Smart Manufacturing Advisory Council

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PLEASE NOTE:  Membership in MTAM is required to participate in Advisory Councils Membership information is available HERE

What is 'Smart Manufacturing'?

'Smart Manufacturing' is the examination of the intersection of mobile/wireless (connected) technologies with all elements of the manufacturing environment and how these technologies are currently impacting, and will in future impact, the manufacturing industry. In these stressful economic times, manufacturers are being pressured by customers, suppliers, investors, and competitors on many fronts to: enter new markets, reduce costs, grow revenue, increase efficiencies, all while being as agile as possible. Mobile technologies can provide solutions to these challenges and many more.
MTAM Smart (Advanced) Manufacturing Advisory Council - Mobilizing_Manufacturing
In a manufacturing environment, connected technologies are increasingly playing a substantial role as they support access to enterprise data and information which is useful for improving and accelerating the decision-making process. As manufacturers seek to increase operational skills and reduce costs in order to stay competitive, the need for accurate and timely information is critical - and connected technologies enable the ability to gain that information in real-time.
A recent Forrester research study of IT and Operations leaders in the manufacturing industry discovered:
  • 54% of manufacturing industry decision-makers consider expansion of M2M ('internet of things) initiatives a critical priority, and 36% have already implemented such initiatives
  • 54% of IT respondents identified providing seamless wireless connectivity throughout their warehouses and plants as their top priority.
  • Business goals which depend on reliable wireless solutions include: improving data accessibility at the point of work (40%), enhancing employee communication, collaboration and productivity (39%), strengthening asset management capabilities (36%), and reducing reaction times to events (30%).
  • IT respondents claim seamless wireless connectivity is already available in their plants and warehouses 2.5 times more than their operations counterparts.
Further, a report from IHS Technology indicates that wireless connections in global factories will increase from 2.1 million to 3.4 million by 2017.
The goal of the 'Smart Manufacturing' Advisory Council is to put Michigan in the best possible position to benefit from the rapid advancements of mobile/wireless (connected) technologies, and on the front-line in engaging their use in the manufacturing environment to ensure bottom-line financial benefit to Michigan manufacturing companies, job growth and sustainability, and economic development throughout the state. 

What are the challenges of 'Smart Manufacturing'?

  • Security; what modifications to company systems are required to ensure the same or higher security practices are integrated to accommodate mobile/wireless (connected) technologies
  • Industrial plants can be highly reflective environments which scatter radio waves and interfere with wireless transmissions
  • Integration with existing legacy systems
  • Lack of uniformity in wireless performance measurement metrics and methods make it difficult for manufacturers to assess performance against platforms. 

The importance of 'Smart Manufacturing':

  • If decision-makers have the right information, they can continuously monitor performance and manage business operations
  • In case of emergencies regarding operational data or external events, designated 'go to' persons can always be accessed
  • Executives can provide performance statistics to investors, suppliers, partners and customers as needed, even when away from the office
  • Decision-makers can manage uncertainty of supply and demand, or other important issues immediately
  • Staff or customers can track orders
  • Staff can track and document quality issues instantly whenever and wherever they occur
  • Decision-makes can have 'real time' data on production and inventory to enable 'on the spot' decision making as may be required.

Benefits of Connected Technologies in the Manufacturing Environment:

  • Control waste and inefficiency
  • Increase productivity
  • Decrease in costs to achieve quality; less re-do's required
  • Efficient material tracking
  • Increase on-time deliveries
  • Minimize process cycle times
  • Improve decision-making capabilities
  • Facilitate cross-departmental communication
  • Provides real-time critical business information which is useful for inventory management, warehouse management, procurement, financial management, sales, marketing, and more
  • Enables machine maintenance tracking in real-time which facilitates immediate response and increased machine productivity
  • Allows field staff to collect real-time information which maximizes the value of customer visits and enables increased sales and better customer service
  • Provides immediate access to plant, equipment, and tool availability and location information, manuals, and inspection reports
  • Helps reduce turn-a-round time resulting in increased productivity, efficiency and customer satisfaction
  • Increases manufacturing floor efficiency and process / report streamlining
  • Enables tracking of labor costs per job at the time of activity which facilitates payroll accuracy as well as better job costing, customer reporting and invoicing

Why MTAM has formed a 'Smart Manufacturing' Advisory Council:

As part of MTAM's effort to address the challenges of the manufacturing industry's efforts to increase productivity while minimizing costs, as well as to ensure that Michigan is leading the way in local, state, national and international initiatives driving growth in this sector, the trade association has activated a statewide 'Smart Manufacturing' Advisory Council.
This council is tasked with assisting the trade association with development of resources, events, policy recommendations, and for providing educational, networking and business development opportunities for those working in Michigan's manufacturing industry, those in manufacturing-focused mobile/wireless (connected) technologies, and those working in organizations providing services to the manufacturing industry.
The overriding goal of the Advisory Council is to utilize mobile/wireless (connected) technologies in the manufacturing industry to drive business expansion, new business start-ups and job creation in Michigan to facilitate the state's economic diversity and growth.  

MTAM 'Smart Manufacturing' Advisory Council Objectives:

  • Assist MTAM in development and implementation of strategies that will increase the use of mobile/wireless (connected) technologies by the Michigan manufacturing community
  • To promote MTAM's role as a neutral entity providing opportunities for discussion and collaboration among all stakeholders interested in facilitating innovation in the manufacturing industry
  • Identify training needs that will benefit the manufacturing and mobile/wireless (connected) communities related to the use of these technologies in a manufacturing environment
  • Examine manufacturing-related regulation (specifically related to the use of mobile/wireless - connected - technologies) at the state and federal level; recommend positions MTAM should consider supporting and provide info as to the reason for that recommendation
  • Identify information that is recommended for dissemination to MTAM membership
  • Assist MTAM in developing a database of potential speakers that the association may refer for speaker requests
  • Identify Michigan-based uses of mobile/wireless (connected) technologies within the manufacturing industry so MTAM may promote those efforts inside/outside Michigan
  • Promote MTAM resources to members of the manufacturing community and the mobile/wireless (connected) tech community focused on the use of these technologies within the manufacturing environment to facilitate new business opportunities, education, talent recruitment, etc.
  • Facilitate relationships for MTAM within the manufacturing community
  • Promote MTAM content in social media and promote events sponsored by the trade association to the manufacturing and mobile/wireless (connected) tech industry communities
  • Other items as defined by the council which may be beneficial to MTAM and its mission of growing the use of mobile/wireless technologies within the manufacturing industry.
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