Flexibility and scalability in manufacturing are always in demand. While these traits are often desired and less commonly actually attained, there is new technology and software within the industry that can help organizations out. The ability to utilize physical inventory software, NAV barcoding and time trackers can help transform an organization from slow and unwieldy to quick and efficient.
Jim Camillo wrote on Assembly Magazine that Shannon Precision Fasteners, a manufacturer located in Michigan, has been using software to help make its products since last year. The software helps workers determine good and bad fasteners they make with much greater accuracy than ever. Analysis from these tools is able to verify that customer specifications are met, thereby helping workers more quickly spot where errors are.
Innovations such as this have brought forward a “paradigm shift” in the manufacturing industry in the last few years, Camillo said. He spoke with Floyd Dickson, vice president of sales for Tutelar Technologies, who said software remains popular and helps make for zero-defect marketing across multiple companies.
“Process reporting is important, but it only provides a likelihood that parts will be good in the future,” Dickson told Camillo. “To guarantee good parts, the software must be able to coordinate and control all manufacturing activities as each part is being produced.”
Dickson said his organization has been able to utilize GPS technology to help figure out where each part is and guarantee 100 percent attention to ensure everything is put together correctly.
Dan McKiernan, president of one software company, said the driving force behind this new technology is the need and want for mobile and barcode technology. Kiosks, mobile devices and other portable technology has allowed for real-time tracking and status on goods. Rick Caldwell, president of SCADAware, calls this a “post-PC era” where plant managers are able to implement iPads, apps, smartphones and other technology to have their needs met and information received right at the click of a button.
Control of processing becoming trendy
John Koten wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership has spelled out some crucial areas of the manufacturing technology industry, including process control.
“In a modern factory, sensors not only help guide increasingly nimble machines, but also provide the information necessary to manage the operation of the factory as a whole,” he said. “Products can be tracked from inception to the point of delivery and, in some cases, even beyond. The moment anything goes wrong in the process – i.e., the humidity inside a spray booth isn’t optimum for a paint – a sensor can detect it and issue an alert to the machine operator or even to the plant manager’s cellphone.”
Other current trends in manufacturing technology, according to the group, include:
– Sustainable manufacturing to maximize production and minimize energy
– Digital technologies to improve how companies work
– Industrial robotics that can operate all day
Learn more about the benefits of automated time collection by downloading the free white paper entitled “Justifying the Switch to Automated Time Collection” from DMS today.