The manufacturing industry is rapidly adopting new technologies to improve every aspect of the production process, from factory automation to data analytics, by using ERP software for manufacturing. It is becoming increasingly important to switch to paperless manufacturing to monitor and track shop floor operations. This is where digitization comes in. Digitization in manufacturing involves converting paper-based systems into a digital format using smart technologies and tools. Digitization can increase product efficiency, worker productivity, and overall accuracy when implemented correctly.
Importance of Digitization in Manufacturing
Digitizing your manufacturing processes can have a significant impact on reducing the rework of goods, improving output quality, and boosting your bottom line. Using paper-based reporting can lead to human error, particularly if production procedures are not updated and remain stagnant on a manager’s desk. Manufacturing processes are always evolving, and your documentation should also keep up with these changes. Updating procedures printed on paper can be time-consuming and may not reflect the latest changes. Digitizing through implementing ERP for manufacturing can help your business avoid costly mistakes and ensure that workers carry out their tasks correctly from the first time.
Here are some more benefits of digitization in manufacturing:
- Gaining access to transparent and real-time operational data.
- Tracks and monitors multiple processes.
- Consistency in the procedure.
- Enhance production with human-machine interaction.
- Reduces mistakes on the shop floor.
- Limits the volume of product waste.
- Betterment in worker safety and fewer workplace accidents.
- Lower chances of overproduction due to optimized planning.
- Fewer product rejects, machine idle time, and more.
Digitizing the Manufacturing Process
Digitization aims to enhance operational real-time visibility and facilitate workers in performing their duties efficiently and accurately. To achieve this objective, it is essential to digitize the manufacturing processes. Initially, you need to assess your existing paper-based reporting methods to identify areas that can be automated and streamlined. Advanced ERP for manufacturing changes the operational system through automation. Paper forms are susceptible to errors, product defects, and compliance issues. Therefore, it is crucial to digitize routine processes such as standard operating procedures (SOPs), work instructions, and other paper documents. You can achieve this by using connected worker software like cloud-based ERP software for the manufacturing industry to digitize production processes. Digitization works hand in hand with digitalization, which involves using technologies to automate paper-based processes. Smart devices like IoT sensors offer better insights into management when integrated into your digitized procedures.
Some of these following technologies may include implementing:
- Industrial IoT sensors for measuring and monitoring manufacturing processes
- Machine health monitoring sensors for assessing machine performance.
- ML and AI for enhancing workforce efficiency.
It is highly recommended that you connect all your technologies to a central cloud based ERP software platform and create customized dashboards that are best suited to your company’s goals. Implementing a connected worker solution will provide greater visibility for workers and equipment. In addition, involving managers and leadership early in the digitization of manufacturing processes will ensure its long-term success. Digitization allows everyone to be on the same page, from shop floor workers to the head of the company. All employees must be aware of what needs to be digitized and the best approach to do so.
Digitally Transforming the Manufacturing Process
Digital transformation impacts the manufacturing industry through improvements in safety, quality, throughput, efficiency, revenue, and sustainability while reducing costs to stay competitive in the marketplace. This transformation becomes highly effective by using ERP software for manufacturing and is essential to meet the customer needs and firm competitors in the market.
Here are the major benefits of the digitalization of manufacturing companies:
- The number of accidents and injuries in the workplace goes lower due to implementing digital solutions to improve safety.
- Improving the quality of your output reduces reworking on the products, and warranty work, and increases the satisfaction rate of the customers.
- Improving the process efficiency impacts employee productivity and the bottom line. A stronger bottom line allows you to innovate and drive sustainability in the market while increasing the value for your company, customers, and shareholders.
The advent of digital transformation has brought about the ability to obtain real-time manufacturing data. These digital processes enable the instantaneous capture of data, which can be analyzed for quicker, real-time decision-making by the organization. Using a cloud-based ERP system for this purpose makes the process even more optimized. This is not only useful for reactive responses but also for predictive analytics that can improve future processes and products. It leads to a normalization of preventative maintenance and failure approaches, which directly impact all aspects of the business. Digital transformation in manufacturing grants empowerment to the workforce, allowing them to have a voice in process improvement, hold themselves and others accountable for better performance, and adopt a continuous improvement mindset in business. There are various ways in which empowerment can be achieved, but it is most effective when aligned with the organization’s future vision and communicated effectively with the workforce.
Examples of Digitalization in Manufacturing
The examples of digitalized manufacturing are different just like the manufacturing process and organizations which are different and personalized. Here are a few examples that would provide a brief idea to the manufacturing CIOs, CTOs, and other leaders of the digital transformation.
- IoT Sensors – Using ERP software for manufacturing helps these sensors in measuring and managing the entire manufacturing process. The deployment can be done in the field, manufacturing plants, or any other location where it can collect data for various equipment performances. Different sensors like gas sensors for measuring oxygen quantity, temperature sensors for monitoring the temperature of an object, and pressure sensors that analyze the change in air pressure around a device.
- AI and Machine Learning – Digital transformation powered by AI is revolutionizing manufacturing companies, making them smarter, more streamlined, and safer. One of the most exciting aspects of artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and machine learning is their ability to automate tedious processes for workers, making manufacturing more efficient. They also enable manufacturers to predict trends more accurately and improve quality control, resulting in faster production and reduced waste. Manufacturing companies are already using these technologies in various ways through integrated cloud based ERP software. For instance, one company may use AI to analyze customer data and ensure that their orders meet their expectations. Another may use machine learning to identify patterns in customer data to predict their future purchase preferences.
- Cloud-based ERP Software for Manufacturing – An automated cloud-based ERP system, along with other ERP software for manufacturing, are applications that provide tools for managing various business operations. By safely storing your company’s data in the cloud, a cloud-based ERP system enables you to access it from anywhere. Implementing a new ERP software for manufacturing makes it easier for employees to collaborate on projects and access critical information even when they are not in their offices. You can also use cloud-based ERP software to manage your inventory, production, customer relationships, payroll, and more. Manufacturers are increasingly adopting cloud based ERP systems that are specifically designed for their industry to streamline their operations. With these systems, manufacturers can access the same tools they use in their offices, which allows them to spend less time on paperwork and more time on creating products. These platforms enable manufacturers to track their inventory in real-time, so they never have to worry about running out of stock. They also make it easier for manufacturers to communicate with customers and partners, resulting in more sales and fewer headaches for everyone involved.
- Smart Manufacturing – This term describes using digital technology and automation to communicate with other devices and systems and collect data on the systems’ operation. It can be applied to all aspects of manufacturing like production management, quality control, and supply chain management. Smart manufacturing takes advantage of the latest technologies and makes the processes more efficient and productive.
Organizations can determine the true ROI of their ERP software for manufacturing and technology investments by implementing a digital adoption platform like WrkPlan. It is a cloud-based ERP system that enables employees and customers to maximize the benefits of new applications and digital processes. It provides in-app guidance, reinforcement ERP training, and on-demand support, all directly embedded within digital applications and tools. WrkPlan not only offers no-code tools to create in-app content but also provides user analytics, which helps organizations understand how their in-app content is being consumed. It also helps to identify features or processes that are causing issues for employees and those who need additional support and training. These analytics drive overall user adoption, making WrkPlan an indispensable tool for organizations seeking to achieve maximum ROI from their ERP software for manufacturing and technology investments. For further information visit WrkPlan and sign up for a free demonstration of their ERP for manufacturing or dial 1-800-120-2449 to speak to their expert consultant.