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Why is Smart Machining Essential?

Technology is rapidly changing manufacturing, introducing sensors and connecting machines to gather real-time data.

Plant managers and engineers can use this data to drive insights and develop flexible, more efficient processes. Known as Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing is harnessing automation, connectivity, artificial intelligence, and other tools to help boost the bottom line.

Smart machining is an indispensable element of this new industrial revolution.

What is Smart Machining?

For manufacturers, making high-quality products at the lowest possible cost is their most basic goal. Smart machining — digitizing manufacturing data and sharing that information with the relevant machinery and workers — enables them to optimize quality and throughput. It also reduces complexity and costs, giving smart factories a leg up on their competitors.

Smart Machining Requires Data

Ensuring that data is generated and shared automatically is a major challenge in developing a smart factory. By adopting smart machining technologies, manufacturers can capture and analyze data to address these three critical factors:

1. Ensuring quality and continuous improvement

To boost quality and continuous improvements, manufacturers need to capture all inputs, actions, and outputs digitally. They should also increase the frequency of quality checks and ensure that only qualified workers are making goods or performing quality assurance tasks. They need to be able to identify, isolate, and contain quality issues to enable faster response times and minimize the cost of recalls.

2. Boosting overall equipment efficiency

Overall equipment efficiency is a measurement of how well a manufacturing operation is attaining its full potential. For example, a 100% OEE means that goods are being produced at maximum quality and speed without interruption. Manufacturers face many challenges in achieving a high OEE, including lack of data on machine performance, manual or paper-based data collection, siloed data, and different systems for tracking machines and labor. 

3. Perfecting scrap reporting

Effective scrap reporting helps manufacturers meet their benchmarks by spotting problems quickly and eliminating waste. Improving this process requires timely scrap reporting, accurate tracking of the reasons why scrap is occurring, reliable tracking of reworking, and real-time analysis of scrap reports.

Finding the Right Software Partner

The benefits of adopting smart machining include:

  • Increasing operational and labor efficiency
  • Improving the maintenance of machinery
  • Becoming more sustainable by reducing waste and lowering energy consumption
  • Enabling the use of predictive analytics to identify and find solutions to future problems

ShopVue can help you take advantage of these benefits and leverage the rewards of Industry 4.0. For more information about how our quality and continuous improvementOEE, and real-time scrap reporting tools can help your business, speak with one of our MES experts today.