Lessons in Manufacturing Growth from 5 Industry Leaders

| January 01, 1900
LESSONS IN MANUFACTURING GROWTH FROM 5 INDUSTRY LEADERS
The manufacturing industry is a powerful economic force – both nationally and globally. Dave Lubowe is the leader of digital operations at IBM Global Business Services. It’s nothing new for the manufacturing sector to have to navigate fragmented and complex supply chains. Up to 90 percent of a manufacturer’s cost can be chewed up in meeting supply chain demands, which is why emphasis is now being put upon digitizing the process as much as possible, which saves time and money.

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L-com Global Connectivity

L-com Global Connectivity, a preferred manufacturer of wired and wireless connectivity products, offers a wide range of solutions and unrivaled customer service for the electronics and data communications industries. The company's product portfolio includes cable assemblies, connectors, adapters, computer networking components, and custom products, as well as their brand of wireless products which include antennas, RF amplifiers, coaxial lightning and surge protectors, and NEMA rated enclosures. L-com's HyperLink® wireless products are designed for WiFi, WiMAX, SCADA, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, RFID and Bluetooth applications.

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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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How Smart Manufacturing Is Powered by Digital Twin Technology?

Article | December 8, 2021

A digital twin is a virtual model of an object or system that comprises its lifecycle. It is updated with real-time data and aids decision-making through simulation, machine learning, and reasoning for the production system. IoT sensor data from the original object is used to create a digital twin of the system. This cloud-connected data allows engineers to monitor systems and model system dynamics in real-time. Modifications can be tested on the digital twin before making changes to the original system. Considering that digital twins are supposed to replicate a product's complete lifecycle and are used throughout the production process, it's not unexpected that digital twins have become prevalent in all stages of manufacturing. “More than a blueprint or schematic, a digital twin combines a real-time simulation of system dynamics with a set of executive controls,” – Dr. Daniel Araya, consultant and advisor with a special interest in artificial intelligence, technology policy, and governance Companies will increasingly embrace digital twins to boost productivity and decrease expenses. As per recent research by Research and Markets, nearly 36% of executives across industries recognize the benefits of digital twinning, with half planning to implement it by 2028.So how does this digital twin technology benefit modern manufacturing? Let's have a look. How the Digital Twin Drives Smart Manufacturing Digital twins in manufacturing are used to replicate production systems. Manufacturers can develop virtual representations of real-world products, equipment, processes, or systems using data from sensors connected to machines, tools, and other devices. In manufacturing, such simulations assist in monitoring and adapting equipment performance in real-time. With machine learning techniques, digital twins can predict future events and anticipate potential difficulties. For maintenance, digital twins allow for quick detection of any problems. They collect real-time system data, prior failure data, and relevant maintenance data. The technique employs machine learning and artificial intelligence to predict maintenance requirements. Using this data, companies can avoid production downtime. Digital Twin and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in manufacturing Using digital twins and AI in production can enhance uptime by predicting potential failures and keeping equipment working smoothly. In addition, there are significant cost savings in the planning and design process as digital twins and AI can be used to replicate a specific scenario. Maintenance is another area that has seen significant progress with the use of digital twin manufacturing. A Digital Twin powered by AI can predict when a piece of equipment will fail, allowing you to arrange predictive maintenance that is not simply taking information from OEM manuals but can significantly cut maintenance expenses along with reducing downtime. Using the digital twin, it is feasible to train virtual workers in high-risk functions, similar to how pilots are trained using flight simulators. It also frees up highly skilled workers to upgrade the plant and streamline operations. General Electric Created the Most Advanced Digital Twin General Electric Company (GE) is a multinational business based in Boston that was founded in 1892. It has developed the world's most advanced digital twin, which blends analytic models for power plant components that monitor asset health, wear, and performance with KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) determined by the customer and the organization's objectives. The Digital Twin is powered by PredixTM, an industrial platform built to manage huge amounts of data and run analytic algorithms. General Electric Company provides extra "control knobs" or "dimensionality" that can be utilized to improve the operation of the system or asset modeled with GE Digital Twin. Final Words Given the numerous advantages of digital twin manufacturing, the potential for digital twins to be used in manufacturing is virtually endless in the near future. There will be a slew of new advancements in the field of digital twin manufacturing. As a result, digital twins are continually acquiring new skills and capabilities. The ultimate goal of all of these enhancements is to create the insights necessary to improve products and streamline processes in the future. FAQ What is a digital twin in manufacturing? The digital twins could be used to monitor and enhance a production line or perhaps the whole manufacturing process, from product design to production. How digital twin benefit manufacturers? Using digital twins to represent products and manufacturing processes, manufacturers can save assembly, installation, and validation time and costs. What is a digital thread? A digital twin is a realistic version of a product or system that replicates a company's equipment, controls, workflows, and systems. The digital thread, on the other hand, records a product's life cycle from creation to dissolution. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a digital twin in manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The digital twins could be used to monitor and enhance a production line or perhaps the whole manufacturing process, from product design to production." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How digital twin benefit manufacturers?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Using digital twins to represent products and manufacturing processes, manufacturers can save assembly, installation, and validation time and costs." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a digital thread?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A digital twin is a realistic version of a product or system that replicates a company's equipment, controls, workflows, and systems. The digital thread, on the other hand, records a product's life cycle from creation to dissolution." } }] }

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AGV ROI Starts with a Delivery Commitment

Article | January 4, 2022

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

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Technologies to Adopt Now to Enable the Smart Warehouse Concept

Article | December 8, 2021

Why should warehouses be left behind as everything gets smarter in the manufacturing world? The future warehouse will be smarter and more innovative to speed up supply chain management procedures and assist businesses in intelligently segregating their raw materials and manufactured goods. So, what does it mean to have "a smart warehouse"? A smart warehouse is a big infrastructure that stores raw materials and manufactured goods and employs machines and computers to handle routine warehouse tasks that humans previously performed. Smart warehouses are inspired by smart factories and operate in a data-driven environment. It is the ability of the system in the warehouse to make it more efficient and productive by utilizing networked, automated technology. “I advocate business leaders get to know more about what AI can do and then leverage AI in proofs of concept.” – Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive (Manufacturing) at Microsoft According to EASYECOM, nine out of ten businesses intend to include commercial service robots into their operations in some form. By 2025, it is projected that there will be roughly 23,000 robotic warehouses in the United States alone, up from only 2,500 in 2018. Furthermore, the global smart warehousing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.5 percent from USD 14.8 billion in 2021 to USD 25.4 billion in 2026, according to GlobeNewswire. As can be seen, the current warehouse automation trends are scaling up the worldwide market for smart warehouses, and the value of the smart warehouse business has a long way to go in the future. So, what are the technologies that are changing traditional warehouses into intelligent warehouses? Continue reading this article to get a better understanding of this. Top 5 Warehouse Technologies to Take On Numerous manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations, including IKEA, NIKE, and WALMART, utilize smart warehouses to streamline their overall operations. The technologies listed below assist many of them in implementing the modern warehousing idea. A Warehouse Management System Warehouse Management Systems, or WMSs, are comprehensive software systems that consolidate all of your critical data onto a single platform that can be easily accessed by team members and selected supply chain partners. This data compartmentalization allows for lightning-fast reporting, which allows for super-efficient planning, even for unexpected events. Overall, the use of warehouse management systems complements the use of other automated aspects perfectly. Automated Picking Tools The days of error-prone picking are long gone; now, when picking automation elements are integrated into the flow, warehouses can profit from near-perfect picking rates. In addition, picking procedures can be aided by various techniques, including voice-automated order picking, pick-to-light, and robotic order picking. These technologies also use cutting-edge barcoding choices that easily interface with your selected management software to provide the quickest and most accurate automated reporting experiences. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) AGVs, or automatic guided vehicles, are the best approach to speeding up storage and retrieval processes. AGVs are becoming more robust as technology advances, but older models have proven safer and more cost-effective than manual labor. Their functions include pallet, rack, and other container storage and controlling and automating the entire receiving process. Platforms for Automated Inventory Control Automated inventory control platforms, when combined with a few other technological cornerstones, such as asset and inventory tags, may eliminate labor, guesswork, and unnecessary time from traditional inventory control. In addition, there are several advantages to using these platforms, including their ability to automatically count inventories and synthesize data for real-time reporting that can be viewed remotely. IoT Implementation The Internet of Things (IoT) is used by some of the world's most efficient smart warehouses, such as Amazon, as an entire concept rather than a specific technology. All of your automated and manual operations may be optimized when IoT is used to control all of your moving parts, both automated and manual. This innovative technology helps optimize a warehouse's inventory control systems, workforce planning, and, of course, the overall customer experience. While implementing technology improves the notion of a smart warehouse, it isn't always possible for every warehouse to do so instantly, especially since implementing technology takes significant financial and infrastructure changes. That's why warehouses are adopting the concept of collaborative robots (cobots). These are the autonomous elements that work with existing human workers. Cobots allow warehouses to preserve many of their existing procedures and infrastructure while gaining the benefits of fully autonomous elements. Amazon's Smart Warehouses Integrates Humans and Robots Amazon acquired Kiva Systems for $775 million in 2012, highlighting its interest in warehouse robotics. Kiva Systems was the sole known producer of warehouse robots, serving many different logistics organizations. Amazon bought Kiva Systems' machines, constructed and used them all. Amazon Robotics is a new business unit that the company has developed. Amazon recently established a semi-automated warehouse with human workers and robots. As a result, simple chores like moving parcels and scanning barcodes are automated. However, organizing goods and carrying complex objects (like bottles) is still part of human work. Amazon's automated warehouse employs over 400 robots and hundreds of human employees. Amazon's rise in two crucial areas – online shopping and logistics – has been accelerated by warehouse robots. Final Words Modern warehousing is a new trend in the manufacturing industry that automates numerous procedures required for keeping manufacturing materials and products organized. Technology trends in warehousing are making manufacturers' jobs easier and promoting the future warehouse model in 2022. Implement the cutting-edge technology outlined above to stay current with warehousing trends and boost productivity, efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility for your personnel and their operations. FAQ What are the key benefits of a smart warehouse? A smart warehouse improves the warehouse's productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. It also allows personnel and procedures to be flexible. What exactly is WMS? A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software solution that handles the supply chain from the distribution center to the retail shelf. What is COBOT? Cobots are designed to work with people rather than replace them. Cobots are also known as people-focused robots. They can help humans simplify and improve their work. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the key benefits of a smart warehouse?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A smart warehouse improves the warehouse's productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. It also allows personnel and procedures to be flexible." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What exactly is WMS?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software solution that handles the supply chain from the distribution center to the retail shelf." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is COBOT?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Cobots are designed to work with people rather than replace them. Cobots are also known as people-focused robots. They can help humans simplify and improve their work." } }] }

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Spotlight

L-com Global Connectivity

L-com Global Connectivity, a preferred manufacturer of wired and wireless connectivity products, offers a wide range of solutions and unrivaled customer service for the electronics and data communications industries. The company's product portfolio includes cable assemblies, connectors, adapters, computer networking components, and custom products, as well as their brand of wireless products which include antennas, RF amplifiers, coaxial lightning and surge protectors, and NEMA rated enclosures. L-com's HyperLink® wireless products are designed for WiFi, WiMAX, SCADA, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, RFID and Bluetooth applications.

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