As they do in any business, corporate manufacturing leaders know, with as much certainty as they know that the sun will come up in the morning, that they have some amount of error, waste, and inefficiency in their operations.
We all receive value from the governing bodies that regulate industry and standardize the products we use every day. We need to feel confident: we rely on the Food and Drug Administration to certify the safety and purity of our foods and medicines and the National Institute of Standards to ensure there’s a gallon of gas in the tank when it says so on the pump. Consumer trust is critical to the buying process.
At this point most people have seen the notorious “Puppy, Monkey, Baby” Mountain Dew Kickstart commercial from the Super Bowl. It promotes a new beverage called Kickstart, which combines Mountain Dew, juice, and caffeine—a hybrid of three “awesome” things that are better together. The dancing, beverage-dispensing creature, with a puppy’s head, a monkey’s tail, and a baby’s chubby legs, has polarized audiences; some claim the surreal ad is “freaking out, scaring, and terrorizing” viewers, while others praise the impact of the marketing and the connection to the brand.
I’m not sure if “Puppy, Monkey, Baby” hit the mark from an advertising perspective, but it did make me think about three things that progressive manufacturing customers are focusing on in 2016. What will be our industry’s “three awesome things combined?” From our perspective, they are:
1. Next Level Automation – Many manufacturers automate their processes. In 2016 progressive manufacturers are driving complete system integration and capturing the most granular historical information possible about their process for the potential to model and analyze against.
2. Data Analytics – The concept of MES has existed for more than 20 years, allowing manufacturers to look back at what has happened, but not forward at what will happen. The shift in 2016 will be to use the volumes of data available to “predict the future” regarding where OEE will drop and where Quality will slip before it happens.
3. Help Where Needed – The previous two trends will inundate manufacturers with systems and technologies. Manufacturers will be tasked with revising and shifting their approach to maintenance, engineering, and IT support. The strategies of prior years are not viable today and progressive manufacturers are creating internal universities, entry level development programs, online training and tutorials, tailored external support programs, and an overall commitment to individual growth.
For us “Auto, Data, Help” is the 2016 “Puppy, Monkey, Baby” of our industry. They are three things that, when combined, can increase your level of manufacturing “awesomeness.”
That’s what we see! What do you think the “Puppy, Monkey, Baby?” of 2016 is for your company?