The Smart Factory: A View from the Shop Floor

Did you know that manufacturers reported a 30% increase in productivity after adopting IIoT technologies and other shop floor automation solutions into their production processes? This is combined with a 32% drop in maintenance costs due to predictive maintenance scheduling. Also 69% of manufacturers improved profitability over the last year by leveraging IoT within their plants and offices. In today's competitive global environment, manufacturers are offered with unprecedented opportunities to build hyper-efficient and highly flexible plants, towards meeting variable market demand and gaining a competitive advantage.

We are on the verge of entering the fourth industrial revolution! It brings in a new wave of smart factories and manufacturers that uses shop floor automation solutions and cyber-physical production systems. It is a paradigm shift that is currently changing the manufacturing process.


Current challenges faced by manufacturers

Manufacturers need a big picture of how the shop floor functions to respond faster and stay ahead of the competition. However, they still rely on complex and obsolete systems to document and capture data, which leads to several challenges and setbacks that can cost time and money.

Most shop floors do not have the know-how or tools, such as sensor-fitted machines to extract data in real-time thus impacting their ability to perform diagnostics and avoid downtime. Also, most machines operate in a standalone mode, leading to unstructured communication on the shopfloor. Further, the duplication and repetitive work tasks of workers delay response time and make the processes slow and unproductive.

This is due to manufacturers, in general, who are reluctant to part with the old-school processes and adopt new skills and technologies. They have grappled with issues, such as interoperability between different machines, tracking information during the production cycle, etc., because of the lack of flexibility.


Why should manufacturers adopt shop floor automation?

How long does it take and how many people are needed to do the data mining required/track down the root cause and affected product in a quality accident? How many weeks or months and how many people does it take, to pull together the data needed for your recertification audits?


Here are a few reasons why manufacturers should adopt shop floor automation:

Real-time Information - Instead of having to wait and see how well production is flowing, shop floor automation enables up-to-minute analysis. This allows you to have complete visibility within your supply chain and locate areas where improvements are needed.

Transparency - As shop floor automation offers data, project insight, and anything relevant to your supply chain, it enables your employees to all work toward the same goal. Accurate data and transparency are a must because everyone must be on the same page to work toward the overall goal.

Production Cost Reduction - Older systems require manually entered data and were not as efficient at locating issues within the supply chain. Shop floor automation is able to locate areas where productivity is lacking and does not require manually entered data. This saves time for project managers who want to focus their efforts on other areas and basically allow production to run by itself.

Support - Teams can solve problems together instead of doing it separately. Shop floor automation enables various departments to interact and communicate with each other, ultimately allowing them to pursue and fix issues collaboratively. This solves issues much faster and saves the entire operation revenue and time.

Predictive Maintenance - Predictive analytics allows for more accurate planning of machine maintenance, which can help reduce machine downtime, increase mean time between failures, and reduce costs of unnecessary preventative maintenance and spare parts inventory.
With predictive maintenance, much of the guessing work is removed because maintenance decisions can be taken by the workers based on the historical and real-time data from the machine itself.

Reduced employee cost - It 's a common misconception that automated systems are expensive. It is true that initially it costs a bomb to get the machines up and running, but once deployed, day-to-day working becomes streamlined, independent and stress-free. Thereafter, you need not depend on workers to get the work done. Spending once on the machines is much better than spending months on tentative employees.

Ready to automate your shop floor to increase productivity and profitability? We at AXISCADES take pride in providing shop floor automation solutions that span the breadth of your shop floor. Our products, services and ecosystem ensures that you have a competitive advantage and are Industry 4.0 ready.


Additional Reading and Resources

Engineering a Sustainable Future – Wind Energy

Read More

Challenges and Opportunities of Heavy Engineering Industry

Read More

Latest defense technology: Air, land, and water

Read More

Automotive Question and Answers

Read More

PLM: Yesterday, today and tomorrow

Read More

9 Real World Applications of Augmented Reality

Read More

Manufacturing IOT trends

Read More

Manufacturing Automation through AI

Read More

Digital Engineering and Data

Read More

System Engineering

Read More

Advent of Radar Age in India

Read More

A Smoother Ride

Read More

The Smart Manufacturing

Read More

Fireside Chat With MITALEE DABRAL

Read More

Interview With AISHUWERYA

Read More

AR and VR

Read More

Additional Reading and Resources

Digital Engineering and Data

Read More

System Engineering

Read More

Advent of Radar Age in India

Read More

Interview With AISHUWERYA

Read More

Follow us