News Feature | April 14, 2014

Manufacturing And Warehousing News — April 14, 2014

By Trisha Leon, contributing writer

Manufacturing And Warehousing News

In the news, additive manufacturing will enable MRO shops to “print” the parts they need. Also manufacturers are optimistic about the benefits of Big Data — MESA International will release the results of the “Metrics That Matter” survey on April 16.

Additive Manufacturing Could Be In MRO Shops’ Future

Matthew Bromberg, Pratt & Whitney's president of aftermarket, predicts that in the future, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) shops will speed up repairs and reduce stored inventory with additive manufacturing — shops will “print” needed parts. In an Aviation Week article, he says, “It will work. It will be efficient. It’s the way the industry will go.” The technology is in its early stages — only 10 years old — but its applications are expected to grow exponentially. General Electric is at the forefront of bring this capability to market and has reported a 25 percent weigh reduction in Leap nozzles, which they plan to move into full production with by 2015-16. While certification remains a hurdle, particularly for safety-critical parts, the issues are solvable.

Manufacturers Find Value In Big Data

Manufacturers have a new tool in harnessing the huge amounts of data flowing through their organizations. A Manufacturing Business Technology article cites preliminary results of the LNS Research and MESA International 2013-2014 “Metrics that Matter” survey.  With Big Data manufacturers hope to better forecast and overall increase production by finding correlations between customer data, scheduling, and maintenance, which could lead to greater operational efficiency, better anticipation of order lead times, shorter asset/machine downtimes, and more effective materials purchasing and WIP decisions. The positive response from manufacturers indicates that they view Big Data as a game-changing capability that will, along with ERP, PLM, MOM, MES, mobility, and cloud technology, aid them in understanding data and, ultimately, improving their bottom line.

Wednesday Webcast Features “Metrics That Really Matter” Survey Results

MESA International, a global not-for-profit industry association will be sharing the findings of a five-month research study on manufacturing performance improvements in a webcast entitled: “2013-2014 Manufacturing Metrics that Really Matter,” on Wednesday, April 16. The webcast is targeted at manufacturing executives, manufacturing IT professionals, continuous improvement team members, and plant managers/supervisors seeking to improve and optimize their business performance. “MESA's point of view is that metrics do matter to manufacturers’ success, and that manufacturing matters to the global economy,” says Julie Fraser of MESA International.

Can Real-Time Data Analysis Increase Efficiency, Cut Costs?

An Automation World article reports companies collect data to investigate aspects of quality, efficiency, productivity, and personnel costs. This information, though, refers to the past: last shift, last day, last week, or last month. Luigi De Bernardini, CEO of Autoware, asks, “is looking to the past truly the best way to increase efficiency?” With real time information, manufacturers can recognize the onset of any problem and be able to intervene and reduce the possibility of compromising the production target. By implementing “bottom-up” projects, manufacturers will collect information in real time and see efficiency gains translated into significant cost savings that allowed the client to repay the cost system with unexpected rapidity.

DiCentral Acquires On-Demand WMS

DiCentral, a provider of supply chain management solutions and business-to-business (B2B) integration, and JDA Software Group, announce that DiCentral Systems purchased JDA’s cloud-based On-Demand Warehouse Management Systems. According to Ann Grakin, CEO of ChainLink Research, “Warehouse management continues to be a critical function in the global supply chain. Many innovations continue to be introduced to enhance operational capabilities, as well as allow those who manage the warehouse to introduce new services to their customers and partners.”

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT Talking Points

In Supply Chain Digest, Gana Govind, president of Softeon says, though benefits of software in the cloud are becoming widely understood, the market has seen relatively slow penetration of cloud warehouse management systems (WMS). Some reasons may be: the largest WMS providers have been slow to embrace cloud offerings, cloud-focused WMS solutions have had limited functionality, WMS concerns about system response time, and lack of IT resources. But the market has changed, making available cloud WMS solutions that can successfully manage and optimize the same complex data centers as any traditionally deployed system. These along with improving internet speed are knocking down barriers to cloud-based WMS adoption.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Manufacturing And Warehousing Tech Center.