Automating 3D Print Parameters For Optimal Results

KERRY STEVENSON | August 08, 2019
AUTOMATING 3D PRINT PARAMETERS FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS
The problem being solved is that 3D printing is actually extremely complex. I know this for a fact, as I recall the first 3D printer I owned many years ago exposed me to that complexity. While I managed to build the kit machine in about 40 hours in those days assembly meant soldering, wrapping heater wires and a lot more low-level work, it took weeks of experimentation to even achieve a reasonably well-formed 3D print of a basic cube.

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OSRAM is a leading global high-tech company with a history dating back more than 110 years. Primarily focused on semiconductor-based technologies, our products are used in highly diverse applications ranging from virtual reality to autonomous driving and from smart phones to smart and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities.

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The 2022 Manufacturing KPI Checklist Should Include These Five Indicators

Article | December 23, 2021

Every manufacturing company aims to be as efficient as possible to maximize profit. However, it's difficult to determine where you stand and what targets to establish unless you can precisely measure your efficiency. Manufacturing KPIsplay an important role in this process. Keeping track of many indicators without considering their commercial worth is a waste of time. “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted” - Albert Einstein But connecting goals to measurements is a certain way to track progress and improve processes. So let's get started with how to choose the most appropriate key performance indicators(KPIs) for your business. Manufacturing KPI 2022: How to Choose the Right One? Why are KPIs called “Key” Performance Indicators? While any statistic can be used to assess performance, KPIs are the most critical. Hence they are called key performance indicators. Companies' priorities while selecting their company KPIs may differ substantially depending on the industry in which they operate. “Strategic-operational KPIs alignment gives the organization a powerful tool to use when implementing change.” ― Pearl Zhu A corporation should not track more than ten manufacturing KPIs to avoid overblowing processes. So, manufacturing efficiency, customer satisfaction, lead times, etc., should all be included. Depending on your business nature, you must select your KPIs. However, each of those indicators must meet a set of criteria before being considered meaningful. So, what is a decent KPI for manufacturing? It gives objective and clear data on progress toward a certain goal It measures efficiency, quality, punctuality, and performance It allows for tracking performance over time It helps in decision making It should be the one that matches the company's long-term objectives It has to be measurable and quantifiable It must be realistic and actionable Following that, let's have a look at the most important manufacturing KPIs for 2022, which will assist you in better understanding your manufacturing business and formulating a growth strategy in line with that understanding. Most Critical Manufacturing KPIs in Order of Priority Despite the fact that manufacturers should also monitor general key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales revenue, net profit margin, and so on, the manufacturing business demands the tracking of specific manufacturing metrics. Below are some of the most important manufacturing key performance indicators (KPIs). Work-in-process Using this manufacturing KPI metric, you can see how much value there is in products still in progress. It assists manufacturing organizations in determining how much of their working capital is locked up in incomplete products and can aid in identifying supply chain managementdifficulties. You can compute the Work-In-Progress (WIP) by using the formula provided below. Return on Assets This manufacturing KPIseems to be more about financing than manufacturing. Yes, it does. However, financial measurements are just as vital as production ones. A firm cannot exist unless it generates revenue, and this indicator measures how efficiently your company uses its assets and generates revenues. The Return on Assets (ROA) of your company can be calculated using the formula below. Cost Per Unit It is critical to understand the overall manufacturing cost per unit. You can't appropriately price a product without it. This manufacturing KPIdivides total manufacturing costs by the number of units produced. Materials, overhead, depreciation, and labor are standard costs. Demand Forecasting Companies utilize this manufacturing statisticto forecast future raw material needs to satisfy client demand. Unfortunately, this statistic is more challenging to employ because it is mainly dependent on unpredictable external circumstances. The basic formula is: Where: The seasonal factors are distinct Average demand is calculated as: Lead Time A company's lead time, also known as order cycle time, is an important KPI. It shows how swiftly your organization processes orders and meets client requests. It is time it takes to complete an order from confirmation to delivery. Long lead times can imply process inefficiencies that produce bottlenecks and excessive expenses. Conversely, short lead times are important since they allow you to respond to consumer needs swiftly and efficiently. The total lead time can be divided into smaller segments as follows: The time it takes to manufacture a product from start to finish The time it takes to deliver a product from stockto a client The time it takes suppliers to deliver products to manufacturers By segmenting the lead time, you may more precisely identify the areas where inefficiencies in the process occur. Toyota’s Four Key Performance Metrics As a company, Toyota places a high focus on environmental protection. Toyota's vehicles are designed to use less fuel and produce less waste. Regardless of the company's size, Toyota is committed to protecting the environment. Toyota's 'Earth Charter' was created in 1992 as part of the company's Global Policy initiative. It was Toyota's first overseas facility and the UK's first ISO14001-certified car manufacturer. Waterborne paints were utilized for the first time and zero waste was sent to landfills. In 2009, Toyota Manufacturing UK did not use any incinerators. Toyota has developed a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) for each of its major production areas. There are four key performance metrics: energy, water, waste, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Since its start in 1992, Toyota Manufacturing UK has attempted to mitigate its environmental impact. The figure below illustrates the environmental KPIsfor the Burnaston plant. Each year, Toyota sets new goals to improve its results. 79% reduction in vehicle energy consumption 62% reduction in waste per car 76% reduction in VOC emissions per car 79% reduction in water consumption per vehicle Final Words You can use the aforementioned manufacturing KPIsto construct your manufacturing KPI template, but keep in mind that the manufacturing metricsyou need to track may differ from those listed here. The first prudent move any business can make while examining its operation is to identify and track the relevant KPIs. Also, in manufacturing, there are several different KPIs, phrases, and abbreviations need to be understood and used where it makes the most sense. FAQ What is manufacturing KPI? A manufacturing Key Performance Indicator (KPI) or metric is a well-defined and measurable indicator that the manufacturing sector uses to evaluate its performance over time and compare it to that of other industries. What are the key KPIs for manufacturers? On-Time Delivery, Production Schedule Attainment, Total Cycle Time, Throughput, Capacity Utilization, and Changeover Time are some of the key manufacturing KPIs.

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Why Manufacturing Companies Must Consider Business Intelligence

Article | December 14, 2021

Do manufacturing businesses require Business Intelligence (BI)? The answer is YES. Manufacturing is one of the most data-intensive businesses, producing massive amounts of data ranging from supply chain management to shop floor scheduling, accounting to shipping and delivery, and more. All of this information would go to waste if not properly categorized and utilized. Scrutinizing and analyzing your data with business intelligence will help you become a more efficientand productive organization. Your organized data can show you where the gaps or inefficiencies are in your manufacturing process and help you fix it. Many companies simply are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is technology, consumer demands, the way we work, human needs and much more are constantly changing. Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive at Microsoft BI has the potential to improve the operations of an organization and transform it into an organized one. According to Finances Online research, more than 46% of organizations are already employing a BI tool as a significant part of their company strategy, and according to Dresner Advisory Services research, 8 in 10 manufacturers who use BI for analytics have seen it function successfully. How Manufacturing Operations Are Improving with Business Intelligence? As revealed by the BI statistics above, we can see that business intelligence is critical in manufacturing. To further illustrate how business intelligence supports the manufacturing industry, let's look at some of the business intelligence benefits that are making a difference in the manufacturing industry. Advances Operational Efficacy While modern enterprises create massive amounts of data, not all of this data is relevant. Today's business intelligence solutions take all of the data from your organization and transform it into an easily comprehensible and actionable format. It enables you to minimize or fix errors in real-time. Additionally, it helps you to forecast raw material demand and assess procedures along the supply chain to ensure maximum efficiency. Allows for the Analysis and Monitoring of Financial Operations Business intelligence solutions provide insight into sales, profit, and loss, raw material utilization and can usually assist you in optimizing resources to increase your return on investment. Understanding your cost-benefit analysis, BI enables you to manage production costs, monitor processes, and improve value chain management. Assists in the Management of Your Supply Chain Manufacturing companies engage with various carriers, handling these multiple processes can be complicated. BI enables manufacturing companies to have more accurate control over shipments, costs, and carrier performance by providing visibility into deliveries, freight expenditures, and general supplies. Contributes to the Reduction of Inventory Expenses and Errors Overstocks and out-of-stocks are substantial barriers to profitability. Business intelligence can assist you in tracking records over time and location while identifying issues such as product faults, inventory turnover, and margins for particular distributors. Determines the Efficiency of Equipment Several factors can cause inefficient production. For example, errors with equipment due to improper installation, maintenance, or frequent downtime can reduce production. So, to keep industrial operations running well, one must monitor these factors. Manufacturers can maintain their machines' health using data analytics and business intelligence. It provides real-time information about your production lines' status and streamlines production procedures. How Business Intelligence Helped SKF (SvenskaKullagerfabriken) to Efficiently Plan Their Future Manufacturing SKF is a key supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, and lubrication systems globally. The company posses its headquarter in Sweden and has distributors in over 130 countries. Due to SKF's extensive worldwide reach and product diversity, they constantly need to forecast market size and demand for their products to modify their future manufacturing. Generally, SKF experts developed and kept their forecasts in traditional and intricate excel files. However, the efforts of maintaining and reconciling disparate studies were excessively high. As a result, SKF used require days to generate a simple demand prediction. Later, SKF integrated its business data assets into a single system by utilizing business intelligence in production. Following that, they could swiftly begin sharing their data and insights across multiple divisions within their firm. They are now able to aggregate demand estimation fast and does not face cross-departmental issues about data integrity for the vast number of product varieties they manufacture. This intelligent data management enabled SKF to plan their future production operations efficiently. Final Words Business intelligence in manufacturing makes a big difference in the organization's entire operations. Given the benefits of business intelligence in manufacturing, a growing number of manufacturers are implementing it in their operations. According to Mordor Intelligence, Business Intelligence (BI) Market was worth USD 20.516 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to reach USD 40.50 billion by 2026, growing at a 12% compound annual growth rate throughout the forecast period (2021-2026). Hence, we may say that the business intelligence is crucial for manufacturing and is booming, thanks to its enormous potential and the numerous benefits it provides to various businesses. FAQ Why is business intelligence so important in manufacturing? Organization intelligence may assist businesses in making better decisions by presenting current and past data within the context of their business. Analysts can use business intelligence to give performance and competitive benchmarking data to help the firm run more smoothly and efficiently. What value does BI add to manufacturing? Business intelligence solutions provide insight into sales, profit, and loss, raw material utilization and can usually assist you in optimizing resources to increase your return on investment. Understanding your cost-benefit analysis enables you to manage production costs, monitor processes, and improve value chain management. What is business intelligence's key objective? Business intelligence is helpful to assist corporate leaders, business managers, and other operational employees in making more informed business

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The Factory of the Future

Article | December 2, 2021

The world of manufacturing is continuously evolving in the 21st century, and companies have to combat competition, altering consumer demands, and unexpected events to be able to deliver in today’s experience. Global connectivity, innovation, and disruption are all reshaping the manufacturing industry, but a world-class business platform can help companies transform operations digitally to keep up with an evermore digitized world. The factory of the future will allow manufacturers to enhance production through the convergence of information technology with factory operations, combining the effectiveness of the virtual world with the materiality of the physical world to lower costs, increase flexibility, and better meet customer expectations. The factory of the future functions on four dimensions: resource planning, manufacturing planning, planning and optimization, and manufacturing operations. Resource planning involves defining and simpulating the plant layout, flow, assets, and resources needed to efficiently develop products in a safe environment. Normal production change requests can be quickly validated by using 3D virtual experience twin technology. This technology could also quickly pivot operations to alternative products in the case of disruptive events. Manufacturing planning enriches the resource and product definition by defining and validating a process plan and creating work instructions that meet production goals. Digital visualization of resource and process changes can also help speed up time-to-production in any scenario no matter the location by leveraging the cloud. Planning and optimization of supply chains across planning horizons will help manufacturers gain visibility with planning and scheduling by having the ability to model, simulate, and optimize alternative supply and production plans to reduce disruptions. Lastly, manufacturing operations management can transform global production operations to attain and maintain operational excellence. Manufacturers can create, manage, and govern operational processes on a global scale while maintaining operational integrity to meet altering demands. For the factory of the future to come about successfully, there needs to be connected technology and shared data. Technology has to be adaptable with robotics and equipment that can be reconstructed to house changes and new products. An AI-powered product demand simulation is necessary to maintain agility and boost productivity. A versatile, cross-functional workforce with the ability to explicate data and function well in AR environments is also required along with smart factory technology such as wearable sensors and virtual prototypes. Through all this, the factory of the future can connect technologies across the product life cycle while optimizing the workforce and increasing sustainability. Although achieving the factory of the future has several benefits, creating a feasible factory of the future plan can be challenging. In 2018, only 12% of companies had a mature factory of the future plan. One of the main challenges that companies face is a lack of internal skills to devise digital solutions. However, this can be combated by carefully considering how you can utilize digital technologies to deliver improved performance, resiliency, and flexibility. It is easier to begin with small steps and to collaborate with a partner who could support your efforts to build toward your desired transformation goal. It is important to always be prepared by evaluating your next steps, industry trends, and progress metrics. It is also crucial to focus on the people, process, and technology you’re using to have a successful transformation journey. Manufacturing with the factory of the future can provide savings in a wide range of categories. For example, it can reduce virtual vehicles build time by 80%, increase on-time performance of industrial equipment by 45%, and reduce modular construction time of construction, cities, and territories by 70%. Leading the transformation of the manufacturing space towards the direction of the factory of the future will allow manufacturers to work smart and better meet the needs of the end consumers.

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5 Ways Inbound Marketing Can Maximize your Business Growth in 2021

Article | April 6, 2021

Inbound marketing has become a vital part of the manufacturing industry, especially after the pandemic. Marketers want to get more business, more high-quality leads, increase revenue, and expand it into new markets. A lot of opportunities are arising for manufacturers to embrace its effectiveness—especially online. Unlike other industries, the manufacturing industry is not safe from the continual pendulum swing of updates, new platform creation, and changing buyer preferences. Manufacturing marketing has its own blend of deliverables and initiatives that can spell the success of your business. Until now, you must have realized that your traditional marketing tactics are obsolete and would have planned to get the inbound marketing program off the ground. Now what? Here comes the critical part—understanding how to implement inbound marketing for your business to generate high revenue. With the help of these five steps, you can stay ahead of your competition. Before you approach the steps, first you need to: Identify your Customers’ Pain Points Understanding what frustrates your buyers gives an insight into how to answer the queries they look for. To determine what queries your buyers may have, you can: Interview your customers: Your customers are your leading source of information. Ask them what solutions they are searching for. What content did they read to solve their solutions? What information, insights, FAQs, or product details can help them? This way, create content that answers all of these questions. Talk to your sales representative: Your sales team is on the front line with your buyers/customers. They very well know what content gaps can be filled. Identify the gaps and work accordingly. These considerations will help you to stay updated in the competitive landscape of manufacturing marketing. Now, start your inbound marketing program by following these steps. Update Website When planning inbound marketing, your website becomes the center of the universe. It’s where all your marketing efforts, like great content for your prospective buyers come in. After all, this is how you’re going to start ranking on search engines and driving in leads. Before you get to this part, you’ll need to do a basic audit to ensure your website is in tandem with your targeted audiences’ expectations. The website interface is the focal point that helps buyers to interact. This will help them to interact with your business. And if their experience is negative, they’ll probably never bother to read further. To avoid such circumstances, here are a few critical web design tips you should know and implement: A Clean Look Keep your website simple and embrace spaces to make it more appealing to the eyes. Too many visuals and color combinations will make it hard to find the information they’re searching for. Creating a simple yet appealing website neither costs your pockets nor makes it hard for your audiences to contact you. Mobile-friendly Design Tablets and smartphones have overtaken desktop computers. So, creating a mobile-friendly design will ensure your website looks impressive on any screen size. Your audience does not feel lost, and it helps to scroll information from your website. Move from HTTP to HTTPS With massive data breaches becoming common in the internet world, your audience will be more concerned with security and privacy than ever. Converting your website from HTTP to HTTPS will protect their information. Also, it will help you get ranked on the Google search engine. Create Informative Content Content is the backbone of inbound marketing efforts. It’s how you can build a strong audience base for your business and convert them into leads. To market your business effectively, you need to provide informative yet relevant content at every stage. Think of creating a blog to inform rather than a sales tool. With this notion, your content will rank and stay on top of the mind throughout your customers’ buyer journey. This means your industry-related content has to be interesting and attract visitors to become your leads. To understand how your content needs to work, list these funnels of content ideas and try implementing them. Content Ideas: Top Funnel Include content in these ways: Blogs eBooks Industry research Social media posts Videos on factory products tour Content Ideas: Middle Funnel While the top of the content funnel is the widest, the middle of the funnel is often the deepest. It includes content type such as: Comparison guides Case studies ‘How to’ guides Content Ideas: Bottom Funnel The bottom funnel creates chances to close the deal and convert visitors/buyers into leads. This includes content ideas such as: Brochures Product reviews Call to action So, in the marketing competition landscape, many manufacturers are busy updating their inbound marketing strategies like you. Many others have overhauled their business. While you have a lot on your end, inspire yourself to create that excellent piece of content now! Invest in Marketing Technologies and Automation One way to grow your business through inbound marketing is automating your marketing efforts. This way, you can devote more time focusing on the bigger picture. There are tons of tools online to help organize strategies, create content, schedule emails, campaigns and publish to your website. Use them! Marketing technology usage can help your business to operate faster and more accurately. Here are some automation tools to use: G Suite: Google’s products are becoming just ubiquitous with a bonus—everything is in the cloud today. You can find your work easily and access it from any device. Also, manage all marketing efforts from one place and collaborate globally in no time with clients. Sales and Marketing CRM: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, like HubSpot CRM, gives you a quick view of your marketing funnel and sales channel. Not only does it enable transparency all across, but it gives you hours back in the day by starting different events and marketing flows automatically. Email Marketing: Emails are the most effective marketing channels in terms of ROI. Email usage endures growing around 4% year-over-year. And has no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In this case, many emailing tools are available. Like HubSpot is well known for its CRM and inbound marketing software. It boasts exceptional deliverability for emails. With about 2,000 email sends/month, contact lists, a drag-and-drop email builder, and ready-made templates, you can start right away. These are some examples to decide what's best for your industrial inbound marketing efforts. Get started today! Keep Tracking your Marketing Efforts You’re spending your time, energy, efforts, and resources on marketing to grow your business. So, it’s essential to track your marketing initiatives and see if it’s functioning as expected or not. Here are some crucial aspects with which you can keep track of your marketing program: Get an ROI measuring tool:For measurable goals, you’ll want to select KPIs to measure ROI. Some common ones include the cost per sale, per lead, overall marketing program, and overall customer relationship length. You can also set points for channel performance with campaign-specific KPIs, including email open rate or social media impressions. Google Analytics:This is a free tool. It will help monitor your website's health by tracking site metrics such as page views, visits, and clicks. With this, you can easily set up customized reports to monitor specific metrics of interest for your campaigns. Lastly, get a lead generation tool that tracks who is in-market for your services. How they’re interacting with your online presence and where they are in their solution journey. Inbound Marketing Case Study: Get Inspired! If you ask your competitors what their main goals are for their company, the answer would most likely be related to increasing sales and leads. Even if they mentioned other purposes, such as improving website performance and SEO or redesigning a website, the main objective would be to get more traffic. And it will lead to more sales. For Corrugated Metals, Inc., these were the goals. This manufacturing company deals in roll formation. It manufactures products for the equipment, construction, transportation, and defense industries. The company used inbound marketing strategies during the pandemic and found success with it, resulting in: Increased quality leads Increased sales revenue More opportunities from the manufacturing industry for long term sales potential Redesigned their website to bring design and UX (user experience) up to date and increase engagement Maintained and increased SEO Through the implementation of inbound marketing, the company saw a 198% hike in website traffic and an implausible 285% increase in leads. But that wasn’t all. The quality of leads radically improved by 321%. Since they were able to identify and target long-term sales prospects through persona-based targeting and lead nurturing, they lined up a potential million dollar per year customer. This created a possibility of 20 years of recurring sales. Let’s Recap In a nutshell, using these inbound marketing tactics can bring high revenues to your business. To recap: 1) PLAN! Do as much research as you can. Know your industrial customers. Find what’s trending. Analyze what worked, what didn't work, and why. And start with these ways to boost marketing for your business. 2) CREATE! Use the information as the backbone to create a stellar inbound marketing plan. Be patient, and do one project at a time. 3) OPTIMIZE! There are ways to improve. And if you’re testing correctly — no industrial marketing strategy will ever fail. In a recent 2020 Thomas Industrial Survey, there has been a 12% surge in website usage by manufacturers using inbound marketing campaigns to connect with more buyers and customers since the outbreak of COVID-19. Therefore, adjusting your manufacturing inbound marketing strategies today will perhaps help you win more business down the road. Frequently Asked Questions What manufacturers should follow to do inbound marketing? Manufacturers implementing inbound marketing should follow some crucial aspects before they start. These attract customers—don’t interrupt them, measure all activities, nurture leads, do SEO and social media activities precisely. What are the four stages manufacturing marketers should know about inbound marketing? There are a lot of relatable things to do inbound marketing. But along the top four things, manufacturers must know to drive business growth are attract, convert, sell and create leads. Does inbound marketing for manufacturing works? Absolutely. Inbound marketing for manufacturers has been fruitful. If you are willing to include it in your business, you will reap its benefits and see your business growing with time. Creating a proper strategy is foremost. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "WHAT MANUFACTURERS SHOULD FOLLOW TO DO INBOUND MARKETING?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Manufacturers implementing inbound marketing should follow some crucial aspects before they start. These attract customers—don’t interrupt them, measure all activities, nurture leads, do SEO and social media activities precisely." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "WHAT ARE THE FOUR STAGES MANUFACTURING MARKETERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT INBOUND MARKETING?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "There are a lot of relatable things to do inbound marketing. But along the top four things, manufacturers must know to drive business growth are attract, convert, sell and create leads." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "DOES INBOUND MARKETING FOR MANUFACTURING WORKS?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Absolutely. Inbound marketing for manufacturers has been fruitful. If you are willing to include it in your business, you will reap its benefits and see your business growing with time. Creating a proper strategy is foremost." } }] }

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Spotlight

OSRAM

OSRAM is a leading global high-tech company with a history dating back more than 110 years. Primarily focused on semiconductor-based technologies, our products are used in highly diverse applications ranging from virtual reality to autonomous driving and from smart phones to smart and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities.

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