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.
Article | December 30, 2021
Risk management in manufacturing has always been a top priority for manufacturers to avoid any unfortunate incidents. As a result, it is possible to create a more secure work environment for employees by conducting risk assessments and implementing remedies.
“If you don’t invest in risk management, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in, it’s a risky business.”
– Gary Cohn, an American Business Leader.
As of 2019, the worldwide risk management market was valued at $7.39 billion, and it is expected to rise at a CAGR of 18.7% from 2020 to 2027, according to allied market research.
Why is Risk Assessment Critical in Manufacturing?
The manufacturing industry must have a credible risk assessment and management plan to defend itself from any breaches. Risk assessment helps firms understand the dangers they face and their implications if their systems are compromised. Hence, risk assessment is very critical in the manufacturing industry.
Five Risk Assessment Principles
Identify hazards/risks - Employers must examine their workers' health and safety risks. Therefore, an organization must regularly inspect its employee’s physical, mental, chemical, and biological threats.
Identify who may be hurt and in what way – Identifying the personnel both full-time and part-time at-risk. Employers must also examine threats to agency and contract personnel, visitors, clients, and other visitors.
Assess the risks and act accordingly - Employers must assess the likelihood of each danger causing injury. This will evaluate and lower the chance at the working space. Even with all safeguards, there is always some danger. Therefore, employers must assess if danger is still high, medium, or low risk.
Get the Risks Documented - Employers with five or more employees must record the critical findings of the risk assessment in writing. In addition, register any risks identified in the risk assessment and actions to minimize or eliminate risk.
This document confirms the evaluation and is used to examine working practices afterward. The risk assessment is a draft. It should be readable. It shouldn't be hidden away. The risk assessment must account for changes in working techniques, new machinery, or higher work objectives.
5 Manufacturing Risks to Consider in 2022
Accidents at Work
Even if official safety policies and programs are designed, followed, and enhanced, manufacturers may endure workplace accidents and injuries. Risk assessment for workplace accidents assists in mitigating the negative impact on both employees and the organization.
Manufacturers have distinct issues regarding fuel handling and hazardous waste disposal in facilities. Sudden leaks or spills may be extremely costly to clean up and result in fines from state and federal agencies. Risk assessments for such plant accidents assist businesses in mitigating financial losses.
Essential machinery throughout the production process might fail at any time, incurring significant repair or replacement costs. Therefore, it's critical to recognize that business property insurance may not cover mechanical issues.
Risk assessment and prepayment solutions protect against equipment failures without interfering with typical company operations.
Supply Chain Disruption
Dependence on your supply chain may result in unintended consequences that are beyond your control. For example, if you experience downtime on the manufacturing line due to a supplier's failure to supply materials or parts, you risk losing revenue and profitability. If a disturbance to your supply chain poses a hazard, risk management can assist you in managing it more effectively by quickly identifying the risk and providing a suitable response.
Operation Temporarily Suspended
Depending on the severity of the weather event, a factory might be severely damaged or perhaps utterly wrecked. While major repairs or rebuilding are being undertaken, recouping lost income might be vital to the business's future profitability.
Risk assessment in this area enables your organization to budget for overhead expenditures such as rent, payroll, and tax responsibilities during the period of suspension of operations.
Risk management is critical in manufacturing because it enables manufacturers to comprehend and anticipate scenarios and create a well-planned response that avoids unnecessary overhead costs or delays in delivering the production cycle's final result. Manufacturing risks are undoubtedly not limited to the risks listed above and may vary according to the nature of the business and regional environmental conditions. Therefore, create a well-defined strategy to overcome threats in your business and be productive at all times.
How are manufacturing business risks classified?
In most cases, the business risk may be categorized into four types: strategic risk, regulatory compliance risks, operational compliance risks, and reputational risks.
Why should a manufacturer conduct a risk assessment?
Every manufacturing employment has risks for injury or illness. But risk evaluations can significantly minimize workplace injuries and illnesses. In addition, they assist companies in discovering strategies to reduce health and safety risks and enhance knowledge about dangers.
Article | December 6, 2021
Additive Manufacturing (AM) uses computer-aided design (CAD) or 3D object scanners to create accurate geometric features. In contrast to traditional manufacturing, which frequently involves milling or other processes to eliminate superfluous material, these are produced layer by layer, as with a 3D printing process.
The global additive manufacturing market is expected to grow at a 14.42 percent annual rate from USD 9.52 billion in 2020 to USD 27.91 billion in 2028, according to reports and data. Overall, the worldwide 3D printing industry is gaining traction due to various reasons, some of which are listed below.
Significantly, greater resolution
Reduced manufacturing costs as a result of recent technology breakthroughs
Ease of creating customised goods
Increasing possibilities for printing with diverse materials
Funding by the government for 3D printing ventures
Additive manufacturing is available or may be implemented in various procedures, which is the primary objective of this article. First, we'll look at the seven additive manufacturing processes and which one is the best to use. So let us begin.
“Don’t be afraid to go outside of your industry to learn best practices. There might be something that surprises you or inspires you to try in your line of work.”
– Emily Desimone, Director of Global Marketing at SLM Solutions
Additive Manufacturing Processes
There are numerous diverse additive manufacturing processes, each with its own set of standards. Here are the seven additive manufacturing procedures that many manufacturers consider based on their benefits from each process, or whichever approach best suits their product requirements.
This additive manufacturing process is quite similar to that of conventional inkjet printers, in which material droplets are selectively placed layer by layer to build a three-dimensional object. After completing a layer, it is cured with UV radiation.
VAT Photo Polymerization
This procedure employs a technology called photo polymerization, in which radiation-curable resins or photopolymers are utilized to ultraviolet light to generate three-dimensional objects selectively. When these materials are exposed to air, they undergo a chemical reaction and solidify. Stereo lithography, Digital Light Processing, and Continuous Digital Light Processing are the three primary subcategories.
Binder jetting is a process that deposits a binding agent, typically in liquid form, selectively onto powdered material. The print head deposits alternating layers of bonding agent and construction material and a powder spreader to create a three-dimensional object.
S. Scott Crump invented and patented material extrusion in the 1980s using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The continuous thermoplastic filament is fed through a heated nozzle and then deposited layer by layer onto the build platform to produce the object.
Powder Bed Fusion
Powder bed fusion procedures, particularly selective laser sintering, were the pioneers of industrial additive manufacturing. This approach melts the powdered material and fuses it using a laser or electron beam to form a tangible item. The primary kinds of powder bed fusion are direct metal laser sintering, selective laser sintering, multi-jet fusion, electron beam melting, selective laser melting, and selective heat sintering.
Sheet lamination is a catch-all term encompassing ultrasonic additive manufacturing, selective deposition lamination, and laminated object manufacturing. All of these technologies stack and laminate sheets of material to form three-dimensional objects. After the object is constructed, the parts' undesirable areas are gradually removed layer by layer.
Directed Energy Deposition
Directed energy deposition technology employs thermal energy to melt and fuse the materials to form a three-dimensional object. These are pretty similar to welding processes, but are much more intricate.
Which Additive Manufacturing Process is best? Why?
Based on three fundamental factors, additive manufacturing techniques are categorized into seven types. First, the way material is solidified is determined first by the type of material employed, then by the deposition technique, and finally by how the material is solidified.
The end-user often chooses an additive manufacturing technique that best suits his requirements, followed by the explicit material for the process and application, out of the seven basic additive manufacturing processes.
Polymer materials are commonly used in AM techniques because they are adaptable to various procedures and can be modified to complicated geometries with high precision. Carbon-based compounds are used to strengthen polymers. Polymers, both solid and liquid, have been widely used due to the variety of shapes, formability, and end-use qualities available. Wherever the light-activated polymer contacts the liquid's surface, it instantly solidifies.
Photo polymerization, powder bed fusion, material jetting, and material extrusion are the most common additive manufacturing procedures for polymers. The materials employed in these processes can be liquid, powder, or solid (formed materials such as polymer film or filament).
How BASF is Using Additive Manufacturing
BASF is a chemical company. BASF, one of the world's major chemical companies, manufactures and provides a range of 3D printing filaments, resins, and powders within its extensive material portfolio.
The company, well-known in the 3D printing sector, has formed major material agreements with several 3D printer manufacturers, including HP, BigRep, Essentium, BCN3D, and others.
BASF went even further in 2017 by establishing BASF 3D printing Solutions GmbH (B3DPS) as a wholly-owned subsidiary to expand the company's 3D printing business. In addition, BASF stated last year that B3DPS would change its name to Forward AM.
BASF's role in the 3D printing business, however, is not limited to material development. BASF has made several investments in 3D printing companies over the years, including the acquisition of Sculpteo, one of the significant French 3D printing service bureaus, last year.
BASF sees 3D printing as having a bright future. With the growing popularity of professional 3D printers, all of these systems will eventually require robust, high-quality polymer materials to perform at their best – and BASF has been paving the way to becoming one of the leading solution providers.
All additive manufacturing procedures are unique and helpful in their way. Still, some have additional advantages over others, such as the material used, highresolution, precision, and the ability to build complicated parts. Because of these added benefits, photopolymerization, material jetting, powder bed fusion, and material extrusion are preferred over others. Therefore, choose the AM process that is best suited to your manufacturing business and will assist you in achieving the desired final product output.
What are the benefits of additive manufacturing?
AM enables manufacturers to reduce waste, prototyping costs, and customization while conserving energy and increasing production flexibility. Additionally, it benefits the supply chain and the environment, encouraging businesses to increase their manufacturing sustainability.
What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing?
Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. So, this can be considered a significant challenge in additive manufacturing.
What are the steps of additive manufacturing?
The additive manufacturing steps are divided into four steps as below,
Step1 - Design a model with CAD software
Step4 - Post-processing
"name": "What are the benefits of additive manufacturing?",
"text": "AM enables manufacturers to reduce waste, prototyping costs, and customization while conserving energy and increasing production flexibility. Additionally, it benefits the supply chain and the environment, encouraging businesses to increase their manufacturing sustainability."
"name": "What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing?",
"text": "Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. So, this can be considered a significant challenge in additive manufacturing."
"name": "What are the steps of additive manufacturing?",
"text": "The additive manufacturing steps are divided into four steps as below,
Step1 - Design a model with CAD software
Step2 - Pre-processing
Step3 - Printing
Step4 - Post-processing"
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.
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"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."