4 Challenges of Smart Manufacturing

Smart manufacturing leverages disruptive technologies such as IIoT, cloud computing, and AI to name just a few. The convergence of these technologies serves to connect people, processes and systems, to drive seamless operations and improve quality and efficiency. Real-time visibility means information is available at the right time for better decision making. In this ecosystem, processes and workflows are able to communicate seamlessly, and users are able to receive timely notifications and alerts through wearables, PCs and mobile devices. This aids in faster resolution of issues, as well.

Smart manufacturing drives easy modeling and design of machine parts and equipment, which in turn enables innovation and growth. However, there are some hurdles to overcome.

1. Data Elicitation

In manufacturing, the entire process (resource management, quality, finance, HR, subcontracting, production, sales, and service) is managed by a number of systems. Business systems and manufacturing systems give out data in different formats and contexts, making it difficult to use them together. Therefore, to make intelligent decisions, the first hurdle of contextualization needs to be overcome.

2. IT Issues

Most manufacturing companies have an overworked IT team that may not have the capacity to deliver the growing number of applications required to set up a smart ecosystem. Internal IT teams also need to take care of infrastructure and application integration, that demands certified individuals to operate the process. There are also network compliance issues to be tackled before setting up new infrastructure.

3. Change Management

Applications must be agile enough to adapt to changes, as change is a norm today. IT systems need to incorporate change management programs that will cater to new application development and data extraction needs. The greater the demand for customization, the more the time it takes for new processes to be integrated.

4. Legacy Systems

Huge legacy systems can be found in most manufacturing houses. Most of them are neither scalable nor flexible. They do not support new integrations and offer old-style dashboards to display performance data. They cannot process data rapidly and do not support real-time reporting. Since the growth rate of today’s manufacturing companies is fast-paced, and the volume of data generated is huge, working with such systems has increased the complexity for IT teams.  The legacy systems are not agile and hence, cannot align with a company’s rapid growth.

Smart manufacturing enables companies to go past these hurdles and achieve a fully connected and automated system. This enables businesses to operate proactively and more productively. Smart manufacturing uses a combination of various technologies such as cloud computing, analytics, Blockchain, and AI that help optimize the entire manufacturing process, thereby increasing the profit margins, as well.

InApp has over a decade of experience delivering disruptive solutions that drive great transformation and innovation. Are you interested in exploring a transformative solution with us? Get in touch with us today.



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