Developing the Right Software to Power Your Smart Factory

Developing the Right Software to Power Your Smart Factory

There are very few traditional, assembly-line factories still operating in aerospace manufacturing. Modern manufacturing equipment and ERP systems have added an impressive amount of technology to most manufacturing operations. However, just how “smart” are these factories without a high level of connectivity throughout the manufacturing processes?

Based on a survey of the information available on the Internet, one would think that much of the technology that manufacturers have implemented to develop a smart factory was only focused on realizing cost savings by improving machine uptime and reducing quality problems.

The fact is, the savvy manufacturer has moved from using smart hardware to save money, to developing smart software that connects the disparate parts of their operation to support new business models and revenue generation opportunities.

You may be asking isn’t that what an ERP does and, in part, a manufacturing ERP is used for some of the work in smart factories. But custom solutions that enhance the ERP allow the software to support the desired process rather than the process being compromised by off-the-shelf software.

Take for example, a manufacturer who has developed with their floor personnel a new process that will deliver a wider range of parts in less time with a job scheduling and tracking procedure that requires real-time data entry and reporting. With a bit of work, most ERP solutions could handle the processing part of this requirement, but the front-end is often not very user friendly and would require a lot of training for floor employees to learn how to use the very small part of the ERP needed to keep the data flowing.

A simple software solution to provide each station with a touchscreen for reporting a job finished at the station and seeing what job is next would allow the manufacturer to monitor real-time conditions in the factory and be able to initiate action if production is not meeting projections.

As a bonus, once this manufacturer is comfortable with the ability to meet targets, they could use this connection to live manufacturing data to enable the delivery of accurate, real-time progress reports to customers, increasing customer satisfaction and repeat orders.

Triple Helix has provided data and information systems for the aerospace and manufacturing industries for the last fifteen years. Our solutions complement existing technology investments to help companies take advantage of the revenue enhancement that smart manufacturing can provide. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation assessment of your company’s digital tools and processes.

About The Author: Jason Bittner

CEO and founder of Triple Helix Corporation, since 2004. Has worked closely within the Aerospace / Defense / Manufacturing industries for over two (2) decades, solving technical challenges with integrating data and information technologies with best business practices. Jason seeks to educate and inform his readers with the latest news about the information management space, along with insights into how best to operate our companies now and into the future.
May 2nd, 2019

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