MFG 4.0: It has to drive us toward the “idea end result”; prosperity but what are the steps along the way?

Innovation starts with envisioning the “ideal end result”.  When we look at MFG 4.0 to understand how innovative it is, we need to ask, are we moving in the right direction.  While we might look at “prosperity” as the idea end result… we might want to step back to better understand how MFG 4.0 helps us get there.

To envision the “ideal end result”, you can start by thinking about the what you want to deliver, what the system is that delivers what you want, and what are the current problems you are experiencing within the that system.

The what… new levels of profitability

The system… machines, production lines, manufacturing cells, complete plants or multiple plants.

The problem(s)… this will be unique to your operations but typically include issues related to throughput, quality, cost, manpower, data availability and utilization, on-time delivery, compliance, and more…

Your goal is to create a system that has none or significantly less of the problems and delivers what you want which is profitability.  You should also be able to deliver MFG 4.0 in a timely manner (weeks or a couple of months vs. years), investment and implementation are scaled to match available resources, and ROI that is matched to your organization’s needs.  MFG 4.0, delivered right does all of this; it is Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation™.  Research shows that companies must start the journey or get left behind.  Contact us to learn how to get started and create a path to get the job done NOW, not years down the road.

MFG 4.0 Every journey begins with awareness

MFG 4.0 is no different.  Awareness is followed by learning which is a process of acquiring information, matching that information to your situation, sharing / communicating / distributing your learnings, taking action, and following up with corrective actions to continuously improve.  MFG 4.0 is a journey that can start today.  It starts with the person “who is not afraid to fail”; the one who is willing to take the first step toward the future.

AIA provides a soft entry… assessment process that allows individuals, teams and leaders to begin the learning process.  Contact us today to schedule the 1st step.

What has your traditional thinking been?

Is it cost reduce your way to success through Lean or Six Sigma?  Or, just keep doing what you have always done?  Or, if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.  Or, the coming changes are far enough away that they won’t affect us?  Or, your organization believes it is immune to competitive changes?

MFG 4.0 is real, it is here and if you are not ready… you need to at least start learning.  Those who learn and act quickly will lead.

Contact us NOW to learn more…

MFG 4.0 begins with strategy

What is your manufacturing strategy?  What does the next evolution of manufacturing look like?  

MFG 4.0 driven by artificial intelligence yields…

Improved utilization of resources (money, people, information, capital investments, assets, facilities, machines and tooling, and more…)

Smoothing of operations (better communications, improved maintenance, increased throughput and more…)

Increased dynamics and control (people, machines, quality, profitability and more…)

Improved matching of systems (people, machines, overall operations, and more…)

Decreased human involvement (reduced interaction with dull, dirty and dangerous operations, and more…)

Transformation of complex to simple (from operator-driven productivity to simpler AI-guided operations, improved utilization of plant floor personnel, and more…)

It’s not magic, MFG 4.0 is the next stage of manufacturing evolution.  It’s not the future, it is NOW!  If you are waiting until next year to start, you may be falling behind your competitors and losing market share.  If you are not moving forward, stop thinking about it and start NOW.  Even if it is just to prepare.

Contact us to learn more.

Leadership and MFG 4.0

This is one of my favorite quotes and it applies directly to any attempt to move toward MFG 4.0.  But, there are a few challenges that need to be overcome to comply and it begins with the reality that many leaders are having trouble defining what MFG 4.0 is.  Not understanding creates uncertainty which becomes a barrier to moving forward.  MFG 4.0 must be understood so you can define the ‘COMMON GOAL’ that you need to achieve.

Beyond defining it, MFG 4.0 needs to be matched to your organization’s needs, not the needs of some large software company who’s vision is to convince you that MFG 4.0 is hugely complex and the implementation will take years (which translates into years of billable hours at your expense and a big dent in your ROI).  Your MFG 4.0 ‘GOAL’ has to include the ROI (investment and return) that you require, and implementation has to be timely; measured in weeks to a few of months vs. years.  Visibility of the ROI and returns must start to show up immediately and not be based on a dream that never shows up on the bottom line.

MFG 4.0 is more than software, it must include:  ‘PEOPLE ARE SELF-MOTIVATED TOWARD THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A COMMON GOAL’.  People in manufacturing are a critical asset and one that cannot be ignored.  Alignment of everyone from the plant flow through top management is the only way that the ‘COMMON GOAL’ will ever be achieved.  People must be able to adapt rapidly to ensure that your desired ROI becomes a reality.  MFG 4.0 must also result in improved ways of communicating across the organization and not burying the organization in data.  Simplicity is key.

Implementation must occur without an exhaustive journey down the long road of complex systems, pilot purgatory, in-depth training and years of culture change.  The means that the “CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT” part of MFG 4.0 is critical.  MFG 4.0 must be matched to your organization and its ‘ENVIRONMENT’ must be one that allows people to adapt and thrive.  Information critical to the operation of your manufacturing operation must be real time and not require post-processing analysis to figure out what happened yesterday, last week or last month.  Focus on:  Leadership is the ability to create an environment where people are self-motivated toward the achievement of a common goal.

AIA’s common goal is to deliver MFG 4.0 that matches your expectations in every way.  Contact us NOW to learn more.

MFG 4.0 and Production Bottlenecks…

The right MFG 4.0 solution does a lot… finding production bottlenecks is just one of the many hidden benefits.  Once identified the bottlenecks can be attacked and eliminated.  Structured approaches to innovation hold the key to making them go away and reaping the rewards of increase throughput… easy peasy!

Manufacturing Innovation and Transformation

Impossible to Possible

Don’t believe for one minute that there is no way to deal with a bottleneck – at the root is a contradiction and contradictions can be resolved when using the right methods..


Why would you invent a failure?

Recurring failures to success

Why wouldn’t you!  Have you ever been faced with a warranty or recall that was significantly impacting your company?  And, the financial bleeding goes on and on.  Think about this… Structured approaches to #innovation brings us the ability to invent on demand.  This capability does not imply that invention can only be used to create something useful.  There is a reality that it is actually easier to invent a failure than it is to invent something that has never existed.  Why?  It’s simple, if a failure occurs, all of the pieces of the puzzle had to exist at the point in time that the failure occurred.  You still have to find them, but they all exist.  With the invention of something entirely new, all of the pieces don’t necessarily exist – you must go and find them – which is a much broader search. 

Structured Innovation is not an oxymoron; it is a reality


“There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see. “ Leonardo da Vinci     For over 20 years, I have been listening to people say that the idea of structuring innovation is an impossibility and that it just doesn’t make sense or if you structure innovation you will ‘kill innovation’.  While they have argued the point, I have watched teams using structured approaches to innovation deliver $10s of billions in value to their companies and the markets they serve.  When people are taught the principles of innovation, they quite often respond that they do what they are being taught… they just did not know what they are doing, couldn’t articulate it and could not repeat it on demand.  In addition to this, without understanding what they were doing, they could not effectively use it within a team and it was not being managed within their companies.  Structured approaches to innovation are real and deliver extremely high-value returns in shorter timeframes.

What are some of the key steps in preparing for MFG 4.0?

Is your organization data ready?  Does your organization understand the cost of poor quality (what lies beneath the surface; the bottom of the iceberg?), overall equipment efficiency, and  capital investment utilization?

Continuity of a Useful Action

Does your organization understand what it will take to shift from reactive to proactive production?  What are the questions you must ask to change the future or your manufacturing operations?  How will:  Vision, Assessment, Alignment, Implementation, Sustainability and Re-Invention occur?  Knowing what questions to ask in advance and along the way is critical to your success with MFG 4.0.

Learn more…