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Enabling Manufacturing Processes

Manufacturing organisations are replacing linear, operations oriented processes with structures more capable of focusing on individual customer requirements and rapidly changing market demands.

Globally dispersed virtual enterprises enable manufacturers to reach regions without infrastructure investment, and offer products anywhere in the world.


Key Success Factors

Key success factors are increasingly dependent on the ability to respond to unpredictable opportunities and change. Change is being driven by the social and political environment, the needs of the marketplace, and opportunities created by technological breakthroughs.

The main challenges to take advantage of this environment are:

  • Achieve concurrency in all operations
  • Integrate human and technical resources to enhance workforce performance and satisfaction
  • Instantaneously transform information gathered from a vast array of sources into useful knowledge for making effective decisions
  • Reduce production waste and product environmental impact to "near zero"
  • Reconfigure manufacturing enterprises rapidly in response to changing needs and opportunities
  • Develop innovative manufacturing processes and products with a focus on decreasing dimensional scale


New Manufacturing Operational Models

New manufacturing models such as 'Concurrent Manufacturing' are driving a new wave of business process re-engineering [BPR] and business process management [BPM]. Where once, the focus of such initiatives was in more efficient linear sequencing, today the focus is on how intelligence can be imbedded into all operational activities and decisions, with automation and intelligent operation a key process characteristic.

Currently, many manufacturers struggle just to exchange data between different production processes. Advances in data integration and exchange is paving the way for tighter cohesion between processes, such that any alert triggering a change in one process stream, can signal a sychronous adjustment in a concurrent production process.

New methodologies for integrated product and process design and production have significantly reduced time-to-market, however even the most advanced collaborative design software cannot incorporate tacit knowledge, respond to changing markets or organizational structures, or accommodate multilingual or multicultural projects.

This requires the integration of advanced business analytics which melds together market, product and production knowledge in a seamless logical organisation.


Enabling BI in Manufacturing Processes

The key to melding business intelligence and operational processes together relies largely on the enabling technology. At the high level, this demands:

  • Information Technology - System architectures and methodologies for acquiring information and converting it into immediately usable knowledge.
  • Agile Design Methodologies - Capable of adaption based on enterprise reconfigurations
  • New Materials Processes - To create new materials and bulk manufacture them to enable production of new classes of products or radical reengineering of traditional products.
  • Enterprise Modeling and Simulation - Manages the processes to enable virtual prototyping and simulation of complex manufacturing processes and systems to enable ''just-in-time" reconfiguration decisions for products, processes, organization, operations, and control:
    • Conceptualizing manufacturing functions and operations
    • Combining information from many sources into a consistent description of the enterprise and its operations
    • Converting that information into knowledge upon which effective decisions can be made around predictions, optimizations and of system performance.
  • Machine-human Interfaces - Enable individuals to access and synthesize information and knowledge within the enterprise's systems for application in manufacturing operations.
  • Adaptable and Reconfigurable Systems - Enable rapid reconfiguration of equipment, business processes, and manufacturing systems and easily integration into macro-processes and systems.
  • Collaboration Software Systems - Enabling rapid reconfiguration across disparate multiple teams with various functional backgrounds, skill levels, languages, and cultures.
  • Education and Training - Enable workers to participate in the transformation of information into useful knowledge. As floor workers take over decision making they must be skilled at acquiring and processing information in ways that can be used in manufacturing operations.

Next: Concurrent Manufacturing

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Manufacturing Index | General Sector | SMB Sector | Contract Sector | Business Solutions | Technology Used | IT Roadmap | Business Benefits | BI in Manufacturing | Concurrent Manufacturing | BI Solution Requirements | BI Vendors

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