Automation first came to the factories with the hydraulic lifts in the simple fluid mechanics that lowered the manpower involved in pulling up heavy goods and machinery. As science advanced so did the automation processes and now with the leaps we have taken in web and mobile technology, factories and plants are moving towards hassle free floors, paperless administration.
In this feature we will look at the following aspects of mobility in manufacturing:
1. The Next Phase in Manufacturing
2. Driving production and distribution using data analytics tools.
3. Cutting operational costs
4. The benefits of mobility in manufacturing.
The POTUS may have promised the working class more jobs in manufacturing but the truth is the industry is becoming too advanced technologically to recruit entry level employees. Manual labour is being replaced with robots and the only help the AI requires is in the maintenance of hardware and advancement of the pre programmed algorithms. Modern day manufacturing equipment comes with built in sensors to automate simple processes like production count, temperature control and lubrication.This is just the beginning of the automation advantage. Add to that a powerful mobility layer and you have a paperless administrative and manufacturing solution. This can translate into benefits at the inventory planning and distribution stage.
The underlying point is that the manufacturing industry in any geography needs IOT and mobility to stay profitable and significant. In the Workshop of the World : China, Shenzhen is quietly expanding business and technology to take over the next phase of manufacturing. To retain its title as the ‘manufacturing capital’ they are making technology that enables IOT into the conventional industrial manufacturing practices. Industries across the world are using mobility layers to streamline management. Mobile apps built atop the IOT equipment help managers see through processes from stage one, ie resourcing raw materials to the packaging of the final product. The plus point being that a plant manager would accurately point out where and how to employ solutions to optimize production without additional costs involved. The maintenance and labour can thus be channelled to work on the right problem areas.
This is not a sudden development as some conventional understanding and obsolete plant management techniques would make you believe. IOT has been the in thing for half a decade. But the IOT and mobility partnership has now been fortified by the data invasion. This is the astute realization that to boost any industry data has to be turned into structured information. With automation taking over, as the production boomed managing all the randomly generated data became an impossible task. With human errors leading to huge losses at the inventory planning and supply chain stage. That’s where mobility and process management through mobile layers jumped in.
While most plant managers grapple with the labour intensive production processes in the the developing nations still, the supply chain section incurs losses. A 2016 Mackenzie report suggests that the so-so level of transparency and coordination in the supply chain management has costed industries more than 35% of the expected output. While introducing better planning and forecasting accuracy for specific markets led to decrease in inventory time from 55 days to 30 days. Such forecasting requires an extrapolation of data. This data needs to to be extracted, recorded, structured and then applied.
The mobility solutions built to track plant processes can also be used as channels to extract useful data. With Mobile analytic platforms on the rise, these apps can be pre fitted with data management and tracking facilities. These tools can be modified to work with diverse use case.
They can even structure this data over a time period and create reports with overlapping sections pooled in to give better insights. The tools also provide periodic reports that can be projected as customized cohorts. Learn more about these tools here.
While it is easy to get carried away in the production boom with highly automated plant functions, one cannot neglect managing human resources for maintenance and management purposes. These sectors alone cost an SMB about 20% of their gross revenue. Hence better management of these sectors becomes an inevitable function.
At AppStudioz we have built solutions for global conglomerates to ease their operational difficulties across geographies. Our clients include major consultancy firms, automobile giants and pharmaceutical moguls. One of our products, an HR operational management desk helped one of our multinational clients iron out difficulties in managing operational costs of the internal travel desk. Download our case study to learn how mobility helps manage operational costs.
Adopting an IOT automation + Mobility management solution has the following benefits for a plant :
Add to our blog with your comments and insights about the manufacturing industry. For any questions on IOT and mobility in manufacturing please leave a comment or contact us.
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