one, you have not only the amount of time spent to go look for a particular palette, which obviously time equates to money in any industry. But I think you also have less finger pointing, it's more of a harmonious system, because now we have real time analytics telling me where my product is. Well, when the person came and said, Hey, you didn't deliver me my, my, you know, I can't find out 20 of my pallets next time because again, we're in the first months of getting this system off the ground. Next time, he's going to go to that system and look for those 20 pallets first, before he goes back in and, you know, going back to the previous process and say, Hey, you didn't do this, he's not going to go look and say, Oh, look, now we can find these. So I think it leads to more harmonious teams. It also leads for better quality throughout the facility, and and true accountability of the product throughout the manufacturing process. So we know exactly where it is, is it where it's supposed to be. And again, this is where analysts are going to tie into play isn't where it's supposed to be also part of our process, once it passes a certain point, it's never to go back over the line. So do we start looking at analytics? Is there a risk of it going back over the line? If there is can we get real time feed to somebody who maybe is moving to parks and hey, this product was already fired, it should not be going here, it needs to move to the next phase of the process. So not only improves the team dynamics, but also gets everybody working together and ultimately produces a better quality product. Better quality processes within the facility to create a better quality product for our customer.


    Steve Statler 29:52

    And what kind of how long does it take for a system like this to pay for itself?


    Bob Grimm 30:00

    Ultimately we look at him and I think every company's got a different or I mean, I think initial our analysis was we were hoping for payback within two years. I think if you look 234, whatever it is for you. But the dynamics not only from a financial direct payback, but also from a team dynamics, payback, I think are tremendous, in a comfort level within the system, once you can, once the business sees the value in the system, then it truly comes down to it's like any technology. Well, what if it was no longer there? If I turn off the system? How would it change your business? Now that you know that it's here? Before you had it? You don't know what you don't know, once you have it, and then you have to give it up? Ask anyone give up your cell phone for a day? How does your dynamics give you your cell phone for an hour out of your dynamics change? How do your dynamics change in your in the business world and you don't have email for 15 minutes or you don't have your cell phone for 15 minutes, or network system goes down? And you can't track production? Or you can't track sales figures? That wasn't a question 2030 years ago, because it didn't exist now that it's here. How do you live without it? And that's really one of the dynamics with the system is you don't know going into it what it can do. And we are just scratching the surface of what the potential of this can do within our facility, because again, it's location, location, location, you know, we have evaluated looking at more evaluating looking at it from a What about an emergency evacuation? How can we guarantee everybody's evacuated from our facility? Is there a way for us to show us just we show dots moving without moving on the floor? Can we show dots of everybody evacuating the facility? Is that something that we need to? What is the value added to the company that when I can guarantee everybody is out of my facility? It depends on what line of business you're in. If you're working in dangerous areas where you may have dangerous chemicals, again, this doesn't apply as much to our industry, but in general industry standings. Do you want to know when somebody's in a particular room? You want to know when they've been evacuated from the room? Do you want to know, you know, can we tie those in? So with the systems and analytics, there's so much more you can do with this technology.


    Steve Statler 32:08

    Very good. Well, Bob, thanks very much for spending some time sharing this. Congratulations to you. Congratulations to NGK. I really think this is the future of manufacturing and it's generous of you to share your insights.


    Bob Grimm 32:21

    Thank you very much for having me.


    Steve Statler 32:29

    So did you have a chance to think about the songs that you want to take on your trip to Mars?


    Bob Grimm 32:33

    I did actually. The first one, Billy Joe. It's still rock'n'roll. To me. It's a classic, but it's also our industry. If we think about it from an from a technology perspective, as much as technology's changed over the years has it really changed a lot it still has a common goal in what it does. The language has changed the development changes of programming changes, all that changes, but is it still rock and roll to us? It's kind of it applies to the industry. Plus it is just one of those songs. Every time it comes on the radio. You got to turn it up. All right, you know, Guns and Roses sweet child of mine, that just brings back one of those memories from teenage years through adulthood and everything is just one of those reminiscing good time rock and roll songs. And then probably anything by Queen. You got to have something Queen on Bohemian Rhapsody. I think that would. That's definitely one of those ones up there. There's any other ones out there. There's numerous ones by Queen you can pick any one of those songs probably and be grateful in Germany. So


    Steve Statler 33:36

    love it. Great choices. Thank you very much. You're welcome.