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Cloud Computing For Manufacturing

Cloud Computing For Manufacturing – The impact of cloud computing on manufacturing Originally used to access and share data, cloud computing now enables manufacturers to connect machines, materials and people in real time.

Before introducing cloud-based computing in 2013 and 2014, Accuride Corp. of Evansville, Indiana, ran its multi-facility manufacturing operation with a system that in retrospect seems primitive and cumbersome.

Cloud Computing For Manufacturing

Cloud Computing For Manufacturing

In each factory, “people on the lines were writing things down, like how many parts they made, how much scrap there was, what problems they had with the machines, etc.,” says Paul Wright, director of IT at Accuride. wheels, wheel components and other products for commercial vehicles. These pieces of paper were then used to write numbers on the board every hour and then entered into an Excel spreadsheet once a day and then daily to generate reports for management; these were then uploaded monthly to PowerPoint.

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Clouds “How can I get full value?” It’s part of a general trend: using information to make better use of investments. Jim Joyce, New Technology Specialist at Deloitte “We’re now able to get that information directly from the machines, removing three layers of wasted time,” Wright says. The machines, like the rest of Accuride’s operations, are connected through applications developed by Plex Systems of Troy, Michigan. Accuride’s experience exemplifies the impact of cloud computing (using the Internet to remotely host software, data, and associated infrastructure) in manufacturing. In the early stages of the cloud’s evolution as a business tool, manufacturers primarily used it for the same kinds of functions as other industries: accessing and sharing data. But as software developers have created more and more industrial applications, one of the most important opportunities for manufacturers has become real-time connectivity between workers’ machines, materials, people, tools and systems.

Jim Joyce, specialist emerging technology leader at Deloitte, says cloud technology has been “a catalyst for the revolution taking place in manufacturing; that the exchange of information is for assets, and inventory is for certain production capabilities, where you can access, where they could be… Supply chains are increasingly designed to move information, not physical products. As this digitization of manufacturing and supply chain develops, one of the key elements will be the cloud.’ For production managers, Joyce says, the cloud is a question of “how do I get the full value?” It’s part of a very general trend: using information to improve investing.”

For manufacturers, the cloud “opens up endless possibilities” for networking and sharing resources, says Gavin Davidson, CEO of NetSuite, Inc. production managers in the cloud software development industry. Davidson says the cloud has introduced the concept of “locationless relevance” to manufacturing. The concept is: “It doesn’t matter where the product is, whether you make it or someone makes it for you. You should expect the same amount of information from the supplier and the production process as if you were making it yourself. You can get daily or hourly feedback about it how many (units) are made, how many are discarded, how efficient is the machine…” The cloud is just as valuable as a quality improvement tool, as Davidson points out, allowing the user to “take the best practices established in your facilities and share them with your suppliers , so that you end up with the same quality”.

Davidson cites several examples from NetSuite’s user base. One is a Dallas-based fastener manufacturer that can monitor and control the operations of manufacturing facilities in Cleveland and Los Angeles. “The Dallas guy has full control over the running of both facilities and never has to visit them,” he says. Another company, a large carpet manufacturer, remotely manages and controls a large manufacturing facility in China from its location in the US.

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The current and future impact of the cloud was a major topic of conversation at a recent meeting of the National Association of Manufacturers, says Brian Raymond, NAM’s director of technology and domestic economic policy. “It has become a transformative technology that brings transformative opportunities. The Internet of Things has become almost ubiquitous, Raymond says, “and it’s part of every manufacturer’s business strategy to know how the Internet of Things will change the competition and change your company.”

The cloud brought the concept of “relevance without location” to production. The concept is that it doesn’t matter where the product is, whether you make it or someone makes it for you. You should expect the same amount of information from the supplier and the manufacturing process as if you were doing it yourself. By Gavin Davidson, NetSuite, Inc. Industry leader in cloud software manufacturing Raymond says other questions being asked in the industry are: “how can we use technology solutions across the enterprise, in the store or embedded in products, to deliver better products, reduce costs and increase security, the things that technology has brought every other industry. The cloud allows manufacturers to get more out of technology.”

Adoption is growing rapidly. Earlier this year, market research firm International Data Corp. predicted that public cloud computing will reach nearly $70 billion worldwide in 2015, with the top five verticals (“discrete” manufacturing, banking, professional services, process manufacturing, and retail) narrowly missing out on 45 percent of total spending Take Accuride’s example : the company launched cloud ERP (enterprise resource management) in its corporate office in January 2013 and began rolling out its cloud manufacturing system in January 2014, according to Paul Wright. Accuride originally used the cloud to connect to its factory in Henderson, Ky., and then to its manufacturing facility in Erie, Pennsylvania; London Ont.; Monterrey, Mexico; Batavia, Ill.; Rockford, Ill.; and Camden, S.C.

Cloud Computing For Manufacturing

Apps have replaced seven different ERPs, Wright notes. “Using web-based tools, we are able to understand production performance in real time, directly connected to the machines… The level of visibility we have is almost like being in the factory. Every time one of our machines completes a cycle to produce a part, it shows in our ERP system that the raw material has been consumed and sends this signal through the cloud. We have full visibility, so we can measure operational performance based on that data.”

Cloud Manufacturing Service Paradigm For Group Manufacturing Companies

The system also extends to Accuride’s supply chain, with online portals that the company’s suppliers can use to review and fulfill their material orders. “We can ‘see’ the product as it’s being prepared for shipment and we can see it in transit,” Wright says. Real-time visibility is extremely valuable in streamlined, just-in-time supply chain logistics, “when you’ve extended the time to ship products from overseas,” he explains.

Of course, data security is also a key concern, and especially in the early stages of server-based data sharing, many companies did nothing. But manufacturers and vendors say today’s cloud systems have proven their ability to protect data. “When we connect to the cloud, what we need to do is maintain the integrity of our firewall; we’re not responsible for managing all that data,” Wright says. “We put it in the hands of people who do it professionally, and it’s safer than running your own system.”

Even relatively small manufacturing companies are using the cloud. Bozeman-based Mystery Ranch, a maker of high-end backpacks and backpack accessories, uses cloud software to power every part of its business: design and engineering, manufacturing, quality control, research and testing, production, inventory management, workers. management, finance, supplier relations, e-commerce, sales and marketing.

The cloud-based feature that has helped Mystery Ranch the most allows the company to manage operations at contract manufacturing sites in the U.S., Vietnam and the Philippines, says Kendra Clark, Mystery Ranch’s IT project manager. The cloud-based system “allows visibility into raw material consumption, as well as time-stamping when products are finished, and ships products directly to customers or transfers them here for direct sales. Manufacturing operations overseas can be challenging for a number of reasons,” he said, adding that six and citing a normal period of up to nine weeks. But “the cloud has allowed us to work smarter, not harder.”

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According to Jim Joyce of Deloitte, “smaller companies tend to participate in cloud manufacturing out of economic necessity; you may not have the capital to purchase certain equipment. Large companies run quite sophisticated financial calculations of return on assets.’

Of course, the remote management capabilities enabled by cloud computing should have a significant impact on companies’ real estate and facilities management strategies and location decisions. What that will be remains to be seen, as the cloud effects are just beginning. One possibility would be “pop-up” or mobile manufacturing facilities, which companies can expand to get closer to customers, especially those in foreign markets, or suppliers.

Joyce’s advice to manufacturing companies: “This is the future; digitization of physical assets, use of underutilized assets to reduce costs. This is something everyone should at least watch out for

Cloud Computing For Manufacturing

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