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Re:do technology to scale up manufacturing
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Re:do technology to scale up manufacturing

June 5, 2024 6:17 pm

Scalability evaluates production methods, maximising resource utilisation and increasing capacity to accommodate fluctuating volumes. Technological advancements are prompting manufacturers to adjust the quantity of parts, subsystems, or products they produce, either up or down, in response to market demands.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin.

Today’s manufacturers need to be flexible enough to adjust their production levels according to market fluctuations and take advantage of evolving opportunities. Once you have assessed your current manufacturing capabilities, creating a growth strategy required to boost capacity is essential. This may involve automating certain tasks, upgrading equipment, and implementing advanced software for better supply chain management. All are aimed at enhancing efficiency and reducing production time. However, achieving greater scalability in manufacturing processes remains a challenge. It is necessary to understand that investing in new technology and equipment comes with cost, so evaluation of potential returns is necessary before making any decisions.

Scalability

Scaling up production involves transitioning from small-scale to large-scale manufacturing, which presents various challenges, such as ensuring timely execution, controlling costs, and maintaining quality standards. This process begins with developing a prototype based on data collected from a pilot plant, typically part of a research and development facility. The ultimate goal is to achieve flexibility in production output without sacrificing quality, efficiency, or cost-effectiveness.

In factories of today, proficiency in a range of technologies is essential.  It may span from the complexity of 3D printing for component creation to setting up sensors for accurate data gathering, facilitating seamless data exchange between humans and machines.

Digital twin to process

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, offers a means to enhance scalability by generating parts or elements of a product through computer-assisted designs. Adopting 3D printing for internal capacity expansion is an additional avenue to leverage supplier networks for scaling operations based on part requirements. Manufacturers can enhance the scalability of their manufacturing processes by implementing dynamic production planning. Anticipating unforeseen shifts during the planning phase, before the commencement of manufacturing, enables greater flexibility in the supply chain and smoother production workflows.

Staying current with modern manufacturing techniques like additive manufacturing and digital twin technologies will place companies at the forefront of innovation, says Devaraya Manjunath Sheregar, President of TAGMA India. Digital twin technology offers the ability to adjust production levels to achieve mass personalisation in manufacturing. A digital twin simulates all facets of the manufacturing process, from design to testing and performance. It can pinpoint where production needs to be scaled up or down to accommodate workload fluctuation. Moreover, it can highlight areas for enhancing production processes. Smart manufacturing facilitates scalability by minimising the risk of production disruptions. Manufacturers must adjust production volumes in response to fluctuations in product demand. In smart manufacturing, operators analyse data from equipment sensors and automate production systems. 

Technologies to scale up manufacturing

It is essential to assess current  data accuracy and reliability processes to achieve optimal efficiency before integrating new technology. Automation and robotics deployment can increase output while maintaining quality and precision. Additionally, advanced AI and ML-based data analytics techniques can be employed for predictive maintenance, reducing downtime and enhancing supply chain functions. As highlighted by Gaurav Chandakkar, Marketing Manager at VEGA India Level and Pressure Measurement, the sensors play a vital role in cost reduction by improving production efficiency through self-diagnosis systems that continuously monitor sensor functions.

In addressing manufacturing challenges to scale up processes, the initial focus should be  design refinement to automate manufacturing processes, standardise components, and minimise costs. Innovative technologies enable cost reduction by ensuring accuracy from the outset and reducing setup times and changeover durations. This approach facilitates customisation through parametric design rather than addressing each requirement individually.

Zurvan Marolia, Senior Vice President and Head of Manufacturing at Godrej & Boyce, emphasises the importance of strategically integrating innovative methods and technological advancements on the shop floor. Automation and robotics implementation streamline operations, decrease manual labour, and enhance efficiency. Advanced data analytics and AI solutions offer valuable insights into production workflows, supporting predictive maintenance and resource optimisation. Leveraging IoT devices enhances machine communication, improves supply chain visibility, and enables remote monitoring. Lastly, workforce development ensures employees get the necessary skills to operate and maintain advanced technologies to overcome challenges.

Scale up processes

Overcoming manufacturing challenges and expanding processes relies heavily on collaborative efforts. Continuous training and upskilling of the workforce are paramount. The industry’s ability to adapt to new technologies heavily relies on a skilled workforce. Investing in training programs ensures that employees remain updated on the latest advancements. Pay importance to personnel development, forge strategic partnerships, and foster a culture of continuous innovation to tackle manufacturing obstacles and enhance scalability. By collaborating with technology suppliers and industry leaders, access to new technologies and best practices accelerates process enhancements and scalability, fostering sustainable growth and competitiveness within the industry.

Implement agile methodologies to adapt to evolving market dynamics and customer needs, ensuring responsiveness and efficiency in scaling processes. Manufacturing means to drive sustainable growth and competitiveness in the industry through innovation, collaboration, and talent cultivation.

Emerging practices 

To maintain competitiveness in today’s changing market, Indian toolmakers must take strategic actions. Implementing Industry 4.0 practices can optimise manufacturing processes. With anticipated growth in demand, expanding production capacity is crucial. Scaling up operations enables companies to meet rising market demands and maintain a competitive edge.

In the pursuit of scaling manufacturing processes, integrating IoT technology into equipment helps to gather real-time data on machine performance, maintenance requirements, and production metrics. Similarly, leveraging Big Data Analytics enables thorough analysis of large volumes of manufacturing data. This results in identifying patterns and facilitating data-driven decision-making to enhance process efficiency, reduce downtime, and optimise resource utilisation.

Manufacturers can enhance their production capabilities through Value Analysis. It involves reviewing product design and processes to lower total production costs while maintaining product quality and functionality. Additionally, implementing lean manufacturing principles, such as Just-in-Time production and continuous improvement, aids in optimising workflows and minimising inefficiencies.

Furthermore, implementing waste reduction strategies such as recycling, reusing, and reducing materials helps lower the overall cost of raw material procurement. Supply chain management systems assist in optimising inventory levels, reducing supply chain disruptions, and cutting transportation costs. Additionally, adopting energy-efficient solutions not only minimises the environmental impact of manufacturing but also reduces energy consumption and operational costs.

Multiple technologies can boost production efficiency and cut costs when expanding manufacturing operations. According to Satish Mahajan, Country Manager – India of Absolent Group, investing in automation technologies enables replacing manual or repetitive tasks, slashing labour costs, minimising errors, and enhancing precision. Advanced automation technologies prove highly effective in increasing production efficiency. Streamlining workflows, optimising resource utilisation, and continually refining operations influence production efficiency to result in cost reduction.

Utilising software tools for evaluating production capabilities, efficiently allocating resources, and planning for increased demand can optimise production efficiency and trim costs. Capacity planning software, in particular, is highly efficient and can substantially enhance production efficiency.

IIoT and AI technologies

Expanding production is critical in today’s competitive manufacturing environment. A strategic approach involving technologies like IIoT, machine learning, and AI is essential for automating operations, streamlining workflows, and deriving insights from data. According to Nitin Rawat, General Manager of Production at Addverb, IIoT facilitates real-time data analysis. AI and ML algorithms identify patterns and optimise production schedules, leading to increased productivity and decreased downtime.

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The abundance of data generated presents opportunities for further optimisation. By integrating these technologies, manufacturers can improve their processes while reducing production costs. This technology-driven approach establishes a foundation for sustainable growth and long-term success.

There is a growing emphasis on leveraging technology to expand operations, reduce costs, and boost production efficiency. Industries are increasingly turning to innovative solutions to tackle the challenges of a dynamic market. Embracing automation, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and additive manufacturing has become vital for sustainable growth. Integrating automation and robotics into production processes streamlines operations, reduces reliance on manual labour, and enhances precision, ultimately leading to increased productivity and lower operational costs in the long run.

Deploying IoT devices and connectivity across the manufacturing ecosystem facilitates communication among machines. It enhances supply chain visibility and enables remote monitoring and control, improving efficiency and responsiveness. As customer needs evolve, building systems that can adapt and meet these changing demands is better. Today’s customers, exposed to global offerings, increasingly seek customised solutions.

Ensuring accurate fulfilment of customer orders in component-based manufacturing poses unique challenges, requiring tracking  components from raw materials to delivery to ensure error-free orders. Digitalisation and Manufacturing Execution Systems play a critical role in this process. In the mass market sector, data analytics enables understanding customer preferences to ensure timely availability of products on shelves, meeting demand efficiently.

Operational efficiency

The manufacturing sector can overcome challenges by closely monitoring various aspects of its operations. It calls for regularly evaluating production processes, equipment performance, resource usage, and supply chain dynamics. It pinpoints inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas needing improvement.

Deepak Pahwa, Chairman of Pahwa Group and Managing Director of Bry-Air, emphasises streamlining production workflows and enhancing manufacturing processes. Implementing lean manufacturing principles, optimising layout designs, and standardising operating procedures are methods to eliminate waste, reduce cycle times, and increase efficiency. Concurrently, quality control measures enable manufacturers to uphold product quality and consistency while scaling up production, achieved through regular quality audits and the deployment of quality assurance systems.

Monitoring processes using key performance indicators and performance metrics significantly enhance manufacturing operations. Regular tracking and analysis of performance data enable the identification of improvement areas and facilitate data-driven decision-making for scalability.

Conclusion

In conclusion, achieving scalable manufacturing requires attention to organisational structure and work plan. Addressing challenges such as unexpected equipment failures can cause delays. Hence, leveraging smart sensors on critical equipment can aid in this effort. The pharmaceutical industry, facing increased demands from customers and regulators, must accelerate process scale-up and industrialisation through effective tech transfer strategies to reduce time-to-market.

To manage costs and enhance scalability, manufacturers must explore innovative approaches such as investing in workforce skills, adopting Smart manufacturing technologies, revisiting business processes, and integrating variability into manufacturing processes. It is imperative to assess and improve production lines, inventory management systems, supply chain management, and quality control processes to increase efficiency and reduce production time. Additionally, evaluating the industrial feasibility of new technologies early on and developing concepts for their exploitation can drive success in scalable manufacturing.

————

Devaraya Manjunath Sheregar, President, TAGMA India.

Keeping pace with modern manufacturing methodologies, such as additive manufacturing and digital twin technologies, will position companies at the forefront of innovation.

Satish Mahajan, Country Manager – India, Absolent Group.

Software tools assess production capabilities and plan for increased demand to help optimise production efficiency and reduce costs. 

Gaurav Chandakkar, Marketing Manager, VEGA India Level and Pressure Measurement Pvt. Ltd.

Automation and robotics implementation increase the output significantly while achieving quality and precision.

Zurvan Marolia, Senior Vice President and Head of Manufacturing, Godrej & Boyce.

Implementing IoT devices and connectivity throughout the manufacturing ecosystem fosters simple communication among machines.

Deepak Pahwa, Chairman, Pahwa Group and Managing Director, Bry-Air.

The ability to conduct regular tracking and analysis of performance data gives access to identifying areas for improvement while enabling data-driven decisions.

Nitin Rawat, General Manager Production, Addverb.

Implement agile methodologies to adapt to changing market dynamics and customer requirements, ensuring efficiency in scaling up processes.

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