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smart manufacturing

How Smart Manufacturing Can Increase Efficiency, Financial Benefits

smart manufacturingThe future of factories is “smart manufacturing,” which can also deliver financial benefits, according to an IDC report that provides a guide for implementing smart manufacturing.

The latest IDC Manufacturing Insights report, IDC PlanScape: Smart Manufacturing – The Path to the Future Factory, uses the IDC PlanScape methodology to provide the framework for a business strategy related to investment in smart manufacturing.

At its core, smart manufacturing is the convergence of data acquisition, analytics and automated control to improve the overall effectiveness of a company’s factory network. The intent of the IDC PlanScape methodology is to provide clients with a framework for creating a business plan by answering four essential questions: why, what, who and how.

Key findings of the new report include:

  • Use the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) equation to understand the potential benefits, and tie those benefits to financial metrics such as revenue, costs and asset levels to justify investment.
  • Broaden the OEE beyond individual pieces of equipment to look at the overall impact on product lines, factories and the whole network of production facilities.
  • Technology investment can be separated into capabilities related to connectivity, data acquisition, analytics and actuation.
  • A unifying architecture is required to bring the technology pieces together.
  • Move toward an integrated governance model that incorporates both operation technology (OT) and information technology (IT) resources.
  • Choose an investment cadence based on the level of executive support for smart manufacturing.

The US will invest more than $290 million in public-private funding for two new Manufacturing Innovation Hub Competitions, one in smart manufacturing at the Department of Energy and one in flexible hybrid electronics at the Department of Defense, President Obama announced last month.

Photo Credit: car production via Shutterstock



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