Maintaining Quality Control When Manufacturing Overseas

PATTY RASMUSSEN| August 31, 2017
MAINTAINING QUALITY CONTROL WHEN MANUFACTURING OVERSEAS
I recently heard about a business exercise called a premortem. Rather than looking at a failed project to determine what went wrong after the fact, stakeholders gather together before the launch to discuss the things that could go wrong. The premortem begins with the leader informing the team that the project has failed. Everyone involved writes down reasons for the project's failure.

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GM Nameplate

Established in 1954, GM Nameplate is a leading international manufacturer specializing in the custom design and manufacture of product identification components including nameplates, decals, labels and custom panels; electronic input devices such as membrane switches, rubber keypads and touch screens; injection and compression molding; plastic decorating and large format digital graphics.

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Manufacturing Has the Lowest Percentage of High-Severity Flaws but Needs to Improve Time to Remediation

Article | March 30, 2021

The past 12 months have been especially challenging for the manufacturing industry. The pandemic affected in-person manufacturing jobs as well as supply and demand, causing many manufacturing companies to shut their doors or lay off valuable employees. Recognizing the vulnerable state of manufacturing companies, cybercriminals saw manufacturing as an easy target. In fact, the manufacturing industry saw an 11 percent increase in cyberattacks in 2020. And even more concerning, our recent State of Software Security v11 (SOSS) report found that, when compared to other industries, the manufacturing industry ranks last for fix-rate and median time to remediate security flaws. That means that the manufacturing industry has security flaws in applications that aren???t getting resolved in a timely manner. And more lingering flaws mean more opportunity for a cyberattack.

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It's Time to Redesign Your Business with Manufacturing Analytics

Article | December 21, 2021

Consumer demand has shifted dramatically in recent years, and manufacturers are trying to adapt to this shift. To maintain high product quality, minimize costs, and optimize supply chains, manufacturing analyticshas become essential for manufacturers. Manufacturing analyticsis the process of gathering and analyzing data from various systems, equipment, and IoT devices in real-time to get essential insights. 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 Manufacturing analyticscan assist in maintaining production quality, boost performance with high-profit returns, decrease costs, and optimize supply networks. This article will outline manufacturing analyticsand present a list of possible application cases. It will also highlight the benefits of manufacturing analyticsfor any shop floor or factory. Manufacturing analytics: An Overview With manufacturing analytics, we can streamline and speed up the entire process. Data interchange and automation helps in speeding up the production process. Manufacturing analyticsuses predictive manufacturing, big data, Industrial IoT, network virtualization, and machine learningto produce better scalable production solutions. Manufacturing analyticscollects and analyses data from many sources via sensors embedded in machinery to identify areas for improvement. Data is collected and presented in an easy-to-understand structure to illustrate where difficulties emerge throughout the process. In short, manufacturing analyticscollects and analyses large volumes of data to reveal insights that might improve performance. Users can also obtain automated business reports to reply in real-time. Why Manufacturing analytics is Vital for Leading Businesses There are numerous benefits of manufacturing analyticsthat drive any company’s production and overall manufacturing business growth. The benefits of manufacturing analyticsfall into three distinct categories as below. It reduces the overall cost: Analytics may save a significant amount of money if used more efficiently. Labor costs are also reduced due to automation and semi-autonomous machinery. Similarly, preventive and prescriptive maintenance programs may save money while enhancing productivity. It boosts profits for businesses: Manufacturers can respond swiftly to changes in demand using real-time insights in production, inventory management, and demand and supply forecasting. For example, assume the data indicates that they are approaching their maximum capacity. In such instances, they can increase over time, increase capacity, modify procedures, or tweak other production areas to adapt and maintain delivery times. Other unforeseen benefits: There are several advantages to the increased capabilities enabled by manufacturing analytics. These benefits include lower energy use, safer environmental practices, fewer compliance failures, and more customer satisfaction. Five Real-world Applications of Manufacturing Analytics Predictive Maintenance A machine's analytics uses aggregate data from real-time detectors to anticipate when it needs to be replaced or functioning irregularly. This process helps predict machine failure or equipment defects. Analytics can assist in determining a plant's capacity and how many products are produced by the unit in every production cycle, which is helpful in capacity planning. In addition, analytics may help determine the ideal number of units to create over time by considering capacity, sales predictions, and parallel schedules. Predictive analytics solutions can automate maintenance requests and readings that shortens the procedure and reduce maintenance expenses. Product Development Product development is an expensive process in manufacturing. As a result, businesses must invest in R&D to develop new product lines, improve existing models, and generate new value-added services. Earlier, this approach was in place by repeated modeling to get the finest outcome. This approach can now be modeled to a large extent, with the help of data science and technologically superior analytics. Real-world circumstances can be replicated electronically using "digital twins" and other modeling approaches to anticipate performance and decrease R&D expenses. Demand Forecasting Many factors that might help in the plan significant capital expenditures or brief breakdowns can be explained using historical data and a few high-impact variable strategies. For example, consider the seasonality of products like ice cream. As a result, historical market data and a few high-impact factors can help explain numerous variables and plan major capital expenditures or short-term shutdowns. In addition to demand forecasting, predictive analytics incorporates advanced statistical techniques. With predictive analytics, a wide range of parameters, including customer buying behavior, raw material availability, and trade war implications, may be taken into consideration. Warranty Analysis Warranty support may be a load for many manufacturers. Warranties are frequently based on a "one-size-fits-all" approach that is broader. This approach introduces uncertainty and unanticipated complications into the equation. Products may be modified or updated to decrease failure and hence expense by using data science and obtaining information from active warranties in the field. It can also lead to better-informed iterations for new product lines to minimize field complaints. Managing Supply Chain Risks Data may be recorded from commodities in transit and sent straight from vendor equipment to the software platform, helping to enable end-to-end visibility in the supply chain. Manufacturing analyticsallows organizations to manage their supply chains like a "control tower," directing resources to speed up or slow down. They may also order backup supplies and activate secondary suppliers when demand changes. Final Words Businesses should adapt to changing times. Using analytics in manufacturinghas altered the business industry and spared it from possible hazards while boosting production lines. Industry 4.0's route has been carved. Manufacturing analyticsis the key to true Industry 4.0, and without it, the data produced by clever IoT devices is meaningless. The future is data-driven, and success will go to those who are ready to adopt it. The faster adoption, the sooner firms go ahead of the competition. FAQ How can data analytics help manufacturers? Data analytics tools can help manufacturers analyze machine conditions and efficiency in real-time. It enables manufacturers to do predictive maintenance, something they were previously unable to accomplish. Why is data so crucial in manufacturing? Data helps enhance manufacturing quality control. Manufacturers can better understand their company's performance and make changes by collecting data. Data-driven manufacturing helps management to track production and labor time, improve maintenance and quality, and reduce business and safety concerns. What is Predictive Manufacturing? Predictive manufacturing uses descriptive analytics and data visualization to offer a real-time perspective of asset health and dependability performance. In addition, it helps factories spot quality issues and takes remedial action quicker by eliminating the waste and the cost associated with it.

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Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM): Major Challenges and Their Solutions

Article | December 16, 2021

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is a technology that revolutionized the manufacturing business. Pierre Bézier, a Renault engineer, produced the world's first real 3D CAD/CAM application, UNISURF CAD. His game-changing program redefined the product design process and profoundly altered the design and manufacturing industries. So, what is CAM in its most basic definition? Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is the application of computer systems to the planning, control, and administration of manufacturing operations. This is accomplished by using either direct or indirect links between the computer and the manufacturing processes. In a nutshell, CAM provides greater manufacturing efficiency, accuracy, and consistency. 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 In light of the numerous advantages and uses of computer-aided manufacturing, manufacturers have opted to use it extensively. The future of computer-aided manufacturing is brightening due to the rapid and rising adoption of CAM. According to Allied Market Research, the global computer-aided manufacturing market was worth $2,689 million in 2020 and is expected to reach $5,477 million by 2028, rising at an 8.4% compound annual growth rate between 2021 and 2028. Despite all this, each new development has benefits and challenges of its own. In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of CAM, the challenges that come with it, and how to deal with them. Let's start with the advantages of computer-aided manufacturing. Benefits of Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) There are significant benefits of using computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). CAM typically provides the following benefits: Increased component production speed Maximizes the utilization of a wide variety of manufacturing equipment Allows for the rapid and waste-free creation of prototypes Assists in optimizing NC programs for maximum productivity during machining Creates performance reports automatically As part of the manufacturing process, it integrates multiple systems and procedures. The advancement of CAD and CAM software provides visual representation and integration of modeling and testing applications. Greater precision and consistency, with similar components and products Less downtime due to computer-controlled devices High superiority in following intricate patterns like circuit board tracks Three Challenges in CAM and Their Solutions We have focused on the three primary challenges and their solutions that we have observed. Receiving Incomplete CAD Updates Receiving insufficient CAD updates is one of the challenges. If, for example, the part update from a CAD engineer does not include the pockets that are required in the assembly, to the CAM engineer. SOLUTION: A modeler that enables developers of a CAM programs to create intuitive processes for features such as feature extraction and duplication across CAD version updates. A modeler is capable of recognizing and extracting the pocket's architecture and the parameters that define it. Additionally, the CAM application can enable the engineer to reproduce the pocket in a few simple steps by exploiting the modeler's editing features such as scaling, filling, extruding, symmetrical patterning, and removing. Last Minute Design Updates The second major challenge is last-minute design changes may impact manufacturers as a result of simulation. SOLUTION: With 3D software components, you may create applications in which many simulation engineers can work together to make design modifications to the CAD at the same time, with the changes being automatically merged at the end. Challenging Human-driven CAM Manufacturing The third major challenge we have included is that CAM engineers must perform manual steps in human-driven CAM programming, which takes time and requires expert CAM software developers. Furthermore, when the structure of the target components grows more complicated, the associated costs and possibility of human failure rise. SOLUTION: Self-driving CAM is the best solution for this challenge. Machine-driven CAM programming, also known as self-driving CAM, provides an opportunity to improve this approach with a more automated solution. Preparing for CAM is simple with the self-driving CAM approach, and it can be done by untrained operators regardless of part complexity. The technology handles all of the necessary decisions for CAM programming operations automatically. In conclusion, self-driving CAM allows for efficient fabrication of bespoke parts, which can provide substantial value and potential for job shops and machine tool builders. Computer Aided Manufacturing Examples CAM is widely utilized in various sectors and has emerged as a dominant technology in the manufacturing and design industries. Here are two examples of sectors where CAM is employed efficiently and drives solutions to many challenges in the specific business. Textiles Virtual 3D prototype systems, such as Modaris 3D fit and Marvellous Designer, are already used by designers and manufacturers to visualize 2D blueprints into 3D virtual prototyping. Many other programs, such as Accumark V-stitcher and Optitex 3D runway, show the user a 3D simulation to show how a garment fits and how the cloth drapes to educate the customer better. Aerospace and Astronomy The James Webb Space Telescope's 18 hexagonal beryllium segments require the utmost level of precision, and CAM is providing it. Its primary mirror is 1.3 meters wide and 250 kilograms heavy, but machining and etching will reduce the weight by 92% to just 21 kilograms. FAQ What is the best software for CAM? Mastercam has been the most extensively utilized CAM software for 26 years in a row, according to CIMdata, an independent NC research business. How CAD-CAM helps manufacturers? Customers can send CAD files to manufacturers via CAD-CAM software. They can then build up the machining tool path and run simulations to calculate the machining cycle times. What is the difference between CAD and CAM? Computer-aided design (CAD) is the process of developing a design (drafting). CAM is the use of computers and software to guide machines to build something, usually a mass-produced part.

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This Is How You Can Lower Your Manufacturing Overhead

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: Product materials 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. Final Words 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. FAQ 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.

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Spotlight

GM Nameplate

Established in 1954, GM Nameplate is a leading international manufacturer specializing in the custom design and manufacture of product identification components including nameplates, decals, labels and custom panels; electronic input devices such as membrane switches, rubber keypads and touch screens; injection and compression molding; plastic decorating and large format digital graphics.

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