Without a doubt, technology drives innovation and manufacturing. These new inspirations often revolutionize the way things are made and the trickle-down effect goes through many industries. In many cases, the digital technologies that people are comfortable with outside of work – iPads, phones, etc. – have made their way into the plant and the results of taking advantage of technology are very promising.
For example, General Electric has noted a serious decrease in unplanned downtime – as much as 20% of previous numbers. It credits this turnaround to a combination of lean manufacturing principles and a combination of important strategies centered around technology. Here is what they do right.
Vision. GE prioritizes spending a lot of time envisioning what the future might look like. Asking the question about what we could do if money were no object can be more than just a thought exercise – it can turn up creative and cost-effective ways to make big improvements in your manufacturing process. For example, just because you think you are limited to a certain amount of space on your factory floor doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of utilizing innovative heat exchangers or mixers that can work within your preexisting pipeline and floor plan.
Embrace change. Change is incredibly difficult for many people, even with the promise of a better process. Still, refusing to change with the times can create a serious issue, especially in the manufacturing world. Now that data in the form of the Internet of Things is here, it is time for manufacturers to begin to grapple with it. Legacy technology, for example, is a way of holding onto the past, and it may cost in the form of too much energy to run, wasted raw materials, etc.
Bring in the right people. When you need a jump-start on a new process, you need to consider bringing in people who can help you make those critical leaps as quickly as possible. Collaboration is key in identifying problems and devising creative solutions.
Komax has a long and storied reputation of providing innovative products to revolutionize the manufacturing process. How can we help you take advantage of technology?