Cloud computing, SaaS and the new normal for manufacturers
Over the past two to three decades, cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) have grown in popularity in their adoption. More and more IT departments, CIOs, CFOs, CEOs, and many other disciplines are now realizing the extraordinary business advantages of Cloud/SaaS over their traditional in-house client-server IT architectures.
Therefore, with good reason, more and more manufacturers are actively moving their old quality management systems to more advanced cloud-based quality platforms, and for good reason. Simply put, in today’s ever-changing and unstable manufacturing climate, the cost advantages, power, and versatility of the cloud have become essential for survival. Combining this with the advancement and maturation of core technologies, most organizations are now taking a cloud-first stance when selecting the latest and best-in-class technology capabilities.
The role of the pandemic
The accelerated adoption of cloud-first strategies at all levels by manufacturers can undoubtedly be attributed to the pandemic. To help remote workers gain anytime, anywhere access to critical business processes and information, companies have been rapidly deploying and migrating to cloud-based solutions. Industries across all sectors have had a forced hand; previous biases around the cloud were overtaken by the fact that they needed to act quickly to protect their business from being left behind as the world began to shut down.
As a result, legacy systems have become a high priority for digital transformation. In particular, in view of cloud/SaaS-based alternatives. But it goes beyond simply replacing the old with the new. Instead, businesses are discovering the powerful next generation of next-gen solutions and capabilities that can help sustain their future growth operational efficiency for a long time to come.
The cloud is changing the way manufacturers can collect, store, analyze, and unlock the value of their quality data. Data is unified in a centralized repository and its subsequent analysis becomes quickly available and effortlessly consumable, providing real-time information and intelligence across the organization.
Growing demand for Industry 4.0
Currently, manufacturers are at the “tipping point” of a cloud-based digital manufacturing revolution. A cloud-first strategy is becoming the gold standard for most legacy renovation projects and a major technology consideration in a post-pandemic strategy. Many have embraced the digital transformation push in recent years to meet the growing demand for power, flexibility, and versatility that cloud solutions provide.
Industry 4.0 marks the promise of a new, fourth industrial revolution, all in the quest to overcome the current limits of productivity and innovation that currently limit manufacturers. Automation has reached a plateau when it comes to delivering massive efficiencies, so looking to what Industry 4.0 can provide is surely the answer.
Free your data from traditional limitations
We still see a significant proportion of manufacturers locking their data into paper-based formats, Excel spreadsheets or legacy software, which ultimately prevents effective performance monitoring or information sharing throughout the supply chain. Manufacturing. Cloud-based quality solutions, on the other hand, provide a single, unified data repository where manufacturers can standardize and centralize quality data – from all of their company’s processes, production lines and sites.
With real-time data available through the cloud, the “big picture” is more accessible than ever. Manufacturers can analyze data from across their enterprise to identify problem areas, identify source best practices, and prioritize their resources. While ensuring regulatory compliance and improving quality consistency across the organization.
Respond proactively in the factory
A preventative approach to quality and safety is simply not possible when using manual methods of data collection and analysis. Operators spend valuable time recording data with pen and paper and then going through page after page of control charts, in addition to all of their other day-to-day responsibilities. It’s easy to see how mistakes could be made and production issues missed.
Quality teams are also at a disadvantage, reviewing historical data on products that have already rolled off the production line. They are a step behind, and often by then it is too late. Some problems may not be identified until the final inspection, or even detected. Manufacturers end up dealing with defective products, wasted resources and damaging recalls.
By using cloud policies to manage data, trends or issues can be detected and monitored in real time. With legacy systems these issues and quality issues can potentially go unchecked for a considerable time, the cloud allows for a more immediate response. Proactive approaches are essential to reduce waste, protect profits and maintain quality at all times.
Cloud-based Statistical Process Control (SPC) software can automatically collect measurement values from various data sources and then monitor processes in real time. When the software detects violations of specifications or statistics, automated alarms instantly alert key personnel, allowing them to take immediate action to correct any issues.
With information readily available through the cloud, management remains present in the situation without needing to be present in the field and has all the information needed to work towards preventing problems and keeping operations running smoothly. This in turn allows manufacturers to spot trends and avoid recurring issues on a broader level.
The new normal
As the months pass, manufacturers are embracing the new normal one step at a time – a new era of digital-first quality. Cloud computing may have seemed like a big change in the past, but embracing these technologies has become easier when you start small. By starting with single projects governed by a cloud solution, leaders can monitor benefits in a microcosm before rolling them out across their entire organization. This is just the first step in bringing new digital technology to the manufacturing floor and thus embracing the new normal that manufacturers should expect to see spread across the industry in the coming years. years.