9/5/2018 - Posted in  Supply Chain Management

4 important industrial manufacturing trends

Our expert's opinion

"For businesses, especially in supply chain, it is important to stay competitive. This means keeping up with the fast moving trends because falling behind equals losing to the competition. It seems that technology keeps on being the most important factor by which competitive advantages can be obtained: planning systems, sharing of data, the use of internet of things, automation of manual labor ...

All these trends and technologies make for a faster and more productive way of doing business. But it also means that traditional business will lose ground. It is simple: get on the train or miss the station."

- Nele Driesen, Associate Consultant

 Current Manufacturing Trends in 2018

 

Supply chain management is a continuously developing industry that keeps bringing new ways and means to the table each new day. Keeping up with the most important industrial manufacturing trends can improve your manufacturing operation directly through analysis and development of a much more concise understanding of your own processes and how to refine them.

We will look at some of the trends that have been on radar for awhile, and some we will be covering for the first time. Shared visibility of supply chains seems to keep up-ticking as a general desire of industry. Interconnectedness and data-sharing extends the visibility of interconnected downstream and upstream supply chains providing deeper insights into realms outside of your specific operation, helping to forecast events like vendor tardiness even before they are aware that they have the potential to be late with their resource delivery commitments. Planning, scheduling and forecasting enhancements also continue to ring the bell with continued production-related refinement in method and approach and condensing/recovering lost production time to a minimum.

These are the four industrial manufacturing trends that operations managers should be reading up on in 2018:

Industry and Smart Factory 4.0

Industry 4.0 provides breakthrough capabilities to production facilities that are changing the industry as a whole through simple system integration. The system includes various benefits such as:

  • Production enhancement
  • Business-needs dexterity
  • Market speed increase

These benefits are efficiently optimizing manufacturing operations around the globe and enhancing the manufacturing industry. As Industry 4.0 is a rising star as an industrial movement; it could very well become necessity for future production facilities to be able to keep up with competition as the old high water mark is elevated across all boards. 

 

Automation Trends

Through technological advancements and reduction in the cost of delivery of automation technologies, we continue to map this upward curve in automated efficiency. As human labor is needed less in increasingly standardized manufacturing, robots and machines are beginning to take the lead role in production in an augmented, adequate manner. Automation is modifying roles of workers and work, and not only in the production sphere, but also through automating company tasking in essential areas such as:

  • Management/Administration
  • Maintenance
  • Administration

Increasing automation can be a major hurdle, and developing a strategic approach can be be a calming factor when abandoning your previous methods of control and human quality assurance methods that you have come to trust and rely upon. Considering what attributes are absolutely vital to your operation can aid in the decision making of implementation of automation technology and where and when to employ it.

 

Internet of Things (IoT) & Manufacturers

As manufacturing operations are attempting to locate ways to optimize production, Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a beneficial and challenging component to implement into operations. As manufacturing is evolving, production facilities are beginning to value strategic thinking through management of data. This is where implementation of IoT can be beneficial, along with various other upsides such as:

  • Safety Enhancement
  • Efficiency Improvements
  • Product Alteration

Manufacturing operations are finding their way to becoming completely online-based everyday. Integration of simple tools from IoT allow production facilities to be able to save money while also improving throughput.

 

APS, Industry 4.0, Automation & IoT

Advanced planning and scheduling (APS) systems are able to be easily integrated with automation and IoT systems such as Industry 4.0. With utilization of an IoT-ready system, various capabilities are utilized in order to increase production such as:

  • Connected Machines - Communication among machines and robotics on the factory floor, purchasing departments, and digitally run truck fleets and materials suppliers.
  • Real-time and predictive analytics - Real-time data collection and automated review using powerful algorithms. Turns data into insights.
  • People empowered by IT - Connected to the data and supported by automated analytics, managers and supervisors can achieve a higher level of wise decision-making.

Integration of an advanced planning and scheduling system along with Industry 4.0 and IoT can optimize production through data accuracy, efficiency, and increased capacity and output.

 

Source: Planet Together

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