Manufacturing is in a state of flux right now. Everyday innovation changes the way the sector operates. And manufacturers constantly have to find new ways to adapt. This process of adaptation makes them strong. But it’s also very easy to fall behind. In this post, we’re going to explore some of the things that manufacturers can do to stay ahead of the game. It’s about making constant improvements, all the time.
A problem manufacturers are facing right now is complexity. We’ve come a long way since the only thing consumers wanted were glass jars and cardboard boxes. Now they want smartphones and precision machinery. And all these products are highly complex.
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With such complicated products, errors can soon creep in affecting the quality of the product. So what can manufacturers do? First off, they can implement cellular manufacturing. This is essentially where they break up production of each component. One part of the factory floor produces one particular part of a product. Another part of the factory floor, another and so on. By doing this, companies can assemble customized products at the end of the process.
They can also use additive manufacturing to reduce the cost of producing intricate parts. This is particularly helpful when companies are wasting a lot of raw materials.
One of the biggest challenges facing manufacturers right now is getting man and machine to work together. The focus on the industry is usually mainly on the automation of processes. But having a trained human in the loop can help make processes more productive.
Staff need relevant skills, like injection molding training. And they need to be versed in what steps to take to reduce errors. The focus should always be on building skills while emphasizing quality.
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Use The Industrial Internet
Right now there’s a lot of excitement about something called the industrial internet. Many top manufacturers see this as the future of their operations. Essentially, it’s about bringing the traditional internet into the manufacturing space. And it’s all being made possible by the incredibly low prices of sensors.
Manufacturers and starting to monitor their production lines with thousands of sensors. These sensors communicate with each other over what’s been dubbed the “industrial internet.” They tell manufacturers whether a machine in their production line is wearing out. They tell them how many parts are ordered by a retailer or another manufacturer. They even tell them when their next delivery will be.
This connectedness is exploding right now. And it’s a key way that you can make your manufacturing business more productive.
In many businesses, a lot of time is wasted because of so-called “search costs.” Search costs are the amount of time spent by employees looking for tools or parts. And these costs can ultimately wind up being significant. Tools and parts should be neatly filed away in their own individual cabinets and boxes. And you should have labeled cabinets for each item, depending on use type. In this way, time wasted can be reduced drastically.