Tag: additive manufacturing

workforce management

Drilling Down the Workforce Management Challenges of the Manufacturing Sector

The manufacturing industry in the U.S. has made impressive strides in the past couple of years. The country has witnessed a rise in public awareness about the modern manufacturing industry, increase in jobs returning to the country, and also the advent of new technologies that are driving the industry forward. However, the ongoing struggle to find skilled labor due to the rapid retirement of baby boomers from the sector is proving to be a major workforce management challenge for companies in the manufacturing sector. Apart from this, there are several other challenges that manufacturing companies must tackle in order to sustain the future scalability of the sector.

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Top workforce management challenges

 Hiring the right workforce

Manufacturing operations today are largely different from what it was a decade ago. The advent of digital technologies including robotics and advanced enterprise software are paving way for a new manufacturing environment. The modern workforce must have the skills and expertise to handle the digital systems which have become a part and parcel of the manufacturing sector.  Fewer schools offer shop classes and more students shy away from manufacturing, posing as a workforce management challenge for manufacturers to find the right talent.

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Consistent training and education

With rapid changes taking place in the manufacturing industry, even well-trained employees may face difficulties in keeping pace with these disruptions. Another key workforce management challenges for companies in the manufacturing sector is to ensure consistent training and education that would ensure that employees are up-to-date with the new tech trends and other market changes.

Overcoming stigmas related to manufacturing jobs

Throughout the United States, manufacturing has fallen out of style. High Schools, teachers and parents alike are steering children away from a career in the industry. This sector is currently bogged down by outdated stigmas such as being a dark, dangerous, and an ominous industry creating serious workforce management challenges for this sector. 

Cybersecurity threats

Technology continues to change how manufacturers develop products and interact with customers. As a result, information technology security risks have increased. Despite this, several manufacturers fail to take the necessary steps to protect their data. The number of connected products in manufacturing operations is on the rise, consequently, external and internal vulnerabilities are also increasing in the industry.

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workforce management

 

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contract manufacturing

Why are Top manufacturers moving to Contract Manufacturing?

What is contract manufacturing?

Contract manufacturing is often used interchangeably with the term ‘outsourcing.’ outsourcing is the technique of transferring portions of work to outside sources and suppliers, instead of undertaking the entire work within the company, resulting in lower costs and expenses. Contract manufacturing is a form of outsourcing where a manufacturer enters into a formal agreement with another manufacturer (contract manufacturing organization) to produce parts, products, or components, which the former will then use in its own manufacturing process, to complete its own product. They then undertake their own marketing, sales and distribution, and customer service to bring the final product to the end-users or consumers. In some cases, contract manufacturers may also be specialized organizations that provide contract manufacturing services to more than one business. 

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Different types of contract manufacturing

The different forms of contract manufacturing vary based on nature and operations involved in a business. Some of the most common forms of contract manufacturing agreement includes:

Production of the entire product

As the name clearly suggests, this involves contract manufacturing organizations building the entire product for a company under the brand name or label of the latter. This type of contract manufacturing is also called as ‘private label manufacturing’.

Production of parts or components

In this type of contract manufacturing, companies depend on a contract manufacturing organization to produce parts or components that will be incorporated into the final product of the company. For instance, a computer hardware manufacturer can use contract manufacturing for producing smaller computer parts and components, which is then assembled into their final product.

Hiring service or labor force

This involves subcontract for labor. If a business does not possess enough manpower in their company to carry out production processes smoothly and quickly, then they can outsource labor. Take the example of big multinational companies in the US who set up their manufacturing unit in Asian countries and subcontract their labor forces to Asian human resource companies. The key reasons why companies adopt this form of manufacturing is the specialized skills that these labor forces have and the comparatively cheaper cost of labor when compared to their home countries.

Using manufacturing equipment or facility

Companies that do not have the facility or the equipment to manufacture can transact with a contract manufacturer for the use of their facility. This saves the company capital investment needed to set up a manufacturing unit.

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Why do top manufacturers favor contract manufacturing?

The decision to make or buy a product/ parts of a product can often prove to be a tough decision for companies. They often undertake feasibility studies for the management to gain a better understanding of what would be more beneficial for them. One of the key benefits that companies can derive from contract manufacturing is the reduction in cost and expenditure. But this is not the only reason companies opt to get into agreements with contract manufacturing organizations. Some of the other reasons include:

  • Improved allocation of resources
  • Greater focus on core business functions
  • Increased innovation and enhanced product quality
  • Reduction in manufacturing time
  • Streamlined business relationships

 

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Manufacturing Industry Trends: What’s New in 2019?

Despite the rising challenges, top companies are keen on orchestrating the latest manufacturing industry trends into their business strategy. As a result of leveraging advanced manufacturing capabilities, manufacturers are benefiting from increased visibility into operations, substantial cost savings, increased speed in production times and improved customer support. The future of manufacturing will continue to revolve around digitization and technological innovations. Based on our manufacturing industry trends analysis, here’s our take on the top trends expected to dominate the market in 2019 and how the recent trends in manufacturing technology are all set to revamp this sector.

Emerging manufacturing industry trends, market expansions, and technological innovations will underpin the growth of the manufacturing sector in 2019. Request a free brochure to learn how our solutions can help businesses adapt to the dynamic market.

Manufacturing industry trends 2019

manufacturing industry trendsPredictive maintenance

A manufacturing equipment breakdown could prove to be a costly affair for manufacturers – both in terms of repairs as well as the loss of productivity due to the downtime. In fact, a single hour of downtime could cost manufacturing companies thousands of dollars. Therefore, several companies in the manufacturing sector are turning towards the latest manufacturing industry trends like predictive maintenance to ensure proper functioning of all their equipment. In predictive maintenance, a number of performance metrics are used to monitor various equipment. Automating the data collection process using IoT technology helps manufacturers gain a better understanding of how systems work and when they are likely to fail. The ability to predict the maintenance cycle and requirements saves manufacturers valuable time, money, and resources.

Blockchain boom

The blockchain technology is now gradually taking the manufacturing industry by storm. In 2019, we can expect blockchain to be one of the most notable manufacturing industry trends that can have a direct impact on several sections of the manufacturing industry including- increasing speed, cost-effectiveness, and security. This technology is also likely to play a major role in enhancing the management, tracking, and transaction reporting in the supply chain.

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Reshoring

Reshoring or bringing back production operations into the United States is one of the key manufacturing industry trends to watch out for in 2019. There are several factors contributing to reshoring. Firstly, the increase in the standard of living of go-to offshoring countries is resulting in increased wages. Secondly, the countries that offer cheap labor do not have the infrastructure capabilities that are necessary to support the complex manufacturing processes. Today, one of the most notable manufacturing industry trends include automation for basic and repetitive processes, which is also a major contributor to the resurgence in reshoring.

Simplifying supply chain management

Delivering more value to customers when compared to the counterparts in the market plays an integral role in remaining competitive in the market. This is no longer accomplished through pricing strategies as savvy manufacturers are fast moving away from price wars and leveraging ways to gain competitive benefits. This includes simplifying supply chain management to gain operational efficiency, increased visibility and control, improved customer satisfaction, and lower operational costs. Some of the key supply chain technology solutions that can be used to address the challenges in manufacturing include- manufacturing optimization, sales and operations planning, business intelligence, and product lifecycle management.

ERP systems

New manufacturing industry trends such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) are playing a critical role in creating a lean and competitive advantage for manufacturers. ERP systems help manufacturers to streamline processes by automating business process and provide real-time and accurate information which helps reduce the administrative and operational costs. As a result, manufacturers can proactively prevent disruptions, manage operations, and facilitate quicker decision-making.

Why Infiniti?

Leading players in the manufacturing industry are confronting uncertainties in the face of digitization and new customer expectations. Moreover, with the rapidly changing manufacturing industry trends, industrial and manufacturing sector companies are facing the need to develop new strategies and invest in technology to gain a stronger foothold. Established in 2003, Infiniti Research is a leading market intelligence company providing smart solutions to address your business challenges. Infiniti Research studies markets in more than 100 countries to help analyze competitive activity, see beyond market disruptions, and develop intelligent business strategies.

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Market Intelligence

Top 5 Smart Factory Trends in 2018

Efficiency, effectiveness, and economical. The 3 Es have guided the manufacturing industry for hundred of years and bringing about massive transformational changes. As hi-tech solution and automation pave the way in the modern economy, problems like worker fatigue and quality control will diminish. The smart factory, however, represents a leap forward from automation to a fully connected flexible system. The Industry 4.0 revolution along with IoT will enable factories to use a constant stream of data from interconnected operations and production systems to learn and adapt to new demands. The smart factory can integrate data across all the systems to drive maintenance, Request Proposalmanufacturing, digitization of operations, and inventory tracking. So what are the trends picking up in the smart factory across the world?

Industrial robotics

A new wave of factory automation is underway. Industrial robots are entering the manufacturing scene and creating value for companies. It is not uncommon to see robots outnumbering production workers in most of the smart factories today. The availability of collaborative robots has considerably reduced the overall costs and increased manufacturing flexibility for the companies.

Predictive maintenance

An unexpected breakdown can be very costly for a manufacturer and add to that the losses caused by the downtime. Smart factories enable predictive maintenance to be practiced that can alert manufacturers when parts that are prone to breakage. Many smart factories are now using IoT sensors to predict faults before they happen. The technology also has the capability to locate nearest service technician and map out the best route for the person to reach the premises.

Increasing use of AI

Artificial intelligence has been a hot topic in many industries. In a smart factory though, it plays a key role, by helping manufacturers predict demand patterns and optimally allocate resources. AI basically eliminates human guesswork and brings in cold and hard perspective of data into the equation. New cloud-based smart factory apps have emerged recently which comes embedded with AI and enables sophisticated decision science to be used to perform day-to-day work tasks.

Additive manufacturing

A lot has changed with the introduction of 3D printers. The parts once ridiculously expensive to manufacture can be done within minutes for few dollars with a 3D printer. In a smart factory, 3D printers are increasingly being used to make not only the prototypes but the final products as well. Such additive manufacturing creates an object by adding the material layer by layer as opposed to the subtractive manufacturing of drilling, cutting, and hammering materials away. Additive manufacturing opens up possibilities for mass customization from individual automobile parts to a pair of shoe.

Data visualization

Today data is easily available to managers. But how will they make sense of numbers to address issues and bottlenecks? Many inefficiencies often go unnoticed which have a dramatic effect on productivity. Graphical representation of data can help executives gain insights into challenges that lie in the production line. Data visualization assists even lower level employees to understand whats going on, and empower them to take decisions which can improve operational efficiency in a smart factory.

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