What is Smart Manufacturing?
Smart manufacturing is a broad concept where manufacturing processes are optimised by employing automation, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and other computerised solutions that can reduce manufacturing costs while maximising productivity. A survey conducted by Deloitte in 2019 shows, “More than 86% of survey respondents believe smart factory initiatives will be the main driver of manufacturing competitiveness in the next five years, though only 51% are making/have made investments.” By adopting smart manufacturing, manufacturers can have high adaptability levels and are able to quickly respond to changes in their manufacturing processes such as design changes and production levels. This is made possible by combining data from tech and operational systems such as BMP systems and product lifecycle management.
How Manufacturing SMEs Can Benefit from Smart Manufacturing
The manufacturing industry has advanced a lot ever since the first Industrial Revolution started. Manufacturing processes used to be mostly manual and required a lot of manpower to control the machines. Today, manufacturers enjoy better productivity and increased profits, thanks to new technological innovation and automation of processes. Here are the reasons why Manufacturing SMEs should consider investing in smart manufacturing and the benefits of doing so:
1. Increased Productivity (and Reduced Costs)
Smart manufacturing allows manufacturers to be more flexible in adapting changes to meet customer needs and to mass customise their products. As a result, manufacturers can create more products while also reducing costs, thanks to having better production efficiency. Dependency on manpower to control the machines can be reduced with smart manufacturing too. This is one of the ways manufacturers can tackle global workforce issues.
2. Advanced Maintenance & Monitoring (Predictive Maintenance)
In smart manufacturing, data is collected at every touchpoint, which enables predictive maintenance and ensures thinking ahead. Machine learning also plays a role in predictive maintenance, and results in reduced downtime and repair costs. Plus, with the ability to view the real-time status of raw material levels and production equipment conditions, it is easier for manufacturers to manage their inventories and ensures smooth production.
3. Improved Sustainability
The technologies in smart manufacturing can help manufacturers achieve improved sustainability as there will be less wastage of raw materials or energy being used in production. When these technologies predict machine conditions and raw stock levels, manufacturers can avoid ordering too many supplies and can focus on just maintaining their machines rather than fixing machines with major breakdowns – which usually costs more.
Manufacturing SMEs should take smart manufacturing as the new way of working in the manufacturing industry. By using a smart, cloud-based business management platform like Enterpryze, manufacturer SMEs can easily start adapting this concept. Enterpryze helps simplify your manufacturing processes with automation and gives you better visibility on each step of your manufacturing processes – plus the ability to track stock, manage customers and plan deliveries. Sales Order Processing Easily track and manage all your sales orders in one platform for better sales fulfillment. Real-time View of Stock Balance and Raw Material Levels Real-time stock balance across multiple warehouses with suggested reorder quantity and committed quantity. Bill of Materials Re-ordering Re-order stock that is low in availability based on the product Bill of Materials or track any ongoing purchase orders to see if the purchase has been made. One Click Replenishment of Stock Reorder your stock in just one click, a purchase order will be created and sent to suppliers once the order quantity is decided. Purchase Invoice Scanning Scan purchase invoices into Enterpryze’s purchase order software and choose to approve, edit or reject the transaction. Multi-Location Manufacturing Allocation Allocate or move stock and materials across multiple production locations easily based on the product Bill of Materials (BOM). Production Scheduling Plan your production process by using our drag-and-drop production planning feature.