There are a number of advantages to adopting smart manufacturing, including increased efficiency, higher levels of customer satisfaction, and gaining a competitive advantage – read on to learn more.
How is a smart factory more efficient? It relies on automation to complete processes.
Although manufacturing has become more automated, requiring less human intervention, there are always areas to further automate production. When production relies heavily on humans doing the work, there are a lot of ways production can stall – labor shortages, holidays, vacations, sick days, required breaks, and more. There is also increased risk due to safety concerns.
Machines, on the other hand, don’t need breaks. They can work for hours or days on end. In fact, automated machinery can be programmed to run 24/7, or to work at hours when electricity is at its cheapest. That makes the process faster and cheaper.
Instead of performing routine, manual production tasks – employees can be freed to work on analyzing data, creating higher value customer experiences, and innovating.
Higher Levels of Customer Satisfaction
Another benefit of a smart factory is higher levels of customer satisfaction. Why is that the case?
Smart manufacturing relies upon data. That data comes from a variety of sources: customers, internal data, data generated by connected products, etc. With that information, you can predict demand for your products. You can see if a particular item is selling well and ramp up production in real time. By the same token, you can scale back production (again, in real-time) of an item that isn’t selling well.
You can also ensure flexibility by creating an agile configuration of equipment. It can be easily adapted to manufacture different products. When the configuration is agile, you save time and money because adapting to new production schedules is less disruptive.
Gaining a Competitive Advantage
Yet another benefit of smart manufacturing is gaining a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace. When you can work faster, smarter, and more cost-effectively than your competitors, you will gain more customers.
Automating your factory, as mentioned earlier, allows you to be more efficient. Greater efficiency means you can produce more of a product with fewer resources, making what you produce more desirable to customers.
Because you can manufacture products efficiently, you can better satisfy customers. That makes you a valuable commodity in a crowded marketplace. Your competitive advantage allows you to stand out while others struggle to produce items on-time and without cost overruns.
Although smart manufacturing is still an emerging technology, it offers many benefits to those who use it properly. Making the right technology choices ensures that you make the most of smart manufacturing so you can indeed gain a competitive advantage.
With smart manufacturing, you can expand your capacity without needing to expand your physical factory. This technology presents an amazing opportunity to increase your reach as well as your profits. Being able to produce more without having to increase the amount of resources you need in a tight market is very smart indeed.