How Industry 4.0 Will Change the Manufacturing Industry

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Mar 23, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Steam power. Henry Ford’s assembly line. Proliferation of coal-based energy. These developments in the evolution of manufacturing fundamentally changed how goods were produced and the way in which manufacturers moved products from the factory to the customer. If these were truly disruptive forces in the industrial economy, today’s producers are currently experiencing just as seismic a change in production processes in the form of Industry 4.0.

Most commonly defined as the movement of the industrial sphere to a more integrated, digital method of managing production and supply processes, Industry 4.0 is built upon the concepts of end-to-end (E2E) visibility, agility, and efficiency across each touch point in the value chain. Given the variant-rich nature of today’s manufacturing landscape, Industry 4.0 answers a common question for today’s manufacturers: How do I reduce overall operational costs while still being nimble enough to respond to unforeseen changes in planning or production programs?

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Topics: Industry 4.0, Manufacturing, Automotive Industry, Supply Chain Management, Lean Manufacturing

flexis Perspectives: The Impact of Industry 4.0 on the Global Manufacturing Industry

Posted by Kristin Masters on Jan 5, 2017 9:00:00 AM

The manufacturing industry is astir over Industry 4.0. This oft-used term has become something of a buzzword, but it also represents a profound shift for the global manufacturing industry. Our Vice President for Manufacturing and Logistics, Robert Recknagel, recently sat down with us to talk about what Industry 4.0 is (and isn't) and explore the ways that technology should support the migration to Industry 4.0.

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Topics: Industry 4.0, Manufacturing

Going Online: Why Companies Should Embrace Digitized Manufacturing

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Jun 28, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Call it a revolution. Call it a renaissance. Call it a reimagination. Call it whatever you’d like, but it’s undeniable how digitization has truly overhauled nearly every aspect of the automotive value chain. From planning to distribution, sales to reporting, digital technology has streamlined and made more efficient  the way manufacturers receive and process orders, plan production programs for those orders, and deliver the final product to customers. And this enhanced efficiency has resulted in more cost-effective and productive business models across a company’s entire value stream.  

But until now, there has been one touch point that’s been slow to adopt digitization: manufacturing.

However, with the proliferation of digital technology and advancements as to how it can be applied to the manufacturing link of the supply chain, OEMs now have the tools to implement digital elements into their production processes and facilities in order to reap the same benefits other portions of the value chain have been experiencing for years.

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Topics: Intelligent Planning, Manufacturing, Digitization

Why Companies Should Plan For Every Part

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Apr 12, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Next time you’re doing laundry, take a look at the inside label on one of your shirts. These labels usually contain a wealth of information about the shirt like the size, the kind of and proportion of material used in creating it, place of origin or production, washing instructions, and more. And if you were so inclined, you could easily sort your entire wardrobe using these parameters and make decisions on the best clothing choices for each day based on these data sets.

When it comes to manufacturing and supply logistics, the concept of Plan for Every Part (PFEP) is essentially a shirt tag for reducing the complexity of the production and supply stream and increasing productivity and cost-effective decision making. Just as those small tags inside your shirt are the DNA of the garment, so goes PFEP for intelligent demand and planning capabilities, especially for variant rich or mixed production operations looking to retain competitiveness in a 21st Century manufacturing and supply landscape.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Planned Production Programs, Supply Chain Management