4 factors for an innovative manufacturing environment

  • Zita Rüdiger
  • Production

More and more companies are focusing on Industry 4.0 or Production 4.0 and the production environment is constantly changing. This brings new opportunities and in turn new challenges. To be successful or stay successful in the long term, companies need individual solutions in the area of Industry 4.0, digitization and automation. Those who do not keep up will quickly lose ground to the competition due to the associated increase in productivity, quality, flexibility and delivery speed and will no longer be able to hold on to a possible competitive advantage.

To enable an innovative manufacturing environment, there are four factors you should pay attention to:

1. Digitization/transformation of the operating model

Many traditional companies linger with their old-built systems, barely moving forward and failing to grow.

There are many different reasons for this – but the most common is insecurity or fear of the new and an unwillingness to transform the organizational structure.

But in order to keep up with the competition or even gain a competitive advantage, companies need to make investments in precisely this area and can no longer remain idle.

The digital transformation is fundamentally changing structures and value chains in companies. The former capacity and production limits on the shopfloor are being greatly expanded.

You can identify a successful implementation of digital transformation by:

Increase in sales

Digitization strengthens the bond with existing customers and opens up access to new customers. New target groups can be addressed, thus increasing sales in the long term.

It is important that the development and implementation of the digital business model is fast, results-oriented and data-based.

Cost reduction

Costs can be reduced by expanding digital processes. This is also achieved through the targeted use and expansion of existing data and the derivation of concrete and specific measures.

Innovation projects can be tested and realized on the basis of existing and relevant data and ensure longer-term success.

With the help of artificial intelligence, it is also possible to make optimum use of capacities and reduce resources and costs.

Involvement of employees

Digital transformation in companies can only be successful if employees and managers accept and push the change. Technologies are important – employees are more important. People are still the ones who bring ideas for innovations into the company and implement them. It is therefore important to know the skills of employees and to use them correctly. Employees should also be able to develop business approaches independently and implement them.

2. Continual improvement

The continuous improvement process is supposed to lead the company to grow in the market through continuous small improvement steps and to steadily increase competitiveness. This includes process, product and service qualities. It is a guided process that is used to introduce new standards. In order to involve machine operators and employees more closely in these decision-making processes, it is possible for them to provide feedback on introduced standards via their industrial smartwatches, thus creating an exchange between lean management, the foreman and employees. Problems and their solutions can thus be examined and addressed together in all facets.

3. Data

Data is also becoming increasingly important in companies. Most decisions and decision and process optimizations today are based on data.

Thus, for the past few years, corporate data management has experienced a great upsurge, gained a new significance and been expanded across the board.

It is important that the data is available at the right time in the appropriate quality to be processed further and thus generate added value for the company.

4. Software

To create an innovative manufacturing environment, the use of software is indispensable. This is considered a basic requirement for digital processes. It is important to use software that is as new and modern as possible and not outdated software, since these have significantly better and multiple capabilities. In addition, the right software should be used for the respective application, i.e. a combination and networking of complementary softwares. This prevents data silos and ensures that all relevant data is backed up and forwarded to the right places.

If new software is being tested in the company, it is important that the increased data flow does not interfere with ongoing operations. This can be achieved, for example, by using a two-WIFI network. This makes it easy to see how much data the software under test requires. If the required data volume is below the maximum availability of the common WIFI, the software can be used without hesitation. Otherwise, either the maximum availability of the WIFI or the software should be adjusted.

Finally, it is crucial that a software can be flexibly adjusted to individual requirements and can be continuously adapted or improved. Particularly important here is the implementation of software users’ wishes, which are ideally prioritized through the evaluation of collected feedback.

Once you have integrated these four factors into your manufacturing environment, you will have taken a big step towards an innovative production environment and secured a competitive advantage over many of your competitors.

To get an aucobo solution tailored to your company, feel free to contact us!