The phrase “smart manufacturing” has been heard everywhere this past year, and has become part of every discussion related to manufacturers’ need for a manufacturing execution system (MES) or manufacturing operations management (MOM). Some might be under the impression that smart manufacturing has done away with the need for MES to support the coordination of operations processes, but in my opinion that is not the case.
After discussing a few key words back and forth and explaining the importance for each word in the definition, we converged on a sentence that allowed us to encompass the different dimensions and differentiators. Not a catchy phrase but a short sentence that can be used to start the conversation and make some very important points to distinguish Smart Manufacturing efforts from automation efforts of the past two decades. Smart Manufacturing sets a new bar for connectivity and integration.
- Provides information on the efficiency of a machine line or department to allow operators to minimize downtime or waste
- Analyzes the need for raw material of production areas to ensure that it is available when needed while minimizing inventory in warehouses
- Collects and processes information related to the use of raw materials in the production cycle to allow the management system to update the stock availability and correctly the calculate product cost
- Guarantees traceability and tractability to minimize the impact of any recall actions
- Tracks the progress of production to optimize the use of the machines