What Is Smart Manufacturing?
Manufacturing is full of potential opportunities for digitization with smart manufacturing and the new technologies and software it’s made up of that help improve processes and increase productivity and profitability.
Read on to learn more about what smart manufacturing is, the technology that makes it possible, and how you can begin to use it in your organization.
What Is Smart Manufacturing?
Smart manufacturing is a general term for the digitization of manufacturing processes, including supply chains, production, logistics and distribution, sales, and stocking.
It’s not just one thing, it’s the culmination of many technologies and solutions that each play a specific role throughout the production process.
Smart manufacturing utilizes the internet of things and industry 4.0 to better connect equipment and software which then work together to record, report, and analyze streams of data using AI, machine learning, and automation to make more accurate predictions and decisions.
This collaboration between machines helps to streamline supply chains, inventory management, and distribution.
Smart manufacturing helps manufacturers stay on the cutting edge of modern manufacturing technology while making them more efficient, more profitable, and ultimately more competitive.
The Benefits of Smart Manufacturing for Businesses
Smart manufacturing brings many positives to businesses who properly implement the necessary technology, such as:
- Increased Productivity: Smart manufacturing increases overall productivity throughout the manufacturing process by automating certain steps, freeing up time for the human workforce to focus on more important tasks, and by streamlining logistical processes like shipping and inventory management.
- Higher Quality Service: Track orders more effectively and quickly to help reduce waste and increase the speed at which orders are made and fulfilled.
- Reduce Errors: Automation with smart manufacturing removes much of the need for people in processes that typically require a lot of repetitive, manual input. This means reducing common human errors in data entry and ensuring the necessary compliance measures are met.
- More Accurate Reporting: Along with the reduction in errors, more automation means tracking more data with higher accuracy. This improves data collection, provides more accurate reports which can then help you make informed, data-driven decisions.
Common Technologies Found in Smart Manufacturing
Smart manufacturing is filled with modern technologies that come together to make everything work. Here are a few of the most common technologies found in manufacturing and the part they play in streamlining manufacturing processes.
AI and Machine Learning
AI and machine learning are some of the most important aspects of smart manufacturing because they work together to gather more data and make data analysis faster and more accurate.
Advanced AI and machine learning is more able now to also make simple decisions based on the analyzed data, decisions like predictive maintenance to anticipate upcoming needs.
Automation in manufacturing helps to streamline processes by giving them over to robots rather than humans who can then focus on tasks that require more critical thinking.
These automated processes now work faster, more efficiently, and are more accurate.
Using the power of cloud storage in manufacturing means not having to store a lot of data on-site, saving you space, money, and improving the overall security of the data.
Cloud usage in manufacturing can link multiple locations and combine the data to get a better, more holistic view of the status of your business.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The industrial internet of things (IIoT) is the use of wireless connection of devices, machines, and processes within a network.
IoT in manufacturing ensures all your systems are communicating and gathering data so that you have a much better understanding of what’s working, what’s not, and how you can increase efficiency and productivity.
Getting Started with Smart Manufacturing
Organizations who want to get started in smart manufacturing can be intimidated by the prospect of upgrading technology, particularly if they’re dealing with legacy applications.
In this case, it can be helpful to partner with a managed service provider (MSP), like Impact, who has a history of helping businesses establish the technologies and workflows necessary for smart manufacturing and who has a team of experts who specialize in each unique area.
With an MSP like Impact, it all starts with an assessment of your current technology and processes so our team can get a clear idea of what you need, where you need it, and how we can smoothly implement new technologies, processes, and training for your staff.
Smart manufacturing can change the way manufacturers do business by streamlining their production with up-to-date technology and smoother processes.
With the help of an experienced MSP like Impact, it can be easier than ever to integrate them into your business.
Want to learn more about what you can do today to upgrade your business processes? Contact us today to speak with an expert.
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