“Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It’s coming up with ideas, testing principles & perfecting the engineering, as well as the final assembly.” This quote by James Dyson perfectly encapsulates the fast-paced manufacturing industry, where success hinges on one’s ability to harness the latest technological advancements.
Big Data is one such technology. Yet, the magnitude of data available can be daunting, leaving many manufacturers needing help to turn it into a strategic advantage. If you have already read our previous blog on Demystifying the Buzz around Big Data: Understanding the Fundamentals & the Underlying 3Vs, you know where we are going:
Big Data in Manufacturing: From Assembly to Analytics
Leveraging big data is no longer just a matter of improving operational efficiencies; it’s about staying ahead of the curve. The ability to make data-driven decisions, gain a competitive edge, and positively impact the economy are just a few of the benefits. It’s time for manufacturers to weigh the potential of Big Data as a key driver for growth:
- Predictive Maintenance: One strategy gaining traction in manufacturing is using Big Data for predictive maintenance and quality control. By harnessing data from device sensors and other sources, manufacturers can predict when equipment will likely fail and schedule maintenance before a breakdown.
- Supply Chain & Energy Optimization: Supply chain optimization empowers real-time insights into supplier performance and demand forecasting and provides a decision-making approach. In the same vein, energy optimization applies data-driven measures to curb energy consumption while minimizing cost.
- Data-Driven Product Development: Customer data analysis enables manufacturers to discern preferences and unfulfilled demands, thereby aiding new products that align with customer needs. This approach not only increases sales figures but also boosts customer satisfaction, thereby accelerating business growth.
Now you might ask, “Are these use cases purely hypothetical, or are there practical examples of corporations leveraging Big Data?” The answer is “There are!”
Instead of just talking about mission statements, many companies have already embraced this idea. Let’s take a look at some examples of companies that are leading the innovation:
- General Electric: As a manufacturing conglomerate, General Electric is committed to operational efficiency through its “Brilliant Factory” program. Armed with sensor technology and data analytics, GE could root out production bottlenecks and execute corrective actions to yield a 20% cycle reduction time.
- Amazon: It’s hard to talk about technology without mentioning Amazon. The company’s logistical prowess is second to none, thanks to its unparalleled ability to collect and analyze vast amounts of customer orders, weather patterns, and traffic congestion data – all of which are testaments to data-driven decision-making.
- Procter & Gamble (P&G): The company leveraged meteorological forecasts to anticipate demand and optimize production schedules. The results speak for themselves – P&G has achieved a 17% reduction in inventory levels and a 20% decrease in production costs, cementing its position as a forerunner.
Big Data: The Crystal Ball for Manufacturing’s Future?
But the industry must become data-driven and embrace the power of Big Data to remain competitive. The move towards Industry 4.0 is one of the most significant trends involving integrating technologies like IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data Analytics, intending to create an automated manufacturing ecosystem.
AI-powered predictive analytics, for instance, can be used to forecast demand and adjust production accordingly. This presents a significant opportunity for manufacturers who can successfully harness the power of Big Data and reap the potential benefits. What benefits, you may ask? Let’s skip that discussion for our next blog.
Stay tuned to Rucha Yantra’s Knowledge Corner.