How Big Data Analytics is Changing Manufacturing

Date: August 28, 2020

Big Data is part of the Industry 4.0, also called the 4th Industrial Revolution, and is a key element in UK manufacturing. In order for businesses to grow, they must invest in Big Data analytics, as this is already changing the face of the sector.

As an investment casting company, we understand how Big Data allows you to identify patterns and issues within your processes and systems which, in turn, help you to make the right business decisions.

industry and Internet of Things concept. woman working in factory and wireless communication network. Industry4.0.

Improved Product Customisation

With Big Data, it’s becoming increasingly possible to predict demand for customised products, as it allows you to analyse customer behaviour. Customisation is often difficult because of the time and resources used to appeal to a small selection of customers – but, with Big Data analytics, manufacturers are able to get more lead time.

It’s easier for them to identify where they can use a different process or when to enable customisation with this increased time. In addition, by taking orders tailored to each client, manufacturers can improve customer satisfaction.

Analysing Performance

While it’s easy to just assume that all processes, systems and machinery are working as they should, the truth is that some will be functioning more efficiently than others. With Big Data, it’s possible to analyse performances and figure out which changes to make in order to boost capacity and improve production.

Big Data allows for better access to asset performance, as devices log data and, because they are interconnected, they can measure and transmit this performance in real time. This type of information is crucial for manufacturers because it allows them to make informed decisions – however, it’s also worth considering that there is a lot of information coming through, so systems must be able to handle the quantity of data.

Data analytics do this. They record and analyse the information in order to find ways to improve performance.

Predictive Maintenance

Being able to correct problems before they even appear is crucial in manufacturing. After all, because you’re able to prevent a massive issue, you can save a lot of time, money and effort. The sensors and connected devices that Big Data uses to figure out patterns are also able to discover and fix potential problems.

This prolongs the lifespan of your machinery and helps to keep maintenance costs down. Knowing when something is going to break also minimises downtime and waste, so Big Data is a very cost-efficient option for your business.

Data Analysis for Business and Finance Concept

Improve Supply Chains

Streamlining supply chains is incredibly important in manufacturing, something that was made even clearer by the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As the industry becomes even more global and connected, both manufacturing processes and supply chains also become more complex. In order to optimise these supply chains, it’s important to first understand how every component works, which can be achieved with Big Data.

Manufacturers are able to analyse supply chains more in-depth and account for everything, from individual tasks to potential bottlenecks. Once they receive this information, they can then create a different manufacturing plan or address the issues.

Boost Quality and Cut Production Costs

With Big Data, manufacturers can be confident about the quality of their products, since the information received from smart, connected devices tells them whether a specific component or product meets their rigorous standards.

Production lines can greatly benefit from Big Data as well – the quality of the products is maintained by ensuring that sensors detect defects early on, for instance.

This leads to a reduction in production costs. For example, if you’re sure of the quality of a product because all information points to that, then you may be able to reduce the number of quality tests performed (through predictive analytics and pattern recognition). This will save you money.

And, of course, if a product is designed and produced correctly, then there will be no need for a production re-run, which also keeps costs low.

Big Data Tools

As mentioned, Big Data helps you to make better business decisions, as there is no guessing, just concrete information that can guide your strategy. To obtain this information, manufacturers can make use of specific tools, such as:

  • Data Storage – Data storage is crucial to gather and store information on machinery, equipment, processes, supply chains, and more.
  • Data Cleanup – Big Data provides a lot of information, so manufacturers need a way to make this data readable and usable. These tools make sure that the information can be understood and used by several systems and applications.
  • Data Mapping – This tool allows manufacturers to understand how data flows through systems and supply chains and plays a key role in identifying and preventing issues, delays and lack of security.

There are many other Big Data tools that allow you gather, analyse and implement useful information in your business, including profiling tools, data mining tools, data visualisation tools and data monitoring tools.

You don’t have to use all of them, but it’s important to, at least, consider some of them. This is because the right tools – the ones that best suit your business model and what you’re looking to achieve – can lead to an increase in savings and productivity.

Smart industry control concept.

At Dean Group, we like to stay on top of everything that’s going on in manufacturing, and this means being aware of how much Big Data is transforming the industry. At our facilities, we’re always looking to the future and investing in the latest technology, as we understand just how important Industry 4.0 is.

If you’d like to learn more about our processes and products, please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 0161 775 1633.

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