The Push for Smart Manufacturing

In the article “Five Trends Driving the Movement Toward Smart Manufacturing” (http://www.sdcexec.com/article/11669309/five-trends-driving-the-movement-toward-smart-manufacturing), the top five trends behind the surge of smart manufacturing, and their descriptions, are analyzed. The first of the five trends is “distributed manufacturing.” In the manufacturing industry today, many companies outsource their critical manufacturing process to third parties. This often creates instances of miscommunication, loss of products, or other manufacturing mishaps. With a centralized hub that smart manufacturing provides, verifying all processes being conducted would be effortless and communication problems would be avoided. Smart Manufacturing also instills the ability to do virtual manufacturing, in which “demand fluctuations in Asia can trigger demand signals to devices and parties all the way up to n-tier suppliers.” The third trend analyzed is a “thirst for data and visibility. Essentially, this entails the ability to monitor and track product progress and location in real time. “Managing by Exception” is the fourth trend proposed in this article, and is characterized by the ability to automate process, flag issues, and escalate as necessary. While human interaction will still be needed to solve many of these problems, finding and monitoring progress of these mishaps can be done quickly and more effectively. Lastly, 3D printing is the fifth trend proposed. 3D printing effectively gives the manufacturer the ability to create custom products at a faster and more efficient pace.

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