During the coronavirus pandemic, many manufacturers in the United States and around the world were forced to stop production due to border closures to prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, the seamless global supply chain normally used to source parts and materials collapsed.
In this context, facts have proved that the 3D printing industry has played an important role in the production of important medical equipment from masks to ventilators. One key reason why additive manufacturing is so effective during the pandemic: It does not rely on global supply chains.
Additive manufacturing enables the company to move parts procurement from remote locations to on-site production facilities. Since the additive manufacturer can manufacture the required parts within a few hours, which solves the current problem of waiting for global suppliers, this also speeds up the time to market. If companies can produce parts on their own instead of relying on global suppliers, they will be better able to obtain products and meet customer needs.
AThe key question is whether these alternative sources will become permanent backups and how the manufacturing sector will regain itself in the post pandemic ‘new normal’ world?
Manufacturers always prioritize quality, efficiency and productivity, relying on human capital to produce products that meet customer needs. Some innovative factories have invested in Industry 4.0 technologies, including connecting CNC machine tools, industrial automation, 3D printing and manufacturing analysis, but they are far from popular. Under the new normal, this must change. By restoring COVID19 for management, the Digital Transformation becomes crucial. Large and small companies must rely on automation and data analysis to successfully implement “new manufacturing norms” to ensure employee safety, operational flexibility and keep factories running.
A Few Manufacturing Challenges Are:
- Difficulty in managing productivity owing to the variations in workforce, operations and the supply chain
- Risks to employee safety that now requires following new procedures including social distancing, lesser number of workers, new ways of working and managing personnel
- Daily worker temperature screenings may result in quarantines, so juggling schedules in real-time and capacity planning becomes pivotal to keep the factory running
Many companies have started relying on analytics to optimize their operations. Manufacturing analysis provides real-time operational data for:
- Enterprises Creating Visibility to Increase Global Oversight of Operations – By understanding the capabilities of human resources and asset availability, monitor and manage production performance and increase flexibility.
- Knowing the Delays in the Supply Chain – Decide where to produce products to meet demand and adjust production. Insight can provide a basis for staffing, scheduling and decision making, and realize unattended processing.
- Using a Data-Driven Approach to – Redistribute employees to run the entire production line or multiple computers for social distancing; intricately transform and plan assets without the need for workers and respond to last-minute labor shortages and maintain productivity.
Manufacturing Analytics and Workshop Digital Productivity Solutions Include:
- Remote Asset Monitoring allows in-depth understanding of operations from anywhere. Don’t rely on “on the floor”; operations leaders should use analytics to remotely manage and control employee performance, assets, and production line efficiency.
- OEE Monitoring: Use True OEE analysis to define baselines and benchmark assets, cells, and plants to reveal best practices and improvement areas.
- Customizable Data Visualization: Functions can understand the performance of machines and operators in real time according to their goals to help them self-manage productivity.
- Predictive Maintenance: The operational insights drive intelligent scheduling, reduces breakdowns and asset damage, and optimizes parts and tooling replacement processes.
- Advanced analytics, Anomaly Detection and AI-driven Alerts to understand the root cause of problems and predict operational risks.
- Asset and Line Performance Management: Operational intelligence uncovers line bottlenecks and idle times to lean processes for improved line efficiency, reduced cycle times, WIP inventory, and labor costs.
- Powerful Ticketing System: specially designed for manufacturing employees allows employees to communicate with production bottlenecks, so as to solve problems quickly and in a closed loop without face-to-face interaction.
- Workforce Performance and Productivity: Gain insight into shift efficiency and demand to balance scheduling for social distancing and remote work.
- Dynamic, Digital Work Instructions: train employees to operate assets and manual workstations without human intervention
The focus should be on taking a simple yet cost-effective approach. COVID-19 has made our tremendously inventive manufacturers think outside the box. This reshuffling of the deck will unleash many new technologies, processes, and ways to apply them to manufacturing issues.
Delivering productivity, efficiency, and quality in the new normal will require advanced analytics to solve traditional problems, optimize assets, lean processes, and shorten the path to recovery at the lowest costs. Companies that survive long term will invest in predictive analytics and manufacturing productivity tools to keep their employees safe and be responsive to the rapidly changing environment.
We possess subject matter expertise in Industry 4 solutions and services that can help companies tackle such challenges quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. To know more about how we can engineer a solution for you, pls reach out to us today!
After successful 5 years stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 19 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.