ManufacturingMay 16, 2018

How Can We Make Manufacturing Smarter?

Engineering.com’s Ian Wright interviews Eric Green, Vice President of DELMIA User Experience…
Ian Wright

Engineering.com’s Ian Wright interviews Eric Green, Vice President of DELMIA User Experience and Advocacy on manufacturing’s transition from supply chains to value networks. 

In days past, the majority of gains in manufacturing efficiency were won on the shop floor. Nowadays, optimizing a production line is a much more abstract affair. Manufacturers have access to more data and more powerful analytics than ever before—tools that can unlock whole new levels of efficiency, but only if you know how to use them.

Of course, our digital age has impacted the demand side of the equation as much as it has supply. “The days of being able to produce to-stock are gone for many items,” said Eric Green, Vice President DELMIA User Experience and Advocacy, Dassault Systèmes. “The paradigm has shifted so that it’s an almost continuous iteration of understanding what consumers want and how manufacturers can support that, which is putting strain and pressure on manufacturing systems.”

A big part of this paradigm shift is the transition from supply chains to value networks. Green described the difference between the two this way:

“Value networks are collaborative, as opposed to just responding to requirements. If we look at where companies are investing and focusing in manufacturing today, what we’re seeing is that they’re looking at how they can use their capabilities to invent new business models or transform existing models.”

4 Examples on the Cutting Edge of Manufacturing

Green cited several examples of companies that are setting themselves apart in this way. “What Tesla has been able to do is not only provide a product that’s transforming the automotive industry, but they’re also transforming their manufacturing processes, which enables them to do things differently to bring their products to market,” he said.

Another example Green cited of a company transforming existing business models is CadMakers. Although it operates in the construction industry—with a focus on managing projects—the company is unique in its application of manufacturing practices to construction.

“CadMakers looked at what’s required to support the manufacture of a product, and used our solution to take those practices and apply them to the commercial industry for construction,” Green said. “That’s enabled them to define new processes and have a positive impact on the efficiency of construction projects.”

Green pointed out that despite their relatively small size and market share, Tesla and CadMakers are having disruptive effects on their respective industries.

“Automotive OEMs are now focusing on electric vehicles, and companies in the construction industry have seen what CadMakers has done and are starting to adopt this new paradigm,” he said.

Read the rest of this story here, on Engineering.com

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