Manufacturing Operations ManagemenT for Digital Manufacturing

Dec 1, 2021

manufacturing overview

After nearly two full years of COVID, the pandemic is still a serious issue. Now that vaccines are being rolled out globally and effective treatments seem to be on the horizon, there may finally be faint hints of light at the end of this long tunnel. But the pandemic has already impacted the world on many levels – personal, social, and governmental, as well as in business.

The full extent of the impact is yet to be determined at any of these levels, but in the business world, it has become abundantly clear that innovation is the key to successfully riding out the storm.

For many enterprises, digital transformation is the best way – and often the only way – that they can survive and stay afloat. Companies large and small have come to understand that a successful digital transformation is also the best way to remain competitive and competent when we finally get to a post-COVID world.

Digital transformation is an effective solution to a number of challenges that manufacturers are facing right now. Some of them have been around for a while, others are relatively new, and some have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Disruptions in the supply chain

When the coronavirus pandemic emerged in China, it caused massive disruption to global supply chains and left companies scrambling to find replacements. The effects of these disruptions are still being felt today. Many manufacturers have started thinking that it’s necessary to broaden their sources of supply so that they aren’t reliant on components or raw materials from only one source.

Labour issues

Even before the pandemic began, many manufacturers were encountering issues in finding skilled workers to fill the positions they had available. The effects of the global pandemic have only made this worse. Combine this with the fact that baby boomers are retiring and leaving the workforce more quickly than new workers are entering the industry – taking their skills and experience with them – and manufacturers are facing nearly unprecedented difficulty finding the workers they need.

Cyber security

As basically every industry in the world moves to increasingly technological solutions, so they increasingly become targets for cybercriminals – who are themselves becoming more sophisticated and better resourced. Ransomware attacks have soared in 2021, with some sectors seeing increases of over 1000%. Many manufacturing companies are relying on outdated systems to try and keep themselves safe, but with the average cost of a data breach now running at over $4 million, this is a dangerous strategy.

Keeping up with the latest technology

We’ve already seen automation, robotics and cloud computing, to name just a few, but the pace of technological development just seems to keep getting faster. Now we’re seeing the widespread expansion of the Industrial Internet of Things (especially now with 5G connectivity), robotic process automation and intelligent control systems. Keeping up with developments in manufacturing technology is both extremely demanding and a necessity if companies want tostay viable.

But if companies are able to keep pace with technological advances, it can help them retain – or gain – a competitive edge. They can be more agile, more responsive and more flexible, helping them to win new customers and keep their existing ones happy.

The solution? Digital manufacturing operations management.

“But we already have computerised systems.”

Of course, as with every industry, using computers to assist in almost every stage of operations is not a new concept. Many manufacturers have been using a manufacturing execution system (MES) for a long time already. Put simply, an MES is like the control centre for manufacturing operations, connecting and monitoring the machinery and equipment.

An MES is great for manufacturing productivity, gathering data to aid in operations management, tracking products, quality assurance, maintenance management and more. But it can’t take advantage of the possibilities that are opening up thanks to new technologies. For that, you need something more sophisticated. And the digital transformation is here to stay – those who don’t keep up will be left far behind.

What is digital MOM?

Digital MOM is like the traditional MES on steroids. It leverages modern technologies to digitalise the entire production process, enabling advanced automation and real-time insights from data. An effective MOM will be able to digitalise manufacturing execution, quality management, planning and scheduling.

Taking all these processes digital allows manufacturers to gain real-time insights from the data produced by their equipment and machinery. It also lets them increase the degree of automation on the production line (robots and cobots) and in materials handling (such as automated guided vehicles). The very best systems take advantage of AI and machine learning to take things to the next level, with systems that can make accurate predictions rather than just reacting to the current state.

Benefits of digital manufacturing

Being able to utilise a modern MOM offers a large number of significant benefits for manufacturers, including:

  • Faster production
  • Lower costs
  • Real-time inventory monitoring
  • Real-time monitoring of equipment and machinery and improved maintenance predictability
  • End-to-end visibility over the entire operations chain
  • Improved traceability of products and raw materials
  • Increased automation
  • Safer working environments for employees
  • Optimisation of equipment

A high-quality, effective MOM brings a large number of benefits and allows manufacturers to leverage the latest technologies to improve their production flows, productivity and returns.

The manufacturing industry has reached a point where digital transformation and the need to get on the fast track to smart manufacturing are already vital if companies want to remain competitive. Companies need to get on board or get left behind.

Now’s the time to find out more about the Elisa IndustrIQ MOM solution and how it can take your production to the next level. It’s the future of manufacturing, and it’s within your reach today.

How To Improve Resilience And Grow Your Business Sustainably

Unexpected disruptive events in manufacturing always interrupt normal production conditions and cause production loss. How resilient are your planning and manufacturing processes? Are you prepared to deal with the unexpected?

Take the quiz below to find out how your organisation stacks up in the face of crisis and get expert insights on how to make your manufacturing more resilient.