How to take advantage of digital manufacturing and traceability to enhance efficiency
Friday, 30th June 03:25PM
The digital revolution is happening all around us. Nowhere is this truer than in manufacturing, where businesses are taking advantage of recent technology development to drive innovation.
The cause of this trend? Well, quite simply, it’s data – specifically, the ability to utilise it to achieve significant improvements in business performance. Managing and analysing data effectively is helping to optimise factory operations and boost efficiency, while enhancing product quality.
And it looks like this is just the start. Indeed, industry analysts forecast a 7.6 percent growth in digital manufacturing between 2016 and 2020.
One of the most valuable ways in which data is helping manufacturers is in the traceability of critical components, from conception as raw materials to use in application. Through accurate full life cycle traceability, firms throughout the supply chain can identify the origin and process history of each part in real time. This level of control cuts money, waste and time associated with recalls. It’s possible to drill down into the data to instantly locate the quality risk and identify exactly where the part is located in an assembly so it can be repaired rapidly. Analysis of the data also enables the root cause of quality escapes to be detected and prevented in future and highlights where process improvements can be made for greater productivity.
Implementing traceability in digital manufacturing operations requires a system that includes three essential tools – precision marking equipment, vision devices and data management software.
As a global leader in marking and traceability, we know the importance of providing a complete solution that comprises these three vital elements. Our sophisticated traceability systems include laser and dot peen marking tools that ensure each raw material receives a unique identification mark as early as possible in the manufacturing process. This ID is then recorded before and after each machining, manufacturing and assembly stage to build up data associated with the part – everything from the details of the machine operative to the temperature in the factory.
Specially developed software then works in tandem with marking and vision equipment to store and manage big data, and allow for real time reporting of conditions. It also enables information to be shared securely throughout a manufacturer’s facility, as well as with other locations and organisations in the supply chain. Thus, the software ensures quick solutions to critical issues as each individual component can be traced in complete assemblies anywhere in the world - making any necessary recalls as quick and cost effective as possible.
With this degree of intelligence and control, multinational companies can realise the full potential of digital manufacturing and traceability for greater overall efficiency and enhanced productivity. And with profit margins tighter than ever before, the sooner they implement this, the better.