Can Smart Equipment For Electronics Manufacturing Help Save Money And Time?

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The need for staying relevant in the modern era and meeting customer demands has pushed manufacturers and vendors to integrate Industry 4.0 technologies with their equipment. The installation of smart manufacturing equipment has brought about a revolution in the manufacturing industry. But what is the ground reality of smart manufacturing? Does it actually have any substantial benefit? In this article, industry veterans from Delvitech SA, Jabil, NMTronics India, and SSB Technocrat present a true picture of the current industry scenario and discuss how companies, regardless of size, can benefit from smart manufacturing.

Smart manufacturing is a digitalisation strategy that aims at end-to-end integration of manufacturing operations using Industry 4.0 technologies to enable a flexible and dynamic environment for delivering smart products to modern-day consumers. We see an increasing number of electronics companies going for smart manufacturing due to the growing demand for new electronic products that can meet customer expectations.

Nikhil Pal, digital manufacturing expert, Jabil, says, “Products are becoming complex with new features and components day-by-day in every industry. Traditionally, customers used to look at us only for quality, cost, and delivery. Now they look in terms of agility too, that is, how fast we can respond to the customer demand fluctuation. For example, we are not making the same smartphone model for many years to come.”

According to a market report from Grand View Research, the global smart manufacturing market size was valued at 215.8 billion dollars in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.8 per cent in the forecast period 2020 to 2027.

Why go for smart manufacturing? How can it help?

The answer to this is simple—getting better products at lower costs. Ability to use manufacturing data and automation to incorporate minute product variations without having to reassemble equipment provides flexibility in the production process. The manufacturers can thus produce customised products at reduced downtime and better efficiency. Manufacturing processes will be better; for instance, failure detection using automated optical inspection (AOI) can be done based on images. The main benefit of smart manufacturing is that investment, if done right, can decrease manufacturing costs significantly.

Today’s quality-conscious customers want to know everything, from design to production. They develop a sense of confidence from the awareness that they are purchasing good quality products. Shrikant Sharadrao Borkar, founder, SSB Technocrat, says, “Customers want transparency in the process. With smart equipment, data can be shared in real time. The customer will be happy to interact, and for any changes, he/she can see the process remotely. This will encourage customers to interact at your end.”

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