Manufacturers are experiencing a revolution within the industry. Now able to retrieve an incredible amount of data from their facility on a scale never before imagined, they have unprecedented insight into their operations. From the internal temperature of their machines to the amount of energy being used each second, this technology continues to open up new doors for the modern manufacturing enterprise. However becoming a ‘smart’ manufacturer isn’t just about collecting data, it’s about being able to draw real-world information out of these data points. This is where the power of analytics comes in.
Let’s take a look at the 3 main reasons Analytics is critical in the modern manufacturing industry.
Collecting data isn’t the hard part, it won’t bring your business directly into the 21st century. The power lies within the ability to analyze this data and draw conclusions. For example, if a machine is running too hot, vibrating slightly too much or on average, spitting out parts that don’t meet specifications, it might be time for maintenance.
Most manufacturers use a periodic maintenance schedule to manage their equipment.
However, slight inconsistencies in the performance of equipment may go undetected by people, but will still have a direct impact on a business’s bottom line. With the ability to store and analyze the right kind of data, a manufacturer can spot these inconsistencies before they cost the business any more money. Furthermore, a manufacturer can gather some seemingly insignificant data which could end up having a big impact on the business when analyzed.
An industrial manufacturing operation calls for some heavy duty temperature control systems. If a business can see exactly how much it’s costing them to heat/cool their facility each day and if that data begins to spike or become inconsistent, it can signal an issue with their electrical or temperature control systems. A problem that may have gone undetected for years can now be discovered as soon as the issue starts costing a business money. These kinds of applications are only a few examples, but will still have a major impact on a manufacturer’s ability to remain competitive.
Keeping An Eye on Efficiency
Manufacturers are always trying to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of their equipment and workforce. With Big Data and analytics, businesses now have a more accurate way to keep track of how efficient their business really is. When every second can cost a business money, being able to isolate an issue by analysing data points throughout a facility can come in handy. Manufacturers can locate bottlenecks and help further their push to create the most efficient facility possible.
Being able to analyze all the data gathered can also have another benefit. Tests can now be ran to discuss which procedures are the most efficient. This has always been done, but no where near as accurately when compared with modern data collection and analytics software. Having the ability to know exactly how much more or less efficient a process was, takes the guesswork out of the equation. Managers can now rest easy knowing they are making the right call to benefit the business as a whole.
A Manufacturers Crystal Ball
The market is constantly fluctuating and clients needs are ever changing. Trends can be hard to pin down, especially when working internationally. Manufacturers now have a crystal ball at their disposal that can help determine what products will be in demand and when. Forecasting demand is just another benefit of modern analytics.
Data isn’t isolated just to the shop floor, manufacturers can capture and analyze data coming in from around the world. Using this information, software can figure out which products they should focus on or if they need to scale back production so they don’t end up sitting on inventory. Modern analytics for the manufacturer is invaluable and when it can safe a business money, it can be the difference between a thriving company or the doors closing forever.
These points stated above are only a few reasons why analytics is critical in the modern manufacturing industry. With manufacturers collecting more data than ever before in history, it’s vital they are able to capitalize on the data’s value. This is only possible with proper procedures in place to analyze all that information. As the manufacturing industry continues to become more connected and advanced, analytics will only become increasingly important.