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Posted by Neil O’Connell Chief Technology and Product Officer on December 12, 2019 

Manufacturing today means learning to balance ever-increasing demands with dedicating time and resources to continuous quality management.

Time is money, so meeting expectations for superior quality, while lowering costs and expediting production requires manufacturing facilities to take a sophisticated approach to quality management—one that will monitor the entire product journey.   

It is nearly impossible to do this by piecing together responsive quality control actions from an ad hoc series of tools and processes. If done correctly, your quality control game plan should be intuitive, all-inclusive and proactive. It should focus on a cohesive strategy that can deliver more product and quality service – all while anticipating challenges before they arise.  

Take risks to improve quality & results 

Taking control of your quality management game plan can deliver significant, profitable results. It really is a must-do for any manufacturing facility. 

Here’s why: 

  • It increases operational efficiency by reducing costs and waste 
  • It allows you to respond to or reach new customers and increase competitive advantage 
  • It protects and strengthen brand and reputation and build public trust 
  • It helps build long-term business viability and success 

Know what needs to change  

Creating a culture of quality does not happen overnight, especially if your facility is relying on old methods of quality control. It may be time to assess how well current systems help your company meet important quality objectives. If quality benchmarks seem unobtainable, it is worth the investment to upgrade that old technology. 

For example, infusing traditional quality methods with new technologies—such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, device connectivity, big data and cloud computing can help align current strategies with quality control benchmarks. 

A facility’s software platform should quickly identify needed improvements the actions needed to obtain ideal quality management and customer satisfaction. Essentially, it should tell you what’s going wrong with quality control and how to fix it. 

The benefit of telematic technology 

The move to cloud-based telematics and artificial intelligence is on the rise. The primary gain typically falls under the category of ‘operational agility’. By marrying new technology with older systems, companies typically identify and assess risks with ease, release new products faster than before, minimize manufacturing defects and potential delays, and leverage a more consistent process for decision-making. 

With AI, software platforms identify and merge patterns from what machines “experience” using advanced analytics, IoT sensors, and real-time monitoring. The partnership provides answers based on insight versus guesswork and delivers the end-to-end visibility required for success. 

Gains include: 

  • A smarter warehouse – with increased tracking of operator patterns, order picking, inventory monitoring, and just-in-time deliveries   
  • Superior Communication – all systems can “talk” to each other; combined information supports improved timing and routing, product location, and traffic patterns   
  • Improved locationing capabilities – systems will become much more “context aware,” able to locate inventory (down to the foot) and suggest optimum forklift routing  

Cloud-based access to machine-derived data has become invaluable in meeting today’s demands for manufacturing quality control. A telematics system can monitor and identify necessary changes that will improve quality, productivity and customer satisfaction.
 

 

Key words: Quality management for manufacturing 

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