Are You Ready? Technology Factors Impacting Success in Digital Manufacturing

SUDHIR ARNI| October 02, 2017
ARE YOU READY? TECHNOLOGY FACTORS IMPACTING SUCCESS IN DIGITAL MANUFACTURING
I have found that manufacturers often have inflated views of their plant's technical readiness for digital transformation. Even in plants that are relatively new, equipped with the latest machinery, and meeting the company’s performance requirements, I typically find key technical capabilities gaps as digital manufacturing projects get underway.

Spotlight

Milmeq

Milmeq specialises in delivering specialist capital plant equipment for food processing operations around the world. We provide a turn-key service, including design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance. Our areas of expertise include primary food processing, chilling and freezing and materials handling. We provide performance-enhancing solutions to clients across the meat, poultry, dairy, seafood and horticulture industries.

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5 Stats to Reshape Manufacturing Customer Experience in 2022

Article | November 20, 2021

The manufacturing business has always prioritized providing the excellent and most user-friendly products worldwide to its target consumer groups. However, digitalization and customer interaction approaches have altered the manufacturing industry's traditional business model. Now, manufacturers must prioritize improving the customer experience for their target consumer group and keeping up with new trends daily to flourish and remain competitive in the upgrading market. Because, in the end, the buyer is the one who drives your business and generates money. Manufacturers are committing significant efforts to improve the customer experience in the following years. To assist manufacturers in their sincere efforts to improve the customer experience in the manufacturing industry, we have compiled some key facts that must be understood and executed by the industry's or business-specific needs. Before going into manufacturing customer experience statistics, it's essential to understand why customer experience is so critical in the manufacturing industry. The Importance of Customer Experience in Manufacturing Customer service and experience are critical components of any business, which is true in the manufacturing sector. Customer experience can be described as any activity taken by a business to positively influence a customer's impression and opinion of the business, its products, or services. “You’ve got to start with the Customer Experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around” – Steve Jobs. Customer experience benefits your business in a variety of ways, including the following, It increases customer retention It increases the customer lifetime value It creates brand loyalty It influences brand reputability It can deliver businesses with a competitive edge. Manufacturing Customer Experience Statistics Make your manufacturing business more customer-centric and reap the benefits that many customer-centric companies, such as Apple, Nissan, and Chick-fil-A, are experiencing. To better understand what the customer and industry have explored regarding the customer experience in 2022, below are some statistics from well-known businesses. #Stat 1 Businesses that prioritize customer experience see an 80% increase in revenue. (Source: Forbes) A positive customer experience increases customer interest in the product and acts as a form of word-of-mouth marketing. This way, the business benefits from increased sales and organic promotion by genuine consumers, critical for any manufacturing organization. # Stat 2 73% of customers say that customer experience influences their purchasing decision. (Source: PWC) Customers are not solely concerned with the product's quality or pricing. Instead, they are interested in the complete experience they get while purchasing a product. Therefore, if customers have a negative experience during the purchasing trip, it is pretty likely that they will leave the purchase process in the middle and hunt for other viable solutions on the market. Whereas, if the purchasing journey and post-purchase service are satisfactory, they will gladly purchase the goods and suggest new clients to your business. # Stat 3 By 2023, AI and machine learning will manage around 40% of all consumer contacts. (Source: Super Office) Manufacturing production and revenue are increasing as a result of technological advances and applications. However, the customer experience is not far behind in implementing cutting-edge technology like AI, VR, and AR. For instance, chat bots are the best example of how artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning are being used to increase consumer engagement. Virtual interaction is becoming more prevalent in the manufacturing industry daily, and both manufacturers and customers like this digital interaction. “Our interactions with our customers have become much more virtual, which frankly seems to work well for the customer and us.” -Scott Heide, Chief Executive Officer at Engineering Intent Corporation Technology application in manufacturing will be maximized, and businesses intend to automate the customer experience by 2023. # Stat 4 According to 70% of customers, an ideal customer experience should be quick, convenient, and cooperative, as well as friendly. (Source: Adobe) Customer service is a skill, and it's always a good idea to put yourself in your clients' shoes. According to an Adobe study, 70% of customers want a quick and convenient service that saves them time. In addition, they anticipate full collaboration throughout the purchasing process, including post-purchase servicing. # Stat 5 72% of customers with a good consumer experience will tell six or more people about it. (Source: Nice Reply) In the first statistic, we discussed word-of-mouth marketing. You will always receive referrals for the excellent products or services you provide to your target consumer group. Customers that have a positive experience will always bring you two additional potential customers, and this number will grow exponentially with each pleasant experience delivered by your organization. How did MacDonald's plan to increase revenue simply by improving the customer experience? When McDonald's revenues started to decline, they focused on the customer experience rather than marketing strategies. They began by listening to their clients and giving them a more streamlined experience. Customers told McDonald's to simplify the menu, increase order accuracy, and use higher-quality ingredients. McDonald's also improved store interiors and introduced digital self-order kiosks and table service, reducing customer wait times. BTIG predicted a 4.1% increase in revenues as these modifications were made. As a result, McDonald's may outperform competitors by improving total customer service. Final Words Customer experience is crucial in manufacturing, and manufacturers must leverage digital customer experience trends to improve their reputation. These a fore mentioned customer experience statistics can assist you in shaping a compelling client experience for 2022 and propelling your organization to new heights of success. FAQ Why should a manufacturing company invest in customer experience? Client experience improves customer retention, builds brand reputation, and gives companies a competitive edge. So manufacturers must invest in the consumer experience. What is the difference between customer service and customer experience? Customer service is one aspect of the customer journey, whereas consumer experience is the sum of all customer encounters with the brand. What does a customer experience include? Customer experience is the overall perception of your business or brand. It is the consequence of a customer's engagement with your website, customer service, and the product they purchase. So, it is the aggregate of all elements from browsing to buying to the product experience. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why should a manufacturing company invest in customer experience?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Client experience improves customer retention, builds brand reputation, and gives companies a competitive edge. So manufacturers must invest in the consumer experience." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the difference between customer service and customer experience?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Customer service is one aspect of the customer journey, whereas consumer experience is the sum of all customer encounters with the brand." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What does a customer experience include?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Customer experience is the overall perception of your business or brand. It is the consequence of a customer's engagement with your website, customer service, and the product they purchase. So, it is the aggregate of all elements from browsing to buying to the product experience." } }] }

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AGV ROI Starts with a Delivery Commitment

Article | January 4, 2022

So much emphasis has been placed on features, advantages, and benefits; too little attention has been paid to delivery dates. The best automation solution on paper means nothing if it cannot be delivered in 2022. Selling the sexy sizzle of new, clever, even remarkable AGVs means nothing if manufacturers and distribution centers cannot take delivery of the product until 2023. Throughout industrial manufacturing and distribution the lead time from many AGV manufacturers is more than a year. That means product ordered in Q1 2022 will not be delivered until the following year. That is an absurd lead time and reflects poor planning and unnecessary supply chain constraints.

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How to Overcome the Additive Manufacturing Challenges in Aerospace

Article | December 6, 2021

Aerospace manufacturing and design are getting advanced with additive manufacturing. However, the limitations of traditional manufacturing techniques sometimes make it incompetent to produce technologically oriented products. Additive Manufacturing (AM)helps the aircraft system run more efficiently by creating lightweight aircraft parts. This is one of the reasons that additive manufacturing is gaining traction in aerospace and other industries. According to recent analysis and data, the global additive manufacturing market is expected to grow from USD 9.52 billion in 2020 to USD 27.91 billion in 2028. The expanding technologies and materials used in additive manufacturing will indeed stimulate industry growth shortly. It’s important to note that there isn’t one channel that is the silver bullet. Most of the time, a combination of different channels will help drive a more powerful outcome.” – Wendy Lee, Director of Marketing at Blue Prism However, the aerospace industry encounters some challenges with additive manufacturing, which is the focus of this article. Scalability, multi-material capabilities, professional workers, high-cost materials, and quality compliance norms are all constraints that aerospace professionals are dealing with. Here we will discuss the top three challenges of additive manufacturing in aerospace and their solutions. Future of Additive Manufacturing in the Aerospace Industry Even though additive manufacturing has been around for a while, it has only lately become advanced enough to be used in the aerospace sector. In the aerospace business, additive manufacturing has the potential to deliver significant benefits. Cost savings, design freedom, weight reduction, shorter time to market, fewer waste materials, better efficiency, and on-demand production are just some of the benefits. Although additive manufacturing cannot make every part, it provides an exciting opportunity to explore feasible alternatives, either supplementing or replacing traditional manufacturing processes. However, it must be taken into account early in the development phase. Additionally, knowledge must be embedded in aircraft design teams to ensure the successful use of additive manufacturing. However, in recent years, AM has become more prevalent in end-to-end manufacturing. According to Deloitte University Press, the future of AM in aerospace may include: Directly embedding additively produced electronics Wings printing 3D printing engine parts Making battlefield repair components Top 3 Additive Manufacturing Challenges in the Aerospace Industry and Solutions While problems are inherent in any new technology, experts overcome them by identifying solutions. Let's look at the top three challenges that the aerospace industry is currently facing and the solutions to overcome them. Lack of Qualified Experts Using 3D printers in production and automating work processes are skills that are lacking. However, the obstacles are natural, and the skilled manufacturing workforce is aging and reluctant to adapt to new design models. This is creating the skills gaps surrounding manipulating AM technology. How to Overcome Less time spent educating employees is better for business. For example, the US National Additive Manufacturing Institute and the European ADMIRE initiative offer accelerated courses via remote learning websites. Of course, you'll need to provide numerous additive manufacturing opportunities to attract the key technologists, either on-site or off-site. They will oversee new hires' activities and help them translate their knowledge of 3D printing into designs and final items. Over Budget Material The typical cost of AM equipment is $300,000. Industrial consumables cost between $100 and $150 per item (although the final price is formed after choosing the material; plastic, for example, is the most budget-friendly option). How to Overcome To overcome this obstacle, you must plan a long-term implementation strategy based on the manufacturing-as-a-service model. On-demand manufacturing reduces manufacturing costs and speeds up product development. You can also go with cheap 3D printers that use cheap welding wire that hasjust come onto the market. They cost $1,200 and may suit your needs. Fresh Quality Compliance Guidelines As 3D printing and CNC manufacturing technologies constantly evolve, there are no established norms or regulations for 3D printed objects. However, 3D printed solutions do not always match traditional quality, durability, and strength. For example, a 3D-printed mechanical part. Can someone order 500 similar parts a few months later? Consistency standards and product post-processing may have a negative impact in such circumstances. So, in such a case, traditional manufacturing wins over 3D printing. How to Overcome You might endeavor to set quality criteria for your 3D-printed products to ensure they are comparable to traditional ones. You can also apply the ANSI AMSC and America Makes standards, which define quality criteria for 3D printed products. How Boeing Applies Additive Manufacturing Technology? Boeing is focusing its efforts on leveraging and speeding up additive manufacturing to transform its manufacturing system and support its growth. The company operates 20 additive manufacturing facilities worldwide and collaborates with vendors to supply 3D-printed components for its commercial, space, and defense platforms. Boeing is now designing missiles, helicopters, and airplanes using 3D printing technology. A small internal team contributes roughly 1,000 3D-printed components to the company's flight projects. Boeing claims that addressing design as an "integrated mechanical system" considerably improves manufacturability and lowers costs. Final Words Additive manufacturing is altering the way the aerospace industry designs and manufactures aircraft parts. Aerospace advanced manufacturing is making aircraft production easier. We've explored solutions to some of the snags that you may encounter. However, other concerns, such as limited multi-material capabilities and size constraints, require solutions, and industry specialists are working on them. Despite these challenges, additive manufacturing is still booming and rocking in a variety of industries. FAQ Why is additive manufacturing used in Aerospace? It allows the industry to build quality parts quickly and inexpensively. Reduce waste and build parts for aircraft that are difficult to manufacture using existing methods. How does additive manufacturing help in Aerospace applications? Environmental control system (ECS) ducting, custom cosmetic aircraft interior components, rocket engine components, combustor liners, composite tooling, oil and fuel tanks, and UAV components are examples of typical applications. 3D printing helps in producing solid, complicated pieces with ease. Which aerospace firms use additive manufacturing/3D printing? Boeing and Airbus are two of the many aircraft businesses that use additive-created parts in their planes. Boeing incorporates additive manufacturing (AM) components into both commercial and military aircraft. Airbus also employs AM metal braces and bleed pipes on the A320neo and A350 XWB aircraft. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why is additive manufacturing used in Aerospace?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "It allows the industry to build quality parts quickly and inexpensively. Reduce waste and build parts for aircraft that are difficult to manufacture using existing methods." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How does additive manufacturing help in Aerospace applications?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Environmental control system (ECS) ducting, custom cosmetic aircraft interior components, rocket engine components, combustor liners, composite tooling, oil and fuel tanks, and UAV components are examples of typical applications. 3D printing helps in producing solid, complicated pieces with ease." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Which aerospace firms use additive manufacturing/3D printing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Boeing and Airbus are two of the many aircraft businesses that use additive-created parts in their planes. Boeing incorporates additive manufacturing (AM) components into both commercial and military aircraft. Airbus also employs AM metal braces and bleed pipes on the A320neo and A350 XWB aircraft." } }] }

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4 Strategies to Make Your Production More Efficient in 2021

Article | July 13, 2021

The start of the new year is a great time to critically take a look at your processes and see how you can improve. Here at FANUC, we have identified four key strategies manufacturers can use to boost their efficiency! Add Automation Automation can increase production and efficiency no matter the type or complexity of the manufactured products. With space at a premium in most production facilities, many job shops look for machine tending robots that are easy to integrate and have a small footprint. FANUC's robots and software make it easy to connect the equipment and improve throughput as well as overall equipment effectiveness. Quick and Simple Startup of Robotization (QSSR) allows up to four machine tools to be connected with a robot using just one Ethernet cable. Use the Latest and Greatest Machining Practices and Technology Many manufacturers leave performance on the table due to outdated processes and programming. Are you getting the most out of your machining? Now’s the time to look at the advantages in new CNC technology. Because new controls have greater processing speed and can implement advanced algorithms, they can do a lot more for your operations. Moreover, the interfaces have become simpler and more intuitive, so they are easier to use than ever before. Digitize Your Process New digital tools are breathing innovation and life into increasingly more areas of manufacturing, including the application of digital twins in the machining industry. Digital twins provide virtualization of the machine, control and manufacturing process. Digitalizing traditional manufacturing processes have the potential to make operations more efficient by proving out production processes in the virtual world. That means less waste, more efficiency and a more equipped workforce. Upgrade Your Shop with a CNC Retrofit Do you have legacy equipment? Running older machinery can have hidden costs, such as taking the time to source and find older replacement controls leading to significantly longer total downtime and production losses. However, scrapping old equipment and starting new, might be too expensive, especially when factoring in tooling, fixturing, rigging and foundation. Plus, new machines may require more training for staff. A CNC retrofit, with new FANUC CNCs, industrial PCs, servos and cabling, can speed up processing and reduce cycle time by as much as 50 percent.

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Spotlight

Milmeq

Milmeq specialises in delivering specialist capital plant equipment for food processing operations around the world. We provide a turn-key service, including design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance. Our areas of expertise include primary food processing, chilling and freezing and materials handling. We provide performance-enhancing solutions to clients across the meat, poultry, dairy, seafood and horticulture industries.

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