As online sales remain above pre-pandemic levels, the modern manufacturer must continue to find ways to upgrade their factory floor moving into 2022 and beyond. Increased consumer demand, the high cost of transportation and supply chain issues impacting raw materials delivery are encouraging manufacturers to modernize operations. To improve operations, Industry 4.0 solutions and factory floor assessments can help manufacturers collect real-time data for waste reduction while increasing efficiency on the production line. Most manufacturers are beginning their Industry 4.0 journey with questions like:
- What is Industry 4.0?
- Why should I care about it?
- Where do I get started?
- Who can I trust?
To help answer these questions, FactoryEye has carefully crafted an address book of partners that includes mentors, like Scott Phillips, who bring manufacturers easily digestible answers to common Industry 4.0 questions. Phillips, founder of i4Score, is passionate about helping manufacturers become more data-driven, efficient and profitable with an assessment tool that creates a roadmap for manufacturers to begin their Industry 4.0 journey. Phillips has found that many US manufacturers are applying information and operating technology slower than foreign competitors in the automotive, aerospace, or medical device spaces. Updating technology can help manufacturers and its workforce make more timely decisions so that they can more consistently achieve business goals. With i4Score, Phillips helps FactoryEye customers pinpoint areas that can benefit from digital transformation while navigating budget and time constraints that affect front office and factory floor decisions.
Insights for Mid-sized Manufacturers
Along with the ecommerce boom, manufacturers are currently experiencing unprecedented supply chain issues, labor shortages, and the need to remain competitive with insufficient skilled resources. Manufacturers are searching for solutions that will help address these challenges, which is where thought leaders can step in to help mid-sized manufacturers understand their challenges and why they may struggle with making timely decisions. Industry associations have been encouraging manufacturers to upgrade operations by decentralizing decisions, increasing information transparency, and avoiding data silos. I4Score has made it its mission to help manufacturers become more competitive by deploying smart technologies, which strategically aligns with FactoryEye’s manufacturing intelligence platform for mid-size manufacturers.
The benefits of Industry 4.0 may be unfamiliar to many mid-sized manufacturers, but a few simple steps can smoothly introduce smart manufacturing processes to their factory floor. To start this process mid-sized manufacturers should pinpoint their biggest pain points on the factory floor. By distributing an internal survey to employees, companies can collect feedback from hourly works, supervisors, and leadership team members. Since these assessments must include diverse perspectives across years of experience and functional roles at the facility, they can bring a true overview of operations. After the assessment process is complete, the answers should be consolidated to provide a deep-dive analysis that outlines areas in the greatest need of investments. These areas are where FactoryEye can step in with its flexible Industry 4.0 solution.
Interconnectivity is vital for success since factory floors operate many systems, including a mixture of on-premises and cloud-based solutions. This can result in an abundance of scattered information where solutions like FactoryEye are able to collect data from mission-critical systems like CRM, ERP, SCM, PLM, as well as data from machines on the production floor. FactoryEye integrates this data so that the information is digestible and understandable on a single, centralized dashboard for operators and leadership.
One way that Industry 4.0 helps fill labor gaps is through the elimination of manual data collection. Instead of collecting data through older utilized methodologies like paper and pencil or spreadsheets, FactoryEye’s Industry 4.0 solution automatically collects, analyzes, and transfers data to a centralized dashboard. This eliminates human collection error, and the employees who were manually collecting data can be redirected to other needs on the factory floor.
“Industry 4.0 is solving efficiency problems through the utilization of technology,” said Phillips. “And the people who really know what the problems are, are the lower to mid-level people, and they either don’t get asked enough or get asked the right questions in the right ways to retrieve and retain the information of problem areas.”
Every mid-sized manufacturer has a unique set of issues, but a disconnect between floor workers and upper management is incredibly common. To help address this, employee responses to internal assessments can identify areas where mid-sized manufacturers need a solution like FactoryEye. And in order to find the right solution provider, manufacturers should consider utilizing consultants such as Phillips, who connect mid-size manufacturers to smart manufacturing solutions and resources they need in order to stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving market. By working together, FactoryEye and i4Score can provide a complete picture and solutions for a manufacturer’s challenges.
A Background of Valuable Experience
Phillips’ fifteen years at Whirlpool Corporation gave him great experience and knowledge about state-of-the-art manufacturing practices and lean techniques. However, he now finds it more rewarding to work with small and medium-sized manufacturers with Industry 4.0 solutions as an insightful consultant with i4Score. If you would like to learn more about Scott Phillips and i4Score, please visit i4score.com.
How do I get started with Industry 4.0?
If you are a mid-sized manufacturer and would like to find out more about FactoryEye please reach out on our website and you will hear from our team shortly. We cannot wait to show you how quick and efficient an Industry 4.0 transition can be for your team.