The sector of manufacturing worldwide has gone through extensive transformation during the last two decades, thanks to the comprehensive computerization and automation that took place in the industries across the globe. It has helped manufacturers reduce waste and variability in their production processes and dramatically improve product quality and yield. Still, as far as processing environment such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals and mining are concerned, extreme swings in variability are visible.
A wide range of production activities influence yield in manufacturing industries, which necessitates that the manufacturers adopt a more granular approach to diagnosing and correcting process flaws, and that’s where data visualization and analytics steps in to address and eradicate their woes.
Within the manufacturing sector, operations managers can use data visualization and analytics to take a deep dive into historical process data, identify patterns and relationships among discrete process steps and inputs, and then optimize the factors that prove to have the greatest effect on yield. A large number of manufacturers across the world now are equipped with huge datasets and the capability to conduct such sophisticated statistical assessments. Using advanced data visualization and analytics tools, they are indeed gaining helpful insights to scale their business operations to newer heights.
Production machinery and equipments nowadays generate vast quantities of data on an ongoing basis. Utilizing this data is one of the challenges of next-generation manufacturing systems, and data visualization and analytics tools help a great deal in this.
These solutions gather and combine data from different processes to extract key production information and generate reports with a strong visualization component. Earlier, when an error occurred it used to take expert engineers six hours to determine the cause based on their intuition and experience. With data visualization, now anyone can do it in an hour and resolve the error. This time saving alone represents a significant productivity boost.
But the single largest benefit of data visualization and analytics is in raising awareness among workers on the factory floor. The reports clearly show where errors have occurred, as well as the impact of those errors on the rest of the production line. In this way, the workers are able to appreciate the production line as a whole rather than concentrating only on their own tasks. And this inspires them to provide valuable feedback and suggestions for improvement. Additionally, the workers can also see the actual benefits of improvements that have been introduced. This serves as an important source of motivation, providing the inspiration for further suggestions and creating a cycle of positive change.
The introduction of data visualization brings an almost instantaneous improvement in manufacturing productivity and brings considerable increase in the overall production yields. Data visualization and analytics in manufacturing provides the impetus for further improvements, and since the results are also visualized, people, who are the lifeblood of manufacturing, are able to work more harmoniously with machines to generate truly impressive productivity improvements on a level never seen before.
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