How real-time operations management can transform manufacturing

In a recent webinar with BPF (the British Plastics Federation), Nick Jackson and Tom Grigg discusses the ways you can improve productivity and transform manufacturing, with real-time operations management.

Held as a part of a series of webinar sessions to support plastics processors through the COVID-19 pandemic with practical advice on a whole host of subjects.


Managing real-time operations in a pandemic

Clearly, there are significant impacts on the ability for manufacturers of all kinds to operate with any kind of normality.

There’s the impact on the workforce, with social distancing in place on the shop floor and offices. There’s disruption caused to changing shift patterns. That might include ensuring there are enough operators on any particular shift caused by self-isolation and the introduction of A / teams.

Manufacturers also have to deal with an increased need for remote access and home working support.

Businesses are also having to deal with pressure being applied to the existing processes and workflows, including business critical processes such as purchase order approval and the need for physical signatures.

There is still a requirement for the tracking of production and completing production reports to ensure operations are being conducted effectively and efficiently.

In a nutshell, manufacturers have had (and will continue) to adapt to disruption.

And out of disruption comes opportunity.


How manufacturing software can help

In order to maximise those opportunities – and keep the lights on, manufacturing software becomes a vital component.

Manufacturers need their software to be accessible from anywhere and at anytime.

It must be able to provide real / useful / relevant operational support. It should be able to provide reporting and real-time dashboards to give you the business information required to run the business.

Your manufacturing software should be able to offer electronic workflows, purchase orders, digital signatures and document management.

In terms of automation, your software should be able to monitor production, for example cycle counts and be able to deliver direct machine interfaces so that you can monitor processes on the shop floor.

Crucially, your software should help you to move towards standardisation across your operation giving you a single information source, which is updated in real-time.

We talk often about disseminating tribal knowledge within a business. It’s no use having data or processes looked away in the head of someone in the business. It must be accessible to other people who may need it in the future.


How one plastics manufacturer has adapted to the pandemic

One of Proximity and DELMIAWORKS customers has adapted quickly to the ‘new norm’. Mergon, an Irish based plastic processor who specialise in the automotive, industrial and healthcare sectors, has added another channel for their products.

“We already make parts for the medical industry and we have started making PPE equipment too. The first piece of equipment we are manufacturing is face shields. Normally we’re a B2B business but we’re looking at B2C for this.”


Learn more about how DELMIAWORKS (formerly IQMS) is helping Mergon and transforming the plastic manufacturing sector, by watching the replay video below.