As you may well know by now, the smart factory concept is here to revolutionize the way a factory works for good, and for the better. By successfully implementing and applying Autodesk’s smart manufacturing software, Fusion Production, a smart factory will be capable of transcending troublesome downsides such as delays, imperfections, inefficiencies, and other inconveniences associated with traditional and outdated factory practices.
What makes a factory smart?
A smart configuration in a factory is effectively implemented when all the crucial steps involved in the manufacturing process are measured, transformed into data, stored, and communicated to the other elements of production. This usually happens via a control center, where said information is first processed and then used for optimization purposes.
Thanks to this data analysis capability, a smart factory is, in a way, self-aware. It “knows” and communicates the details about the critical processes that are taking place within itself, but most importantly, it is able to interpret and use that information for the sake of efficiency in the production process.
In that sense, the manufacturing process is no longer one linear and rigid process that needs to be tuned back and forth from beginning to end depending on ever-changing shifts in demand or planning. Instead, it efficiently adapts, automatically aligning to all these changes as soon as they are introduced to the system – thus maximizing the resources available.
It goes without saying that these practices result in incredible improvements in overall performance and productivity, which is why all manufacturers are rapidly making advancements towards smarter solutions for their operations all around the globe.
Will Fusion Production software make my factory smarter?
Reliable data is the key for process improvement. A convenient way to access relevant data, such as variations in cycle time, machine downtime, quality issues, and delays hasn’t traditionally been available.
A common scenario in a traditional manufacturing environment is for output to be affected by limitations associated with isolated processes that provide no feedback to the overall planning. This translates into few windows for improvements in the operation. Manufacturers everywhere have long struggled to collect data and feedback in different critical areas of the production process, and even more so to unify such data in one place.
Autodesk is well known for its history of effectively tackling problems faced by designers and manufacturers, providing smart tools that make their work straightforward, enabling them to fulfill outcomes that had not been previously thought possible.
In keeping with this tradition, Autodesk’s Fusion Production software provides customers with a way to unify their smart production efforts using a single, convenient tool.
Fusion Production is capable of providing a real-time view of the production status for different areas like design, manufacturing, and operations. This offers a wide range of collaboration opportunities for production teams, regardless of their location.
This kind of common data environment intrinsically combines production planning, job tracking, and machine monitoring within a single, smart solution. Fusion Production provides historical information and traceability to help you make accurate delivery-time forecasts and avoid possible bottlenecks for similar jobs in the future.
Fusion Production’s cloud-based nature is a key value driver for manufacturers. It allows everyone in the factory to have access to the latest updates in schedule job sheets and overall data, thus effectively managing work efforts. It also provides the ideal solution for reducing data-entry time to a minimum
The cloud also facilitates instant access to your data, without time-consuming downloads, complicated setups, and unwieldy updates. Freed from the planning efforts that such changes impose on your IT department and infrastructure, your operation will suffer less downtime and these resources will have more room for productivity. Not only that, but regardless of when you acquire the Fusion Production software, you’ll always have access to the latest version.
Another implication of a cloud-based platform is that you’ll have remote access to updated information that was previously stored locally, which will allow you to execute decisions on the spot as an immediate response to unexpected changes in production.
Fusion Production, in combination with other Autodesk software (such as its CAM software for CNC machining), undoubtedly takes all the right steps towards the ultimate smart factory. It stands as one of the most comprehensive set of tools a smart manufacturer can be equipped with – a necessity in today’s rapidly-evolving manufacturing business.