Production flexibility is driving the future of manufacturing success
Research indicates that 59.5% of managers agree that flexibility boosts business productivity. Flexible production is a system that allows for a high level of adaptability in the manufacturing or production process. And this makes it easy to react to sudden changes, whether expected or unexpected. It makes the production system more reliable, reducing downtime and minimising waste. And thanks to its immense benefits, production flexibility drives the future of business success.
Businesses are taking advantage of various strategies to enhance flexibility in production. And one such is implementing agile manufacturing. This is slightly related to lean manufacturing, focusing mainly on production responsiveness and speed. It uses advanced tech solutions to create a highly adaptable production system. That makes it easy to adjust processes to sudden changes in customer demand. Its benefits can also cover other unexpected situations like supply chain disruptions.
Another strategy many businesses now use is cross-training their workers to perform multiple roles and tasks. This seemingly simple strategy builds a more flexible workforce regarding their skills, creating a team well-trained to work on different machines. That means any worker in the company can fill in when there’s a sudden skill or production gap. It also proves super beneficial when demand for a specific product increases unexpectedly. This simple strategy is now helping businesses avoid various bottlenecks, ensuring they can more than meet changing customer demand.
Many businesses are also turning to just-in-time (JIT) inventory management as against always purchasing materials to store for future use. This type of inventory management reduces inventory costs and improves production efficiency, as businesses end up ordering and receiving only the materials they need when they need them. In other words, they only buy a material when it’s needed immediately in the production line. Of course, this system has its challenges, especially when faced with supply chain issues. Other than that, businesses can reduce the amount of inventory they need to store and free up storage space for other resources when implementing JIT inventory. It is also making it easier for many companies to respond immediately to sudden changes in customer demand, as they’re now better placed to adjust their production processes whenever needed.
Today, digitisation has become the driving force behind many successful businesses. And one of its key benefits is that it’s helping businesses with production flexibility. It’s easier for businesses to achieve flexibility by improving communication, collaboration, and data analysis. Thanks to digital technologies like machine learning, businesses can now make more informed decisions regarding their response to demand changes.
Digitisation is also helping manufacturers to leverage machine technology. Integrating advanced robotics, for example, allows for rapid changeovers between different production lines. Machine learning drives production precision, using more advanced technology to simplify manufacturing processes. For example, most manufacturers like Precision Laser Cutting leverage technology like laser cutting to ensure quality products and services. One setup can cut many different shapes, even with the same material thickness. And that makes the manufacturing process more flexible and less time-consuming.
And who can forget how digitalisation has enabled remote work? Businesses can maintain their production regardless of pandemics, weather changes, or any other disruption.