Five Questions about Smart Manufacturing
Questions about Smart Manufacturing
Question One: What’s new?
By definition, the answer keeps changing.
To start, the explosion of Smart Manufacturing has been made possible by:
- Cheap, available, retrofit-able (to older machinery) sensors, to grab data from the factory floor
- Powerful CPUs
- Massive amounts of data storage
- Big data analytics, often on cloud platforms
- Intelligent devices, the Internet of Things.
Collectively, this has led to the breakdown of the old wall between the role of plant floor operations (“we operate as productively as we can”) and management (“we handle the money side.”), manufacturers can now run their facilities as a digital enterprise.
Question 2: Who cares?
This is an easy one every one of your stakeholders! Your shareholders care because they want greater profitability; your employees care because they want the best tools, plus the career advantage of working in a modern environment. Your customers care because they want more for less. And your competitors care because you’re more of a threat if you’re a Smart Manufacturer.
Question 3: Why now?
- Because the payoff is remarkable. Sooner started, sooner realized.
- Because your competitors are. And without Smart Manufacturing, you won’t be able to compete. It truly is that simple.
- Because change always happens more slowly than we think. We believe deeply that much of successful change is about people not software or machinery. Ignore the people side and your change initiative will fail.
- If you don’t start now, you can’t play quick catch up in a matter of days, weeks or months. It’s more than a new process, it’s a new way of operating. And that doesn’t happen overnight.
Question 4: Why me?
Why you? Which means you’re a potential champion, a person who can pull colleagues and leaders together to make progress happen. And every change needs a champion.
Question 5: What do I do now?
Join groups, online and/or actual
Find supporters colleagues you work with today or have in the past, outside consultants who can offer counsel and professional services, your immediate supervisor or any other leader who seems open to new ideas.
“Smart Manufacturing transforms traditional factories from cost centers into profit centers that progressive businesses will strategically invest in to increase sales” said Salomón Juan Marcos Villarreal, president of Grupo Denim.