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Setting Smart Manufacturing Goals for 2016

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In 2016, technology opportunities abound for savvy manufacturers looking to grow their business. What are your manufacturing goals for the New Year?

2015 has been a year of changes and conjecture for manufacturing.  New technology and new ideas are having a disruptive influence on manufacturing, and many are wondering what comes next.

Disruptive isn’t necessarily bad for the savvy manufacturer – it can also lead to opportunity. We’re at a moment in history when you can see the future taking shape. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), the Smart Factory, and digital manufacturing is becoming less conjecture, and more a reality that must be addressed.

This is a paradigm shift driven by the benefits of the technology on the shop floor. Even now, in the nascent stages of the tech development, we see the benefit. Suppliers and innovators continually develop new products and services utilizing the technology for manufacturing.

Some (maybe even most) of us face change with a pit in our stomach and reluctance in our heart. Change, any change, is risk. We know, understand and can control a paper build book, and the idea of relying on software, sensors and (even-limited) automation to manage manufacturing is new, untested and scary. But the benefits far outweigh the risk.


Embracing Smart MES and Digital Manufacturing

As one year ends and another begins, there’s a cycle of goal-setting and planning. Admittedly, this cycle often ends with goal-forgetting, but with so much opportunity out there, this is not the year to ignore setting goals for your manufacturing technology. 2016 has the potential to make a powerful impact on your company if you’re willing embrace new tools and ideas.

Consider this the year you make a start. Look at a phased implementation for a new MES or MOM system. Start on one production line, move planning to a digital system and start collecting a few key pieces of data. Small steps like this will lower the initial cost, decrease the overall risk, and help prove the ROI. Once the initial phase is complete, evaluate and adjust, and then roll out the system to new areas.

Most companies are shocked with the results, and surprised they hadn’t embraced MES and paperless manufacturing earlier.

For some companies, 2016 will be the year they took a step forward and seized a competitive advantage in the market. Other companies will cling to the status quo; lose market share and the goodwill of customers, falling further and further behind the competition. In 2016, old tools and technology can’t compete. There has never been a better time to invest in technology.

So what will you do in 2016?