The Covid19 pandemic has exposed glaring inefficiencies in the supply chain, resulting in a strategic shift towards better local manufacturing. According to an Accenture report, "94% of Fortune 1,000 companies experienced supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19." A further seventy-five percent suffered adverse effects.
Supply chain issues aside, more manufacturers could benefit from adopting a data-driven manufacturing process. IoT gives manufacturers a competitive edge in an increasingly competitive market. Research by Tata Consultancy Services indicates that IoT improves average revenues for manufacturers by up to 28.5 percent.
However, the benefits don't end there. They cut across the entire manufacturing ecosystem, including product life-cycle, value chain management, and the smart factory.
Driven by global competition, disrupted supply chains, skilled experts leaving the workforce, and discerning customers who demand ever faster and tailored solutions, manufacturers must turn to IoT-driven digital manufacturing to keep up.
The Pronix team works with manufacturers as those businesses leverage IoT within their operations.
What is Digital Manufacturing?
Digital Manufacturing is the adoption and application of computer systems for better manufacturing, supply chains, products, and processes. Using digital manufacturing, manufacturers can link systems and processes across the entire manufacturing ecosystem, creating an integrated approach to manufacturing encompassing the whole product cycle.
The typical digital manufacturing process has three aspects: product life cycle, value chain management, and the smart factory. The Pronix team is seeing IoT positively improve manufacturing in all three areas.
Below are the top advantages of IoT in digital manufacturing solutions.
Top Benefits of IoT in Digital Manufacturing Solutions
Reduce operational costs
Operational costs, including labor, material, and overhead costs, eat into a manufacturer's bottom line. IoT-driven digital manufacturing has the potential to reduce those costs by up to 12 percent.
For instance, one of the most significant manufacturing expenses is energy costs. You likely spend a fortune on energy, but some of that consumption is completely wasted.
By installing IoT sensors on equipment, collecting, and analyzing data, manufacturers gain a granular understanding of energy consumption per device. As a result, they can remove underperforming devices, optimize off-hour consumption, and proactively solve energy issues, reducing the overall costs.
Additionally, the maintenance costs come down, driven by a proactive process that identifies issues before they have a significant impact.
Increase asset efficiency
IoT-driven digital manufacturing solutions increase asset efficiency by up to 50 percent. Data drives decision making, thus reducing changeover, minimizing unplanned downtime, and improving the work-in-progress inventory.
For instance, IoT drives predictive equipment maintenance, minimizing overall downtime. In the old model, equipment gets regularly scheduled maintenance. However, according to an ARC study, 82 percent of machine failure occurs randomly. Only 18% of equipment fails because of age.
Manufacturers can improve their maintenance schedule by leveraging industrial IoT and data analysis. For instance, using industrial IoT sensors enables a manufacturer to gather real-time data on equipment performance, alerting maintenance in case of a dip in performance. As a result, the assets get repairs before it breaks down and stalls the factory floor.
Related to the above, IoT-driven digital manufacturing reduces downtime significantly by providing a timely, accurate, and high-quality production environment.
Downtime is costly. When a machine stops working midway during a run, everything grinds to a halt. The current product can be a total loss.
However, with IoT sensors on critical equipment, manufacturers can detect and rectify problems in real-time when performance declines. As a result, the factory floor can keep running uninterrupted.
Safety and compliance
Manufacturers incur a considerable expense in implementing and ensuring compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA standards). This is mainly true for traditional reporting systems that rely on disparate data points and information.
IoT-driven solutions can cut down the compliance and reporting expense by connecting siloed information and adhering to the stringent compliance frameworks.
Digital manufacturing solutions feed relevant data from the manufacturing plant on risk, work schedule, and inspecting reviews. Consequently, manufacturers can use this data to create better working environments that abide by all health, safety, and environmental laws.
For some, such as food and beverage manufacturers, IoT-driven digital manufacturing ensures continued compliance with stringent FDA laws. By adding sensors into their equipment, manufacturers get up to the minute data on quality compliance, eliminating a tedious manual checking process.
Maximize revenue growth
IoT digital manufacturing solutions boost factory output by up to 30% by cutting lead times, product lot sizes, and time to market. Simultaneously, they improve product quality and reduce waste. As a result, it increases customer satisfaction and boosts sales.
Combined with reduced downtimes, predictive maintenance, and savings on energy consumption, IoT-driven digital manufacturing solutions have the potential to reduce overall overhead costs. As a result, manufacturers gain improved efficiency and the agility to deal with emerging threats such as the recent supply-chain disruptions.
IoT extends beyond the above benefits. With new applications coming up every day, manufacturers can expect better efficiencies across their operations, such as smart resource metering, smart packaging solutions, improved safety in operations, etc.
Looking for an IT team that understands IoT implementation in manufacturing environments? We’re here to help. Give Pronix a call.