Humans from the very beginning of the world have made use of manufacturing processes to dictate their survival to nature as the fittest beings for evolution.
Starting from the manufacturing of basic hand tools for hunting and cutting to the modern-day manufacturing of ‘everything’, humans have made their mark in the world through constantly innovating for a better future. The need for betterment is majorly fueled by consumer demand that acts as a catalyst to initiate the entire process.
To satisfy this demand, manufacturing processes need to be constantly updated in terms of process technology, material supply chain and communication between the producer and the consumer to develop a product that is readily accepted and integrated into the community.
The industrial revolution can be rightly attributed as the starting point of modern manufacturing, but with more recent advances in digitization and IoT through Industry 4.0, the overall concept of manufacturing has taken a new leap.
These modern digital technologies help increase productivity and profitability by streamlining complex processes at a better pace than non-digitized technologies.
The benefits of integrating technology into manufacturing processes are:
- Quality of the product increases at all phases of production, rather than only the final stage.
- Overall efficiency of the plant increases leading to a decrease in material wastage.
- Improved means of communication between the production and engineering teams, and sales teams.
Technology helps refine procedures for manufacturing processes, which in turn assists in understanding the flow of work and, thus, define time and resource-consuming phases. Quality control and assurance are built into processes to ensure the product meets the specified qualification criteria from a consumer’s perspective.
Wastage of material is also decreased when streamlined procedures are followed for production. This owes to the accuracy of the product obtained in terms of dimensions and finishing. Errors in production are minimized and so does the time consumption of each process. Therefore, production goals are attained at a better pace and improved accuracy.
Communication among the teams is improved by employing communication manager software like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) which helps in cross-communication between different functions of an organization. In case of any latent issue, an immediate call for assistance helps mitigate downtime and necessary measures can be taken before the matter escalates. Furthermore, diagnostic capabilities guarantee remote dealing with any problem that may occur.
Manufacturing industries like the die casting industry have immensely been facilitated by digitization. Real-time predictive analysis is carried out at each step of the process with the help of the supplied sensors. The sensors are installed within a process cell and record data to look out for anomalies, unsatisfactory performance, and any unwanted circumstances that can lead to a decreased efficiency. Overall forecasting of productivity and profitability trends are attained by the real-time analysis using sensors.
In addition to improved productivity, energy consumption is also reduced by technological means. A green environment is achieved by monitoring and adjusting processes in an energy-intensive industry.
Digitization of manufacturing processes not only assists in better productivity but also improves the efficiency of the packaging and transportation procedures. The state of the product is known to the manufacturer from the manufacturing processes in real-time, and the product can be sent through to the sales teams.
Integrating modern technologies into manufacturing processes leads to increased productivity and thus, increased profit. Adopting these technologies also help in attaining better accuracy of a product due to standardized procedures.
The popularity of modern technologies is not surprising owing to the benefits they offer. With a significant decrease in error, increased efficiencies and downtime, resources are better utilized in other integral areas of the business to promote its growth and development.