Your Guide to Smart Manufacturing: Turning “Lack of Visibility” Challenge to “Transparency”

Guide Smart Manufacturing
Digital Transformation

Your Guide to Smart Manufacturing: Turning “Lack of Visibility” Challenge to “Transparency”

As many presume, the manufacturing industry not only produces goods but also addresses to the potential needs of critical sectors like Aviation, Defense, Space etc. In fact, the industry plays a vital role in impacting any country’s economy. However, manufacturing companies do face a unique challenge: lack of data visibility. 

This challenge not only creates an impact on the decision-making abilities of the C-level executives but also impacts the efficiency of the employees, machines, supervisors, plant managers etc. 

With the economic slowdown widely pronounced, manufacturing companies are looking for solutions to overcome both the data transparency and economic crisis challenges (don’t forget partnering with a reputed IoT app development company or digital transformation services) as this is the quintessence for the revival.

Of the two challenges, the economic crisis stems from external reasons; however, production decline due to lack of data visibility must be addressed immediately to ensure a seamless production that accelerates growth. 

Let’s discuss the lack of transparency to real-time data in detail and how this will impact the manufacturing productivity. 

Manufacturing involves several processes. Of them, the most critical processes are inventory management, asset tracking, shop floor operations, machine maintenance. Tracking the performance of each process is critical and without relevant (accurate/real-time) data it won’t be possible. 

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Adding salt to the injury, carrying out these tasks manually makes things complicated and painful as the workforce have to spend a lot of time in capturing, updating data and reporting to the higher authorities.

Again, man-made mistakes are inevitable and lead to data inaccuracy. Eventually, the entire events hinders the decision-making abilities of authorities making it even more challenging. 

All the above scenarios contribute to productivity decline and skyrocket expenses. And, this is the scenario most manufacturing heads don’t want to happen, considering the present economic conditions. 

Well, how to address both these challenges? Is there a single solution that will help the industry improve the productivity rate, but at lower costs? I know these are the questions that will be lingering in the minds of the manufacturing heads, here goes the solution. 

If you’re looking for a solution that will address both the challenges, investing in “automation” will be the best fit.  

The sections below will help the manufacturing heads understand how automating the critical processes with advanced technology can help. 

Inventory Management & Asset Tracking

Tracking any asset entering or leaving the manufacturing environment is often challenging and requires a workforce to perform the process manually. This increases the overhead cost, time and reduces the process efficiency. Data accuracy is another factor that must be accounted for as well.  

As an alternative, manufacturers can try out the RFID technology for bettering inventory management.

RFID-enabled inventory management & asset tracking

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to assets. The tags are programmed and attached to assets. Whenever an asset is procured or disposed from an inventory the entire cycle of the product will be tracked seamlessly. 

The RFID tracked data of an asset will be updated on the backend instantly. This saves the workforce’s time compared to manual data updates. Not only that, the same technology can be used to locate/identify any asset within the inventory.

RFID - Radio-frequency identification

Simply put, the complete inventory management process will be seamless, simple and efficient. This is a latively cost-effective method to improve the performance of the inventory management process.

Shop Floor Management

The shop floor is the place where the actual manufacturing takes place within the manufacturing industry. Bridging the gap between the shop floor and top floor is critical to monitor, track operator and machine data, i.e. labour efficiency (LE) and overall equipment efficiency(OEE). 

Bridging shop floor to top floor gap with IoT, Mobile App, Web Dashboard

Enabling the workforce with the le app and attaching IoT devices to the machines will help the operator to track the machine data and supervisor to track both operator (LE) and machine performance (OEE) data on the go. 

Explore how inventory and asset tracking with RFID improves manufacturing process.

With automation, the supervisors can schedule job cards for operators to avoid production delays. 

An interactive web dashboard for executives helps the managers and executives to monitor the performance and make faster decisions. 

Automating the entire shop floor operations will improve the efficiency and performance of the shop floor operations by at least 10x. 

Machine Maintenance

Maintaining the critical machines is a general challenge every manufacturing industry faces. With unplanned downtime and equipment failure hurting productivity and efficiency, it is a must for the executives to identify the condition of machines before it results in exorbitant labour costs and repairs. 

Machine monitoring using IoT-enabled preventive maintenance

By fixing IoT devices on critical machines, the operators, supervisors and managers can easily identify the condition, usage and performance of every equipment. The analytics data obtained from the IoT devices will help executives identify the condition of the machines to plan the maintenance program well in advance. This avoids unnecessary maintenance costs performed as a routine rather when it is a must. The system will completely eliminate the unplanned maintenance or repair costs associated with any machine. 

Smart manufacturers understanding the benefits are slowly moving towards the automation program to accelerate productivity and improve efficiency for experiencing substantial growth. 

So, what are you waiting for? The competition is gripping and it is time to reinvent the manufacturing processes before your competitors win. 

Looking for an automation solution for your specific manufacturing requirements? Let’s talk.