Manufacturing's future must be government priority

TOM KELLY| July 03, 2019
MANUFACTURING'S FUTURE MUST BE GOVERNMENT PRIORITY
As we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, here at Automation Alley we are also celebrating one of the things that makes our country so special - our strong manufacturing leadership. Last month, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters' call for a National Institute of Manufacturing was a welcome announcement in the Industry 4.0 era.

Spotlight

Amphenol PCD

Amphenol Pcd, a subsidiary of Amphenol Corporation, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of interconnect products for Military, Commercial Aerospace and Industrial applications. Located north of Boston in Beverly, Massachusetts, the company designs and manufactures a wide range of products - System Attachments, Junction Modules, Relay Sockets, Terminal Blocks, Rectangular & Circular connectors, and Cable Assemblies, to name a few.

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Five Lean Manufacturing Principles to Empower Your Manufacturing Business

Article | December 16, 2021

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

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How to Improve Production Scheduling: The 5 Crucial Elements

Article | December 8, 2021

The manufacturing production schedule is a critical aspect that enables the manufacturing business to complete each production activity precisely and on time. Allocating different raw materials, resources, or processes to distinct project phases is called a production schedule. Its goal is to make your manufacturing process as efficient and cost-effective as possible in terms of resources and labor — all while delivering products on schedule. 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 So, how is the overall production schedule managed? According to businesswire, the global APS (Advanced Production Planning and Scheduling) software market was valued at $1,491.22 million in 2020 and is anticipated to raise $2,941.27 million by 2028 expanding at an 8.86 percent CAGR from 2020 to 2028. Some software and tools are available to assist manufacturing organizations in properly scheduling production planning, including MaxScheduler, TACTIC, MRPeasy, and Gantt charts. Though there are numerous software programs available on the market for production scheduling, the most crucial aspect is determining which elements to consider when planning production. This blog will look at the five most important factors to consider while planning the production schedule. Five Elements to Consider When Scheduling Production As we saw in the introduction, production scheduling is used in the manufacturing process to assign plant and machinery resources, schedule human resources, plan production processes, and purchase materials. So, what are the primary components or stages of this production scheduling process? Let's take a quick look at each of them. Planning to Make the Best Use of the Company's Resources The role of planning in production scheduling is to use the company's resources to maintain a regular production flow. As a result, downtime is decreased, and bottlenecks are minimized, allowing production to be optimized. For production scheduling, two forms of planning can be used: Dynamic Planning: Dynamic planning is carried out under the idea that process stages will alter. So, materials must be ready, but production cannot begin until demand is decided. Static Planning: Static planning is done keeping in mind that all process steps will be completed on schedule and without adjustments. Routing to Determine the Order of Actions A “bill of materials” is used in discrete manufacturing to specify what things are needed and in what quantities. Routing determines the path and sequence of required phases of the process. It may involve in-house operations, but it may also comprise sub-contracted components that must be returned to the production flow for final assembly. Scheduling to Make Use of Predetermined Planning Levels To manufacture products from components or raw materials, scheduling makes use of the previously set planning level. As a result, it is time-dependent and must meet the demand outlined at the planning level. Each department, product, and procedure can have their own unique set of timetables. Sub-schedules for sub-assemblies or mixes and blends may be defined by department-specific master production schedules, utilized at the highest level to define product timeframes. Dispatching to Decide on Immediate Actions Dispatching assigns the following jobs to be done from a subset of the production queue. Dispatching is utilized to make quick decisions. This is in contrast to planning, which involves the planning of future actions. Dispatching is utilized in both pull and push production systems. Execution to Ensure that all Processes are Carried out Correctly Production scheduling must rely on proper execution to ensure that all processes are completed appropriately and in the sequence planned. It requires everyone to know what they are expected to do and when they are expected to do it. Execution requires knowledgeable management decisions, well-trained employees, correct data in the manufacturing plan and schedule, and consistent sales statistics and forecast numbers. All must be present for the organization to carry out its production plan and fulfill orders. How MRPeasy – A Production Scheduling Software Assist Manufacturing Companies in Scheduling Their Production? MRPeasy is a cloud-based material requirements planning (MRP) application explicitly designed for small manufacturing units. Its primary functions are purchase order management, forecasting, and inventory management. This software simplifies the process of scheduling production. It enables you to evaluate all of your anticipated manufacturing orders (MO). The bill of materials (BOM), purchasing, and stocking are all maintained in one location, allowing you to quickly book inventory and increase purchase orders (PO) for acquired parts. MRPeasy enables you to: Obtain all of the detailed information on all of your MOs Consider MOs as a single block or as distinct operations. Drag-and-drop operations and operations to reschedule Calendar or Gantt chart views are available for monitoring scheduled orders. Additionally, you can manage MOs smoothly. With the production planning component, you may create, amend, and update MOs. This app compiles an exhaustive list of all your MOs. You can track their progress based on the status of an order or a part's availability. Additionally, you can search for, filter, and export your MOs. Final Words How to schedule production for your organization requires extensive research, planning, and analysis of overall product demand as well as a grasp of the time required to meet the demand. Production scheduling techniques such as job-based planning, batch method, flow method, and others help develop a productive manufacturing production schedule. Include the elements mentioned above in your manufacturing scheduling to get the best possible benefits, such as better production efficiency, lower production costs, and on-time product delivery for your manufacturing in 2022. FAQ How production planning differ from production scheduler? Production planning and scheduling are often mixed. But there is a difference. Planning decides what and how much work must be done, whereas scheduling specifies who and when the work will be done. What is real-time manufacturing scheduling? Real-Time Scheduling is a production planning, scheduling, and tracking tool that enables manufacturing organizations to improve customer satisfaction and achieve optimal operational performance cost-effectively. How can scheduling be improved? Communication with staff is a great way to improve scheduling. This is true for all businesses, software or otherwise. However, management should not burden employees with ambiguous or unclear communication, and vice versa. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How production planning differ from production scheduler?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Production planning and scheduling are often mixed. But there is a difference. Planning decides what and how much work must be done, whereas scheduling specifies who and when the work will be done." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is real-time manufacturing scheduling?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Real-Time Scheduling is a production planning, scheduling, and tracking tool that enables manufacturing organizations to improve customer satisfaction and achieve optimal operational performance cost-effectively." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can scheduling be improved?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Communication with staff is a great way to improve scheduling. This is true for all businesses, software or otherwise. However, management should not burden employees with ambiguous or unclear communication, and vice versa." } }] }

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The Unrelenting Growth of Technology in Manufacturing

Article | May 13, 2021

When the manufacturing industry began to embrace digital technology a decade ago, it adopted a new identity — smart manufacturing or Industry 4.0. Applying cloud, automation, analytics, machine learning and big data to production operations created a connected ecosystem for manufacturing and supply chain management, and became a high-growth market. At the start of 2020, the sector was on track to grow into a market worth more than $300 billion in the coming five years. Then the pandemic hit. By spring, millions of workers had lost their jobs. Some plants closed temporarily or slowed production so workers could spread out to maintain a safe distance from one another. Investment in smart manufacturing fell too, by 16 percent between March and April alone. Some researchers predicted that such a pull-back would dampen investment through 2025. But the conversations we’ve had with C-suite manufacturing executives and service providers suggest investment in smart manufacturing will intensify. By 2025, it could be worth more than $400 billion. It’s no wonder.

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How Manufacturing Digitalization Benefits Businesses in 2022

Article | December 14, 2021

The manufacturing industry has evolved to new heights of innovation, productivity, and excellence with digital transformation. Manufacturing digitalization has made operational procedures more skilled, accurate, and time-savvy. “Many companies simply are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is technology; consumer demands, the way we work, human needs and much more are constantly changing.” Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive (Manufacturing) at Microsoft With a CAGR of 19.48 percent between 2021 and 2026, the digital transformation in the manufacturing market is expected to reach USD 263.93 billion by 2026. Manufacturing plants adopt digital technology to improve, automate, and modernize processes as part of Industry 4.0. So, what are the key benefits of digitalization for manufacturers? This article will elaborate on the top five benefits of digital manufacturing transformation. How to Define Digital Manufacturing? Manufacturing digital transformation involves integrating digital technologies into processes and products to improve manufacturing efficiency and quality. Manufacturing's digital transformation aims to increase operational efficiency and reduce expenses. The digital transformation techniques ensure product quality. It also makes work more efficient, safe, and stress-free. What Is Included in Manufacturing Digitization (Industry 4.0)? Industry 4.0 is the digitalization of manufacturing. Cyber-physical systems, IoT, and cloud computing are current trends in manufacturing automation and data exchange. Connected devices, cloud computing power, and the modern emphasis of lean, efficient operations enable Industry 4.0 to construct advanced and innovative smart factories. Industry 4.0 includes design, sales, inventories, scheduling, quality, engineering, customer and field service. Five Benefits of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing Manufacturing organizations can benefit from digitalization in a variety of ways. It can help make the work more efficient, decentralized, and secure. It further creates new business opportunities and attracts new talent to the industry. Additionally, integrating products into a digital ecosystem increases their value and appeal. Let’s dig deeper into each of the five key benefits. Reduces Costs Technology is an invaluable companion in reducing the manufacturing company's expenses in the future. The incorporation of digital technology results in the transformation of procedures and the digitization of documents, resulting in overall process optimization. Therefore, a reduction in labor costs might be expected as a result of the elimination of unnecessary expenditures. Additionally, digitization enables businesses to assess and estimate expenses considerably more precisely, ensuring that budgets stay on track. Additionally, it eliminates andsubstitutes inefficient jobs within processes, significantly increasing their efficiency. This efficiency is translated into time savings, which results in a substantially more cost-effective manufacturing process. Decentralized Production Manufacturing digital transformation allows organizations to supervise manufacturing remotely, allowing production to continue uninterrupted. In rare cases like Covid-19, digitalized businesses have not had to cease or even slow down production. These systems can work without interruptions for much longer than any worker. Digitalization also boosts methodology flexibility and reactivity. For example, if a production plant has a problem, an automatic alert is generated, and the issue is resolved regardless of the day, time, or presence. Improved Operational Efficiency Smart product connectivity allows devices to connect and communicate with each other (M2M). This connectivity enables decentralized decision-making. Many duties no longer require an employee to be physically present. New manufacturing and production models minimize boring, risky activities while increasing accuracy, efficiency, and responsiveness. Transforming businesses through digital means making better decisions based on real-time data. Training, changes, and repairs are no longer issues due to reduced frequency and automation. New Business Opportunities New digital technologies enable the manufacture of previously unviable products and services, generating new revenue streams. Also, new services (innovation or reorientation) are launched considerably faster. Companies may utilize big data and AI to experiment, anticipate trends, and predict about new advancements. These technologies can help organizations become more eco-friendly and create products that are less detrimental to our environment. Attracts New Talent Professionals with fundamental talents in this complicated and disruptive environment are drawn to digitalizedorganizations that are up-to-date with trends and processes. Also, if the change is managed well, it will lead to higher profitability, increasing employee satisfaction. Human motivation, along with excellent digital technologies, will reflect in the company's production and profitability. Dusseldorf@Germany: The Deloitte Digital Factory The digital factory in Dusseldorf provides a flexible setting for innovative workshops and training, bringing together the old and new worlds of supply chain and industrial operations to provide a seamless experience. Specific use case examples, as well as the digital solutions sector, will motivate and encourage businesses to get on their digital transformation journeys, making use of the most up-to-date technologies in the process. Final Words Manufacturing digitalization has a lot to offer the industry, and many manufacturers are capitalizing on this new phase of the industrial revolution by incorporating cutting-edge technologies into manufacturing and business operations. As said previously, the benefits of digital transformation in the manufacturing business are increasing the importance of digitalization in the industry. Transform your traditional manufacturing operating processes with these new manufacturing trends and observe the results that other benefitting manufacturing businesses have achieved. FAQ Why is digitalization vital in manufacturing? Manufacturing process digitization improves overall business performance. But the results are seen across the factory. Digital transformation improves working conditions for employees and streamlines daily operations. How are digitization and digitalization different? Digitalization is a transformation of data and processes. Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to collect data, identify patterns, and make better business decisions. How digital technologies are applied in manufacturing? Digital manufacturing technologies enable the integration of systems and processes across all stages of production, from design to production and beyond.

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Spotlight

Amphenol PCD

Amphenol Pcd, a subsidiary of Amphenol Corporation, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of interconnect products for Military, Commercial Aerospace and Industrial applications. Located north of Boston in Beverly, Massachusetts, the company designs and manufactures a wide range of products - System Attachments, Junction Modules, Relay Sockets, Terminal Blocks, Rectangular & Circular connectors, and Cable Assemblies, to name a few.

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