Article | February 21, 2022
Nanomanufacturing is a revolutionary way to make things that enables manufacturers to do more than they thought was possible. Faster, stronger, lighter, cheaper, and more durable are essential attributes for production. On the other hand, nanotechnology in manufacturing also makes things water-resistant, anti-reflective, self-cleaning, ultraviolet or infrared resistant, antibacterial, scratch-resistant, and electrically conductive, among other things.
“Nanotechnology is the idea that we can create devices and machines all the way down to the nanometer scale, which is a billionth of a meter, about half the width of a human DNA molecule.”
– Paul McEuen, an American physicist
With nanoscale materials, the promise of nanotechnology to the production and the number of nanotechnology manufacturers in the industry continues to expand. Nanomanufacturing uses components 10–100 nanometers in size to improve the attributes of high-performance, next-generation goods. Some examples of nanotechnology products in everyday life are sunscreen, clothing, furniture, adhesives, tennis balls, computers, and more.
Nanomanufacturing, or the fabrication of nanoscale materials such as powders or fluids, permits high-precision production via a "bottom-up" or "top-down" approach.
Bottom-up: Building products from molecular components
Top-down: Developing products from the whole piece of component
Application of Nanotechnology in Manufacturing
Nanotechnology is utilized to develop more effective and stable lubricants, making them helpful in a wide variety of industrial applications. At the nanoscale, materials can operate similarly to ball bearings in petroleum-based lubricants, assuring smooth operation, uniform distribution, and minimizing accumulation. In addition, they can make sure that machine parts stay lubricated even if there are significant changes in temperature or pressure.
Nanotechnology is also employed in the automobile industry. Manufacturers of high-end tires are increasingly using polymer nanocomposites to boost their durability and wear resistance. Additionally, nanotechnology can be used to improve consumer automobile goods such as motor oil.
Application of nanotechnology in manufacturing enables the fabrication of microelectronics and electric devices — such as nanoscale transistors made of carbon nanotubes — in electronics. Tiny products like flexible solar panels, electric fabrics, and flexible gas sensors can be printed because they are very thin and can be made to bend.
Additionally, nanomachines or nanites—mechanical or robotic devices that work at the nanoscale—have demonstrated significant potential. Nanomachines are mostly considered futuristic technology and are not commonly employed in production at the moment. This is predicted to change in the near future. Researchers are already seeing how nanoscale, self-assembling devices can be used in a wide range of fields, most notably in medicine, where they could be used in ways traditional machines can't..
Top 3 Leading Nanotechnology Companies
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. offers a diverse product portfolio that serves applications in the electronics, automotive, computer, consumer, and telecommunications industries. TSM created the world's first 7-nanometer chip, which powered Apple's iPhone X. The rise in demand for low-power, high-performance CPUs results from the introduction of AI, 5G, and self-driving automobiles. TSM is now manufacturing chips at a 5-nm node and a 2-nm mode. TSM's main clients are Apple and Advanced Micro Devices.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. is a U.S. based company that develops and sells scientific instruments, reagents, and consumables to laboratories in the life sciences and other fields. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. creates electron microscopes that can efficiently zoom in on a single atom's picture. These microscopes are generally used to aid those who are creating nanotechnology or packaging nanodevices. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. is a well-known company that sells scientific apparatus. It has a market capitalization of more than $185 billion.
DuPont de Nemours, Inc.
DuPont de Nemours and Company provides technology-based materials, solutions, and ingredients, and does substantial research and development in nanotechnology, chemistry, material sciences, and engineering. Dow Chemical and E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company merged to establish DuPont de Nemours, Inc. in 2017. DuPont's extensive R&D toolbox comprises, among other things, nanotechnology, chemistry, engineering, and materials science.
The Future of Advanced Objects and Devices with Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is a rapidly emerging field with bright prospects for the future. Many manufacturing fields, including information technology, health, military, transportation, energy, environmental science, telecommunications, and electronics, are in their transformational phase.
Aside from that, experts are looking at new ways that nanotechnology to the production might help humanity build energy sources and devise systems for accessing and using fossil resources more efficiently. The creation of large nanomaterials will result in a fundamentally different approach to the manufacture of materials and gadgets. This approach will influence every part of a person’s life.
Faster computers, advanced pharmaceuticals, controlled drug delivery, biocompatible materials, nerve and tissue repair, crack-proof surface coatings, better skin care and protection, more efficient catalysts, better and smaller sensors, and even more efficient telecommunications are some of the areas where nanomaterials will have a significant impact.
Nanotechnology in manufacturing transforms products and qualities, making them more durable and advanced. The growth of nanotechnology is transforming every sector, along with production.
It can promote health, use natural resources more efficiently, and reduce pollution.New nanomaterials and ideas are being developed to efficiently convert energy from movement, light, temperature fluctuations, glucose, and other sources.
Technology may one day allow objects to gather energy from their environment. Nanotechnology will influence practically everyone's life in the next 20 years.
How does nanomanufacturing work?
Nanomanufacturing is the process of manufacturing nanoscale materials, structures, devices, and systems at a scaled-up, dependable, and cost-effective scale. Additionally, it encompasses the study, development, and integration of both top-down and increasingly complicated bottom-up and self-assembling systems.
What does nanotechnology do?
Nanotechnology is recognized as having the ability to boost energy efficiency, aid in environmental cleanup, and tackle severe health concerns. It is reported to increase industrial output significantly while saving costs.
How might nanotechnology help us in the future?
In the future, nanotechnology may help us improve the efficiency of electrical lines, solar cells, biofuels, and the safety of nuclear reactors. In addition, nanotechnology can revolutionize health care by enhancing ways of diagnosing and treating illnesses like cancer.
Article | January 12, 2022
Real-time manufacturing analytics enables the manufacturing base to increase its efficiency and overall productivity in a variety of ways. Production data is an effective means of determining the factory's efficiency and identifying areas where it might be more productive.
“Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.”
– Geoffrey Moore, an American Management Consultant and Author
Creating a product-specific data collection may assist you in determining and visualizing what needs to be improved and what is doing well. In this article, we'll look at why manufacturing data collection is vital for your organization and how it may help you improve your operations.
Why is Manufacturing Data Collection so Critical?
Visibility is the key benefit that every manufacturer gets from manufacturing data collection. By collecting real-time data, or what we refer to as "shop floor data," manufacturers better understand how to assess, comprehend, and improve their plant operations. Manufacturers can make informed decisions based on detailed shop floor data. This is why having precise, real-time production data is critical.
“According to Allied Market Research, the worldwide manufacturing analytics market was worth $5,950 million in 2018 and is expected to reach $28,443.7 million by 2026, rising at a 16.5% compound annual growth rate between 2019 and 2026.”
For modern manufacturers, the advantages of data collection in manufacturing are numerous. The manufacturing industry benefits from production data and data-driven strategy in the following ways.
Substantial reduction in downtime by identifying and addressing the root causes of downtime.
It increases manufacturing efficiency and productivity by minimizing production bottlenecks.
A more robust maintenance routine that is based on real-time alerts and machine circumstances.
Improvements in demand forecasting, supplier scoring, waste reduction, and warehouse optimization reduce supply chain costs.
Higher-quality goods that are more in line with customers' wishes and demands depending on how they are utilized in the current world.
So, after looking at some of the significant benefits of real-time manufacturing analytics, let’s see what type of data is collected from production data tracking.
What Sorts of Data May Be Collected for Production Tracking?
Downtime: Operators can record or track downtime for jams, cleaning, minor slowdowns, and stoppages, among other causes, with production tracking software. In the latter scenario, downtime accuracy is optimized by removing rounding, human error, and forgotten downtime occurrences. The software also lets you categorize different types of stops.
Changeovers: Changeovers can also be manually recorded. However, changeovers tracked by monitoring software provide valuable data points for analysis, considerably reducing the time required for new configurations.
Maintenance Failures: Similar to downtime classification, the program assists in tracking the types of maintenance breakdowns and service orders and their possible causes. This may result in cost savings and enable businesses to implement predictive or prescriptive maintenance strategies based on reliable real-time data.
Items of Good Quality: This is a fundamental component of production management. Companies can't fulfill requests for delivery on schedule unless they know what's created first quality. Real-time data collection guarantees that these numbers are accurate and orders are filled efficiently.
Scrap: For manufacturers, waste is a significant challenge. However, conventional techniques are prone to overlooking scrap parts or documenting them wrong. The production tracking system can record the number and type of errors, allowing for analysis and improvement. Additionally, it can capture rework, rework time, and associated activities.
WIP Inventory: Accurate inventory management is critical in production, yet a significant quantity of material may become "invisible" once it is distributed to the floor. Collecting data on the movement and state of work in progress is critical for determining overall efficiency.
Production Schedule: Accurate data collection is essential to managing manufacturing orders and assessing operational progress. Customers' requests may not be fulfilled within the specified lead time if out of stock. Shop floor data gathering provides accurate production histories and helps managers fulfill delivery deadlines.
Which Real-time Data Collection Techniques Do Manufacturers Employ?
Manufacturers frequently employ a wide range of data collection techniques due to the abundance of data sources. Manual data collection and automated data collection are two of the most common data collection methods. Here are a few examples from both methods:
IoT: To provide the appropriate information to the right people at the right time with the correct shop floor insight, IoT (Internet of Things) sensor integration is employed.
PLC: The integration of PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) is used to measure and regulate manufacturing operations.
HMI: It can provide human context to data by integrating line HMI (Human Machine Interface) systems (such as individual shop terminals like touch screens located on factory floor equipment).
SCADA: Overarching management of activities with SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems.
CNC and Other Machines: Integrating CNC and other machines (both new and older types) to keep tabs on production efficiency and machine well-being is a must these days.
One of the most challenging aspects of shop floor management is determining what to measure and what to overlook. The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently conducted a study on assisting manufacturing operations in determining which data to collect from the shop floor.Additionally, you may utilize the manufacturing data set described above to obtain information from your manufacturing facility and use it strategically to improve operations, productivity, efficiency, and total business revenue in the long term.
What is manufacturing analytics?
Manufacturing analytics uses operations and event data and technology in the manufacturing business to assure quality, improve performance and yield, lower costs, and optimize supply chains.
How is data collected in manufacturing?
Data collection from a manufacturing process can be done through manual methods, paperwork, or a production/process management software system.
Article | February 25, 2022
Improving manufacturing efficiency and enhancing business revenue is the ultimate goal of every manufacturing business. Effective manufacturing process management may help businesses grow and discover innovative manufacturing processes. Facts and data fill the days of plant managers and engineers. However, it appears that many firms are still unable to devise a strategy for resolving long-standing challenges in their organizations.
“If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.”
– Steve Jobs
In this article, we will see the five ultimate ways of manufacturing flow management. Additionally, we will also see three industry leaders' examples and understand their processes for production management. So, let’s get started first with tips to improve production efficiency.
Five Ways to Improve Production Efficiency
Recognize and Eliminate Waste
Waste is a cost that should be minimized in the manufacturing business. Additionally, waste is a broad term in this industry since it involves labor hours, energy use, and material consumption, to name a few. However, material waste is typically the most significant worry in the industrial business. When looking for strategies to decrease waste, you must rely on the results drawn during the evaluation of your manufacturing line.
When identifying waste, keep in mind that each operation on your production line generates some trash; finding the procedures that generate the most waste is the most effective strategy to minimize total waste. However, you may reduce trash by recycling or reusing garbage rather than discarding it. If you are unable to eliminate the majority of your garbage, you should consider selling it to a company that can properly dispose of it.
Evaluate the Production Process
In a manufacturing business, the production line is at the heart of how the business operates, and hence, production line efficiency improvement is critical. When reviewing the production line, one must also consider the often overlooked elements, for example, the loading dock bumper and other necessary loading dock equipment. While sourcing and maintaining loading dock bumpers, you can rely on top industry service and equipment suppliers.
This will guarantee that your production line is equipped with everything it needs to operate properly. Another critical statistic to examine is throughput. This metric is used to determine the average number of units produced within a specified period. You must have high-quality equipment to ensure that your production line runs smoothly. Analyzing throughput can help spot difficulties in the production line when throughput is not quite up to pace.
Another aspect of production line efficiency improvement is capacity utilization, which determines your factory's overall output capacity. This enables you to monitor the functioning of your production line at all times.
While discovering any flaws in your manufacturing line, you will unintentionally locate your production's major bottlenecks. Bottlenecks are breaks in your manufacturing line, supply chain, or any other business activity that obstruct the performance of another operation.
For instance, a certain machine may require repair at a plant, necessitating a half-day shutdown.
Any procedure that needs the operation of that particular machine is subsequently rendered inoperable. That machine becomes the bottleneck at that point. There are other types of blockages. Another instance is when an administrator who is required for approval falls ill.
Once you've identified your most frequent bottlenecks, you may work on reducing them and increasing productivity by decreasing bottleneck-related downtime.
Enhance Training Practices
The way your workers work ultimately impacts the productivity of your entire organization. Lack of training equates to inefficiency, and vice versa. To achieve optimal employee performance, each team member must be empowered throughout the production process. This isn't as simple as writing a pamphlet from which someone can be taught. Highly effective workers need to be taught on the job by someone who is watching them.
However, you must first establish uniform standards throughout your organization, starting from the top. This approach will help your employees understand that they will get organized or informal training to upgrade the skills and knowledge necessary to work successfully during the change's implementation. Training may take the form of a series of online microlearning modules or a blended learning method that includes face-to-face training sessions as well as on-the-job coaching and mentoring.
In addition, PWC is of the opinion that workers should ask the following questions to help them be more efficient in the long run:
Is what I’m doing now adding value, or am I just doing it because this is the way I’m supposed to do it?
If I were the customer, would I pay money for the activities that I was engaged in?
Allow your staff to generate suggestions for efficiency improvements on their own. After all, no one knows their operations better than they do.
Calculate and Organize Your Workspace
You can optimize production efficiency if your staff can perform their duties in a well-organized work environment. Hence, it is critical to prioritize measuring and organizing the workplace. It is critical to quantify each aspect of your business first, as this will provide you with a clear picture of what works and what does not. After that, you'll need to make sure that everything in the office is in order so that your employees can work efficiently.
Three Companies That Redefined The Innovative Manufacturing Processes
Henry Ford delivered to the world far more than simple automobiles. His company was the first to integrate a full production line process, paving the way for contemporary mass manufacturing. He devised a moving conveyer belt assembly line, which represented a radical departure from traditional industrial procedures. While his production procedures were restricted by current standards—they only allowed for limited customization—he laid the groundwork for modern manufacturing and a new way of thinking about processes.
The Toyota Production System illustrates a deeply embedded cultural and managerial concept. This concept emphasizes the continuous improvement of work processes and systems. This approach focuses on identifying and resolving issues and ensures that every business action adds value to consumers. Dr. W. Edwards Deming and writers James Womack, Daniel Roos, and Daniel Jones brought it to the American public’s attention in the 1980s and 1990s (in "The Machine that Changed the World"). It was, and still is, a radically different management style for the great majority of organizations. Most people are familiar with Toyota Production System tenets like "just in time."
Under former CEO Jack Welch, GE promoted the use of Six Sigma in business operations and provided a blueprint for adoption in the corporate setting that practically everyone sought to copy (at least for a while). Welch made Six Sigma training a pre-requisite for every employee who aspires to higher levels of leadership inside the business, and he enforced its implementation at all levels. The "GE Workout" is an extremely concentrated session (typically over many consecutive days) that evaluates business difficulties and suggests solutions. GE created it as a spin on the Six Sigma toolbox.
To accelerate the overall growth of your manufacturing business, you must have innovative manufacturing processes that help improve manufacturing efficiency. You may consider the above mentioned ways to improve production efficiency and get the most out of your production set up. Giving employees new tools is probably the quickest method for managers to change a production process. Moving ahead, finding factory-direct manufacturers that can deal with each company's unique circumstances is also encouraged. Identify and avoid problems so you can then look at current data and waste to develop new and better ways of doing things.
What is manufacturing efficiency?
Manufacturing efficiency aims to make products at the lowest feasible overall cost. It's all about maximizing the use of limited resources while minimizing the waste of time, materials, and energy.
What is a manufacturing process flow system?
The manufacturing process flow system shows the granular activity-level stages that must be completed to manufacture finished items from the moment raw materials are delivered to the manufacturing facility until they are transformed into finished goods.
What are the four manufacturing components?
Below are the four components of manufacturing:
Production equipment as well as tools, fixtures, and other relevant hardware.
A material handling system.
A computer system to coordinate and/or control the preceding components.
Human personnel to run and manage the system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.