There’s no question the manufacturing industry is in the midst of a renaissance. Complete with leaps and bounds of enabling technologies fundamentally disrupting the status quo, the new renaissance is forging seismic and dynamic shifts in the space. But there is another, concurrent revolution happening within manufacturing beyond technology, and that is of the manufacturer mindset and, more specifically, the factory paradigm itself; the lens through which manufacturers plan, design and operate the shop floor. This revolution is profound in its simplicity and can be summed up in one word: cohesion.
According to a recent survey conducted by LNS Research, the top two operational challenges facing its Manufacturing Operations Management survey respondents were a lack of collaboration across different departments and disparate systems and data sources, respectively.1 This is especially problematic for modern factories, which strive to be responsive and flexible to market needs, while maximizing productivity and profit. In order to succeed in the 21st century, manufacturing planners need their factories to be integrated and cohesive with their supply chain, product development and other organizational assets. This requires system integrators to become more sensitive to how their solutions impact this cohesion, and manufacturing planners to improve the way in which they communicate and collaborate with all stakeholders involved in the planning process.