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Challenges For Manufacturers

Today’s Manufacturing Challenges

In todays fast changing environment there are many challenges for manufacturers, in this article we will cover the issue of industry 4.0 along with other issues.

  • Those experiencing growth need to double / increase productivity .
    • One of the best ways to achieve this will be through smart connected factories
  • How do we reduce lead time and waste
    • A connected supply chain can help here
  • Halve the time to market ( if not achieve even faster times that this ( I have some major manufacturing companies present on the need to reduce from 100 weeks ( 2 years) to 300 days ) by exploiting data and digital twin
  • Deliver customisation by enabling flexible operations
  • Double labour productivity through integrated intelligent automation
  • Creating increase value through disruptive new business models
Business Supply Chain Challenges For Manufacturers

The need for manufacturers to do things differently

Developing disruptive technologies

  • Moving from castings to additive process
  • Reduce drilling / holes for using fasteners to using adhesives
  • From zero / low robotics to large scale robotic assembly
  • Creating intelligent flexible workstations with AI

The Supply Chain Challenge

  • Cloud based storage
  • Digital Asset Tracking
  • Digital Trust
  • Reduced time to market
  • Predictive analysis
  • New regulations

The 9 components of Industry 4.0

The foundations of Supply Chain 4.0 ( Some say that the points below are all aligning.

  1. System integration
  2. Big data and analysis
  3. Simulation and virtualisation
  4. Internet of things (IOT)
  5. The cloud
  6. Cybersecurity
  7. Autonomous systems
  8. Augmented reality
  9. Additive manufacturing

Volatility – The need for change

The world is becoming more volatile

If we look at surviving a VUCA World – Volatility , Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity and look at the volatility index plotted from 1970 to current Source: Datastream E14 (for crude oil data) Chicago Board Options Exchange

We can see that the world is becoming more volatile and the approaches / stuff we did in the 80’s , 90, 2000,s is no longer relevant.

The challenge

  • Not enough people can walk the shop floor and identify where “disruptive” approaches could provide benefits.
  • Like marketing supply chain is not seen as a skilled discipline
  • Like marketing supply chain needs to be in the boardroom
  • Owners / managers need to understand that leadership is critical Collaborative / shared leadership depends on real experience
  • Cost to serve is a crucial skill that shouldn’t be left to the accountants
  • We haven’t invested in capital equipment (just used more people) and this will ultimately cause issues in Food Production sector where with labour shortages we need more automation

If you would like a copy of the VUCA chart then contact Andrew Goode an experienced marketing and sales professional or for more information on business development approaches click here

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The 4th Industrial Revolution and its impact on your business

Quick recap on the various industrial development stages. In the 1700’s the advent of steam to power machines and provide consistent repeatability of movement was transformational from the previous “manpower”. With Electricity being on tap in the 1800’s this provided all the advantages of lighting and powering. Bring on the 1900’s and computing comes on board to allow programming and increased control.

Note at each of these stages of massive disruption there were manufacturing companies that were winners and losers. Slide rule manufacturers, Fax machines, the steam train etc etc. The change from telephone to smartphone has enabled unprecedented change.

So with Industry 4 in the 2000’s with unprecedented change through the convergence of the physical, digital and biological worlds – how will your manufacturing business survive and thrive?

How does industry 4.0 fit in for your business? What is industry 4.0 for your business?

Lets consider how it worked for a Cambridgeshire based engineering manufacturing company Huxley Bertram

  • using sensors / actuators allowed them to collect large amounts of data from equipment
  • Within the design office ( in fact all office environments) using Evernote and Harvest
  • Using Team Viewer and Google workspace
  • HoloLens – mixed augmented reality product proved perfect where remote site working required and to overcome some of the issues created by Covid

Steps faced in the business transformation

  • Levels of change – staff / team / organisation
  • 6 M tools – manpower, methods, machinery, money , measurement
  • Iterations – make, show, measure & learn
  • People adoption types – work with the innovators and early adopters within the business. Those who are laggards wont thank you for asking them to change their ways
  • You need a project sponsor to make change happen

Challenges For Manufacturers – The 8 step model for creating a climate for change

  • 1: Create urgency
    • 2: Form a powerful coalition
      • 3: Create a vision for change
        • 4: Communicate the vision
          • 5: Empower action
            • 6: Create quick wins
              • 7: Build on changes
                • 8: Make it stick

So as you can see there are essentially 3 major stages to overcome Challenges For Manufacturers. Points 1 to 3 are all about creating a climate for change. From 4 to 6 we are about engaging and enabling the organisation. Points 7 & 8 are all about implementation

Overcoming Challenges For Manufacturers

  • Simplify / Standardise and Automate
  • Always use the Fastest, Safest and Lowest cost process to ensure Right First Time Quality
  • Its all about Data
  • Engineering standards Define the Product. Tools like Visual Factory communicates the optimal process
    • Knowing the detail
    • Knowing the process
    • Doesn’t distract
    • Allows you to focus on the road
    • Essentially What you need to know, When you need to know it
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