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The need for speed accelerates agile manufacturing adoption

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the need for modernization within the manufacturing sector, requiring manufacturers to embrace innovation, technology, and agility with an increasingly open mind.

Agile manufacturing methods allow manufacturing organizations to drive more value, and be more responsive to customer needs and market changes, while at the same time controlling both costs and quality.

Technology and automation power agility and resiliency

As manufacturers move to increase their agility, technology and automation play a critical enabling role. The most resilient manufacturers have put industry 4.0, automation, and digital transformation strategies into overdrive, recognizing that faster adoption of smart manufacturing technologies, industrial automation, predictive maintenance programs, business analytics, and robotics was key to overcoming the challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic and for business long-term survival and growth.

Remote operations are the new norm

There is a growing demand amongst manufacturers for a remote ramp-up of production including the configuration of controls and remote support for mechanical changes. This approach allows manufacturers to maintain COVID-19 restrictions and limit the risk of exposure to staff, contractors, and suppliers.

Investment in remote ramp-up methods can hasten configuration and setup, build up internal system expertise and knowledge, reduce costs (travel, etc.), as well as reduce ramp-up time to full production, all translating to better/faster product output and return on investment. By equipping on-site personnel with the skills and knowledge they need to configure and maintain their systems, manufacturers can achieve better operational performance over the long term.

Smart, connected teams

ATS, our digital transformation partner, has formed hybrid installation teams to augment OEMs’ centralized subject matter experts (SMEs) with regional support and service personnel.

ATS has also introduced its Smart Coach™ point-of-use training content and tools that allow OEMs to transfer knowledge and build a customer’s internal equipment knowledge and experience, with step-by-step instructions to help operators perform tasks while at their stations. On-demand training content can be viewed through computers, tablets, cell phones, and using hands-free displays such as Microsoft HoloLens.

ATS is also using its Illuminate™ Manufacturing Intelligence industry 4.0 smart manufacturing system along with its Smart Coach™ training platform to perform factory acceptance testing (FAT). The ATS project team works virtually side-by-side with the customer to verify that the system and its components are functioning properly, that all manufacturing systems have been configured correctly, and that system performance meets agreed-upon goals.

When equipment is shipped to the site, customers self-install and perform site acceptance testing (SAT) with ATS providing remote support through advanced remote video support and connectivity tools that provide access to machine data captured by Illuminate™ Manufacturing Intelligence.

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This e-book is written specifically for all manufacturers, producers but can also help business companies that want a bigger picture of how Industry 4.0 will affect their work in the ‘next normal’.

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