Using technology to improve your manufacturing processes

Posted on 23 Aug 2017 by The Manufacturer

Not since the age of the industrial revolution has there been a period in history where manufacturing has transitioned to new processes to the same extent.

Fourth Industrial Revolution Technology Manufacturing People - Stock ImageManufacturers are using digital technologies to streamline complex processes to increase productivity and profitability. Streamlining long-established and often complex processes is a daunting and time-consuming task, however the benefits are immediate.

The benefits of adopting technology into manufacturing practices include:

  • An improvement of the quality of product throughout all stages of the manufacturing process, and not just the end product.
  • An improvement to the efficiency of the plant in terms of increased productivity and a reduction in material wastage.
  • An improvement to the speed and value of communication between the production and engineering teams, and the front-of-house sales teams.

Your first step to streamline your processes is to review and analyse past performance so that you understand where time and resources have previously been spent. By doing so, you will be able to prioritise the areas that need the most attention. It is critical at this stage to engage all departments and core teams.

Invest in technologies to improve process and procedures; you can have hardware and software that are integrated to monitor and control the operation of the various industrial processes that are applicable to your business.

A high performing and flexible communication manager software allows your SCADA system, and all the associated meter or industry-relevant devices to communicate with each other.

The immediate benefit of this is that you can be made aware of any latent issues before they escalate, and measures can be taken to mitigate downtime. Diagnostic capabilities ensure that any potential issues can be dealt with remotely, and technicians are able to respond to data remotely without the need for on-site visits.

Embracing technology within the manufacturing process allows for stress-free data mining. This permits real-time analysis of corporate data, forecasting overall productivity and profitability trends.

By adapting and modernising the manufacturing processes that are currently in play, a typically energy-intensive industry can be monitored, adjusted and improved upon to reduce energy consumption so that green credentials can also be met.

Smart technologies are not only restricted to the physical manufacturing side, but are particularly relevant to increasing the efficiency of the packaging and shipping process. Manufacturers are able to see the data from the manufacturing line in real-time, and the product can be managed through to the distribution centres.

Implementing new technologies into your business to automate processes provides for increased efficiencies, increased productivity and ultimately increased profit. Your products will be standardised as you will have more control over the accuracy of the components in the manufacturing process.

By automating processes, the room for any errors or downtime to occur is significantly reduced, and collected data is already on a system that can be audited and accessed far quicker. With an increase of quality, efficiencies and downtime, resources can be used to focus on other areas of the business to promote its growth and development.