Four Challenges Solved by Smart Manufacturing

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Smart manufacturing is an emerging technology, yet its impact in just a few years has been irrevocable. Manufacturers cannot go back to traditional manufacturing methods if they want to maintain a competitive advantage.
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Smart manufacturing offers a number of advantages, including the ability to solve the challenges that are inherent in traditional manufacturing.

What challenges can smart manufacturing challenges solve? Read on to learn more about the four challenges we’ve identified, and their solutions.

Meeting Customer Needs in a Timely Fashion

Before the advent of smart manufacturing, production runs were long, drawn-out affairs. If there was a defect, there was almost no way to stop the production run in time to prevent further product recalls.

Smart manufacturing gives manufacturers the ability to be more agile than ever before. They can quickly produce a wide variety of products for many markets. Because they can produce goods faster, they can also make modifications to products quickly. If a defect is discovered, manufacturers can correct the problem so that the product doesn’t injure customers or cost the firm millions.

Ensuring Product Quality

To return to the point we made in the previous paragraph, product defects are dangerous as well as costly. No one can afford the reputational damage stemming from a recall.

Smart manufacturing technology is working to make product defects a thing of the past. Now, manufacturing equipment with sensors attached can uncover microscopic defects in raw materials or finished products. If there’s a defect, the equipment can immediately alert employees. Imagine the cost savings you’ll see when you can prevent product defects.

Meeting Customer Demand

Customer demand was long seen as a difficult variable to predict. How could you know how much of a product consumers would want? You could make some educated guesses, but sometimes, those guesses were wrong.

In today’s world, access to data is almost constantly available at every point in the manufacturing process. There’s no more guessing how much of a product a consumer will want, because you have information culled from a variety of sources.

Making Manufacturing Safer

Since the rise of the assembly line, manufacturing has been an inherently dangerous line of work. There’s always the risk that someone will get injured by machinery or another piece of equipment.

Smart manufacturing significantly reduces that risk. For a start, smart manufacturing automates many previously manual processes. That decreases the need for human employees, shielding them from the risk of injury. Second, equipment is now being equipped with sensors (see the paragraph above about product quality) so that it can avoid colliding with humans and other objects. Those developments make manufacturing safer.

Manufacturing doesn’t have to be fraught with challenges. Smart manufacturing solves some of the biggest challenges that plague companies today – meeting customer needs quickly, ensuring product quality, meeting customer demand, and making manufacturing safer. These challenges have long been costly barriers to success. By removing those barriers, smart manufacturing allow companies to stay competitive and successful in a crowded marketplace.

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