Article | December 8, 2021
An agile manufacturing strategy is one that places a strong priority on responding quickly to the needs of the customer, resulting in a major competitive advantage.
It is a captivating method to build a competitive work system in today's fast-moving marketplace. An agile organization must be able to adapt quickly to take advantage of limited opportunities and rapid shifts as per client demand. Agile manufacturing is gaining favor among manufacturers due to its several benefits, including increased work productivity and good control over the final deliverable. Furthermore, the shorter time to market is expanding the global market for enterprise agile transformation services.
According to Market Watch, with a CAGR of 17.9% from 2019 to 2026, the US enterprise agile transformation services market is predicted to reach $18,189.32 million by 2026.
So why is agile manufacturing gaining traction? What challenges do manufacturers encounter when implementing agile manufacturing, and how have industry leaders like GE, Adobe, and Accenture effectively implemented agile methodology in their organizations and become the best examples of agile manufacturing? In this article, we'll take a closer look at each point.
What Is the Importance of Agile Manufacturing?
The term "agile manufacturing" refers to the use of a variety of different technologies and methodologies in the production process. In order to meet market standards and criteria, organizations must be able to adapt quickly and effectively to their customers' needs by bringing agility to manufacturing. To ensure the quality of products and the cost of production are kept to a minimum, agile manufacturing helps firms to regulate their end product.
Because it immediately addresses the needs and worries of the clients, it is an effective strategy as well. By using this method, firms may better understand the market and use it to their advantage by creating products that meet the needs of their customers.
Challenges While Adopting Agile Methodologies on a Project
When we talk about agile challenges when implementing it on any project, some will be routine and some will be unique. So, let's get a quick grasp on the agile challenges.
Communication about the project: Clear communication between the development team and the product owner is critical throughout the project development life cycle. Any miscommunication can have an impact on the product's quality and the end result of the entire process.
Managing the day-to-day operational challenges: Throughout the project, daily minor or large operations play a significant impact on the overall project output. Any obstacles encountered when working on everyday chores should be resolved immediately to avoid any delays or halts in the process.
To make it function, you'll need experience: Any inexperienced product owners, scrum masters, or individuals new to the agile approach may have a negative impact on the project's expected output.
Various project contributors' buy-in: Inadequate training, a lack of motivation to show up from project participants, keeping customers in the loop, and a lack of departmental management are some of the problems that may hinder the accurate implementation of the agile methodology. The presence of one or more of these obstacles in any business or project may jeopardize the agile methodology and its total output.
Though there are many online training courses and books available on how to integrate agile practices into your project, each organization's scenario is unique, as are the challenges they encounter. As a result, handling the situation with experienced personnel that have a can-do attitude is what is required to make it work.
Following that, we'll look at some manufacturing business agile examples and how they've successfully implemented agile methodology in their organizations.
Agile Manufacturing Examples
We'll look at one of the most well-known industrial examples of agile manufacturing that has successfully implemented the methodology and achieved great outcomes. Take a peek at it.
One of the most popular agile manufacturing examples in performance management revamps is Adobe. When Donna Morris was Senior Vice President of People Resources in 2012, she thought the annual performance evaluation and the stack-ranking process were bureaucratic, paperwork-heavy overly complicated, taking up too many management hours for the company. Aside from this, she discovered that it set barriers to joint efforts, creativity, and development.
The Adobe team ditched annual performance reviews and encouraged managers and employees to regularly discuss performance via a system called “Check-in.” Adobe has reduced voluntary turnover by 30% and increased voluntary departures by 50% since making the transition. Moreover, the company saved 80,000 management hours annually.
General Electric famously overhauled its performance management system in 2015, paving the path for other global firms to follow in the electronics industry. Annual performance evaluations and the infamous rank-and-yank performance rating system (ranking employees and regularly eliminating the bottom 10%) had GE decide they needed to update their performance management system. The annual appraisals lasted a decade longer than the ranking system. They are now a more agile organization.
Instead of directing employees to attain goals, managers now guide and coach them. GE also decided to deploy an app they designed called PD@GE to facilitate regular employee feedback and productive performance discussions.
Using the app, each employee establishes priorities and solicits feedback. They can also give real-time feedback. Employees can request a face-to-face meeting at any time to discuss transparency, honesty, and continuous improvement.
These traits will not arise quickly and will require motivation and commitment for self-growth.
According to Accenture's previous system, employees who perform well tend to be the most narcissists and self-promoters. Accenture wanted to revamp their system and reward genuine employees. So they started using on-going performance conversations while focusing on performance development.
Because it required employees to compete with coworkers who may have had a different position, Accenture decided that forced ranking was illogical. The new system is more centered on the employee and aims to assist them in becoming the best version of themselves.
Agile manufacturing is a way to get the finest results and exceed client expectations on every project. Businesses are benefiting from agile manufacturing because it improves the end product and helps them better utilize their resources. The necessity of agile manufacturing in business is vital, and organizations must overcome the challenges they encounter while applying the agile approach to any of their projects in order to reap the benefits of agile production.
How does agile manufacturing help businesses?
An agile manufacturing process enables organizations to respond to client requests with flexibility when market conditions change, as well as regulate their intended production while preserving product quality and minimizing costs.
What is an agile organization?
Unified alignment, accountability, specialization, transparency, and cooperation are key elements in an agile organization. To guarantee these teams can work efficiently, the organization must maintain a solid environment.
What are the core elements of agility?
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools are the four values of the Agile Methodology. A working program is preferable to in-depth documentation. During contract negotiation, the customer's cooperation is valued.
"name": "How does agile manufacturing help businesses?",
"text": "An agile manufacturing process enables organizations to respond to client requests with flexibility when market conditions change, as well as regulate their intended production while preserving product quality and minimizing costs."
"name": "What is an agile organization?",
"text": "Unified alignment, accountability, specialization, transparency, and cooperation are key elements in an agile organization. To guarantee these teams can work efficiently, the organization must maintain a solid environment."
"name": "What are the core elements of agility?",
"text": "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools are the four values of the Agile Methodology. A working program is preferable to in-depth documentation. During contract negotiation, the customer's cooperation is valued."
Article | November 12, 2021
Robotics industry growth has accelerated rapidly across several industries. It has aided manufacturers in overcoming numerous barriers related to real-time communication, workplace safety, and overall manufacturing cost and timeliness. However, if we trace its history back to 1961 when George Charles Devol introduced the first robot, dubbed 'UNIMATE,' it has exponentially grown and utilized across sectors to make operations more effortless, precise, and faster.
“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.
However, the industry has seen snags or difficult times due to market fluctuations, unfavorable situations, and the need to remain competitive in the drive for expansion. To thoroughly understand the robotics industry, let us examine each component that surrounds it.
Industrial Robotics Global Market Size
According to recent Allied Market Research studies, the global industrial robotics market was worth $37,875 million in 2016 and is expected to reach $70,715 million by 2023, rising at a 9.4% compound annual growth from 2017 to 2023.
Industrial Robotics Market Analysis
The global industrial robotics market is primarily driven by a global increase in labor costs, which has compelled firms to replace human labor with robots. As a result, Asia and Europe are the world's fastest-growing areas, with top companies such as ABB, Fanuc, KUKA, Kawasaki, and Yaskawa Electric Corporation headquartered in the region.
The global market of robotics has been segmented by its type, industry, and function.
Soldering and Welding
Electrical & Electronics
Healthcare & Medicine
Assembling & Disassembling
Rubber & Plastics
Painting and Dispensing
Others if any
Machinery & Metals
Cutting and Processing
Food & Beverages
Precision & Optics
Others if any
Others if any
Industries That Are Pioneering the Use of Robotics
As we have observed, the global robotic market will continue to rise in the future years. Therefore, let us examine which industries will extend their use of robotics in their operations.
Healthcare & Medicine
Medical robots help surgeons optimize hospital logistics and free up the working staff to focus on patients. In the healthcare field, robots are revolutionizing surgery by speeding supply delivery and disinfection and freeing up time for doctors to interact with their patients.
da Vinci System – A General Surgical Robot
The da Vinci System is a surgical robot that focuses on a wide range of urological, bariatric, and gynecological surgical treatments. In addition, Stryker's MAKO System also specializes in orthopedic surgery, specifically partial and total knee replacements.
The da Vinci SP system is cleared for use in the United States exclusively for single-port urological procedures, lateral oropharyngectomy (often referred to as radical tonsillectomy), and tongue base excision.
Police robots are meant to gain access to areas inaccessible or dangerous to first responders, and they are capable of manipulating items and gathering data using several technologies. It encompasses robots capable of operating in various conditions and displaying a range of data and communication capabilities.
Agriculture & Food Industry
Farm equipment is now routinely equipped with sensors that utilize machine learning and robotics to identify weeds, compute the appropriate quantity of herbicide to spray, or learn to detect and pick strawberries, for instance.
Additionally, in the food business, robotics has been used to do repetitive tasks such as picking and placing food items and cutting and slicing food items during any given food item. For instance, the modern bakery business uses robotics to perform traditional craft skills and produce any product in large quantities while maintaining high quality and hygiene standards.
The transportation sector is highly leveraging robotics. The powerful transport capability, advanced control technology, and sensing precision are some of the benefits that make the transportation robots widely utilized in this sector. These benefits from robotics help the sector convey various commodities in factories, restaurants, and medical institutions, among other locations.
Robots are employed in manufacturing to do repeated jobs and streamline the overall assembly process. Additionally, robots and humans can also collaborate on product making. Robots can replace humans for hazardous tasks or processes that need large quantities of materials, which might be hazardous for a human employee to handle.
Factors Sustaining the Growth of the Robotics Industry
Reduces Manufacturing Costs: Robotics application in all industries reduces the overall manufacturing process running costs.
Improves Product Quality: The precision of robotics throughout the manufacturing process helps produce high-quality items that meet target client needs.
Offers Competitive Market: Increased income due to utilizing the benefits of robotics applications makes any industry more competitive.
Speed-ups Production Time: Robotics speeds up production and helps manufacturers increase output.
Offers Task or Process Flexibility: Robotics can weld, cast, mold, assemble, machine, transfer, inspect, load, and unload items, among other duties. So, it gives the manufacturer process flexibility.
Reduces Excessive Use and Waste of Production Materials: Robotics employs the exact quantity of material required for the manufactured product, reducing waste and overuse of materials.
Offers a Safe Working Place: Robotics improves employee health and safety by performing tasks that humans find risky. For example, in the chemical industry, a human employee may not do a hazardous task. In such instances, robots can replace people.
The rise of the robotics industry has accelerated dramatically, and it is now spreading its wings across industries. Research firm IDC provided a projection for the commercial robot market, forecasting that the market will exceed $53 billion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of more than 20%. In addition, several advantages of robotics such as safety, productivity, uniformity, and perfection are pushing its expansion and making it an essential element of industry 4.0.
Why are robots the future of the manufacturing industry?
The use of robots in manufacturing has improved process efficiency and product quality. As a result, robots are gaining favor in production and becoming the future of manufacturing.
Which industries make the most use of robotics?
Healthcare, agriculture, food, and manufacturing are the industries that are embracing robotics to get the most out of it.
How is manufacturing utilizing robotics?
Manufacturing uses robotics for repetitive tasks. This helps in the reduction of errors and human efforts. It also improves production efficiency.
"name": "Why are robots the future of the manufacturing industry?",
"text": "The use of robots in manufacturing has improved process efficiency and product quality. As a result, robots are gaining favor in production and becoming the future of manufacturing."
"name": "Which industries make the most use of robotics?",
"text": "Healthcare, agriculture, food, and manufacturing are the industries that are embracing robotics to get the most out of it."
"name": "How is manufacturing utilizing robotics?",
"text": "Manufacturing uses robotics for repetitive tasks. This helps in the reduction of errors and human efforts. It also improves production efficiency."
Article | May 10, 2021
Jason Spera, picture left, recently shared his vantage of the changes for factory floor automation in 2021. Jason is CEO and Co-Founder, Aegis Software. Spera is a leader in MES/MOM software platforms for discrete manufacturers with particular expertise in electronics manufacturing. Founded in 1997, today more than 2,200 factory sites worldwide use some form of Aegis software to improve productivity and quality while meeting regulatory, compliance and traceability challenges. Spera's background as a manufacturing engineer in an electronics manufacturing company and the needs he saw in that role led to the creation of the original software products and continue to inform the vision that drives Aegis solutions, like FactoryLogix. He regularly speaks on topics surrounding factory digitization, IIoT, and Industry 4.0. Contact Jason on LinkedIn.
Article | December 6, 2021
Aerospace manufacturing and design are getting advanced with additive manufacturing. However, the limitations of traditional manufacturing techniques sometimes make it incompetent to produce technologically oriented products. Additive Manufacturing (AM)helps the aircraft system run more efficiently by creating lightweight aircraft parts.
This is one of the reasons that additive manufacturing is gaining traction in aerospace and other industries. According to recent analysis and data, the global additive manufacturing market is expected to grow from USD 9.52 billion in 2020 to USD 27.91 billion in 2028. The expanding technologies and materials used in additive manufacturing will indeed stimulate industry growth shortly.
It’s important to note that there isn’t one channel that is the silver bullet. Most of the time, a combination of different channels will help drive a more powerful outcome.”
– Wendy Lee, Director of Marketing at Blue Prism
However, the aerospace industry encounters some challenges with additive manufacturing, which is the focus of this article. Scalability, multi-material capabilities, professional workers, high-cost materials, and quality compliance norms are all constraints that aerospace professionals are dealing with. Here we will discuss the top three challenges of additive manufacturing in aerospace and their solutions.
Future of Additive Manufacturing in the Aerospace Industry
Even though additive manufacturing has been around for a while, it has only lately become advanced enough to be used in the aerospace sector.
In the aerospace business, additive manufacturing has the potential to deliver significant benefits. Cost savings, design freedom, weight reduction, shorter time to market, fewer waste materials, better efficiency, and on-demand production are just some of the benefits.
Although additive manufacturing cannot make every part, it provides an exciting opportunity to explore feasible alternatives, either supplementing or replacing traditional manufacturing processes. However, it must be taken into account early in the development phase. Additionally, knowledge must be embedded in aircraft design teams to ensure the successful use of additive manufacturing.
However, in recent years, AM has become more prevalent in end-to-end manufacturing. According to Deloitte University Press, the future of AM in aerospace may include:
Directly embedding additively produced electronics
3D printing engine parts
Making battlefield repair components
Top 3 Additive Manufacturing Challenges in the Aerospace Industry and Solutions
While problems are inherent in any new technology, experts overcome them by identifying solutions. Let's look at the top three challenges that the aerospace industry is currently facing and the solutions to overcome them.
Lack of Qualified Experts
Using 3D printers in production and automating work processes are skills that are lacking. However, the obstacles are natural, and the skilled manufacturing workforce is aging and reluctant to adapt to new design models. This is creating the skills gaps surrounding manipulating AM technology.
How to Overcome
Less time spent educating employees is better for business. For example, the US National Additive Manufacturing Institute and the European ADMIRE initiative offer accelerated courses via remote learning websites.
Of course, you'll need to provide numerous additive manufacturing opportunities to attract the key technologists, either on-site or off-site. They will oversee new hires' activities and help them translate their knowledge of 3D printing into designs and final items.
Over Budget Material
The typical cost of AM equipment is $300,000. Industrial consumables cost between $100 and $150 per item (although the final price is formed after choosing the material; plastic, for example, is the most budget-friendly option).
How to Overcome
To overcome this obstacle, you must plan a long-term implementation strategy based on the manufacturing-as-a-service model. On-demand manufacturing reduces manufacturing costs and speeds up product development. You can also go with cheap 3D printers that use cheap welding wire that hasjust come onto the market. They cost $1,200 and may suit your needs.
Fresh Quality Compliance Guidelines
As 3D printing and CNC manufacturing technologies constantly evolve, there are no established norms or regulations for 3D printed objects. However, 3D printed solutions do not always match traditional quality, durability, and strength. For example, a 3D-printed mechanical part. Can someone order 500 similar parts a few months later? Consistency standards and product post-processing may have a negative impact in such circumstances. So, in such a case, traditional manufacturing wins over 3D printing.
How to Overcome
You might endeavor to set quality criteria for your 3D-printed products to ensure they are comparable to traditional ones. You can also apply the ANSI AMSC and America Makes standards, which define quality criteria for 3D printed products.
How Boeing Applies Additive Manufacturing Technology?
Boeing is focusing its efforts on leveraging and speeding up additive manufacturing to transform its manufacturing system and support its growth. The company operates 20 additive manufacturing facilities worldwide and collaborates with vendors to supply 3D-printed components for its commercial, space, and defense platforms.
Boeing is now designing missiles, helicopters, and airplanes using 3D printing technology. A small internal team contributes roughly 1,000 3D-printed components to the company's flight projects. Boeing claims that addressing design as an "integrated mechanical system" considerably improves manufacturability and lowers costs.
Additive manufacturing is altering the way the aerospace industry designs and manufactures aircraft parts. Aerospace advanced manufacturing is making aircraft production easier. We've explored solutions to some of the snags that you may encounter. However, other concerns, such as limited multi-material capabilities and size constraints, require solutions, and industry specialists are working on them. Despite these challenges, additive manufacturing is still booming and rocking in a variety of industries.
Why is additive manufacturing used in Aerospace?
It allows the industry to build quality parts quickly and inexpensively. Reduce waste and build parts for aircraft that are difficult to manufacture using existing methods.
How does additive manufacturing help in Aerospace applications?
Environmental control system (ECS) ducting, custom cosmetic aircraft interior components, rocket engine components, combustor liners, composite tooling, oil and fuel tanks, and UAV components are examples of typical applications. 3D printing helps in producing solid, complicated pieces with ease.
Which aerospace firms use additive manufacturing/3D printing?
Boeing and Airbus are two of the many aircraft businesses that use additive-created parts in their planes. Boeing incorporates additive manufacturing (AM) components into both commercial and military aircraft. Airbus also employs AM metal braces and bleed pipes on the A320neo and A350 XWB aircraft.
"name": "Why is additive manufacturing used in Aerospace?",
"text": "It allows the industry to build quality parts quickly and inexpensively. Reduce waste and build parts for aircraft that are difficult to manufacture using existing methods."
"name": "How does additive manufacturing help in Aerospace applications?",
"text": "Environmental control system (ECS) ducting, custom cosmetic aircraft interior components, rocket engine components, combustor liners, composite tooling, oil and fuel tanks, and UAV components are examples of typical applications. 3D printing helps in producing solid, complicated pieces with ease."
"name": "Which aerospace firms use additive manufacturing/3D printing?",
"text": "Boeing and Airbus are two of the many aircraft businesses that use additive-created parts in their planes. Boeing incorporates additive manufacturing (AM) components into both commercial and military aircraft. Airbus also employs AM metal braces and bleed pipes on the A320neo and A350 XWB aircraft."