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."
Article | November 20, 2021
The manufacturing business has always prioritized providing the excellent and most user-friendly products worldwide to its target consumer groups. However, digitalization and customer interaction approaches have altered the manufacturing industry's traditional business model.
Now, manufacturers must prioritize improving the customer experience for their target consumer group and keeping up with new trends daily to flourish and remain competitive in the upgrading market. Because, in the end, the buyer is the one who drives your business and generates money. Manufacturers are committing significant efforts to improve the customer experience in the following years.
To assist manufacturers in their sincere efforts to improve the customer experience in the manufacturing industry, we have compiled some key facts that must be understood and executed by the industry's or business-specific needs.
Before going into manufacturing customer experience statistics, it's essential to understand why customer experience is so critical in the manufacturing industry.
The Importance of Customer Experience in Manufacturing
Customer service and experience are critical components of any business, which is true in the manufacturing sector. Customer experience can be described as any activity taken by a business to positively influence a customer's impression and opinion of the business, its products, or services.
“You’ve got to start with the Customer Experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around”
– Steve Jobs.
Customer experience benefits your business in a variety of ways, including the following,
It increases customer retention
It increases the customer lifetime value
It creates brand loyalty
It influences brand reputability
It can deliver businesses with a competitive edge.
Manufacturing Customer Experience Statistics
Make your manufacturing business more customer-centric and reap the benefits that many customer-centric companies, such as Apple, Nissan, and Chick-fil-A, are experiencing.
To better understand what the customer and industry have explored regarding the customer experience in 2022, below are some statistics from well-known businesses.
Businesses that prioritize customer experience see an 80% increase in revenue.
A positive customer experience increases customer interest in the product and acts as a form of word-of-mouth marketing. This way, the business benefits from increased sales and organic promotion by genuine consumers, critical for any manufacturing organization.
# Stat 2
73% of customers say that customer experience influences their purchasing decision.
Customers are not solely concerned with the product's quality or pricing. Instead, they are interested in the complete experience they get while purchasing a product. Therefore, if customers have a negative experience during the purchasing trip, it is pretty likely that they will leave the purchase process in the middle and hunt for other viable solutions on the market. Whereas, if the purchasing journey and post-purchase service are satisfactory, they will gladly purchase the goods and suggest new clients to your business.
# Stat 3
By 2023, AI and machine learning will manage around 40% of all consumer contacts.
(Source: Super Office)
Manufacturing production and revenue are increasing as a result of technological advances and applications. However, the customer experience is not far behind in implementing cutting-edge technology like AI, VR, and AR. For instance, chat bots are the best example of how artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning are being used to increase consumer engagement.
Virtual interaction is becoming more prevalent in the manufacturing industry daily, and both manufacturers and customers like this digital interaction.
“Our interactions with our customers have become much more virtual, which frankly seems to work well for the customer and us.”
-Scott Heide, Chief Executive Officer at Engineering Intent Corporation
Technology application in manufacturing will be maximized, and businesses intend to automate the customer experience by 2023.
# Stat 4
According to 70% of customers, an ideal customer experience should be quick, convenient, and cooperative, as well as friendly.
Customer service is a skill, and it's always a good idea to put yourself in your clients' shoes. According to an Adobe study, 70% of customers want a quick and convenient service that saves them time. In addition, they anticipate full collaboration throughout the purchasing process, including post-purchase servicing.
# Stat 5
72% of customers with a good consumer experience will tell six or more people about it.
(Source: Nice Reply)
In the first statistic, we discussed word-of-mouth marketing. You will always receive referrals for the excellent products or services you provide to your target consumer group. Customers that have a positive experience will always bring you two additional potential customers, and this number will grow exponentially with each pleasant experience delivered by your organization.
How did MacDonald's plan to increase revenue simply by improving the customer experience?
When McDonald's revenues started to decline, they focused on the customer experience rather than marketing strategies.
They began by listening to their clients and giving them a more streamlined experience. Customers told McDonald's to simplify the menu, increase order accuracy, and use higher-quality ingredients.
McDonald's also improved store interiors and introduced digital self-order kiosks and table service, reducing customer wait times. BTIG predicted a 4.1% increase in revenues as these modifications were made. As a result, McDonald's may outperform competitors by improving total customer service.
Customer experience is crucial in manufacturing, and manufacturers must leverage digital customer experience trends to improve their reputation. These a fore mentioned customer experience statistics can assist you in shaping a compelling client experience for 2022 and propelling your organization to new heights of success.
Why should a manufacturing company invest in customer experience?
Client experience improves customer retention, builds brand reputation, and gives companies a competitive edge. So manufacturers must invest in the consumer experience.
What is the difference between customer service and customer experience?
Customer service is one aspect of the customer journey, whereas consumer experience is the sum of all customer encounters with the brand.
What does a customer experience include?
Customer experience is the overall perception of your business or brand. It is the consequence of a customer's engagement with your website, customer service, and the product they purchase. So, it is the aggregate of all elements from browsing to buying to the product experience.
"name": "Why should a manufacturing company invest in customer experience?",
"text": "Client experience improves customer retention, builds brand reputation, and gives companies a competitive edge. So manufacturers must invest in the consumer experience."
"name": "What is the difference between customer service and customer experience?",
"text": "Customer service is one aspect of the customer journey, whereas consumer experience is the sum of all customer encounters with the brand."
"name": "What does a customer experience include?",
"text": "Customer experience is the overall perception of your business or brand. It is the consequence of a customer's engagement with your website, customer service, and the product they purchase. So, it is the aggregate of all elements from browsing to buying to the product experience."
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).
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.
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:
The seasonal factors are distinct
Average demand is calculated as:
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
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.
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.
Article | March 29, 2022
Smart manufacturing industry 4.0 is based on the concept that machines should be able to communicate and collaborate to produce new products and services. Industry 4.0 solutions, often known as the fourth industrial revolution, are transforming the way we live and work—and significantly impact the global economy.
“As companies learn to tap into the potential of the vast amounts of data emerging across all areas of operations, decision-making and action-taking are taken to a new level.”
- Thomas Erwin Global Head of KPMG Lighthouse, CoE for data-driven technologies
Industry 4.0 solutions or technologies are used to alter the way industrial companies function. Industrial IoT, automation and robots, predictive maintenance, simulation, additive manufacturing, and IoT analytics are a few of these technologies.
In this article, we will take a look at how these industry 4.0 technologies are accelerating the shop floor activities to optimize the overall manufacturing operations.
Industry 4.0 Technologies and How They Can Help
Robotics: The application of computer-controlled robots to manual tasks, such as assembling.
3D Printing: Manufacturing a three-dimensional item by layering material under computer control.
Sensor Technology: A sensor capable of detecting and responding to environmental circumstances.
AI and Machine Learning: Enables the extraction of fresh insights and decision-making capabilities from massive amounts of information.
Digital Twin: Creates digital replicas of operations to diagnose problems and test operational adjustments.
Augmented Reality: This allows for new data visualizations to increase worker productivity.
Communications Network Infrastructure: Enables data transit between machines and humans and comprehensive system integration.
Big Data Platforms: Stores, manipulates, and shows data while also providing new degrees of operational management.
Digital Supply Chain: Provides real-time visibility into supply and demand to eliminate network delay.
IoT Enabled Cybersecurity: New cyber security techniques are required due to newly digitized and automated activities.
Improve Shop Floor Operations with Industry 4.0 In Manufacturing
Digitize Each Process
Recognizing machine availability, idle state, running status, efficiency, and product quality data in real-time is crucial for any shop floor supervisor or manager to meet the actual vs. target production for that day.
Digitizing the manufacturing operations enables everyone on the shop floor to precisely comprehend machine parameters and meet day-to-day production targets.
With real-time data collection, supervisors, operators, and plant managers can easily track the overall effectiveness of their equipment.
Track OEE Using IoT and Mobile App
Capture and monitor the accuracy of sensitive data in real-time using IoT devices to record and deliver threshold alerts to supervisors’ and plant managers. This can be done using the mobile app to examine each machine's performance and efficiency. The data acquired by the OEE monitoring software will aid the organization in increasing its overall productivity rate.
Keep Track of Product Counts
Monitoring production in real-time is difficult for most operators, but digitizing the process with a TV dashboard enables operators to keep track of the number of goods produced on the machine. A production monitoring system allows operators to keep track of the number of products manufactured each day compared to the expected number.
Assign Tasks Dynamically
Supervisors spend considerable time allocating jobs to operators and tracking their efficiency. Digitizing job card processes makes it easy for supervisors to assign tasks seamlessly to operators on a shift or transfer tasks to others in the absence of an operator via automation. It also efficiently tracks each operator's performance across multiple changes.
Keep Track of Machine Failures
Maintaining accurate machine uptime and downtime records is a constant challenge for operators. With the arrival of industry 4.0 technologies such as industrial IoT solutions in the market, operators now have real-time data on machine uptime and downtime, allowing for smooth analysis of machine performance. In addition, preventive maintenance software helps operators and managers monitor equipment data while on the go. Unplanned downtime and frequent repairs are incredibly costly, and prevention is critical to achieving a higher return on investment.
Utilize Data with a Predictive Maintenance System
Tracking machine data and identifying machine downtime in real-time can significantly lower the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). Collecting machine data for at least five years and evaluating it using a predictive maintenance system powered by AI and machine learning will help your organization reduce unplanned downtime or unexpected machine failures and increase production.
In the future, with predictive maintenance software, industrial businesses can figure out what will happen to their machinery and how to avoid it.
Many manufacturing organizations have already begun to utilize the potential of industry 4.0 solutions to improve their day-to-day operations and efficiency to satisfy the ever-changing and expanding needs of their customers, resulting in an increased return on investment.
Industry 4.0 technologies enable firms to optimize their daily manufacturing operations and business processes in various ways. As a result, industry 4.0 solutions are generating significant interest in the industry, and several businesses are implementing them on their shop floors. Apple, Amazon, General Electrics, Siemens, Ford, and Bosch are some of the industry's biggest employers of industry 4.0 solutions.
However, manufacturers must implement these industry 4.0 technologies correctly. Instead of going with the flow, examine your business requirements and choose the appropriate technological implementation.
Why is Industry 4.0 so critical?
Industry 4.0 technology helps you control and optimize your manufacturing and supply chain processes. It provides real-time data and insights to help you make better business decisions, increasing your company's productivity and profitability.
What is Industry 4.0's key objective?
Industry 4.0's primary purpose is to propel manufacturing forward: make it faster, more efficient, and customer-centric. Also, push beyond automation and optimization in search of new business prospects and models.
What are the benefits of smart manufacturing?
Improved efficiency, leaner processes, maximum flexibility, enhanced agility, innovation, and higher-quality products are some of the significant benefits of smart manufacturing.