MFG 4.0 – Understanding where your organization is in the process is a key to preparing for the future.

Every manufacturing organization has taken one or more steps toward MFG 4.0. One of the keys to successfully moving forward is understanding where you are in the process. Your readiness can range for being ready at one machine to machining cells, production lines, entire plants and multiple plants.

What is happening with your manufacturing data lies at the core of your readiness. Are your machines capable of producing data, is the data being stored at the machine or networked and compiled in databases. What happens with the data? Is it just stored, pulled out for analysis to determine what went wrong in production, or used to predict and prevent problems? Is data availability and utilization adding to cost or reducing cost? Do people have to receive extensive training to use the data? How is data transferred from person to person and from the bottom to the top of the organization? Is the data received at the top of the organization overwhelming and unused or high-value, target?  Is it real time?

Answers come from upfront Visioning, Assessment and Alignment that defines next steps and gains buy-in from the top to the bottom of the organization.

Contact us to learn more about Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation™

MFG 4.0 – Is leadership vision a process of thinking outside the box with direction?


Where does leadership vision come from? Experience, market awareness, competitive insights, observations, or the inputs of trusted advisors? Absolutely, but what about a process for creating and making leadership vision on specific topics quickly? And, what about the vision of different leaders – are they aligned or in contradiction with each other – and, how is that resolved? What is an easy way to make theses difference visible?

You have been told to THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX over and over. It might be time to consider changing this way of thinking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of what you have been told to do.

When it comes to MFG 4.0, why wouldn’t you THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX WITHE DIRECTION; becoming laser focused on delivering high-value production throughput of good products.
Innovation in manufacturing (MFG 4.0 as an example) should not be an accident; it should be a well-managed part of your business that allows you to deliver the required throughput of good parts or any other critical manufacturing need efficiently and effectively.

It all begins with an assessment of the current state of operations; vision, surfacing problems that need resolved along the way, alignment between vision and the plant floor then delivering solutions. Not just trying but DELIVERING the most ideal future state possible; one that satisfies all functional leaders AND the needs of plant floor personnel as well as customers.

Learn how AIA’s Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation™ process can get you moving down the right path quickly.

MFG 4.0 – How do you economically justify MFG 4.0?

Economic justification of MFG 4.0 might be a challenge without having a straight-forward approach. It starts with understanding vision, barriers to successful implementation and how visible and invisible problems can and will be resolved to drive cost out of the operation.

The key is to have a structured process that begins with leadership, includes plant floor inputs and quantifies the losses associated with the manufacturing throughput.

If your cost reduction efforts have squeezed and squeezed cost out of your manufacturing processes and your metrics are close to the optimum, then it’s time to re-evaluate or redefine the metrics and how you look at costs from a different point of view. The reality is that something in your thinking needs to change or evolve to get to the next level of financial opportunity.  Is a paradigm shift in how economic justification needed to move your organization forward?  Is this heresy or a requirement?

Quite often hidden costs in manufacturing operations are a blind spot and avoided because they are hard to measure and drive to the bottom line of financials and top line growth. As well as companies believe they are doing, research indicates that there are huge financial opportunities hidden in day-to-day operations. Examples include:

• Cost of bad data -typically, 15% to 25% of revenue
• Cost of quality – typically, 15 to 20% of revenue
• Costs associated with OEE of 60% is fairly typical for discrete manufacturers
• Cost of under-utilized assets (manpower, equipment, facilities, etc.)

It’s easy to say our company does better than this but it’s the “hidden” costs; the ones that have been accepted as the norm that will be key to moving forward with digital manufacturing.  Leaders must challenge the way they look at economic justification.

Contact us to learn more about AIA’s Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation™ Assessment Process.

Innovation… what’s missing in business

Think about how innovation occurs in your business… is it systematic and structured across all areas of your business?  Is it an executable and managed business function or just something that happens randomly?

I once sat down with two executives and asked, “How many engineers do you have in this part of your business?”  The quick response was 800.  I then asked, “How many of them are truly innovative?”  After a longer than expected pause, one executive responded, “TWO!”  And, the other executive named them.

As we discussed innovation, their realization was that they had a lot of smart engineers that were delivering new products day-in and day-out.  What made the TWO engineers unique was that the innovations they were delivering were driving growth and profitability to new levels.  They were changing the growth and profitability of the business.

The underlying question is, “What about the other 798 engineers?” and what if even 5% of them could become truly innovative.  What would happen to the business?

Innovation and structured process are not an oxymoron; in contradiction with each other.  Deming told us, “If you can’t define what you are doing in terms of a process then you don’t know what you are doing.”

Innovation should be a well-managed business function.  It should be applicable to all areas of business from tactical to strategic and in areas of science, engineering and business.  It should be a core competency of the business.

Contact AIA to learn more about how to make this happen.

MFG 4.0 – Is MFG 4.0 a paradigm shift in waiting…

Paradigms are embodied in beliefs and psychological motivations to keep doing things that way we have always done them.

A paradigm is what members of a specific industry, and they alone, share.  It is not simply the current theoretical foundation of how needs are met, but the global understanding of why the paradigm exists, as well as all the implications / consequences that come with it.

Einstein told us, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

So, how does this match up with MFG 4.0.  Done right, MFG 4.0 represents significant changes in the way work is accomplished.  Done right, it is a shift from reactive to proactive.  Done right, is increases throughput of good parts.  Done right, it enables people to proactively prevent problems before they occur.  Done right, it leads to a higher value workforce.  Done right, it leverages existing data sources and minimizes the complexities associated with using the data. Done right it delivers higher quality of the products produced.  Done right, it improves equipment efficiency.  Done right, it is implemented quickly.  Done right, it begins delivering ROI upon the completion of implementation not two years down the road.  Done right you don’t get caught in a pilot purgatory.  And, the list goes on.

The key is to learn how to do it right.

AIA’s Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation™ Assessment Process is the jumping off point.

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MFG 4.0 – What is the path toward increased profitability in manufacturing?

Is it the need to go beyond Continuous Improvement and Lean?  Can Manufacturing 4.0 lead to value maximization of a company’s assets (people, equipment, facilities, data)?  Will it be MFG 4.0 that drives operations beyond stagnation and sets the stage for greater achievements in growth and profitability?  Does it drive new levels of Continuous Improvement, Lean, Quality, Capital Utilization, Throughput and more? What does it take for an organization to be ready for MFG 4.0?  What does your organization need to do?

  • Alignment of leadership vision across an organization
  • Alignment of plant floor to leadership vision
  • An understanding of data maturity; a key element of success
  • An understanding of the financial impact of hidden costs
  • An understanding of COPQ (cost of poor quality) – more hidden costs
  • An understanding of the cost of under-utilization of assets

Learn about one option:  AIA’s Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation™ Assessment Process

MFG 4.0 Where are the hidden costs in a manufacturing operation?

There is a reality… hidden costs are everywhere… Is MFG 4.0 the answer to reducing hidden cost that negatively impact the bottom line and growth opportunities.

Costs lie hidden in production environments – from the obvious to the not so obvious.

Obvious… internal costs – cost associated with defects found before the customer receives the product.

• Waste, scrap, rework, recalls, recurring failures — and, the not so obvious failure to quantify all the labor costs and lost opportunities associated with resolving these issues

Sometimes painfully obvious and extremely high cost… external costs – cost associated with defects found after the customer receives the product.

• Repairs and servicing, warranty / recall claims, complaints, returns

Obvious but bits and pieces are just accepted as a part of doing business – measuring & monitoring – costs incurred to determine the degree of conformance to quality requirements — all those little things we must do but wish we didn’t have to do.

• Verification, quality audits, supplier ratings

More of the stuff we wish we didn’t have to do and more costs that just aren’t always quantified – prevention / avoidance – costs incurred to keep failure, measurement & monitoring costs to a minimum.

• Managing product requirements, quality planning, quality assurance, training

Where are the next round of cost reductions in your organization? What if the above cost could be cut by one half? What would the impact on your financials be? How could all the related manpower be better utilized to better manage growth and profitability.

A quick way to learn is through AIA’s Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation™ Assessment Process. Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation

MFG 4.0 – Did you know that manufacturing systems evolve based on objective patterns?

Objective patterns have been defined through research of the history of technology, markets and society.  The revealed evolutionary patterns and sequences define how systems have evolved throughout history.  And, history does repeat itself.  Research has been conducted going back to the beginning of mankind’s existence with studies including some of the oldest evolving systems, e.g. weapons, dwellings, transportation, communications, agriculture, communications, et al. to establish statistically valid patents.

So how does this apply to manufacturing?  The evolution of systems can be linked to any subject you pick?  Data, quality, efficiency, capital asset utilization or you pick the topic.

Conducting a Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation™ Assessment opens the door to discovering leadership vision and hidden issues at different levels all the way to the plant floor.

So how might thinking in terms of patterns help you reveal:

  • Opportunities to improve manpower utilization at all levels from the plant floor to the executive suite
  • Where there is uneven development between different parts of the manufacturing operations that are creating problems
  • The need to increase how data is used to proactively improve operations; making them more dynamic, improving for flows of materials and the utilization of personnel
  • Places where there is a need to improve how systems (people, machines, flows, quality, throughput, profits, etc.) need to be better matched or synchronized for improved performance
  • Areas where a wasted resource, data, exists but is not being captures and utilized
  • Opportunities to find ways to reduce human involvement in one area so it can be used to produce greater value in another manner
  • And more…

AIA’s Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation™ assessment process is designed to reveal opportunities quickly to allow you to move toward actionable knowledge and ROI realization.

Learn more about AIA’s Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation™ Assessment Process

MFG 4.0 – What is the value of data being collected and not used?

Linear Nonlinear

Is data the new money?  Is manufacturing data one of the biggest hidden opportunities on your plant floor?  A gold mine waiting to be tapped into?  Does the solution to access and leverage data need to be complex and take years before you can benefit from it?  Is harnessing manufacturing data critical to the growth and profitability of your organization?

The value of data is huge and data either lies hidden in manufacturing or is being collected AND used.  In many organizations the automated use of the data ends at the point of collection, and manpower kicks in to analyze data.  After problems occur, post analysis (at a significant cost) kicks in with a host of other hidden realities.

  • Poor data quality and complexity hampers an organization’s ability to leverage the data and control manufacturing processes
  • Lack of actionable data results in:  process variability + poor data quality + complexity of operations + interpretation and utilization of data by employees which results in the inability to control a manufacturing process
  • Complexity of manufacturing operations and the associated data = difficult to leverage by everyone from the plant floor to the executive suite

Data maturity is critical to being prepared for Manufacturing 4.0.  The question is, “Is your organization ready?”  And, how do you know?

Challenge yourself:  What does data maturity mean within your organization?  What is the value of being able to move to the next step of digital manufacturing?

Are you there?  Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation begins with an assessment designed to deliver answers, opportunities and solutions.

Learn more…

MFG 4.0 – Life without Innovation in Manufacturing

Structured Innovation / TRIZ

Can you imagine a life without innovation in manufacturing?  If you have ever been in a plant that is stagnated, stuck in the past then you probably can.  Innovation surrounds every part of the worlds of business and manufacturing.  MFG 4.0 is about transforming existing data streams into actionable information.  Information that supports every aspect of manufacturing from the plant floor to top managements, customers and beyond.

The reality is that manufacturing would not exist without innovation.  Innovation has been the key that allow companies to survive and thrive.  Many companies have made great efforts to improve operations using Continuous Improvement and Lean but there are limits to how far you can go down the path of cost reducing your way to success.  The realization that optimization and innovation go together is critical to the long-term success of any type of production operation.

Innovation is a process that begins with visioning… take a moment to envision the ideal and then find the pieces of the puzzle that allow you to achieve the ideal.  Take a moment to rethink the statements below in terms of the ideal…

  • Is data sitting static in machines and databases?
  • Are personnel analyzing data after failures and costs have been incurred?
  • Does real time mean an hour after a problem appears?  Or a worse a day or week later?
  • Do your personnel have the information they need to prevent problems from occurring?
  • Can your managers see problems coming with proactive alerts?
  • What if throughput could be improved by 10%, 20%, 30%, or more?  What would the impact be on your organizations bottom line?

Envisioning the idea allows you to identify and begin the process of delivering innovative solutions.

Have your continuous improvement efforts hit their limits on a critical production line?  Or at one plant?  Or multiple plants?

AIA’s Manufacturing Innovation & Transformation™ assessment process enables leaders and plant floor personnel such that they discover answers to these and many more question to better understand how ready they are for the next generation of manufacturing.

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