With the advent of Industry 4.0 technology and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), a major digital revolution is taking place. As a result, the manufacturing industry is undergoing a transformation driven by analytics based on real-time production data. This data is allowing for quicker, more informed decisions and is giving way to widespread automation.
Manufacturing equipment can now be connected through collaborative technology that can provide massive amounts of data to analytics platforms. These new technological advances allow data to be collected and analyzed in real-time to inform decision-making and significantly improve manufacturing. Let’s take a closer look at manufacturing analytics and the benefits to the manufacturing industry.
Data Analytics in Manufacturing
So, what is manufacturing analytics? This type of analytics involves collecting and using machine, operational, and system data to manage and optimize production. The data and subsequent insights improve key functions of production, quality, maintenance, and planning. Using data to improve output and efficiency in the manufacturing process is not a new concept. The older process of data collection involved factory floor employees doing data recording and checking. Due to human error, however, these methods often produced flawed and inaccurate results.
With a revolutionary digital transformation underway today, manufacturing companies have joined many industries worldwide in implementing new business intelligence technologies. Collaborative technology has given rise to connected devices that have the ability to communicate with each other and report real-time data. This means that machines and processes across the entire supply chain can be monitored and altered as needed in a more immediate time frame. The technology and software utilized for advanced analytics and algorithms produce real-time insights that are more actionable than ever before.
Big data has become the new output for manufacturers. Automated data collection and analytics are behind many new processes, from real-time product quality monitoring to diagnosis and predictive maintenance. Manufacturing analytics produces big data that can be leveraged to improve everything from planning and production to product delivery. Manufacturing data improves equipment performance, reduces cost, increases output, and brings to light insights about productivity.
Benefits of Manufacturing Data Analytics
Manufacturing analytics provides companies with production awareness in real-time. These instant insights give product managers and plant floor employees data to make decisions and immediately improve processes. As a result, companies can reduce production costs, improve product development and quality, and optimize customer satisfaction. The benefits of manufacturing analytics allow companies to reach productivity and profitability levels by utilizing massive data streams. Manufacturing data has given rise to visualization tools, dashboards, and advanced analytics enabling better decision-making across the industry.
Insights revealed through manufacturing analytics can lead to a significant reduction in overall costs. As business decisions can be optimized based on immediate feedback from collaborative machines, managers and leaders can make instant changes to save money and reduce waste. The introduction of robotics and autonomous equipment also reduces the need for labor and can free up employees to work in other aspects of the plant. Predictive maintenance programs can also lower costs and increase productivity by reducing downtime.
An additional benefit of manufacturing analytics solutions is improved inventory management. With data insights providing better demand and supply planning, manufacturers can respond better to changes in demand. Based on big data analytics, factories can add capacity, alter processes, or adjust other aspects of production to respond to changing conditions. This will impact processes across the entire supply chain and ultimately aid with customer satisfaction.
Manufacturing analytics pairs new software capabilities with big data to introduce predictive analytics, industrial internet of things, and business intelligence into the manufacturing industry. It provides better visibility into the operations and processes on the plant floor and allows business leaders to make informed, impactful decisions in real-time.