Enabling High-Mix, Low-Volume Manufacturing of Electronics with 3D Printing

AMIT DROR| January 30, 2020
ENABLING HIGH-MIX, LOW-VOLUME MANUFACTURING OF ELECTRONICS WITH 3D PRINTING
Mass manufacturing has made modern life possible for people around the globe. The need to quickly manufacture products in high volumes is not going to change any time soon, but the traditional production environment is not suitable for high-mix, low-volume manufacturing of complex products. This is especially true for a number of plastic and mechanical products that require significant investment in tooling.

Spotlight

CHINT Electric

Founded in 1984, the CHINT Group provides safe, reliable and stable industrial electrical equipment and solutions for energy efficient management systems. With 30 years of development, it has grown to be Asia's largest low-voltage electrical product supplier and is the leading brand of the whole industry chain in industrial electric in Asia.

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Manufacturing Branding: A Ground-breaking Method for Increasing Product Sales

Article | January 19, 2022

Manufacturing branding is a relatively recent trend that is gaining traction in the manufacturing sector. Brand marketing is important for manufacturers in a variety of ways, including increasing business revenue and establishing product credibility within their target consumer group. 82% of people feel better about a brand after reading personalized content. 94% of customers are inclined to develop a relationship with a brand that is completely transparent. 13% of consumers would spend 31-50% more on your products or services if they believed your business was making a positive difference in the world. In this article, we will look at the advantages of branding to a manufacturer as well as how brand manufacturing may be established. What Difference Can Manufacturer Branding Make? "A brand is a voice, and a product is a souvenir" -Lisa Gansky, an American entrepreneur, writer, and speaker Your Name and Work Will Be Publicized Branding is the process of enriching your products with a visual, linguistic, and conceptual identity that differentiates them from competitors. Ideally, factory branding would help you reach out to your potential clients by making them aware of your company's name and becoming familiar with what you do. Brand Marketing Builds Emotional Bonds Manufacturing branding is more than merely developing an image in the minds of your customers. It's about telling a story that strikes a chord with them.Once you've defined your message and the motivation for developing your products, customers will be able to connect with you more easily.Relatability is critical in an era of ever-changing trends and consumer behavior. Your clients will simply switch over to another firm that provides the same service and fosters a sense of belonging. The emotional value of your manufacturing brands should not be underestimated. Building Trust Is Easier with a Strong Brand A manufacturing brand that wishes to remain in business for the long run will communicate with its customers. The customers understand that you would not connect or share your story unless you intended to grow with them. However, this strategy works only if the factory branding is well-executed and demonstrates its authenticity. Modern customers can easily notice dishonesty or the use of a phony character. Increase of Distribution Channels Working on your manufacturing branding will help you expand your sales. Just make sure you have the necessary tools to sell via different channels. Creating a memorable brand doesn't merely attract customers. It will also assist in attracting potential distributors who may otherwise be reluctant to be your distributing partners. Your ability to negotiate quality agreements with resellers and reps will increase when your manufacturing brand is well-known. It simplifies their lives and saves them money on marketing. This is a domino effect issue. More distributors mean more exposure for your business, but a delicate balance must be maintained. Your personal connection with clients may be lost if you abdicate brand responsibility. So, provide superior customer service to maintain a connection with your customers. Profit Margin Is Increased A strong manufacturing brand will allow you to sell at greater prices. People will be happy to pay for a quality brand that they can trust. But what would really set you apart from the rest is if you could beat private companies at branding. Private brands are the house brands of shops and huge resellers who offer cheaper copies of your goods. Customers should be able to tell the price difference between a factory brand and a private brand. "You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do." – Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company How to Build an Effective Manufacturing Brand? Identify Your Intended Audience Identifying your target demographic is the first step in intentionally building your brand. You can build a buyer persona of the typical user of your product or by analyzing your current consumer base. Consider their age, gender, industry, occupation, education, interests, etc. To grow your brand and market your products more effectively, you need to create a buyer persona. Conduct Competitor Analysis Following that, it would be advisable to analyze your competitors' brands. In various markets and with companies in general, there are many brand features that are unique and widely utilized, and it would be counterproductive for a corporation to highlight those elements. For example, many B2B companies take pride in their product quality, reliability factor, and personal touch. When everyone is highlighting the same brand qualities, you will need a unique approach to stand out. Developing a Central Theme A brand's central theme acts as a pillar. It summarizes your company's principles and objectives in a single statement, or perhaps one word. It's a lot simpler to come up with marketing ideas and campaigns that connect with your company's philosophy and seem like a part of the brand. Developing Your Brand's Individuality Now, imagine your brand as a person, considering the preceding phases. You may gather every piece of information possible. The more specific you are, the more solidity your brand identity will have. Brand themes may help you develop your brand's personality and story. Using themes, you may classify individuals and fictional characters based on a common set of personality qualities. These are commonly used in psychology and marketing. Creating a Visual Brand for Your Business Finally, create a visual illustration for your organization. This includes producing unique logos that represent your company's beliefs, selecting colors, designing your website and blog, and everything that can be related to visualizing your corporate brand. Get familiar with geometric and color psychology, look at what prominent brands and other firms in your industry have done, and get on board with a good graphic designer to create the materials. Best Channels for Manufacturers' Branding Many businesses utilize social media, blogging with SEO suggestions, and email newsletters to boost their online presence. Content is the most important consideration when adopting these marketing methods. Hire good specialists to assist you in understanding your buyer's persona and developing buyer-centric content to capture their attention and generate potential leads for your business.An active social media presence enables you to increase the number of followers on your social media sites and reach millions of people via these platforms. Furthermore, you can start weekly newsletters to keep your subscribers updated on the latest developments, campaigns, and how you're working to develop the best goods possible for your target groups. Final Words Effective branding for manufacturing is what you need to increase your company's popularity and demand in a competitive market. Once you've established yourself as a known brand in your sector, you may pursue manufacturer branding, which is used by many well-known manufacturers such as Ford, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Apple. Use the above-mentioned techniques to create your own brand and stay ahead of the curve in your industry. FAQ What are the four elements of branding? A successful brand requires a strong brand identity, brand image, brand culture, and brand personality, all of which must be present. What is the manufacturer’s brand? A product that has the manufacturer’s name on it or is used to market and sell the product. What is manufacturers’ label? The manufacturers label provides name and address of the manufacturer or distributor and relevant hazard warnings.

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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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Manufacturing in 2022 - Five Emerging Trends in the Industry

Article | October 8, 2021

The trends in the manufacturing industry for 2022 are expanding and altering the industry's conventional face. The future of manufacturing is going to merge with digitalization and technological applications. As a result, all operation methods, products, and manufacturing outcomes will be modernized with new technology applications. To brighten the future of manufacturing, manufacturing companies must examine new trends in the industry before developing their manufacturing plans for 2022. Technological advancements are the next game-changer in the manufacturing business. Adeaca's Vice President of Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist had recently quoted in an interview with Media7 as, “As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity.” – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca The new trends in manufacturing are leveling up every part and element of the industry. In this article, we'll look at a new trend for each industry aspect that's assisting manufacturers in speeding up the production process, increasing ROI, and propelling their manufacturing business to new heights. Additionally, it will assist you in addressing current industry challenges such as forecasting product demand, addressing skilled manpower shortages, and increasing manufacturing plant efficiency. Five Manufacturing Industry Trends to Watch in 2022 Emerging trends in manufacturing provide a chance to review your production strategy for products and processes. Check out below the upcoming trends in manufacturing that are getting attention in the industry. Customer Engagement and Purchase Experience Creating an exceptional digital customer experience is a new trend in manufacturing. According to industry experts, mapping the customer journey and their interactions with your products is the first step towards establishing a positive connection with your potential consumers. A few of the most popular strategies to improve the consumer purchasing experience and engagement are as follows: Build a knowledge base for your products on your business website Create a comprehensive FAQs page that addresses all of the buyer's possible queries Create a chatbot to provide immediate help to the buyer with further inquiries Create a brand story and a comprehensive description of your manufacturing business If possible, provide product statistics and success stories, and content about consumer satisfaction with your product Create a product functionality video or explanatory picture material to familiarize the potential customer with your product These are some of the trends that engage your prospective buyers and increase their purchasing experience through a range of product-related information and educate them about you and your products. Smart Technology-enabled Products Smart is the new norm in every industry. The old operations and goods that were once a part of everyone's life have now been replaced by technology. Manufacturing is no exception to this alteration. Due to the increasing demand for smart products among customers, every company is now looking forward to inventing and manufacturing smart products. Explore and understand how you may incorporate cutting-edge technology (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Edge Computing, and Digital Twins, and more) into your products to help them stay updated with manufacturing trends. Virtual and Augmented Reality in Manufacturing (Industry 4.0) Transforming traditional manufacturing systems and processes into smart, tech-savvy ones is a new trend in manufacturing. The future of manufacturing is expected to witness this digitization in 2022 and beyond. Therefore, you must convert your conventional manufacturing plants into smart ones, i.e., as per the concept of Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution. Discover how prominent companies are implementing Industry 4.0 The following are some popular transformations that many popular manufacturing factories are adopting to become part of the industry revolution. To achieve a zero-carbon footprint, manufacturers may use analytics systems to determine the amount of trash they create and develop ways to eliminate it. (Implemented by Whirlpool) Utilize an analytics platform to decipher usage data for energy, water, and other utilities. (Implemented by Whirlpool) Utilize technology such as Siemens' Mindsphere, which enables online analysis of several aspects of a production plant and helps manufacturers create digital models using real-time data. (Implemented by Siemens) Utilize a combination of IoT and cloud-based technologies to avoid downtime and gather analytics data. (Implemented by Hirotec – a Japan based manufacturing company) Machine learning technology can be used to foretell and avoid system failures in your manufacturing plant. (Implemented by Hirotec – a Japan based manufacturing company) Utilize robotics and to accelerate manufacturing across many verticals. (Implemented by Ford) Utilize 3D printing to improve the precision of product design and to avert product defects during the early production stage. (Implemented by Aerospace: Airbus) These are some examples that other well-known manufacturing companies in the market, such as Hewlett-Packard, Ford, Whirlpool, and Siemens are currently using. So, consult an expert and determine how to leverage emerging technology to turn your production plant into a smart manufacturing unit. Internet of Things (IoT) to Boost Revenue Manufacturing companies have begun to leverage the Internet of Things to establish connectivity between machines and operational procedures throughout manufacturing. This linkage between machine and operation significantly decreases the human supervision required for each step and completely automates them. Manufacturers intend to incorporate these IoT trends in manufacturing into both their products and operational processes. IoT further enables manufacturers to operate and monitor their work remotely. As a result, they can concentrate on developing new strategies and preparing for future ventures. Shifting Focus from B2B to B2C Model Several manufacturers skip intermediaries and connect directly with their consumers to sell efficiently to their target consumer group. This purposeful approach has multiple benefits, which are outlined below. Manufacturers may skip the lengthy retail sales cycle and achieve a shorter time to market The absence of a third party between the manufacturer and the customer reduces the risk of brand misinterpretation or dilution Direct interaction with customers enables manufacturers to obtain more accurate consumer data, product feedback, and requirements for new product development Manufacturers can control the price of their products due to the absence of a third party between them and the target consumer group These benefits of the B2C model attract manufacturers and encourage them to develop added production techniques with these benefits in mind. Final Words Technology, innovation, and digitization are the future of manufacturing. The IoT trends in manufacturing are essential for industrial production and will allow the manufacturing industry to obtain a new competitive edge. Hence, manufacturers must keep in mind this industry revolution (industry 4.0 and 5.0) while developing strategies for their manufacturing operations in 2022. FAQs What are the benefits of adopting the Internet of Things in manufacturing? IoT devices can monitor industrial operations, manufacturing cycles, and other warehouse data management processes automatically. This benefit decreases the amount of time spent monitoring individual operations and increases production speed. What role will smart manufacturing play in the future? According to a grand view research analysis, the smart manufacturing market was worth USD 236.12 billion in 2020 and is expected to extend at a 12.4 percent compound annual growth rate to reach USD 589.98 billion by 2028. What are the critical components of the smart factory of the future? Robotics, the Internet of Things, big data, and cloud-based administration will be critical components of the future smart factory.

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Five Lean Manufacturing Principles to Empower Your Manufacturing Business

Article | December 16, 2021

Lean manufacturing is an operational approach used to create value. Businesses adopt lean manufacturing to improve productivity, reduce waste, increase customer value, and employee satisfaction. Many businesses are accelerating their adoption of lean principles and practices due to the emergence of the industry 4.0 transformation. As a result, companies such as Caterpillar, Intel, Textron, Parker Hannifin, and John Deere are all reaping the benefits of lean manufacturing. So, where did the idea of "lean manufacturing" first originate? In this article, you'll learn about the origins of lean manufacturing and its key principles. The Origins of Lean Manufacturing The principles of lean manufacturing were developed in Japan in the mid-20th century. Toyota, a famous Japanese automaker, experienced major delivery issues at the time. Its production chains were excessively long; thus it couldn't supply enough products on time. As a result, Toyota needed a new Performance measurement system. The company's managers identified a solution. They created a new project management method called the Toyota production system. Its basic idea was to improve product distribution by reducing waste. It was a good concept. It helped the company shorten manufacturing chains and deliver products faster. Toyota's production method created a simple and effective waste definition. Any step that did not improve the end product's functionality was called a waste. Later, other manufacturing industries adopted the system. It was renamed as lean manufacturing. It's now a global phenomenon and is used by large and small businesses worldwide. When should you implement the Lean Manufacturing Method in your business? Lean is a waste-reduction methodology, approach, and a lifestyle. While it is commonly used in manufacturing, lean techniques are applied to reduce waste while keeping high quality in any business. Waste reduction of 80% plus Reduced production expenses by 50% Decreased inventories by 80-90% Producing quality items is 90% less expensive. Workforce productivity improved by 50% If you want your business to get the above benefits, you need to adopt lean manufacturing principles. Five lean Manufacturing Principles Lean manufacturing benefits businesses in multiple ways, and this lean lifestyle has the potential to empower any organization and increase its market competitiveness. So, let us observe the five fundamental principles of lean manufacturing. Value For the first principle of defining customer value, it is vital to understand what value is. For customers, value comes from what they're willing to pay for. The customer's actual or hidden demands must be discovered. Customers are not aware of what they want or cannot express it. When it comes to new items or technologies, this is a regular occurrence. Assume nothing; ask about the pain points being experienced and then craft a unique value proposition. Never force a solution into a problem that does not exist.” – Thomas R. Cutler, President & CEO at TR Cutler, Inc. For example, you can use various methods to find out what customers value, such as surveys and demographic information. With these qualitative and quantitative methodologies, you may learn more about your clients' needs, their expectations, and their budgets. Value-Stream Identifying and mapping the value stream is the second lean principle. By starting with the consumer’s perceived value, all activities that contribute to that value may be identified. Waste is anything that does not benefit the client in any way. It can be divided into two categories: non-value-added and unnecessary waste. The unnecessary waste should be removed, while the non-value-added should be minimized. You can ensure that clients get exactly what they want while minimizing the cost of creating that product or service by removing unnecessary processes or steps. Flow The next operations must proceed smoothly and without interruption or delays after removing wastes from the value stream. Value-adding activities can be improved by breaking down tasks, reorganizing the manufacturing process, distributing the workload, and educating personnel to be flexible and multi-skilled. Pull The fourth lean principle requires a pull-based manufacturing system. Traditional production systems use a push system, which starts with purchasing supplies and continues manufacturing even when no orders are placed. While push systems are simple to set up, they can result in vast inventories of work-in-progress (WIP). On the other hand, a pull method pulls a customer's order from delivery, causing new items to be made and additional materials to be acquired. Kanban, one of the lean manufacturing tools, can help organizations develop a pull system to control material flow in a production system. An efficient pull system maximizes available space, reduces inventory, eliminates over-and under-production, and eliminates errors caused by too much WIP. Perfection While completing Steps 1-4 is a great start, the fifth and possibly most critical step is incorporating lean thinking and process improvement into your organizational culture. As benefits accumulate, it is vital to remember that lean is not a static system that requires continuous effort and awareness to perfect. Each employee should get included in the lean implementation process. Lean experts sometimes state that a process is not truly lean until it has undergone at least a half-dozen value-stream mapping cycles. How Nike Demonstrated the Benefits of Lean Principles Nike, the world-famous shoe and clothing powerhouse, has embraced lean manufacturing principles and practices. Nike experienced less waste and increased consumer value, as did other businesses. It also shared some unexpected benefits. It is proven that lean manufacturing can minimize terrible labor practices at a company's overseas manufacturing unit by up to 15%. This result was mostly due to implementing the lean manufacturing practice of valuing the workers more than earlier routine labor practices. It provided greater significance to an employee and, as a result, greater significance to the organization as a whole. Final Words Implementing lean manufacturing principles is a good way to run any organization. Businesses that build their operations on the two pillars of lean manufacturing, constant improvement, and personnel respect, are well on their way to becoming a successful and productive organizations in the modern era. To become a lean company, an organization must fully grasp the benefits and added value that it may get by adopting lean manufacturing principles. FAQ What is Five S's of lean manufacturing? The 5S of lean manufacturing are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, and they give a framework for organizing, cleaning, developing, and maintaining a productive work environment. What are the two pillars of lean manufacturing? Lean, as modeled on the Toyota Way values, has two pillars, first is ‘Continuous Improvement’ and second is ‘Respect for People’. Why are lean principles beneficial for any business? Lean manufacturing is a business strategy that has proven to be highly successful since it can help you decrease costs, remove waste, enhance production, maintain excellent quality, and thus increase business profit significantly.

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Spotlight

CHINT Electric

Founded in 1984, the CHINT Group provides safe, reliable and stable industrial electrical equipment and solutions for energy efficient management systems. With 30 years of development, it has grown to be Asia's largest low-voltage electrical product supplier and is the leading brand of the whole industry chain in industrial electric in Asia.

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