According to a recent McKinsey & Company’s Industry 4.0 report there is an opportunity to create USD 3.7 trillion of value in discrete manufacturing in 2025. However, only 30 percent of companies are tapping into Industry 4.0 solutions. The 68-page report focuses on two key hurdles that 70% of the industry faces: where to focus and how to scale. Discrete manufacturing refers to the manufacturing of finished products that are distinct items capable of being easily counted and assembled. For more information on Industry 4.0 solutions for discrete manufacturing visit Intouch Systems website: https://www.itspl.com
According to Vijay Singh the CEO of Intouch Systems, to understand the complexity of discrete manufacturing it is important to understand how discrete manufacturing contrasts with process manufacturing. In process manufacturing, the product is created by using a formula or recipe to refine raw ingredients and the final product cannot be broken down to its basic components. Industries such as petrochemical, food processing and packaging, pharmaceutical and life sciences are examples of process manufacturing. The material flow for discrete manufacturing is complicated as multiple manufacturing routes are possible for the same product. It further gets complicated by intermediate subcontracting at various stages. The volume or batch size for production generally is small to even single piece movement in some cases. For process manufacturing the material flow is simplified and easier to manage but the volume or batch size of production is usually medium to large. For more information on Industry 4.0 solutions for discrete manufacturing visit: https://www.itspl.com
The key challenge according to Vijay Singh is in the dynamic real-time capture and transmission of information. Information flow for discrete is multifaceted as each being disconnected, requires information to be transferred manually between the operations leading to delays and confusion. With process manufacturing each process is integrated in a predefined sequence and requires a low degree of information flow. Manufacturing plan for discrete manufacturing has frequent changes sometimes as high as 10 to 12 times a day as it is based on bill of material defined and multiple routes of manufacturing of sub-components or assemblies. The resources are generally shared. Process manufacturing generally uses a recipe and the ingredients are blended or refined in medium or large batches which doesn’t require frequent change. For process manufacturing generally the resources are dedicated to the process.
Companies with discrete manufacturing need to implement a solution that can provide information in real-time across the entire supply chain and is flexible enough to accommodate the various complication highlighted earlier. Flexibility is important as the complexity differs from product to product and can change over time within the same manufacturing plant. Very important aspect that must be addressed by the solution is that it is user driven (configurable) and can accommodate frequent design and process changes that may be necessary from time to time. Schedule changes are inevitable and needs to be addressed without maintaining high inventory. Re-planning based on revised schedule, breakdowns and available inventory should be addressed as and when required and communicated to all concerned in real-time. For more information on Intouch Systems please visit: https://www.itspl.com
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