Big data refers to large volume of data, both structured and unstructured, that businesses generate on a day-to-day basis. Manufacturing organizations have an abundance of operational and shop floor data that can be analyzed for business gains, and with the advent of Industry 4.0, there are manufacturing companies which have already started doing so. By leveraging big data intelligently, manufacturing companies are reducing processing flaws, improving production quality, increasing efficiency, and saving both time and money.
Here are some of the ways big data can revolutionize the manufacturing industry:
#1—Improving manufacturing processes
Using big data analytics, both process interdependencies and the different parameters that directly impact the processes can be identified. By modifying the parameters according to the data, manufacturers can improve their processes which will result in an increase in production. Big data can also help anticipate the need for machinery maintenance and replacement, helping to reduce downtime and improve processes.
Using big data analytics, a company can analyze the behavior of repeat customers. The result will be an understanding of how to deliver goods in a timely and profitable manner. Companies can also adopt lean manufacturing practices to determine which products are more viable and which ones may need scrapped.
Using big data for predictive analytics, a company can significantly reduce the number of tests required for quality assurance and reveal data inconsistency and conflicts coming from multiple sources. This will help improve the quality of the products manufactured.
#4—Managing supply chain risk
Interruptions in supply chain can be costly. Using predictive analytics, manufacturers can calculate the probabilities of delays in the chain. For example, analyzing weather statistics for events such as tornadoes, earthquakes, or hurricanes can help them identify backup suppliers and develop contingency plans to make sure production isn't interrupted by a natural disaster.
Big data enables manufacturers to perform simulations where they can model different product components, swap parts, change configurations, or test other variables in order to predict different outcomes. All this learning results in innovation helping create superior products.
Big data has the potential to generate value from the use of large data sets, integrating data across the extended business organization and applying advanced techniques to increase productivity by improving both efficiency and the quality of products. It is up to manufacturers to tap this potential and set themselves apart from their competitors.
How are you leveraging Big Data in your business? Let us know.