A Smart Factory Needs Smart Solutions

May 4, 2022

A Smart Factory Needs Smart Solutions

Software systems that reduce data silos and make information widely available to everyone in the same office are essential in today’s organizations. Intelligent, connected, and adaptable tech has moved beyond the office environment into factories and the utility sector.

In this new era of “smart factories” – sometimes called the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the manufacturing and utility sectors are relying on smart systems to track assets, reduce human errors, teach and coach workers, and ultimately reduce the cost of goods manufactured.

The OpenText Technical Service Management (TSM) solution on the Eccentex AppBase Platform delivers the potential of the smart factory.

Connected Devices and Shared Data

For years, the term digital transformation generally referred to moving documents from paper to files. While that had obvious advantages, there was still a problem: digitized information could still be placed in silos where it wasn’t easily available to the employees who needed to access it.

In a dynamic environment, such as a modern factory or utility facility, lack of access to information can bring production to a halt. Who needs information if it’s not updated in real-time?. OpenText TSM with Eccentex AppBase can enable permissions to change or quickly create new apps, deftly meeting that need with intelligent flexibility.

Mastering the Supply Chain

Manufacturers did not need the global pandemic to teach them about the connectedness of global supply chains. It’s one area where sophisticated asset tracking systems can deliver a big advantage to factory managers. Knowing where the goods are, and when they can be expected, is vital in today’s world. According to Forbes, visibility into every customer data channel will be crucial to achieving a live 360-degree view of the supply chain.

With the right software, a factory can reside in the modern paradigm of an interconnected system of trading partners. The result: managers and workers can budget time more effectively, required materials can be quickly located, even in remote locations, and allocated to where they are needed.

Inventory issues are not unique to factories, of course. Utility companies also have a serious need for knowing where assets are located, from trucks and people to the underlying asset itself. Software that can keep reliable inventories is critical, therefore it needs to be adaptable and easy to use.

Worker Education and “Upskilling”

Modern factories often utilize robots to do simple or repetitive tasks, but humans are still very much in demand for tasks that require skill and precision. Those sorts of skills require extensive training, which can include periodic opportunities to advance to a higher level.

This “upskilling” presents opportunities for systems that can present educational materials, practical exercises, and testing. Versatile software can meet this challenge. Managers can use low-code solutions to create new educational modules, from introductory materials for onboarding to advanced training for skilled workers.

Compliance Issues

Submitting reports has long been part of factory life, and the standard paperwork can range from counts of nuts and bolts to the various legally required reports on safety and other compliance issues. OpenText TSM with Eccentex AppBase can deliver 100% compliance.

Easily compliant software can let managers or even workers produce forms that can be used to make submitting reports simpler. And reports that have company-wide relevance (such as real-time inventory reports) can be made easily available without becoming lost in information silos.

Big Data Analytics

Optimizing production in today’s world can come down to analyzing data promptly to enable making nimble changes. A major part of that process is being able to access the necessary data, which can be stored in various databases, in a coherent and timely manner. The knowledge sharing enabled by smart and flexible asset management systems means executives can see trends, or potential problems, quickly.

The smart factory isn’t just about more sophisticated machines, it’s really about informational connectedness that takes productivity to its highest potential.

Interested in Technical Service Management? Visit OpenText.com for more details.

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