Industry 4.0, IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), Smart Manufacturing, and Factory of the Future are concepts that generate lots of buzz these days, promising efficiencies that, until very recently, were beyond the imagination of most manufacturers. Although the data-analytic and equipment upgrades required to implement Industry 4.0 technologies come with a cost, affordable options are becoming available, allowing more small- to mid-size manufacturers to get into the game. Companies that implement Industry 4.0 technologies sooner than others will have a distinct competitive advantage over their competition, by
To stay competitive, all companies strive to lower costs and shorten lead times. Consequently, many know the benefits of product standardization, the process of creating uniformity among products to reduce the cost of production. But what if you manufacture specialized products for niche markets — Is uniform production even possible?
After working with Airline to design, manufacture, and install a custom workcell, Microlab, a Wireless Telecom Group Company, took its cycle time from 20 minutes (using a batch production system) all the way down to just two minutes (using a one-piece flow system). Furthermore, after originally calculating a 24-month ROI for its new workcell, Microlab was thrilled to realize it in only 13 months.