For example, if a key shipment of 100 sub-assemblies is due next week at one of their final assembly factories, a supply chain manager can log into the feeder factory that is to ship these critical subassemblies to check production status. If that supply chain manager sees 200 assemblies at final test, they can have high confidence that the 100 subassemblies due will be shipped on time. The same system can be programmed to provide real-time alerts to supply chain staff and executive management when important FGI levels trend outside of preset limits.
Real-time data analytics for nedical device manufacturing
Another scenario where we see real-time data analytics coming into mainstream use is in the manufacturing of very high volume, complex products. In one case, a customer came to us with a medical device that included a sensor that had out-of-the-box accuracy of +/- 10 percent, but needed the sensor calibrated to reach an accuracy of +/- five percent to be competitive in the marketplace. This product is made in high volume, with one device being built every second. Without automated analytics and calibration, this type of product could not be manufactured at a reasonable price point.
The method we devised was the device sensor could be calibrated by taking five real- time measurements during production, using calibration equations and coming up with correction factors that were then loaded into the medical device’s memory. All of this was accomplished at the rate of one device built per second. This approach enabled the customer to differentiate themselves in the marketplace in ways that would not have been possible without real-time analytics and calibration.
Image courtesy: Pixabay
There’s nothing simple about managing modern factories and supply chains. The repercussions of geopolitics, trade negotiations, regulatory changes, rising energy costs, and resource scarcity complicate matters even further. Real-time management and remediation capabilities are essential to keeping everything running when there are so many external variables, third parties, physical locations, and inherent product complexities in the mix.
This is especially true in highly regulated industries, such as medical, aerospace and automotive, where tolerance for defects is near zero and every component and process along the way must be monitored, inspected, traced, and documented. Access to performance and production status at the product, workstation, production floor, plant, regional and global levels is an imperative.
Global manufacturing leaders simply do not have the time or resources to waste on long, complicated solutions deployments. Requirements and product lines change rapidly; engineering changes are a fact of life, even in high volume production. Keeping up with the impact of emerging technology on consumers, clients, suppliers, and everything in between is a constant challenge. Solutions that bring IIoT, analytics and cloud technologies together in easily deployed, flexible platforms are now available, and providing real business value.