By Jason Averill
With our ever growing and digitally changing society, software has played a big role in the growth and productivity of companies, including the manufacturing industry. “[W]aves of digitization have been coursing through the manufacturing sector as well, creating new opportunities,” explains Mark Muro, Kelly Kline and Bruce Katz in The Wall Street Journal article “Software eats manufacturing (and manufacturing gains).” “Digital technologies are rapidly transforming the design, production, operation, and use of items as diverse as cars, workout clothes, and light bulbs.”
But how do we know companies are improving as a result of better software? Where is the proof?
Tesla, one of America’s top automotive manufacturers, incorporated software and advanced technology into their manufacturing business and has improved immensely. This technology is helping their company stay on top of the demand of high-functioning electric vehicles.
“By 2040, 35 percent of all new cars sold worldwide are expected [to] have a plug and long-range electric cars will start at less than $22,000,” points out Grayson Brulte in his article “These 3 Industries Are Getting Transformed by Advanced Manufacturing” on manufacturing.net. “To keep up with the projected demand, electric vehicle manufacturers will have to openly embrace the marriage of software and hardware that is advanced manufacturing.”
For a manufacturing company from Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany trying to produce burglary-resistant doors with thermal insulation, it was the help of advanced tools from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM in Kaiserslautern that made it possible for this product to become a reality, according to ScienceNews.
“We have demonstrated through the project that with the help of complex simulation methods and software tools, we can optimize even our everyday objects — with direct added value for the customer,” states Dr. Matthias Kabel from the Department Flow and Material Simulation at ITWM.
In the Metro Program’s second advanced industries regional workshop in Silicon Valley at the end of January and beginning of February 2016, industry executives voiced their views of what software has done for manufacturing. Helmuth Hudwig, chief manufacturing officer of Siemens PLM Software, commented, “You need to have a software culture now [to be a manufacturer] and the Valley and the U.S. have that…U.S. dominance in software is a huge advantage given where things are going.” Russ Fadel, the founder of ThingWorx, an IoT firm, added, “The cloud makes software more central, and that opens up new production opportunities for our companies.”
Our world has become a digital one. Business and industries such as manufacturing have followed suit. As Brian Kennell states in his Huffington Post article “Smart Manufacturing: A Path to Profitable Growth,” “For the companies that embrace it, smart manufacturing has the potential to trigger innovation and productivity, enable and spur growth, facilitate greater worker and product safety, and improve the environmental profile of operations.”
About the Author
Jason Averill is the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Avercast, LLC Supply Chain Software. He is an expert in supply chain management with 20 years experience overseeing global sales, marketing initiatives, and product development. Learn more about the most comprehensive supply chain software at http://www.avercast.com.
Reprinted from the Summer 2016 issue of Bellwether.
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