Digitalized manufacturing has taken us much closer to a more autonomous production floor and smart manufacturing, as we define it, is the ability to solve problems through open architecture, defined, timely feedback and desired adjustments.
Monitoring, recording, analyzing data is certainly the first step toward higher productivity and monetization of the investments made. However, any initial gains pale compared to what we really can achieve in the realm of true smart manufacturing.
It is to embrace the manufacturing platforms machining, automation, assembly and support functions through advanced processes-holistically.
Calling a factory Smart only because of the inner-workings of IT and OPT means missing the point and great opportunities.
Software with ever more digital functions for machines and operators is helpful for isolated issues and solutions but do not address the bigger picture and fail to address real root causes and effects at large, where productivity gains are offset by scrap rates, reworks and capacity constraints.
Real-time examples demonstrate the importance of the holistic approach upstream, based on the guiding principles of substituting traditional processes, advanced material flow and management, cradle-to-gate, commensurate quality level of all manufacturing elements and thoroughly optimizing them, open runways for innovation with rapid inception plus effective program management.
Advanced processes and innovative technologies, applied holistically, must be at the center of smart manufacturing and become a cohesive one. Otherwise the efforts made will always be reactive, the baselines will always be yesterday’s solutions and true productivity progress will eventually be denied.
- Advanced processes
- Innovative technology
- Holistic solutions
Why Is It Important?
Real-time examples illustrate the value and benefits of advanced technologies and innovative processes applied as comprehensive, holistic solutions.