The Smart Future of Manufacturing
What does the smart future of manufacturing look like? It’s certainly a major discussion point in the industry and it all centres around technology and data. Taking advantage of it in the right ways can have an exceptional impact on manufacturing productivity and as a result, your bottom line.
The starting point for smart manufacturing or industry 4.0 if you will is of course data. Data must be used in intelligent ways by manufacturers to help productivity, enhance products and drive sustainability. However, it’s important to consider that not all data is created equal and it’s not always stored.
In this article, the Status team takes a closer look at smart manufacturing and digital transformation, including three key ways that data can be integrated into the process better and used more intelligently.
Product Life Cycle
Often, during the manufacturing process from design and engineering, through to manufacture and quality, data created can become isolated. This is mostly due to the various departments not communicating effectively. When the data created by these individual processes is isolated then it results in major missed opportunities to drive productivity etc.
This can be improved by consolidating data infrastructures or by integrating the management systems in use. However, if data can be handled over the cloud then this enables real-time insights, thus boosting collaboration, efficiency and more. Such connectivity makes data analysis much more effective. With a holistic picture of the product life cycle, you can see where bottlenecks are appearing in the process and how different operations might be interacting ineffectively.
Service and Support
Before smart manufacturing technology existed, keeping track of products after the sale was a difficult task. However, products can now be simply equipped with IoT sensors that deliver information and enhance customer support capabilities. An example of this could be as simple as remotely monitoring a machine so that you know when service or maintenance is needed. These kinds of insights enable manufacturers to offer next-generation customer support which enhances loyalty and could increase customer referrals.
If you work with suppliers across the world then uncertainty during supply chain management is often a problem. While your own internal teams can give insight into areas of difficulty, it is data that will allow you to track issues, make connections and really dive into what is having the greatest impact on your bottom line.
Combining IoT with big data enables products to be monitored right through from manufacturing to shopping. Data can be enhanced in real-time over manual reports, helping to take action quicker if there are any issues or delays. This is a level of data connectedness that goes beyond typical current infrastructures but if achieved the levels of efficiency and waste reduction would be game-changing.
Integrating CMM Machines
CMM Machines should be a priority for manufacturing businesses to track and keep on top of due to the incredible impact they can have on productivity. CMM downtime due to maintenance, servicing or calibration can result in missed headlines, upset customers – all hurting your profits.
Fortunately, our partners at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence are developing solutions to unlock, analyse and share data from a full range of new and legacy measurement systems.