Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Product Lifecycle in the New MESA Smart Manufacturing Model

Authored by John Clemons, MESA Marketing Committee Chair, based on an interview with Chris Monchinski, MESA Model Sub-Committee Member 

At this point, it’s not new news that MESA International is developing a new Smart Manufacturing Model. It covers a lot of ground with chapters on the lifecycles of supply chain, personnel, order to cash, product, production, and production assets.

The fundamental purpose of the new Smart Manufacturing Model is not to be descriptive in explaining Smart Manufacturing, but to be prescriptive by providing recommendations on how people can be smarter in their manufacturing endeavors.

I recently got a chance to talk with Chris Monchinski, who’s heading up the Product Lifecycle team. He told me what’s going to be in the product lifecycle chapter of the new MESA Smart Manufacturing Model.

He said, “the biggest challenge with managing the product lifecycle is that it’s so intertwined with all the other lifecycles. It intersects with engineering, operations, R&D, product development, supply chain, sales, marketing, NPDI, PLM, contract manufacturing, and on and on and on. It pretty much touches every other lifecycle in manufacturing.”

The main objective of the chapter of the new model is to help people be smart in managing their product lifecycle. This idea is to support the enablement of the constantly evolving view of the product. With this view, the idea is to optimize the product at each point in the product lifecycle.

Managing the product lifecycle is particularly challenging for manufacturing operations. The operations team must be able to constantly change its manufacturing approach as the lifecycle of the product continually develops and matures.

One of the reasons this is especially challenging to manufacturing operations is the overall manufacturing approach must constantly change as the product develops and matures. The approach that manufacturing operations must take is different when the product is being developed, becoming mature, is mature, is expanding, is growing, is past its prime, and is nearing retirement. And that’s not to mention product enhancements, product extensions, product variations, and product customizations. These situations are all challenging, requiring different manufacturing approaches.

Ultimately, it's all about the interaction of the product lifecycle with all the other lifecycles. The fundamental issue is this interaction. Fortunately, there’s lots of elements of Smart Manufacturing that enable this interaction. Elements such as big data, AI, IIoT, simulation, digital twins, digital threads, MES systems, descriptive and predictive analytics, just to name a few.

One aspect that Chris mentioned is the need for data. Chris said, “to optimize the product lifecycle, manufacturing operations must have data on all aspects of the product. They use that data to react faster to the continually changing lifecycle of the product. They must have data on everything about the product. One aspect of the new MESA Smart Manufacturing model is about trying to get manufacturing the data they need about the product, so they can optimize manufacturing, and optimize the product lifecycle.” 

That’s just one part of the product lifecycle chapter of the new MESA International Smart Manufacturing Model. This chapter is on the product lifecycle and there’s chapters on many other key aspects of manufacturing operations. They aren’t academic and they’re not descriptive. They’re practical and prescriptive, dealing with how we can be smart in the real world.

Stay tuned for more looks into the chapters of the new MESA International Smart Manufacturing Model.

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