The COVID-19 pandemic has completely transformed how manufacturing works as an industry. COVID-19 had an impact on supply chains, and when supply chains are affected, entire industries can break down.
However, many industries are discovering how leveraging Smart Manufacturing technology can protect them from many of the negative impacts of the pandemic and help them stay productive and ahead of their continuous improvement goals. While supply and demand continue to roller-coaster up and down, manufacturers can more easily meet these changing needs as they invest in Smart technology for their factories.
Here are 5 ways manufacturers are using Smart Manufacturing technology to stay afloat during the pandemic:
How Smart Technology Improves Efficiency and Productivity
There are a number of ways that these incident prevention and response features in Smart Manufacturing technology can help businesses return to regular efficiency and productivity rates. Here are some of the main benefits Smart technology provides:
Making Up for Staff Losses
Unfortunately, one of the biggest impacts the pandemic has had on the manufacturing industry was causing project managers to furlough workers and strip back their staff numbers to minimum levels. Smart manufacturing technology can help you make up for those losses by automating production processes.
These systems can be integrated into your existing technology to ensure maximized flexibility and to fill gaps where needed. Because they have instant reporting features when something goes wrong, they can oftentimes be even more efficient than a traditional production floor worker.
Healthy Working Conditions
There are many rules and regulations about how to handle COVID-19. Currently, it’s safest to have fewer staff members onsite during one given time and to avoid overlapping shifts as often as possible.
Following social distance protocol becomes much simpler when you can more efficiently spread workers out and use Smart technology to extend communication where needed. This means that your production floor will allow your staff the healthiest working conditions. With smart manufacturing technology, you can also reconfigure all of your staff schedules, so you no longer have overlapping work shifts.
Access to real-time data gives you the opportunity to make data-driven decisions. Dashboards on Smart Manufacturing systems allow you to develop and enhance your continuous improvement goals according to those measurable analyses.
These dashboards also give you additional insight into your equipment, production stages, KPIs, and more, which allow you to reduce waste on your production floor.
Streamlining communication across all departments is a must. You can customize your Smart systems to ensure optimal communication between key personnel and send alerts immediately, resulting in quicker incident responses and resolutions.
Communication can be sent by text, email, or pager, making it simpler for project managers and other supervisors to immediately react when needed. More efficient communication protects your productivity rates and your bottom line by keeping downtime to a minimum.
Smart Manufacturing technology alerts of malfunctioning equipment within seconds. Technology, like an Andon system, has lighting features that will immediately notify of issues that could inhibit production. This makes it much simpler for you to acknowledge disruptions and address these issues immediately.
By putting in place Smart Manufacturing technology, you can better reassess your resilience plans, and monitor potential crisis points through tangible data. Robust action plans, coupled with the correct technology, can give you guidance and insight to make data-driven decisions going forward, protect your business, and plan for future growth.