Smart Manufacturing for Continuous Improvement

What manufacturers should do to build and sustain a continuous improvement with smart manufacturing?
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Determining what to improve for smart manufacturing

All manufacturing companies have the same objectives on the path to success;

1. Increase the revenue
2. Reduce the costs of goods

To increase revenue, the factory should improve customer satisfaction via;

• Quality improvement
• Agility
• Reducing delivery times
• Being sustainable

To reduce costs, the factory should eliminate all losses related to;

• Quality
• Time
• Raw materials
• Energy etc.

Once the losses are clarified, an excellent opportunity borns for the factory by emphasizing the potential areas of improvement.

In the improvement/cost reduction path, there are some manufacturing performance KPIs to be measured and improved, like OEE and availability, performance, and quality ratios; MTBF, MTTR. The detailed KPIs to be measured and improved upon in the manufacturing plant are handled by the ISO 22400 standard.

Building a continuous improvement culture for operational excellence

Nowadays, conditions are changing continuously and swiftly. It is impossible to expect the improved result to remain in an optimum position for a long time. There will always be a better solution to be reached.

The factory should build and keep the culture of continuous improvement to reach operational excellence,and being one of the smart factories.

Most of us understand this and try our best to implement for becoming a market leader. However, the difficulty is at maintaining continuous cultural transformation efforts.

For a successful transformation, the goals and targets should be clear and distributed to every responsible; necessary empowerments should be determined, planned, and implemented regularly. Most of the time, implementation and sustainability are much more difficult for starting operations.

For a successful implementation, all the goals should be in front of the mind continuously. The actual situation should be comparable with the target to direct responsibilities to the necessary actions.

'All the goals' term contains responsibilities at the factory, beginning from the operator up to the CEO. Each responsible level should have the ability to check the difference between the actual situation, target situation, and be directed with what to do easily and immediately.

Nowadays, this is relatively easy with the help of smart manufacturing approximation. Smart Manufacturing enables the factory to set the goals, determine the abilities and needs, and determine the losses and reasons for these losses.

New technologies like IIoT, AI through industry 4.0 actions have a huge influence over the factories to reach high control on store data, process data and so on.

The enablers who take an attention over smart manufacturing try to implement all new things into manufacturing ecosystem in order to achieve predictable maintenance and the big source as big data.

Additionally, the most crucial advantage of smart manufacturing is it's immediate, online, real-time directions. Factory management may take the necessary actions to be excellent before the preparation of reports. A factory can be managed by looking ahead via online tools; instead of looking behind via reports.