We’re in a production and manufacturing renaissance as of late. Nowadays, technology is making it easier than ever to get through every step of the production process. From design and prototyping to the production itself and all the variables that can affect the efficiency of the process. If you’re wondering how you can improve your process or get the best start on a new product, then let’s look at the ways technology can help you.
The value of the idea
Producing brand new goods could be difficult in the past. It’s not just a matter of having enough money to get the ball going and get the process started. Before that, you had to do a lot to prove the viability of the product and the idea in the first place. The purse strings were held an exclusive group of individuals who gave you their blessing and their money, or else you could be shown the door. Nowadays, with crowdfunding, however, it’s been easier to appeal to those who matter the most: the consumer. There have been some wildly successful companies using Kickstarter getting support through the one thing that counts: the value of the idea itself.
Get started quicker than ever
Prototyping could be difficult to do, too. Which each design revision, you had to build new products from scratch, often using lots of specialized equipment. Nowadays, however, you only really need one piece of equipment. Many in the industry thought 3D printing was little more than a fad at the start. However, with its accuracy and its ability to create from a diverse range of materials, it has more than proven its worth. Creating prototypes and getting started on low volume production now only takes that single piece of equipment in a lot of cases. For a business, you need to decide which kind of 3D printer is best for your needs, so find out what to consider if you want to buy 3d printer, such as size and ease of use.
Put all the pieces in place
For large scale development, 3D printers might be a little too slow for your purposes. You’ll likely need a variety of equipment. Nowadays, however, it’s easier to get specialized pieces that fit your exact needs. Product parts made from plastic are more easily shaped than before thanks to the advent and popularity of injection molding. Again, 3D printers can make their mark on your production process, too. Not only are they good for creating prototypes and slowly getting production started. They can be a lot more useful still in that they can be used to create mechanical parts. Whether it’s for specializing your machinery for your design needs to providing parts for quick repairs, they make it easier to keep the production line you need.
Information technology can be just as effective in making a more efficient production process, too. Lean principles, measuring lost time and lost resources, make the backbone of a lot of software that measures the efficiency of the line. But it can go even beyond that. It can help you maintain a clear line of logistics so that your production efforts aren’t halted by problems like too much inventory filling up all your space. Automated warehouse equipment can keep things moving after production as smoothly as they move during the process. Labor management tools are helping people on the floor and off keep productive, too. Managing your workforce is an essential part of making sure you’re not accruing huge costs you could do without.
Getting resource smart
Fulfilment and warehousing aren’t the only places where knowing your inventory matters, too. It’s important to make sure you’re using software to estimate your demand properly. Otherwise, you could be sitting on resources that aren’t going anywhere fast. You need to avoid making mistakes like purchasing more of a certain resource than you need. You might need more inventory down the line, yes, but you don’t need to deal with extra costs of housing and maintaining storage space for slow-moving products. Inventory management software can help you get a much better understanding of how your resources move, which you need and when. Meaning you keep a lot more money otherwise wasted on stock you can’t get rid of.
The production and manufacturing landscape is undergoing huge changes, from the ease of producing more complicated goods than ever to the automation and workflow management that limits loss and the costs labor. It’s only going to keep changing, so it’s a good idea to keep your ear to the ground for any new developments.