Can you even begin to imagine the answer to that question with the rapid advances and changes taking place in manufacturing technology? A major contribution to the answer is provided by the technology trends that are already well recognized. We will consider only three of them. You can probably imagine many more.
First there is the inescapable trend of connectedness or one-to-one communication. This is enabled through mobile phones, smart phones and all the social networking applications. Anyone with a smart phone can call another individual in seconds anywhere in the world. They can also access anything on the Internet from wherever they are at the moment.
In manufacturing shop floor people will soon be able to communicate with anyone else in the company. If this is harnessed, imagine the power of anyone across the shop floor asking for information to do their job or reporting problems instantly to someone who can do something about it. Imagine everyone in the company suddenly becoming a quality assistant 24/7. Connectedness will be like a tidal wave washing across shop floors in the next five years.
Second is the trend to total computing mobility enabled by the iPad, tablet computers more powerful than your two year old desktop system, and other devices about to enter the mainstream. Voice activated systems replacing keyboard devices add another dimension to mobility for anyone. Imagine your shop floor with quality inspectors, manufacturing engineers and technicians able to access product information and communicate with anyone, about anything, from wherever they are at the time. Productivity will improve, production velocity will increase, and quality will increase while over all costs will decrease. Success stories of companies already doing some of this are available. In this case the future is now.
Third is the trend of more flexible software technology that can adapt to the unique needs of a production plant without requiring expensive custom programming. Lower cost solutions to information handling and data collection will be possible. Imagine your plant with all production information available on a mobile device to anyone needing it, when they need it, wherever they are. This is already being achieved in some progressive companies but it will be more widely used within the next five years as the costs are rapidly decreasing.
How can your company take advantage of these trends and start to implement tomorrow’s solutions today?
Talk to CIMx Software about creating this vision of a totally mobile, instant communication, high quality production environment. We can help you plan, or implement, the core infrastructure of tomorrow’s solutions today.