National manufacturing day 2022 – digitization in manufacturing
30 September 2022
Friday 7th October is National Manufacturing Day 2022. An initiative of The Manufacturing Institute, the day is a celebration of careers in modern manufacturing and a chance to inspire the next generation of Engineers, Technicians, Operators and Managers. It’s a fantastic initiative, and a necessary one to address the skills gap in the manufacturing industry. The US manufacturing industry is looking at a potential shortage of 2.4 million workers in the next decade and you’ll find similar statistics for manufacturing worldwide.
There is also a shortage of digital skills across sectors. A 2021 Times Higher Education report stated that 56% of UK employers needed to improve digital skills in their organization to keep pace with technological change. It’s another area that Manufacturing is reckoning with, particularly with the rise of digitalization. 95% of senior leaders in the industry agree that the digital transformation of manufacturing is essential to their company’s future success.
Digitalization is just one of quite a few technological innovations impacting on manufacturing. Here are a few things you can do to help your organization adapt, to upskill your staff and to ultimately improve your processes. Lights out manufacturing might not be too far from reality; digital change is here.
How can you implement digital manufacturing?
Change is difficult in every walk of life, especially when many of us are creatures of habit. Ultimately though, change is inevitable. In your sector, imminent change might not be optional, it may be an obligation. There are always associated costs that come with change, whether that be the straightforward expenditure of software, or the time and resource lost to training. These aren’t issues that can be avoided. The best time to start adapting to digitization really is now.
The world as a whole has been moving more and more towards a paperless society. Partly due to environmental reasons, but equally, pen and paper just isn’t as efficient and organized as a system is. Notes can get lost and handwriting is misinterpreted. If you have to keep your reports and audits for a set period of time, you’ve also got the physical storage to keep in mind, renting out space for boxes and boxes of reporting. Going digital with a modern Quality Management System (QMS) solves all of these problems.
Don’t just throw your data in an excel spreadsheet
While Microsoft Excel is certainly more digital than pen and paper, the functionality still lacks compared to that of a QMS. Sooner or later you’ll run into a host of problems, a few of which we have listed below:
- Whoever owns the spreadsheet holds the power. If they were to leave, you lose the ability to easily change components of it, formulas and pivot tables for example.
- There is potential for data to be disrupted and the spreadsheet to break if it is misused. What's more, it can be difficult for people to add their data when it is overly complicated.
- It can be a manual and tedious process trying to manipulate the data and pull out the specific information you need.
- You can find yourself with multiple versions of the same spreadsheet, and at risk of being locked out when someone else is using it. Not being able to add or access data exactly when you need it can be frustrating and time-consuming.
Being able to record things as they happen is vital, so the details provided are as accurate as possible. Using a mobile QMS, like Q-Pulse, allows every employee throughout your organization to contribute to quality and safety, quickly and uniformly, providing real-time reporting on the system’s app. For management, this means you can have oversight on production, even if you aren’t on the plant floor.
A QMS allows you to instantly access data that you’re collecting across your business, so that you can get instant-feedback and analytics on your processes. Instead of wasting time setting up complex pivot tables on excel, an easy-to-use QMS lets you configure ad-hoc reports on-the-spot so you can quickly analyze metrics and make better decisions when actions are needed.
Getting real-time feedback means that, as a leader, you don’t have to be on the plant floor every second of the day. You get to have eyes on assets, even when you’re working from home, meaning you can be just as proactive at identifying issues as if you were inspecting the machinery yourself.
Automated asset management
An asset management system allows you to build a living library of your assets with complete visibility over all your equipment. Assigning maintenance, calibration, and upkeep actions to the relevant people can be done at the click of a button, so no action is missed. Plus, it makes it easy to prove compliance when you have access to a compilation of historical records.
Inspired by National Manufacturing Day 2022?
Ideagen’s Q-Pulse QMS helps to automate your processes, gain complete visibility and easily identify and act on risks. Why wait? Revolutionize your quality processes today.Speak to our expert team