Tag Archives: manufacturing

Implications of Advanced Manufacturing Technology

Manufacturing technology is always changing. Innovations can improve production and increase efficiency, but they also may take time to implement and get used to. Following every trend may not be possible or affordable, so how do you know what new manufacturing technology will have the biggest impact on your business?

Utilizing advanced technology can give manufacturers a competitive advantage and propel business growth. Recent improvements in the field are increasing production while delivering new innovations. In fact, according to the Technology Landscape report conducted by Citrix last year, 2016 is expected to be the year of reinvention for manufacturing.

The key advances in manufacturing technology that are beginning to show the greatest impact include the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and additive manufacturing.

The Internet of Things

IoT technology lets devices automatically communicate with each other by connecting systems, collecting data and examining analytics. This can have the following positive impact on manufacturing:

  • Minimized down time because machines can signal when maintenance is required
  • Reduced waste due to greater efficiency and streamlined processes
  • Increased and expanded data insights and intelligence
  • A more seamless integration of systems
  • Greater visibility into the supply chain

As reported by Gartner, a technology research firm, the IoT is estimated to connect more than 30 billion machines by 2020, increasing value for manufacturing by $1.9 trillion.

Cloud-computing in manufacturing

Cloud Computing

In addition to the IoT, cloud computing is having a major impact on the manufacturing industry. While manufacturers have hesitated to use cloud resources in the past, new manufacturing technology is minimizing those concerns through improved security and connectivity. Although the manufacturing industry has used other alternatives to the cloud, the increased stability makes it an effective option for companies looking to step ahead of the competition.

Taking advantage of cloud computing can result in quicker and easier sharing of data between facilities and manufacturers. It can also reduce costs by allowing for software installation through the Internet. Perhaps the greatest benefit of cloud computing is seen by smaller manufacturers. By keeping advanced manufacturing technology systems in the cloud, any member of the company has the capability to access them without unreasonable added costs.

Additive Manufacturing

With the introduction of 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, the industry has taken great strides as a whole. Manufacturers are now able to print equipment components in a variety of materials, reducing down time and increasing flexibility. The ability to manufacture parts and prototypes results in unlimited possibilities for businesses and production. By utilizing additive manufacturing, companies can minimize lead times, shorten supply chains and, ultimately, design more efficient and effective solutions.

In a time when technology is always improving and advancing, it’s important to know what tools will have the most notable impact on an industry. If these three advanced manufacturing technologies are not part of your production process, you may be falling behind your competitors.

3D printing


Kinematics Has Gone Lean for a Better Manufacturing Process

Kinematics has completed implementation of a lean manufacturing system to reduce costs, increase quality, and improve interactions between suppliers and customers. In lean manufacturing, the system constantly adjusts to inconsistencies in an attempt to achieve perfection.

The principal idea of lean manufacturing is development of a core flexible system that reduces organizational stress and eliminates all possible wastes. The types of wastes the process removes include:

  • Over-production
  • Time-on-hand
  • Movement
  • Processing
  • Defects
  • Transportation
  • Stock

Continuous improvement requires challenging everyone in the organization, particularly throughout the supply chain, to be creative and strive to improve the system every day. Decisions must be based on a long-term philosophy of improvement, sometimes at the expense of short-term financial gains. Management leadership plays a critical part in carrying out such lofty goals.

By working to establish the best process to achieve our desired results, Kinematics manufacturers can:

  • Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface
  • Use inventory pull to avoid over-production (work-in-progress waste)
  • Level the workload throughout the process to avoid bottlenecks
  • Shape a culture that stops and fixes problems, not cover them up
  • Build a foundation based on standardized tasks
  • Use visual controls wherever possible to make everyone aware of issues immediately
  • Manufacture using only reliable, tested, and proven technology

A key feature for eliminating waste is a pull inventory system. This starts with a shipment to the customer. Then work parts are pulled back through the manufacturing process all the way to the raw material. By using this system, nothing starts until a customer order is released.

The implementation of lean manufacturing at Kinematics has made the organization more aggressive with continuous improvement, resulting in the best products and customer service on the market.