Making the Business Case for Smart Manufacturing

An article in Industry Week (February 27, 2015) titled “Making the Business Case for Smart Manufacturing” (http://www.industryweek.com/smart-manufacturing?page=1) describes the impact of the cyber-physical manufacturing era on the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and discusses the main financial benefits that SMART manufacturing offers to enhance corporate return on assets. SMART manufacturing improves the OEE through guaranteeing manufacturing, labor, material and energy efficiency with expected savings in a range of 10% to 30% as well as improving availability of machines and enlightening reliability on the production process thanks to the integration of data on inspection procedures. By improving the OEE, companies increase output which can be translated into more production, higher customer satisfaction, less capital expenditure and higher product variety as key elements needed nowadays to compete in saturated markets were customers require more customized products to be available with short lead times. Will this machine – machine technological development be able to eliminate 100% of labor cost in the manufacturing environments? What could be the main risks of investing in SMART manufacturing? Is investing in SMART manufacturing a current need for companies to guarantee their sustainability in the future market?

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