How Information Technology influences Productivity in Manufacturing Industry
Productivity is the measurement of the efficiency of production. For maintaining the productivity, the industry should focus on producing the right product, with excellent quality and sufficient quantity at the right price and at the right time. Manufacturing costs can be minimized and controlled only when there is no latency between material flow and information flow. The information system is an integral part of all manufacturing enterprises.
Let us see how IT can influence productivity in manufacturing industry.
Manufacturing ERP system
Nowadays manufacturers are paying more attention to those areas where they were hesitant to invest in during the economic recessions that occurred in the past. This includes investments in modern ERP manufacturing systems. ERP integrates and automates every business function in a single platform. With a good ERP, companies can leverage their features to improve all the areas of their operations.
Using ERP, an enterprise can accomplish:
- Advanced visibility
- Increased efficiency
- Enhanced product quality
- Cost reductions and improved collaboration
Computer based control systems
The combination of information technology and factory automation is often termed as computer- integrated manufacturing. Computer based systems can be combined with manufacturing technologies to improve operational efficiency.
Numerical control is a form of programmable automation, in which the process is controlled by precisely programmed commands. Its online version, Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) is used to perform a wide range of manufacturing tasks which are carried out by electronic devices. If the available memory is short, the program is stored in a separate computer that has sufficient memory and is sent directly to the machine. This enhanced method is termed as Direct Numerical Control or Distributed Numerical Control (DNC).
CAM utilizes robots, machine tools, automatically guided vehicles, and other similar features for manufacturing products. CAM includes Computer-Aided Process Planning (CAPP), production scheduling, Group Technology (GT), and flow analysis.
Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
CIM links manufacturing functions using an integrated computer network. This network allows the individual processes to exchange information with each other and initiate required actions. Through the integration of computers, manufacturing processes are done with more accuracy at a faster pace.
Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS)
FMS interconnects numerically controlled machines. Here the system ensures the flexibility to react in case of changes, whether predicted or not.
Influence on Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the flow of products and information between supply chain member organizations. During the various procedures from production to delivery, companies within the chain pay more attention to manage the supply chain and to improve efficiency along with the changing market conditions.
Information technology can influence supply chain the following ways:
- Data can be centralized at a single location
- Provision for information availability and visibility
- Decision making based on total supply chain information
- Enabling best alliance with partners
To conclude, IT is well equipped with online shipping, tracking, and electronic invoicing designed to keep the customers satisfied. Advantages of mobility, flexibility, and applications like cloud computing can be utilized for tracking materials and products that help companies maintain their production schedules and inventory levels efficiently.
About the author
Nabeel CA is working as software engineer at Suyati. His expertise lies in multiple Microsoft Technologies and platforms. He is a trained content management expert with hands on experience in Ektron and EPiServer CMS. He is also an active contributor to tech forums.