Big Data, Big Benefits: How It’s Turning Conventional Factories into Data-Driven Mega Factories

“If Big Data is the new crude oil, the manufacturing industry is the furnace!” – This statement holds its weight as active sources continue to generate an explosion of data while companies seek ways to harness this information to gain insights and optimize operations, and drive growth. To dive deeper into this transformative innovation, read our previous blog on Revolutionizing Manufacturing, which comprehensively explores its impact on the manufacturing industry. Now, let’s turn attention to why exactly manufacturers need Big Data.

To Employ a Data-Driven Manufacturing, That’s Simple!

Imagine a scenario where a manufacturing company is grappling with tons of production data. They have collected this data for years, but it seems like an unsolvable puzzle. It’s frustrating, isn’t it? You might ask, “Why do manufacturing companies need Big Data? Can’t they continue with their old ways?” And the answer lies in the abundance of intelligence that manufacturing companies can derive from this data influx. As Industry 4.0 gains momentum, it’s no secret that manufacturing has come a long way from the days of Henry Ford’s assembly line.

While automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence have made factories more efficient, they generate a colossal amount of data that can overwhelm manufacturing companies. But according to McKinsey, just 1% of this data is analyzed for decision-making, leaving 99% wasted. Remember the paradigm of General Electric? Through rigorous analysis of data sourced from sensors and other pertinent channels, GE has optimized its performance across its array of products – from aircraft engines to turbines. But what aspects did they prioritize?

Critical Benefits of Actioning Big Data into Manufacturing

  1. Enabling Real-time Monitoring: The increased demand for lean production and just-in-time manufacturing has already emphasized real-time monitoring on factory floors. Reports by Frost & Sullivan estimate that real-time monitoring solutions can lead to a 30% waste reduction and a 25% improvement in productivity.
  2. Tailored Offering: Customization has become a critical component of business success; in fact, a study by Deloitte suggests that 36% of consumers expressed an interest in personalized products. For instance, an analysis of customer data can reveal which customer segments most value features or attributes.
  3. Ensuring Workplace Safety: Manufacturers that use data-driven approaches to workplace safety are 70% more likely to achieve their safety goals. With Big Data analytics, manufacturers can identify patterns that may contribute to risks – from identifying hazards on the production line to monitoring worker behaviors.
  4. Sustainable Manufacturing: As the world becomes more conscious of its carbon footprint, manufacturers are turning towards sustainable practices to optimize their supply chain and reduce emissions and energy consumption. Not to mention leaning towards renewable energy sources to enable sustainable operation.
  5. Informed Decision-Making: Manufacturing executives believe that Big Data analytics will improve how they make decisions, with potential benefits such as a 5-6% increase in productivity and a 10-20% reduction in costs. Additionally, allowing them to remain agile and responsive in the evolving manufacturing industry.

But How Can Big Analytics Benefit SME Manufacturers?

Now, you might be thinking, “But isn’t big data expensive and complicated to implement?” And you are not wrong! While it’s true that implementing a Big Data strategy requires a significant investment in infrastructure and talent, the benefits far outweigh the costs in the long run. In fact, a study by Accenture found that companies that invest in big data and analytics outperform their peers by up to 20% in terms of profitability. But how can SMEs capitalize on this investment infrastructure while proactively tackling operational obstacles? That’s a topic for our next blog.

As we provide a guideline on how to adopt big data in your manufacturing setup, stay tuned to Rucha Yantra’s Knowledge Corner. Also, we would love to hear suggestions from you – our loyal audience – on the topic for our next blog series. The next series starts at the end of May, so keep your suggestions coming to our LinkedIn page.

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