Tag Archives: Process Manufacturing
Simulation capabilities are being used by manufacturers everywhere to help decision makers understand what has happened or will happen in the future of their business. In the case of additive manufacturing, simulating the material properties and the processes embedded in devices, helps OEMs guarantee that they have the right combination of material and settings to manufacture the necessary part. This ensures the part strength, support structure, and other key requirements will be met so that the part will be successfully produced. Finance departments use simulations for scenario analysis and planning. They want to answer the questions, “what will happen if…?” and be prepared for potential outcomes. With manufacturers focusing more on financial planning & analytics functions to drive their strategies, they need the ability to confidently and accurately predict the impact of internal and external changes on both costs and profits.
Modern manufacturing has its fair share of issues, from supply shortages to distribution problems and an ever-fluctuating economy. To be successful, manufacturing companies must overcome some of these challenges by being prepared with a solution before a problem arises. The basis of most modern manufacturing challenges is lack of flexible and scalable technology. The companies that succeed will be those which are able to move the quickest and to anticipate changes instead of just reacting to them. By preparing for the changes and having an action plan, these businesses can help to guide the direction of their development and be ahead of the market.
The landscape of business is changing due to digitalization and the introduction of advanced technologies. The manufacturing industry has always been seemingly content with how they operate their supply chains. Because of this, many manufacturers have deemed digitalization unnecessary. However, with product life-cycles getting shorter and competition tightening among industries, these businesses can’t afford to keep their processes the same much longer. So, why are manufacturers so hesitant to shift to new tools and processes? There are four common misconceptions about digitalization that could be hindering them from taking the leap to new technologies.
For complex manufacturers, last minute issues can be very common and often time consuming. Complex manufacturing means complex processes and machinery, and without a way to track progress or the ability to pinpoint an inefficiency, there is no way to predict what could happen in the future. In many instances when an issue arises, every department becomes focused on expediting the most pressing task or process to ensure things get done on time, resulting in additional costs. Instead of constantly putting out fires, these businesses need a fully-integrated business platform that enables full end-to-end visibility of the company’s entire value chain.
“Customer expectations are rising across the board, and manufacturers are demanding greater responsiveness and additional visibility into the service of their equipment as they strive to maximize uptime.”
Manufacturers are leveraging new and improved technologies that boost customer experience, increase the efficiency of the service organization and lower the cost of service. Planning, execution, and analysis can create a framework that will increase competitive differentiation in the manufacturing industry.
“When a broad systems approach to problem solving isn’t applied, bad things can happen…and they often do.”
A “systems thinker” is someone who takes the broader “system” into consideration before getting on with the fix to any particular problem. For manufacturers, it’s understanding their specific processes involved in producing their products before they make changes they believe will improve efficiency. Acting before understanding will delay finding the root cause of the issue, and will likely cause more problems in the long run. The systems thinker approach involves understanding what the problem is, thinking about potential solutions and making sure the data supports the outcome. By gaining visibility into their processes, manufacturers can pin-point where the inefficiencies are and make the necessary changes quickly and effectively.
” Improved regulatory control performance contributes to less production waste and energy consumption, fewer quality defects, more throughput, and higher yield. Uncovering – let alone realizing – those benefits is challenging for most process manufacturers given the complexity of their automation environment and the growing responsibilities faced by engineering and maintenance teams. The reports, alerts and metrics included with most controller performance monitoring packages enable those teams to stay one step ahead of issues and downtime.”
The “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mentality does not bode well for manufacturers who are still relying on their legacy systems instead of adopting a dynamic tool that provides advanced business insights. Many plant controllers are focused on process control analysis and optimization, and they will only get the visibility they need by leveraging a tool that shows how efficient their processes really are and where they can be improved.
“Manufacturers have a huge opportunity to benefit from data-based insights. Those that are able to analyze and leverage data will be able to make better decisions that propel their organizations to success in a highly competitive climate.”
According to a recent manufacturing technology survey, the use of analytics and data is expected to grow over the next five years. As the capabilities of advanced technologies continues to advance, manufacturers will be able to connect and integrate all pieces of their business: from materials planning and logistics to shop floor output and training. With this comes excessive amounts of data, and simply hoarding all of it is not only ineffective, it is extremely expensive. Manufacturers need to understand what value they can derive from their data that will provide actionable insights for better decisions.
Efficient Processes are Transforming the Manufacturing Industry into a Lean, Mean Profitable Machine
Efficiency is crucial in any manufacturing process. Consumers never think about all the time and money it took to create the products, instead their sole interest is getting the product they want at an acceptable price point and within a reasonable time frame. In an effort to optimize operations, many manufacturers have adopted a “leaner” way to refine processes without being afraid to scrap inefficient practices or roll out better-optimized procedures—even if those changes seem minuscule at first glance. If properly executed and implemented, lean manufacturing will not only improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability of the work done on a factory floor but also transform the whole of a business and its processes.