This article talks about how advanced software help to create more efficient manufacturing.
Today Information Technology (IT) is revolutionising the manufacturing industry. Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming integral part of smart factory.
Software are becoming increasingly important in enhancing machine-to-machine communication that enables efficient ‘Connected Factory’. Predictive Maintenance is one of the major outcomes of using software in manufacturing process. 3D Printing powered with high-end software enables rapid prototyping thereby increases productivity at lesser production cost.
According to Vineet Seth, Managing Director – South Asia and Middle East, Mastercam APAC, “One of the most important information any plant manager or a business owner requires each day, is a process dashboard that will help them analyse critical parameters in their manufacturing process. Doing so, will help them make informed decisions at the right time, thereby avoiding delays, losses and mishaps. They can do this by employing traditional methods, which is of course, expensive, time consuming and prone to manual errors, or, can invest in the right software or IT platform which is faster, more accurate and comparatively, less expensive.”
Software has many potential areas of application in the manufacturing environment, across diverse functions and processes. Training, lifecycle management, knowledge management, analytics are some of the areas where existing manufacturing data can be used to optimise products and processes. Computer Aided Design, engineering, machining, metrology and integrated manufacturing are areas where software assists in simplifying as well as speeding up product and component manufacturing. It also enables teams to work seamlessly, across distance and time-zone barriers. Statistical Process Control (SPC) helps manage and control processes.
“Maintenance and equipment efficiency monitoring is also an area where software can automate many routine tasks, thereby enabling timely response to repair or replacement of faulty or worn out parts. Maintenance, production and equipment efficiency data can then be input into a competent IT system for root cause analysis, failure prediction and process optimisation,” observes Seth.
He adds, “Software systems also provide simulation and kinematics of expensive equipment like machine tools and robots. Programming errors or setup errors can be easily reduced by employing these simulation routines.”
According to K. Manickam, Managing Director, CAD Macro Design Solutions Pvt Ltd (Chennai), “It would be more relevant if we could consolidate the bottlenecks of manufacturing sector to understand the advantages of implementing software in the segment.”
He observes that the recent studies in the manufacturing sector shows that there is a huge disconnect in the demand and supply in the market due to various real-time constrains in the ground. In fact, the die and mould sector which is the parent industry for any manufacturing finds lot of operational bottlenecks in case if they are not automated through software solutions.
“Apart from any operational criticalities, we can take the reduced Turn Around Time (TAT) as the key challenge of the manufacturing segment,” Manickam points out. “Eventually, it hits the second level vendors to work on reduced cycle time with highest accuracy in the floor. Invariably, CAD and CAM solutions are the key dynamics to ensure accuracy, precision and to win reduced cycle time in the manufacturing sector and it is sure for ever that without these, achieving excellence in delivery is proven as impossible.”
Manickam concluded by sharing an encouraging note: “The critical situation in the die and mould industry is unimaginable, compared to 20 years back in India. The importing attitude of clients, increased competition, and reduced margin in the space are making them to go advance in their manufacturing process. Here only, software players like us are supplementing the gap by keep introducing solutions to design, monitor, test as well as to integrate the processes which are started coming out in embedded mode in these days. In fact, our result centric dash boards are helping them a lot to build an integrated manufacturing process thereby improving the overall productivity in the floor.”
Whereas Seth concluded by saying: “Software and IT systems are irreplaceable in today’s modern manufacturing world.”