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Smart manufacturing requires more than just investing in the latest IIoT solutions and technologies. Organizations that successfully incorporate smart manufacturing must experience a top-down shift from a process-first mindset to a culture-first mindset, effectively prioritizing the people side of the business. When every level of an organization is engaged and invested, a company can truly move forward and join “industry 4.0.” The following are necessary focus areas for successful integration of smart manufacturing principles and solutions.

An increasingly global manufacturing marketplace continues to expand the competitive borders of the manufacturing environment. At the same time, tighter margins, smaller lot sizes, and higher quality requirements demand advanced technical solutions that help organizations achieve lean manufacturing across each stage of the production cycle. Since 2013, 5ME LLC has provided manufacturers with a web-based software suite that does just that. FREEDOM™ Smart Manufacturing platform delivers real-time collection and analysis of important manufacturing data that is accessible on any web browser and any device, connecting every asset on the shop floor and providing analytics to its users everywhere from the shop floor to the top floor.

There’s an influx of information on the internet about smart manufacturing, IoT, and IIoT that makes it difficult to know what publications to pay attention to. At FREEDOM™, we know smart manufacturing – with our Smart Manufacturing Platform we stay up-to-date on industry trends, insights, and publications around these topics. Here are five articles we gathered to help keep your competitive edge.

An operating platform is a foundation to manufacturer’s entire infrastructure. Depending on what systems are in place, these applications work together by sharing data which give manufacturers real-time visibility that enables instant decision-making. So, what’s holding manufacturers back from implementing smart manufacturing technology?  Let’s take a look. 

Smart manufacturing strategies and solutions are helping organizations across sectors stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace. Digital, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies are simplifying real-time collection and analysis of essential manufacturing data, information that is helping to boost productivity, improve product quality and enhance operational agility across the value stream.

Smart manufacturing is a growing trend that shows no signs of stopping. Across industries, digital technologies and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions are transforming the shop floor from traditional linear operations to interconnected systems that communicate, adapt, collect, exchange and analyze data. These solutions are helping organizations boost production, improve efficiency and increase cost-savings, while simultaneously reducing unplanned downtime, part setup time, required system maintenance, and more.

Functional excellence is not enough to stay competitive in today’s manufacturing landscape. Maintaining a profitable, competitive and sustainable business today requires that organizations achieve efficiencies across each stage of the value stream. Creating and sustaining manufacturing efficiencies, however, can be challenged by a variety of factors, including a growing competitive marketplace, shifting customer demand, rapid introduction of new technologies, rising raw material costs, diminishing manufacturing expertise, as well as organizational, cultural, and process change management obstacles.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines “smart manufacturing” as “fully-integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real time to meet changing demands and conditions in the factory, in the supply network, and in customer needs.” In short, smart manufacturing is the optimization of every aspect of the value stream via interconnected solutions that facilitate automation, real-time monitoring, and continuous data analysis to increase efficiency and productivity.

The technology landscape for North American manufacturers continues to grow more complex as new automated, smart technologies are introduced at a rapid pace. Automated, smart technologies are helping manufacturers keep step with this fluctuating marketplace, enabling them to maximize cost, delivery, flexibility, and quality via interconnected solutions that promote rapid flow and widespread use of digital information within and between manufacturing systems.

FREEDOM™ demonstrated its growing, connected IIoT Smart Manufacturing Platform at IMTS 2018. More than 2,500 manufacturers brought their latest and greatest technologies to Chicago, Illinois. It was a record-breaking year for registrations, square feet of exhibit space, exhibiting companies, and booths.