In the 21st century, manufacturing processes are changing from manual to automation. One of the factors driving the change is IT manufacturing solutions allowing companies to automate all the possible elements of manufacturing. Companies are also automating the manufacturing processes and adopting IT solutions for various needs such as cost reduction, boosting quality and increasing production speed.
The IT solutions can be implemented in various ways to boost the manufacturing processes. They can be integrated with hardware, software and other systems collectively functioning to meet various manufacturing functions. Here are some of the critical functions of manufacturing IT solutions.
Automate manual solutions
Every manufacturer desires to increase the manufacturing volumes and reduce the manufacturing durations and costs involved. These factors tend to be high since organizations heavily rely on manual labor, which is time-consuming and the volume produced depends on human efforts, scheduling and motivation. The costs are also high since the company must hire multiple workers to work different shifts to ensure the production process constantly runs to meet the desired manufacturing output.
The best approach for companies to eliminate all the costs, delays and heavy reliance on human labor is to automate the entire production system. Machines do not need any breaks; neither do they need any production shifts. They can constantly work hence reducing production time and costs. Machines can also perform redundant tasks without issues, maintaining product quality throughout the process. With the machines, the company can replace over half of the production line employees, nearly cutting down such costs by half.
Quality check and inspection.
Unlike human inspection and product check, no faulty product can pass the machine inspection process unnoticed. Companies face significant losses when they sell low-quality products to customers, including the loss of brand reputation, which affects customer loyalty and trust in the company. Once the brand reputation declines, the company will likely face challenges as its customers move to competitors hence losing the market share, revenues and sales volume. The low-quality products can also lead to increased product returns and money refunds, affecting the company’s financials.
Human beings may not be able to identify most low-quality goods. When inspecting, they are likely to focus on the product’s appearance and other external attributes forgetting that the internal components may be of low quality. Manufacturing IT Solutions solve this problem by integrating lasers and x-ray technology into the production line to monitor the product’s external and internal elements to ensure they pass the quality inspection.
The over-focus on product dimensions boosts the ability to recognize all the product shortcomings regardless of how tiny and unidentifiable they are. Therefore, the solutions are essential to the quality and assurance process. They also limit the cost of quality checks and do not require more time to inspect a product, unlike humans, who may require more time with the product.
Whenever you automate the entire production process, you can easily schedule the production processes without shutting down the entire plant and changing the manufacturing dimensions. The machine operator will input the unit requirements, production time, product dimensions, and other specifications, allowing the system to schedule all the production processes. Once you complete the entries, the machine will maintain the production speed and change according to the product changes.
Alternatively, it can organize the different production needs based on production lines. This is ideal when you operate multiple lines. You can manufacture multiple items simultaneously and at lower costs. Manufacturers can also schedule the sleep and wake cycle to allow the machine to switch off and on without human intervention.
Once the production requirements are met, it will shut down automatically; it can also run without the aid of any employee. You have to set the times and ensure all the raw materials for production are available.
Production line troubleshooting
When operating a fully automated production line, you must be aware of the possible problems that can lead to disruptions, a decline in product quality and production delays or slow-downs. The first process is to maintain the inspection records and ensure you repair or maintain the machines based on the timelines and durations. However, errors can still occur even before the maintenance duration approaches, or sometimes you can forget until the duration lapses.
When you have a manufacturing IT solution, the systems can conduct a production line inspection analysis as part of their daily routine to troubleshoot the whole system. It will inform you about a decline in the production capacity of a particular line prompting further inspection or repairs. The system can also alert you to the source of error once it troubleshoots the whole line for efficiency and reliability. This will enable you to resolve the issue before a breakdown occurs, which can affect the production capacity leading to disruption and increased costs of repairs due to subsequent damages.
You can also use the BOM tools as part of the manufacturing IT solutions. The goals of the tools will be to store different data components of the production line, such as the maintenance cycle. It will inform you and remind you about the upcoming maintenance duration to avoid disruptions due to the lack of maintenance.
Records storage and security
Running a manufacturing facility heavily relies on different types of data, such as customer needs, product designs, quality and the units needed. You need a system to store all the data and factor it into control of the manufacturing process. The IT solutions will use these data to ensure the product specifications meet the market demands and that you respond faster to the market needs.
It will also ensure that critical data, such as those related to IP, are safe and secure from attacks. You can activate different security features to ensure security protocols, such as authorization and data security controls. This ensures you abide by various industry and regulatory data security and privacy protocols.
Manufacturing solutions are critical for boosting company production time and reducing production costs. They do so by ensuring quality and assurance through the production line and preventing errors and disruption. Data storage and security and production schedule. With automation, companies can easily achieve their goals, such as quality, units and production timelines