In a previous article we discussed the Top 3 challenges manufacturers face in the COVID-19 era, based on interviews with our existing customers. In this article, we'll evaluate ways to overcome the identified challenges.
These are the top 3 challenges that our manufacturing customers faced as a result of COVID-19:
- Problems in the supply chain
- More competitive market
- Internal problems
Execution is only as good as the information at hand
Since operational planning is only as good as the execution of information available to daily planners, it's critical that you address the challenges holistically.
Over the last 15 years, Novacura has worked with our customers to develop a complete suite of manufacturing solutions - using our low-code development platform, Novacura FLOW - to help alleviate these challenges.
This illustration shows the key areas within our manufacturing suite. We´ll address them one by one below.
Optimize production execution
Production staff and work center operators can improve downtime reporting and reduce downtime-related activities using our Mobile Work Orders app. Let's take a closer look at how.
Improve downtime reporting
Novacura's Mobile Work Orders app improves downtime reporting by providing better analysis and improved decision making, enabling production staff on the shop floor to:
- Check task priorities based on the latest production plan
- View tasks details, including technical documentation, report operations (time/status) and used material
- Report and track downtime in real-time
- Measure spending on downtime activities (including idle time)
Limit downtime activities
The Mobile Work Orders app also helps work center operators save time and limit the scale of damages caused by inexperienced workers by allowing them to:
- Request or order new tools or spare parts directly from the work center
- Observe the progress of requested tools or parts in the app
- Standardize maintenance tasks with guidelines for operations
- Require users to complete a maintenance checklist
Production planning & maintenance
Here is a closer look at how Novacura can help with production planning and maintenance.
Quickly react to production plans with real-time feeds
Real-time feeds from each department provide planners with an accurate view of the factory to help them react more quickly. In addition to being a dedicated work center for shop floor operators, warehouse and quality control crews can also use the mobile app from Novacura to:
- Report activities
- Pick materials and confirm delivery
- Report deliveries from suppliers to display stock levels in real-time
- Manage quality control to identify issues as soon as they arise
Integrate planned maintenance into production plans
Manufacturers can minimize unnecessary downtime by planning scheduled maintenance in connection with production plans. By incorporating maintenance into production plans, planners can:
- Visualize all planned production and maintenance activities
- Shift maintenance as-needed to cover production downtime
- Limit disruptions caused by unexpected downtime
Data collection, monitoring & communications
Dig deeper into areas 5 and 6 to take a closer look at data collection, monitoring and B2B communications. Capturing and consolidating data from different departments so that historical data and predictive analytics can be used to prevent issues before they arise. We want to highlight the importance of using B2B portals to provide instantaneous communication with suppliers and customers.
The key to manage is to measure
Production efficiency can be precisely measured by using Novacura Flow to gather data from different departments, including the warehouse, shop floor, quality control, maintenance and more. This real-time insight helps managers to:
- Measure the scale of downtime
- Identify root causes through analysis
- View all the information in one place
- Receive objective feedback from real data (not people's declarations)
Prevent issues with predictive analytics
Connect machines or equipment using Novacura's IoT connectors to constantly measure key parameters such as power consumption, vibrations, temperature and noise. This information can be gathered automatically in real-time to:
- Provide historical data for analysis
- Use AI (artificial intelligence) to provide predictive analytics
- Automatically escalate issues if disquieting trends arise
- Protect from future machinery damages and unexpected downtimes
"With a digital solution that detects errors in production, there is a much bigger chance to fix the problem before the impact grows into a critical problem."
- Fredrik Rosendahl, Sales Director at Novacura.
Instantly provide B2B communications
Improve production planning and overall production efficiency with direct, instant and precise communications to suppliers and customers. Novacura's B2B portal can be used for both suppliers and customers and offers the following benefits to minimize downtime:
- Suppliers - The B2B portal for suppliers can confirm purchase plans and deliveries online. Get immediate notifications of delivery changes or delays so that you can adjust production plans and set realistic expectations.
- Customers - The B2B portal for customers helps predict and report customer demand in advance of purchases, preserving appropriate time for the entire supply chain.
In addition to improving production execution downtime, Novacura can also help to improve other areas within your manufacturing process. With the Novacura Flow low-code platform, you can easily create tailor-made applications and connect them to your existing systems without the need for programming skills.
If you´d like to learn about all our solutions for manufacturers, please download the full report