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7 Ways Operations Benefits From Smart Factory Applications

The impact on your operations team is an obvious choice when you are looking for a meaningful perspective on smart manufacturing. As frontline workers, these people will be the first to benefit from any smart factory solution.

But what exactly will these benefits look like?

Reduced Downtime

No manufacturers like downtime. It's expensive, frustrating and wasteful.

Downtime is a big deal for your operations team, where the impacts are felt with special severity. Delays, supply chain disruptions, missed deadlines, interrupted tasks - these are just a few things your operations specialists struggle with as a result of downtime.

Although downtime will always be part of the manufacturing process, it doesn't have to be the end of the world. Smart manufacturing makes it possible to reduce downtime across the board with solutions like preventive and predictive maintenance. When downtime does occur, smart manufacturing tools limit its impact and help operations to recover more quickly.

Streamlined Production Processes

With your smart factory, every day can be a new industrial revolution. That's because smart manufacturing allows your operations team to capture production data, analyse patterns and identify the simplest, most effective way to do things. When someone discovers a better way of working, a new best practice, that information can quickly be applied to your production process and shared across your business.

Improved Incident Responses

As anyone on the operations team knows, it's easy for a small production issue to become a catastrophe. Cushioning the impact comes down to your response - was the right thing done at the right time to solve the right problem? If the answer is no, the operations team suffers because they're the ones who have to get the production process back on track. If the answer is yes, the crisis can be averted so the team can focus on working efficiently. Simply put, smart manufacturing helps keep "panic mode" at bay and gives operations experts the data they need to make incident response a breeze.

How IT Benefits From Smart Factory Applications

You operations team aren't the only people who can enjoy a smarter, better manufacturing process. In fact, pull back the curtain and you're likely to find the entire IT department enjoying the success - because after all, IT has an important role to play in the selection and implementation of smart manufacturing systems.

Smarter Tech Adoption

Smart manufacturing helps IT teams make better decisions. When real-time data is always within reach, IT experts can identify gaps and inefficiencies. Armed with better information, they can select the best tech tools for the job instead of burdening themselves and other departments with devices they don't need. 

For example, instead of throwing sensors around, the team can decide exactly how many sensors are necessary and where they'll gather the most useful data. That's a pragmatic choice that saves time and money while delivering far more accurate results.

Simplified Big Data Management

IT teams and Big Data go together like manufacturers and machines: One really can't exist without the other. Unfortunately, this can mean that IT ends up drowning in loads of data you may not need. That's where smart manufacturing comes in.

With a firm strategy in place, a smart factory has all the tools necessary to manage big data. With effective analytics, simplified storage and a unified view, smart manufacturing solutions improve the quality and reliability of data from across your factory. This, in turn, makes it easier for your IT team to turn this information into actionable insights and business improvements.

Improved Interoperability

That's just a fancy way of saying "smart manufacturing helps your IT department and your operations teams to get along".

The truth is these departments don't always see eye-to-eye. One doesn't always understand the needs and goals of the other, which can result in disjointed communication and flawed tech utilisation. However, with smart manufacturing systems at their disposal, IT teams can better analyse operations issues - and, just as importantly, suggest solutions grounded in actual data. That means the operations team will be able to exactly see what IT is talking about instead of just taking someone's word for it.

This leads to a better relationship between two of the most important teams in your manufacturing plant. It also helps align goals across the departments and make decisions that actively benefit everyone involved

Looking for more information? We can help with that...

If you want to know more about Smart Manufacturing and the difference it can make to your business, we are here to help. Give us a call on 01254 685900 and your local Field Sales Engineer will be happy to arrange a site visit to kick off your digitalisation project.

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