As industry thought leaders in ERP selection, Ultra was asked to be a featured presenter at an SME webinar entitled Digital Transformation: Take Control of Your Factory with Technology.
This blog post focuses on the digital factory and the five types of technology driving value when integrated with an ERP solution. An upcoming blog post will look at how those technologies align with IIoT and how to achieve shop floor digital transformation.
Today’s manufacturing enterprise is challenged to undergo a “technology transformation” to become a digital factory for true business process transformation. To align investments in technology to realize value through enhanced business performance, manufacturers must keep up with technologies such as:
- Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
- Quality management
- Finite scheduling
- Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
- Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)
What is the Digital Factory?
The digital factory is one where manufacturers have invested in technology, business models, and processes which drive value for customers and employees. It results in a more competitive position in an ever-changing digital economy.
We see business transformation in the digital factory in seven areas related to the product and the process. Four areas of value related to the product are:
- Accuracy of the quantity of the product produced
- Timeliness of production
- Quality of the product
- Cost of the product
Three areas of value related to the process are:
- Equipment wear, uptime, managing maintenance costs
- Environment concerns/compliance with regulations
- Worker safety
The value of the digital factory is its ability to make improvements in these areas.
Technology is driving modular transformation on the shop floor. Value comes from integrating these technologies with an ERP methodology.
Product Lifecycle Management automates the management of product-related data and integrates the data with the ERP solution and MES. It includes BOMs and configuration options with requirements for repeatability, product/item management with all item data in one place, routing management and change management.
Quality Management Systems are a set of policies and processes required for development, planning, and production to impact the organization’s ability to meet customer requirements. Options include test plans defined by SKU and customer, test results recorded by SKU, lot and serial numbers, Statistical Process Control charts identifying cause and resolution and complaint management with non-conforming material reports and a materials review board.
Finite scheduling or factory/production scheduling is a supply chain planning technology which translates as an operating plan into a granular set of daily manufacturing activities to fulfill planned orders. Modules include capacity and what if analysis, visual and intuitive scheduling, customer prioritization and short supply decision options, known downtime scheduling to prevent surprises and achievable constraining scheduling to avoid backorders.
A Manufacturing Execution System in a control system for managing and monitoring work-in-process on the factory floor. It tracks all manufacturing information in real time, receiving up-to-the-minute from robots, machine monitors (PLCs) and employees. It includes process monitoring of machine information – up and downtime and reasons for them – and production monitoring which stores and maintains data at the item, job lot and process level.
Computer Maintenance Management systems, also called Enterprise Asset Management systems, help maintenance workers perform their day-to-day jobs, and assist management in making repair/replace decisions. They include well-defined preventative maintenance plans to minimize breakdowns, skills scheduling to meet equipment repair needs, parts inventory planning, and downtime analysis with repair or replace scenarios.
Considering the Digital Factory?
Don't go it alone. See 5 guidelines for choosing an ERP consultant.
Digital transformation is a critical subject at Ultra Consultants.
- In part two of this blog, we’ll examine how these technologies align with the IIoT and what steps manufacturers can take to achieve transformation.
- For further insight, see The Digital Transformation Journey: Align Technology and Processes Along the Way and ERP and Digital Transformation – Realizing Value Through Business Process Improvement.