The implementation of agile manufacturing with the help of smart wearables brings many advantages for manufacturing companies. At the same time, rigid structures pose a challenge during the implementation. In the following, you will learn more about the advantages of the changeover to agile manufacturing and how companies can benefit from the integration of smart wearables.
Definition: agile manufacturing
The idea behind agile manufacturing is that manufacturing companies can generate a significant advantage over their competitors. This advantage arises from the use of proximity to the market. The goal is to be able to serve the market as quickly as possible with personalized products or services.
Speed and agility are becoming key competitive advantages that can be achieved with the help of agile manufacturing. The transition to agile manufacturing can be made even more effective by integrating smart wearables.
Implementation: agile manufacturing with the help of smart wearables
In rigid corporate structures, it is a challenge to change processes and implement flexible as well as agile methods in manufacturing.
One of the most important success factors is the customer-oriented product design. As the market offers more and more competition, customers are now free to choose where they get their products from.
In order to gain an advantage over the competitors, it is essential for manufacturing companies to align themselves with the development of market demand at an early stage and to implement customer requirements quickly.
However, our focus in the following will be on making manufacturing processes more flexible to support this rapid response to market events.
Technology plays a significant role when it comes to implementing agile manufacturing in the company. The integration of smart technologies that ensure a precise flow of information in real time is important here.
Success factors: agile manufacturing with the help of smart wearables
Flexible assignment of tasks to employees is the basis for an agile and at the same time efficient manufacturing. The integration of smart wearables can greatly facilitate the flow of information within manufacturing.
Manufacturing employees can view and share all relevant information about their work steps with a click on their smartwatch or smartphone. When a task is pending, free workers can accept it simply by clicking on it.
In this way, the information is automatically forwarded to all other employees that the task has already been taken over. The resulting time savings and efficient coordination of employees are core competencies of agile manufacturing.
In addition, all information should be distributed across all departments to ensure the correct and efficient execution of manufacturing orders. The targeted distribution of information is an important factor when it comes to implementing individual customer requirements in manufacturing.
Connecting machines with people also plays an important role in regard of the time savings and efficiency of a manufacturing operation. Agile approaches require quick reactions and adjustments. By connecting the machines with the smart wearables of the production employees, error messages can be quickly recorded and corrected.
The quick reporting of a machine malfunction on the smart wearables prevents long downtimes, which leads to increased machine utilization and consequently supports agile processes.
Furthermore, smart wearables can be used to collect and document all relevant data on the shop floor, which subsequently facilitates the distribution of information across departments.
Advantages: agile manufacturing with the help of smart wearables
One of the most important advantages of agile manufacturing is the reduction of production costs and total costs. By shortening lead times as well as delivery times, the cost factor is significantly reduced. Also the lower production quantities and configurable product components increase the efficiency factor of manufacturing enormously.
Incorporating smart wearables into the manufacturing process will significantly reduce production costs, as faster communication and information transfer will reduce lead times and increase machine utilization.
In addition, agile manufacturing methods result in optimal process and product quality. By responding individually to customer requirements, companies achieve a competitive advantage, which is gained through flexible adaptation of production to the market.
Thanks to highly flexible and responsive processes combined with flexible machines and the integration of smart wearables, manufacturing companies can react quickly to changing demands.
An important advantage is also the increased involvement and transfer of responsibility to employees. Through active involvement and autonomous action, employees can take on tasks in a motivated and effective manner and massively advance production. This is achieved through the autonomous coordination of tasks when employees can organize themselves among themselves via smart watch or smartphone.
Another advantage is the increase in quality, which goes hand in hand with the flexible adaptation of products and services to the respective customer requirements and the reduction of production times through the integration of smart wearables. Customized production can ensure that products are produced in better quality and that fewer rejects occur.
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