Article | October 13, 2021
The electronics manufacturing business is adopting new technologies to create smart electronics manufacturing products for its consumer base. Next-generation technologies are shaping the future of the manufacturing industry by enabling it to create technologically advanced and user-friendly products. Matt Mong, one of the manufacturing industry's leading professionals, stated in an interview with Media7,
“Be Different. Don’t position your product in an existing category. Instead, create your category and make the competition irrelevant and obsolete.” – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca.
The year 2022 will be a year of advancement and development for the electronics manufacturing industry.
So, manufacturers are eager to embrace new technologies and produce more innovative, more user-friendly goods that become part of consumers' daily lives and meet their needs. To make the manufacturing process manageable and deliver advanced products, we will look at the top five trends flourishing in the electronics manufacturing industry.
Top Five Electronics Manufacturing Industry Trends
Future manufacturing technologies are transforming the electronics manufacturing industry's processes and products. Let's look at the top electronics manufacturing industry trends for 2022, which will propel the sector to new heights of technological advancement.
Utilizing the Benefits of the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is being used in both the manufacturing process and the products themselves. It enables electronic manufacturing products and processes to become more intelligent and performance-driven to fulfill business and customer needs.
In electronics manufacturing, the Internet of Things (IoT) enables businesses to solve common production challenges such as product quality issues, changing demands, and a complex global supply chain. As a result, it increases productivity and efficiency while reducing human effort.
Industrial units may gather and analyze real-time data and processes using IoT-based sensor systems. Additionally, it assists organizations in managing data and transforms traditional manufacturing into an intelligent manufacturing unit.
Using an ERP System to Maintain the Company's Competitive Edge
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a centralized management system for all operational and business activities. The software automates all manufacturing processes and enables the electronics manufacturing sector to achieve higher precision throughout the manufacturing process and product delivery.
ERP has the potential to boost productivity, improve efficiency, decrease expenses, and increase profitability. ERP enables electronics manufacturers to forecast, plan, modify, and respond to changing market demands. By using an ERP system in your manufacturing unit, you may expand your business and increase revenue.
Making Use of Big Data
The electronics manufacturing industry benefits from the use of big data to make critical business decisions. It aids in the integration of previously isolated systems to provide a comprehensive view of industrial processes. It also automates data gathering and processing, allowing for more excellent knowledge of each system individually and collectively.
Big data also assists manufacturers in discovering new information and identifying trends, allowing them to optimize operations, improve supply chain efficiency, and find variables that impact manufacturing quality, volume, or consistency. In addition, big data assists the electronics manufacturing industry in keeping up with the rapidly changing digital world.
Using AR and VR to Create Consumer-friendly Goods
AR and VR are future manufacturing technologies that are changing electronics manufacturing products and driving growth. Robotics is a crucial usage of virtual reality in electronics production. Manufacturers may use powerful virtual reality software to design goods. This implementation of virtual reality software reduces production errors and saves time and money.
AR in electronics manufacturing allows product developers to generate interactive 3D views of new products before production. AR and VR are part of Industry 4.0, the digital revolution of conventional electronics production units.
Adoption of 3D Printing on a Wide Scale
One of the essential advantages of today's electronics 3D printing is that companies can quickly prototype PCBs and other electrical devices in-house. In addition, 3D printing has simplified the electronics manufacturing process, and it is currently being utilized to manufacture multilayer printed circuit boards. It uses material jetting technology to spray conductive and insulating inks onto the printing surface.
Let's look at an example of an analogy that worked for Jinzhenyuan - The Electronic Technology Co. Ltd., managed by Mr. Huang Runyuan, Jinzhenyuan's General Manager, and based on the concept of Industry 4.0. (Reference: Forbes)
Jinzhenyuan - The Electronic Technology Co. Ltd. Takes a Significant Step Forward with Industry 4.0
Jinzhenyuan - The Electronic Technology Co. Ltd., formed in 2012, sells its products globally. In addition, it manufactures cellphones, computers, cars, and a variety of other consumer electronics. Due to changing market needs, the firm planned to upgrade its production facility to industry 4.0 by the end of 2017 to participate in smart manufacturing.
The company increased production efficiency, shortened production cycles, and cut costs due to the digital revolution. Today, Jinzhenyuan is regarded as a model of digital transformation in the community in which it works. Let’s observe the statistics for Jinzhenyuan following the deployment of Industry 4.0.
32% improvement in total production efficiency
33% cost reduction
41% decrease in R&D to production cycles
51% reduction in substandard parts rate – from 3,000 to 1,500 per million
The electronics manufacturing sector is on the verge of a digital revolution that will improve the production process efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Many of the world's biggest firms, like Apple, Microsoft, Hitachi, and Saline lectronics, are developing future agile factories to keep up with the world's digital transformation. Future manufacturing technology will help your manufacturing company make the manufacturing process more efficient and boost the business revenue.
What are the future electronics technologies?
Smart grid solutions, wearable technology devices, prefabricated goods, the Internet of Things, and robots are some of the future electronics innovations that will propel the business forward.
Is the supply chain benefiting from new technology trends?
Yes, supply chain management benefits from smart technology as well. Trucks equipped with cutting-edge technologies can get real-time data on the weather and road conditions ahead of time. It contributes to the supply chain process's reduction of possible risks.
Which manufacturers are implementing the industry 4.0 concept in their factories?
Whirlpool, Siemens, Hirotec, Tesla, Bosch, and Ocado, among others, have turned their traditional factories into digitally smart ones that incorporate all of the cutting-edge technology necessary to improve and optimize the production process.
"name": "What are the future electronics technologies?",
"text": "Smart grid solutions, wearable technology devices, prefabricated goods, the Internet of Things, and robots are some of the future electronics innovations that will propel the business forward."
"name": "Is the supply chain benefiting from new technology trends?",
"text": "Yes, supply chain management benefits from smart technology as well. Trucks equipped with cutting-edge technologies can get real-time data on the weather and road conditions ahead of time. It contributes to the supply chain process's reduction of possible risks."
"name": "Which manufacturers are implementing the industry 4.0 concept in their factories?",
"text": "Whirlpool, Siemens, Hirotec, Tesla, Bosch, and Ocado, among others, have turned their traditional factories into digitally smart ones that incorporate all of the cutting-edge technology necessary to improve and optimize the production process."
Article | December 21, 2021
When it comes to developing a budget for the following financial year of your manufacturing business, many operations managers start with direct labor and material expenditures. But, what about manufacturing overhead costs?
Manufacturing overhead is any expense not directly tied to a factory's production. Therefore, the indirect costs in manufacturing overhead can also be called factory overhead or production overhead.
Outsourcing and globalization of manufacturing allows companies to reduce costs, benefits consumers with lower-cost goods and services, and causes economic expansion that reduces unemployment and increases productivity and job creation.
– Larry Elder
So, this article focuses on some highly effective overhead cost reduction methods that would help you build a healthy budget for the following year.
Manufacturing Overhead Costs: What Is Included?
Everything or everyone within the factory that isn't actively producing items should be considered overhead.
The following are some of the variables that are considered overhead costs:
Depreciation of equipment and productionfacilities
Taxes, insurance, and utilities
Supervisors, maintenance, quality control, and other on-site personnel who aren't producing signs
Indirect supply from light bulbs to toilet paper is also included in the overhead cost.
Manufacturing Overhead Costs: What Is Excluded?
Everything or everyone within or outside the factory that is actively producing items should be excluded from the overhead costs.
Factory overhead does not include the following:
Employee costs for those making the goods daily
External administrative overhead, such as a satellite office or human resources
Costs associated with C-suite employees
Expenses associated with sales and marketing - include pay, travel, and advertising
How to Calculate Overhead Costs in Manufacturing
To know the manufacturing overhead requires calculating the manufacturing overhead rate. The formula to calculate the manufacturing overhead rate i.e. MOR is basic yet vital.
To begin, determine your overall manufacturing overhead expenses. Then, add up all the monthly indirect expenditures that keep manufacturing running smoothly.
Then you can calculate the Manufacturing Overhead Rate (MOR). This statistic shows you your monthly overhead costs as a percentage.
To find this value, divide Total Manufacturing Overhead Cost (TMOC) by Total Monthly Sales (TMS) and multiply it by 100. The final formula will be:
Assume your manufacturing overhead expensesare $50,000 and your monthly sales are $300,000. You get.167 when you divide $50,000 by $300,000. Then increase that by 100 to get your monthly overhead rate of 16.7%.
This means your monthly overhead expenditures will be 16.7% of your monthly income. Being able to forecast and develop better solutions to decrease production overhead.
Five Ways to Reduce Manufacturing Overhead Costs
A variety of strategies may be used by manufacturing organizations to reduce their overhead costs. Here is a summary of some of the most important methods for reducing your manufacturing overhead costs.
Value Stream Mapping – A Production Plant Process Layout
A value stream map depicts the entire manufacturing process of your plant. Everything from raw material purchase through client delivery is detailed here. The value stream map provides you with a complete picture of the profit-making process. This overhead cost-cuttingmethod is listed first for a reason because every effort to reduce manufacturing overhead costsstarts with a value stream map.
Lean manufacturingis also one of the techniques of eliminating unnecessary time, staff, and work that is not necessary for profit and has gained undue favor in the manufacturing process. You must first create a value stream map of the whole manufacturing process for this technique to work. Once the lean manufacturing precept is established, the following strategies for decreasingmanufacturing overhead expenses can be examined.
Do Not Forget Your Back Office Management
Before focusing on factory floor cost reduction techniques, remember that your back offices, where payment processing and customer contacts occur, may also be simplified and increase profitability. Fortunately, automation can achieve this profitability at a cheap cost.
Manufacturers increasingly use robotic process automation (RPA) to sell directly to customers rather than rely on complex supply networks. This automation eliminates costly human mistakes in data input and payment processing by automatically filling forms with consumer data. Moreover, the time saved from manual data input (and rectifying inevitable human errors) equates to decreased labor expenses and downtime.
Automating Your Manufacturing Plant
For a long time, manufacturers saw factory automation as a game-changer. As a result, several plant owners make radical changes in their operations using cutting-edge technologydespite knowing it realistically. Over-investing in technologies unfamiliar to present industrial personnel might be deemed a technology blunder. Investing in new technology that doesn't generate value or is too hard for current staff to use might be a mistake.
It's usually best to start small when implementing newtechnology in manufacturing. Using collaborative robots in production is one way to get started with automation. They are inexpensive, need little software and hardware, and may help employees with mundane, repeated chores that gobble up bandwidth. It is a low-cost entry point into automation that saves labor expenses and opens the door for further automation investments when opportunities are available.
Reuse Other Factory Equipment and Supplies
Check with other factories to see if they have any unused equipment or supplies that may be "redeployed" to your manufacturing plant. Redeployment would save you time and money by eliminating the need to look for and install new equipment while lowering your overhead costs.
Outsourcing a fully equipped factory, equipment, or even staff can also assist in lowering overhead costssince you will only pay for what you utilize. As such, it is a viable method to incorporate into your production process.
Employ an In-house Maintenance Expert
An in-house repair technician can service your equipment for routine inspections, preventive maintenance, and minor repairs. This hiring decision might save money on unforeseen repair expenses or work fees for an outside repair provider. Having someone on-site who can do emergency repairs may save you money if your equipment breaks after business hours.
Manufacturing overhead costis an essential aspect of every manufacturing company's budget to consider. Smart manufacturingis intended to be productive, efficient, and cost-effective while effectively managing production expenditures. Calculating the manufacturing overheadcan provide you with a better understanding of your company's costs and how to minimize them. Depending on the conditions or geographical needs, each manufacturing plant's overhead expensesmay vary. As a result, identify your production overhead costsand concentrate on reducing and improving them.
What are manufacturing overheads?
Manufacturing overhead cost is a sum of all indirect expenses incurred during production. Manufacturing overhead expenses usually include depreciation of equipment, employee salaries, and power utilized to run the equipment.
What is a decent overhead percentage?
When a business is functioning successfully, an overhead ratio of less than 35 % is considered favorable.
How can I calculate the cost of manufacturing per unit?
The overall manufacturing cost per unit is determined by dividing the total production expenses by the total number of units produced for a particular time.
Article | March 4, 2022
Cyber manufacturing is a term that refers to a modern manufacturing system that allows for asset management, reconfiguration, and productivity maintenance in a way that is easy to see and use.
Industry 4.0 anticipates an era of enormous opportunity for innovation and prosperity. Additionally, it introduces new risks and challenges in today's manufacturing cyber scene.
“Cybersecurity is starting to become more prevalent within organizations, so opportunities to grow in this industry will never end if you have the correct drive and determination.”
– Joe Boyle, SEO of SaltDNA
Numerous manufacturing organizations are experiencing an increase in cyber-attacks on control systems used to oversee industrial processes. Some of these systems may include programmable logic controllers and distributed control systems, as well as embedded systems and industrial Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
To help you develop a strong and secure manufacturing operation, this article will outline the multiple sorts of cyber-attacks in manufacturing and how you may improve manufacturing security. Let's begin with the importance of cybersecurity in the manufacturing industry.
Why is Cybersecurity in Manufacturing Crucial?
From January to March of 2019, the number of ransomware attacks in the manufacturing industry has increased by 156%. This is a big change, so it's important to have strong cyber security in the manufacturing process. Wherever software is in use, there is a high probability of cyber-attacks. The manufacturing industry is digitizing itself with cutting-edge technologies connected via the internet and various software. Therefore, the manufacturing industry is particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
The following are some of the key reasons why manufacturers should prioritize manufacturing cybersecurity:
Increase in the use of IoT devices in the industry
Increase in the cost of data breaches
Increase in the number of cyber-attacks across industries
Increase in the severity of cyber-attacks
Increase in the use of widely accessible hacking tools
Increase in the use of remote workers
Five Major Types of Manufacturing Cyber Attacks
Due to the rising value of ransomware, cybercriminals have switched their attention away from selling personal and financial data. Unfortunately, industrial companies stand to lose a lot. Until the hacker's demands are met, this malware locks files on a network and makes them impossible to use.
If a ransom (typically millions) is not paid, threat actors may sell or leak important data. Until the ransom is paid, ransomware users render the company's network inaccessible. This strategy works well for attackers in the manufacturing industry because downtime is costly, and no manufacturer would like to encounter it for a long time.
Ransomware assaults generally occur on weekends or holidays to maximize damage before the attack is realized. This allows hackers to wait in comfort during a busy manufacturing period. Manufacturing enterprises are a desirable target for numerous reasons. A wide network of OT devices and a long supply chain make many endpoints and security flaws.
Phishing is the most common type of network assault. Phishing emails are frequently used to gain access to a target firm to carry out further detrimental assaults or acts. For instance, in 2016, a CEO sent an email to a global solar panel manufacturer’s employee.
The email claimed that precise information about internal employees was required. The employee transmitted the data without confirming it. The CEO received the information. Unfortunately, the CEO was a cybercriminal, and the employee was phished, disclosing firm secrets. Perhaps the next generation of thieves will commit even more advanced and sophisticated penetrations and attacks.
Phishing attacks are characterized by the following characteristics:
Emails with malicious attachments
Emails with hyperlinks that differ from well-known websites and are misspelt
Emails with an attention-grabbing title or content
Emails from an unusual sender
Urgent orders or to-do items
Supply Chain Attacks
In the manufacturing business, no single firm can complete the entire production cycle. It must rely on several manufacturers' parts and components to complete the manufacturing and assembly of the entire product. As a result, numerous parties should coordinate to ensure an effective production process. This technique introduces the risk of supply chain attacks.
Numerous criminals utilize supply chain hacks to steal critical data and intellectual property rights from manufacturers. If a malicious attacker gets permission from the manufacturer's partner to access their network, they may steal critical information or data, and even essential manufacturing records, wreaking havoc on the business.
Additionally, manufacturers' external software or hardware poses security vulnerabilities, and there is a danger of attack along the equipment and system supply chain. Most products are developed using open-source or closed-source components, yet all these components have some level of security vulnerability.
The following are common indicators that your network has been compromised by a third party:
Incorrect usernames and passwords are used to access software systems
Strange redirects to unknown websites
Software freezes or crashes
As the intelligent transformation of manufacturing continues to progress, the Internet of Things' role in facilitating this process becomes increasingly critical. Manufacturers can optimize production processes more effectively and precisely by utilizing various IoT devices. For instance, businesses track assets, collect data, and perform analysis using IoT sensors embedded in devices. These sensors continuously monitor the various operating parameters of the equipment and critical data to enable automatic recovery and minimize maintenance downtime.
Increased security risks occur because of the proliferation of various IoT devices in manufacturing plants. IoT devices have networking capabilities and can be easily connected to a network. Typically, manufacturers' IoT, industrial control, and office networks are not adequately isolated. They can get into the industrial control network through public flaws or zero-day attacks on IoT devices. They can then launch malicious attacks on critical production equipment, which can stop production and cause processing accidents.
Most manufacturing cyber attacks are carried out by outsiders, but nearly 30% originate from insiders or those with access to the company. As with external hackers, these attacks are frequently motivated by financial gain. However, some employees or former employees attack a business out of rage or dissatisfaction.
Internal threat actors do not require network access. They can access sensitive data by leveraging their existing knowledge or credentials. A threat actor is more likely to carry out an attack invisibly and undetected with pre-existing credentials. Unfortunately, former employees can typically access this information if passwords or entry methods are not changed to prevent such attacks.
Because of the increased use of personal devices and remote work, employees can unintentionally be the cause of an internal breach. Most businesses were unprepared for the regulations that would accompany a global pandemic. As manufacturing companies looked for ways to stay afloat by maintaining employees remotely, few had the necessary technological equipment to keep each employee as safe as the company's employees.
Many home-based employees discovered that working from home was not easy, as the line between personal and work time became increasingly blurred and eventually vanished. For hackers, these home networks and the use of unprotected personal devices have opened a new avenue for obtaining sensitive data from large andsmall businesses.
How to Mitigate Manufacturing Cyber Attack
Make Sure Your Software Is up to Date
Install software patches to prevent attackers from exploiting known issues or vulnerabilities. Numerous operating systems include an automatic update feature. If available, ensure that this option is enabled.
Utilize Current Antivirus Software
Install software patches to prevent attackers from exploiting known issues or vulnerabilities. Numerous operating systems include an automatic update feature. Ensure that this option is enabled if it is available.
Make Use of Strong Passwords
Set up password rules. A stolen or default password is used in 63% of confirmed data breaches. Create strong passwords that are difficult to guess and use unique passwords for each program and device. Experts advise using passphrases or passwords of at least 16 characters.
Make Use of MFA Tool
MFA validates a user's identity using at least two identification components. This stops attackers from taking advantage of weak authentication mechanisms, which lowers the risk of someone getting into your account even if they know the login credentials.
Train Employees on Security Awareness
Security awareness training unites employees, eliminates risks and events, and protects both the company and the employees. Employees should also be taught how to look for and deal with threats like phishing.
Industry 4.0 is all about smart technologies that operate with the help of the internet. It increases the probability of manufacturing equipment and software being hacked. Therefore, while you intend to create a smart environment in your manufacturing facility, you must take the necessary cyber security measures.
The strategies mentioned in this article to mitigate the cyber-attacks will ensure that you take every precaution to keep the working environment safe. There are many ways to protect your manufacturing business from cyberattacks. The techniques and the types of attacks described in this article will help you know what to opt for and which attacks to look for in your manufacturing business.
What are the most common cyber security threats?
Phishing attacks are the most common cyber security threats that employees fall for. With the advancement of phishing attacks, many employees lack the knowledge necessary to spot a phishing email. Additionally, many employees have poor cyber security practices, such as using the same password for work and personal devices, which is also one of the reasons for rising phishing attacks.
What are the cyber security challenges in Industry 4.0?
Smart factories are vulnerable to the same types of attacks as conventional networks, including vulnerability exploitation, malware, denial of service (DoS), device hacking, and other typical attack tactics.
What is CPS in manufacturing?
CPS (Cyber Physical Systems) are defined as designed systems that are comprised of and reliant on the seamless integration of computer algorithms and physical components.
Article | March 29, 2022
The lean manufacturing process is the most time-tested, dependable, and proven method of manufacturing. It has helped numerous notable firms worldwide to reduce production waste and optimize their overall manufacturing operations. Many lean tools, such as 5S lean manufacturing, JIT, and Kanban, have helped manufacturers be more productive and efficient than ever before.
“Lean is a way of thinking, not a list of things to do.”
– Shigeo Shingo, a Japanese Industrial Engineer
In 2014, 29% of manufacturers had implemented lean manufacturing or intended to do so. (Source: MAXIML)
This article highlights lean manufacturing principles and the most commonly used lean tools. We will also look into the three lean manufacturing examples that will help us understand how lean manufacturing techniques may help manufacturing organizations become more successful.
Lean Manufacturing Principles
Value is always determined in terms of the customer's requirements for a particular product. For instance, what is the manufacturing and delivery schedule? What is the cost? What more critical requirements or expectations must be met? This information is vital when it comes to defining value.
The next step after value is to map the "value stream," or all the steps and processes involved in creating a given product, from raw materials to delivery to the client. Value-stream mapping outlines all the steps that move a product or service through a process. Processes might be in design or customer service. The objective is to "map" the movement of material or product through the process on one sheet. The purpose is to identify and eliminate unwanted steps. Some call it process re-engineering. This practice also helps to understand the entire business function.
After removing waste from the value stream, the next step is to ensure there are no interruptions, delays, or bottlenecks. "Sequence the value-creating steps closely so the product or service flows smoothly toward the customer," LEI suggests. This may require breaking down silo thinking and becoming cross-functional across all departments, which can be difficult for lean projects to accomplish. However, studies indicate that this can significantly improve efficiency and productivity, often by up to 50%.
With better flow, the time it takes to get a product to market (or to the customer) can be greatly reduced. As a result, "just in time" manufacturing or delivery becomes simpler. This means that the consumer has the ability to "pull" the product from you at any time (often in weeks instead of months). As a result, the manufacturer or provider and the client save money by not having to build things or store resources in advance.
Developing lean thinking and process optimization part of your organizational culture is the most crucial step. Remember that lean is not a static system that takes continual effort and care to perfect. Lean should be implemented by all employees. Experts claim a process is not fully lean until it has been value-stream mapped a dozen times.
The Most Used Lean Manufacturing Tools
Lean manufacturing employs a variety of lean tools to optimize output and efficiency by making the most use of available resources. Lean manufacturing seeks to improve processes by demanding less work, time, and resources. Specific lean tools may be more suited to one type of business than another. On the other hand, 5S lean manufacturing, Kaizen, Kanban, Value Stream Mapping, and Focus PDCA are among the most useful lean tools.
Three Examples of Lean Manufacturing
Toyota was the first big company to adopt the lean manufacturing process. They have mastered lean manufacturing techniques to minimize defective products that do not meet client expectations. Toyota achieves this goal through two key methods. The first is Jidoka, which means "mechanization with human assistance." While some portions of the operation are automated, humans regularly examine the product's quality. There are extra programs in the system that can shut down the machines if there is a problem.
The second method is called the JIT model. Individual cars can be made as per order using JIT inside the Toyota Production System, but each component must fit precisely the first time due to a lack of alternatives. Therefore, pre-existing production issues cannot be overlooked and resolved quickly.
Computer chip maker Intel implemented lean manufacturing techniques to produce better products with zero defects. This approach has helped to minimize the manufacturing time from three months to ten days. Intel eventually learned that manufacturing low-quality things would not enhance earnings or customer satisfaction. Instead, both parties gain from quality control and waste reduction methods. This is especially true in the electronics business, where products are constantly updated.
John Deere has implemented a lean manufacturing process. Many of their quality control techniques are completely automated, allowing for faster inspection of more parts. This means more products flow out of the door each day, and the consumer gets a better deal. These controls also monitor how each part of their products is made, so they don't overproduce and waste valuable resources.
Being successful with lean manufacturing techniques is a notable achievement for any organization because it involves eliminating redundant efforts, finances, and processes that have hindered your business's growth for an extended period. Recognize your business requirements and select the appropriate lean tool. Ultimately, lean is not just a method; it is an attitude that every manufacturing organization must adopt.
What is the objective of lean manufacturing?
Lean manufacturing aims to improve product quality, cut down on waste, speed up production, and save money.
What are the drawbacks to lean production?
Using lean techniques reduces the error margin. Late supply deliveries can lead to shortages of raw materials and delayed deliveries. This flaw can damage client relationships, drive customers to competitors, and cost you money.
Is lean still applicable today?
Lean manufacturing is relevant now and will be for years to come. So, this might be an exciting opportunity for lean manufacturing to evolve in a new space with new resources.