Making process and quality improvements in the industrial setting have never been easier with technology. In fact, according to Statista, emerging technologies are forecasted to grow by 104% from 2018-2023.
This doesn’t mean that all factories need to overhaul their equipment and install the latest and greatest. But often, simple solutions using technology are the most effective. Below are some examples.
Quality Management Software
Quality management software is designed to help you collect and track data so you can consistently produce products that meet or exceed customer expectations. This type of software can be used to control every aspect of the manufacturing process, from raw materials to finished products.
By using quality management software, you can improve communication between departments, reduce waste, and increase efficiency. For example, you can use the software to track which products are defective and identify the root cause of the problem. This information can then be used to make process improvements.
This is especially helpful for companies that manufacture products with many different components. Quality management software can help you track which component is causing the problem and take steps to correct it.
Sensors are another simple technology that can be used to improve the manufacturing process. Manufacturers like Sensors Incorporated design sensors that can be used to monitor a variety of factors, such as temperature, pressure, and vibration. By monitoring these factors, you can ensure that your equipment is operating correctly and make necessary adjustments to prevent problems.
Moreover, there are data loggers that are used to automatically collect and store data from various sensors and devices. This data can then be used to track trends and monitor conditions in the factory or warehouse.
By using sensors in tandem with data loggers, you can reduce wastage due to spoilage, save energy costs, and improve process control.
Warehouse Management Systems
Warehouse management systems are designed to streamline the storage and retrieval of inventory in warehouses and other storage facilities. This type of system can be used to track the location of inventory, schedule stock replenishment, and generate reports on inventory levels.
By using a warehouse management system, you can improve inventory control, reduce storage costs, and increase operational efficiency. For instance, you can use the system to track inventory that is close to expiration and schedule it for replacement.
In addition, you can use the system to create reports on inventory levels. This information can then be used to adjust production levels and avoid shortages. Moreover, the system can be used to track the movement of inventory throughout the facility. This information can then be used to optimize the layout of the warehouse.
Automated Guided Vehicles
Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are computer-controlled vehicles that can be used to move materials around the facility. AGVs can be used to replace manual labor, which can help to improve safety and reduce errors.
AGVs can be equipped with various sensors, such as cameras and lasers, to navigate the facility. They can also be equipped with grippers or forks to pick up and move materials. In some cases, AGVs can even be used to load and unload trucks.
By using AGVs, you can improve material handling efficiency and reduce the need for manual labor. In addition, AGVs can help to improve safety by reducing the risk of accidents.
Predictive Maintenance Software
Predictive maintenance software uses data collected from sensors to predict when equipment is likely to need maintenance or repair. This information can be used to create a maintenance schedule that minimizes disruptions to production.
By using predictive maintenance software, you can reduce downtime, improve safety, and extend the life of your equipment. For example, you can use the software to monitor the vibration of a motor. If the software predicts that the motor is about to fail, you can take steps to repair or replace it before it breaks down.
In simple terms, predictive maintenance software can help you avoid problems before they occur. This will, in turn, improve the efficiency of your operation and reduce production costs.
Asset Tracking Systems
Asset tracking systems use RFID tags or barcodes to track the location of assets throughout the facility. This information can be used to create asset utilization reports, which can help you optimize your workflow and prevent losses due to theft or misplacement.
By using an asset tracking system, you can keep better control of your inventory and improve operational efficiency. For instance, you can use the system to track tools and equipment that are often misplaced. This information can then be used to create a more efficient workflow.
In addition, you can use the system to track the maintenance history of each asset. This information can then be used to create a preventive maintenance schedule.
Technology has come a long way in recent years, and there are many simple technologies that can be used to improve the manufacturing process. By using quality management software, sensors, asset tracking systems, predictive maintenance software, and warehouse management systems, you can reduce production costs, improve quality control, and increase operational efficiency. In short, simple technology can make a big difference in the manufacturing industry.