Investing in new manufacturing technologies has undoubted advantages in terms of competitiveness and productivity, but some important factors must be taken into account to reduce the risks associated with the purchase of important company assets.
With the introduction of Industry 4.0, governments are encouraging companies to purchase new plants and machinery. A good opportunity to renew our machines, but also a missed opportunity to truly innovate. What does it mean?
People often believe that investing in new technologies is always a positive thing. This is not always the case. In fact, new technologies will give their best if upstream improvement and optimization strategies have already been implemented. An example?
Let’s imagine identifying a bottleneck, that is, an unforeseen accumulation of parts upstream of a certain phase of the process. The temptation could be to buy a more performing plant to speed up the processing, or to increase the production capacity by duplicating the process. Are we sure it is the most economically viable solution?
Before doing this, it would be advisable to do at least 2 things:
- Perform a line balance analysis;
- Optimize the process (set up, cycle time etc.).
Let’s imagine buying a 4.0 machine, that is, which embeds the connectivity requirements to exchange data and information with our company server about the machine health and other metrics such as throughput and so on. However, why to exchange a large amount of data if:
- we don’t know what the key metrics to be shared are?
- we are unable to collect the transmitted data?
- we are unable to analyze the collected data?
- we are unable to implement corrective actions based on the analyzed data?
Don't Invest in Technology if...
Based on the above, here are some practical tips before making a technological investment. In fact, it is advisable not to invest in technology if before:
- we have not implemented an adequate production management level;
- we have not analyzed our production system at 360 °: are we sure we have identified our problem and that the new technology solves it for me?
- we have not conduct a risk analysis associated with the implementation of the new technology (technical, financial feasibility, skills required, product validation, etc.);
- we have not structured our company adequately to exploit the innovative features of the new plant.
Where to start?
Accialini Training & Consulting can support your company in the process of new manufacturing technology investment, identifying the optimal process, managing the manufacturing capability and in the implementation of solutions for the Smart Factory. In particular:
- Capability Assessment: improve the current process or introduce new technologies?
- Company training on the potential and use of new technologies in the factory;
- Identification of new solutions available on the market;
- Management of new technology introduction using TRL and MRL approach.
Contact us to discuss your needs more in detail.