It is no secret that technology has a direct impact on how industries operate. The application of new technologies is making the process of manufacturing increasingly dynamic and efficient. Industries from around the world are evolving their workspaces through new technologies and automation to be on track with Industry 4.0. One option available is to incorporate smart manufacturing into a production floor.
What is a Smart Manufacturing System?
Smart manufacturing is a system that optimizes production procedures through automation. In other words, this collaborative system allows manufacturers to have an automated workspace that is more efficient and can react to changing demands in production rate, market demand, etc. This concept covers a wide range of technologies. This includes but is not limited to: digital transformation, data analytics, IoT integration, advanced robotics, etc. Ideally, in a work environment that strives to achieve smart manufacturing, automation with as many operations as possible is key. Doing so allows the operations to be more efficient, which in turn will increase profitability and quality at a lower production cost.
Advantages of Smart Manufacturing and How it Can Create Business Growth
Below are a few advantages smart manufacturing has to offer by integrating it into an industrial environment. Each has a direct correlation to business growth and increased production efficiency.
Smart manufacturing systems can monitor production procedures in real-time and also analyze past data. Monitoring equipment and machines, and correcting production problems as they arise can increase OEE and bring savings due to less wasted time. These savings can be reinvested in operations to purchase new machines, which in turn increases production capacity and revenue.
Many aspects of smart manufacturing involve digitization which will help manufacturers generate more production abilities with the same machines used before smart factory integration. This is done by helping them reach their maximum production capacity by automating certain tasks, like data collection. This allows reduced labour costs (since a worker wouldn’t need to manually collect data) and better use of labor time for productivity.
Communication between machines is essential to ensure production is being executed correctly and effectively. Smart manufacturing processes are connected to machinery and equipment throughout a production floor and give the ability to improve their process through automation and self-optimization. This benefit can allow a production floor to change its production rate to match market demand or benefit functions like supply chain planning and logistics. It is also able to detect production errors and optimize accordingly to avoid any further problems or defects, which ensures good quality, on-time delivery, and satisfied customers. This has a direct impact on the growth of the company.
Return on Investment
Smart manufacturing benefits will allow for a quick Return on Investment by maintaining consistency of product quality and speed of production. This ensures client satisfaction and can increase the number of clients which will contribute to ROI and even save money, and therefore increase business growth.
Elimination of Inefficiencies and Hazards
Monitoring and identifying workplace inefficiencies is also a benefit of smart manufacturing. As stated above, production monitoring can sense when problems arise and correct them to maintain a good OEE. A smart factory can control and manage downtime to ensure no damages are made to the affected equipment or other assets on the machine floor. Automated safety protocols are also common if humans are to interact too closely with the machines. Automation is also subject to more of the tedious tasks of a workplace, so human workers will no longer need to be exposed to hazards in the first place.
In conclusion, smart manufacturing offers major benefits to industries as stated above. It is a revolutionary process that can bring industries steady savings and increase production capabilities. It is also an evolutionary process. As time progresses, technologies will improve and therefore offer more benefits to the industrial world. By integrating smart manufacturing, you are not only subjecting your company to new benefits but paving the way for a prosperous future.