Host: Kurt & Mandy Guntner
Overview: While drinking Unshackled Cabernet, Kurt and Mandy discuss Smart Manufacturing and what size organizations should use it. Check out the latest episode from Lift & Tilt.
What is Smart Manufacturing & Who Should Use It
Over the past few years, there’s been a distinct tendency to associate smart manufacturing with mega-enterprises in sectors such as automotive, aerospace, and the process industry. In fact, the roots of this radical, data-driven approach lie firmly in the German Mittelstand of family-owned, industrial small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
What is it?
Smart manufacturing (SM) is a technology-driven approach that utilizes Internet-connected machinery to monitor the production process. The goal of SM is to identify opportunities for automating operations and use data analytics to improve manufacturing performance. And, it all starts with gathering data to help drive decision making.
Is it expensive?
For smaller enterprises, the most worthwhile returns will often be found in enhancements to productivity and efficiency. That’s not just because these businesses tend to work on very tight margins. With fewer resources in terms of both plant and manpower, it is even more important that they are consistently doing the right things, at the right times, and in the right places. For example, in one SME use case we’re familiar with, data analytics is pivotal to ensure that production lines are continuously balanced to optimize inventory utilization.
Isn’t it only for large enterprises?
Far from being the preserve of larger enterprises, smart manufacturing is a thoroughly democratic asset that can and should be considered by businesses of any size. Not merely to level the playing field, but to tilt it in favor of manufacturers that are simply better at exploiting the rich insight buried within their production data.
Industry Week | Democratizing Smart Manufacturing
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