Advancements in technology are quickly changing the landscape of virtually every industry, especially that of manufacturing. Modern advances are enabling factory operators to streamline production processes, innovate at a faster pace than ever before, and deliver higher quality products to meet changing demands. Because of the versatility of these technologies, there are a number of areas within manufacturing where the tech is being harnessed.
Artificial Intelligence: AI is being used in a variety of ways, including detecting whether employees are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as for predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance is a proactive approach. It takes a more real-time, data-driven approach to identifying the potential for issues very early on. Predictive maintenance with the help of AI, takes measurements from machine operations as they are occurring and uses this data to raise red flags when indications of a problem are noted. Unplanned downtime and reactive maintenance are productivity destroyers for your facility, yet almost all maintenance is, by necessity, reactive. Predictive maintenance practices, however, can change that situation, making it even easier for you to be proactive and to make more informed decisions about what inventory to keep on hand. Data sensors and monitors can help you understand which equipment is more likely to need maintenance or replacement parts in the nearer future, making ordering decisions less of a guessing game and more of a data-backed methodology.
Enterprise Resource Planning: ERP is the use of technology to streamline many administrative and logistical aspects of manufacturing. This can include financials, supply chain operations, commerce activities, report generation, and human resource functions. Technology isn’t just for use in the manufacturing process itself, as you can see there are ways in which it can benefit the behind-the-scenes functions in order to improve productivity in the workforce itself. You should consider a consultant to see if you’re ready to implement ERP if you have not already, as a good technology integration plan can increase the productivity of your facility, reduce unplanned downtime and, most importantly, make a positive impact on your bottom line.
For more tips to develop or update your technology integration plan and other examples of technology’s role in manufacturing, check out the infographic below!