Manufacturing REThink Consulting

Creating Manufacturing Efficiencies

Since the days of Fredrick Taylor and the Industrial Revolution, manufacturing has always been in a state of re-think.  This usually means how to increase efficiency and achieve lower cost.  If you have worked in technology and manufacturing long enough you see initiatives come and go and then come around again just with a different name or slant.  The focus is always on being more efficient, getting more done in less time with less resources.  Lean Manufacturing, Lean Six Sigma, Quality Function Deployment, Lean Product Design, etc., etc. all contribute to the efficiency aspect.

Legacy Manufacturing Impacts Disruptive Products

But what do you do if you are working to bring a disruptive product to a market and you are a legacy company with legacy design, legacy manufacturing perspectives and processes?
In most cases the design team is tasked to come up with that “disruptive next thing” that will move you forward.  When they do, the manufacture team puts on the brakes because it does not fit your capabilities.  
Hearing this you realize that manufacturing can start to dictate your design parameters. This is a good place to think; at what point does it make sense to REThink the approach?
Retooling in manufacturing can be a costly and time-consuming venture, that you want to avoid, when practical.  But in today’s rapidly changing environment, Advanced Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing and Digital Transformation, may offer innovative means to achieve efficiency, cost and a disruptive product.  A failure to consider how to adjust your manufacturing processes, in order to achieve that step-change product for your market can be deadly.  Sticking to the old methods can cost you more than increased manufacturing costs.  More importantly, it can negatively impact market share and penetration. 

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Gaining Step-Change

This is not a re-think of manufacturing but a Manufacturing REThink.  As the design evolves the manufacturing thought must evolve with it.  You want your manufacturing evolution to be ahead of the design in certain instances to gain a more competitive advantage in cost and performance ability of the product.  New Product Development processes incorporate cross-functional teams from the beginning, which include manufacturing operations participation.  In Manufacturing REThink, manufacturing operations is challenged with the product design conceptualization as much as the product designers.  Both are conjunctional and not separate. 
Legacy manufacturing organizations tend to look at the manufacturing aspect of new products as a given that it will ‘fit’ the existing manufacturing – supply chain eco system.  New products can be designed with features that offer step-change performance and fit within existing manufacturing methods.  This saves in capital costs and time.  But what if the product performance cannot be achieved with the old methods?  HUTech51 can assist in asking the Hard Questions in the beginning and helping identify if there are performance step-changes that can be achieved with a change or not. 

What if your product line is dated and does not have embedded sensors in the machine?  Or the products application does not lend itself easily to on-board sensors or transmission of data to a controller?  These are the more difficult challenges today for some machine manufactures that if they were able to utilize more of IOT they, and their customers, would see significant gains in performance.

But adapting sensors and linking to controllers is only part of an IoT Eco System for your product.  Once the problem is solved of how to make the machine ‘smart’ how do you manufacture it; if it requires a whole new approach?  How does your product Eco System become integrated to this new paradigm of digital transformation?

Above these two issues, are your technical and business groups ready for this transition?  Do you have the correct skill sets and knowledge to implement and carry this out through the organization?   Product Realization for implementing IOT into the product requires a Manufacturing REThink. including the design criteria for Manufacturability, Sustainability, Systems Integration, Advanced Design.
When Step-Change and a Disruptive advantage is the objective, HUTech51 can help you in building a strategy and path forward.