Increase ROI through manufacturing digitalization

How to decide on investment initiatives that will increase ROI when it comes to manufacturing digitalization during a critical time.

We have seen that traditional ROI calculation methods don’t work quite well for investments that are as flexible and growth-scalable, such as connectivity, data awareness, and manufacturing digitalization. Traditional methods tend to overstate early-stage costs and devalue the long-term strategic investment – presenting greater uncertainty at the outset and underestimating future value.

Every manufacturing environment is unique with specific needs and quirks. No worries. We can help you outline relevant needs and determine the way to approach them.

Use existing data to identify high-ROI opportunities

Today’s technology makes it possible to learn from manufacturing data, enabling faster and more accurate operational and business decisions. The problem: How do you access the data and make it work for production performance?

Here’s how to make more informed investment decisions:

  1. Use your current data to figure out what part of the manufacturing process can be made more efficient.
  2. If the data is not complete enough to understand where time or materials get lost, think of ways you can acquire the missing data. 
  3. If advanced modern machinery is needed to collect the necessary data, ask yourself if there are other, simpler ways to acquire the data.
  4. Decide which approach generates the necessary data to identify manufacturing business improvement needs.
  5. Address the identified need with a minimum viable product (MVP). For example, time-tracking systems for operators, predictive maintenance for production machinery, or outlier detection to identify failures.   
  6. Evaluate whether the effort put into MVP has paid off. 
  7. Once you have made the investment, learn, and repeat the cycle again.

Increase ROI with incremental changes to existing hardware

Acquiring missing data can be a challenge. You’ll need to consider the best way to get data out of older machines. Retrofitting is one way to do it, the installation of sensor systems for a single machine or the entire line.

The power of manufacturing digitalization doesn’t always require large investments in sophisticated machinery. It is possible to scale your production process by investing in digitally connecting your existing manufacturing equipment. This will create a collection of information that can be further analyzed and used to improve your business processes.

Technology allows you to make impactful changes to your production process:

  • without committing significant resources on educating your employees on how to use a new piece of equipment,
  • not making new operational or maintenance contracts,
  • without altering your production line.

Digitalized machines allow for data to be collected, analyzed, and put to work toward production optimization. This results in greater transparency of your production processes, making your operations more data-aware and data-driven. Connected equipment collects a tremendous volume of data that can:

  • predict maintenance, 
  • indicate performance and other issues, 
  • analyze data to identify patterns and insights without additional human involvement. 

Automatically collected operational and process measurement data is more accurate (and therefore more reliable) versus data manually entered by humans. It enables more ways to learn from the data. When you need to make a major investment decision for a new piece of equipment, you will have the data to back up your decision.

Connectivity and data-awareness help in securing ROI

In a recent case, Proekspert helped a food processing company specializing in surimi-, fish- and flour products. The project’s goal was to protect the investment in the existing weighing system and enable integration with the production line without adding any new hardware. We connected existing production line hardware, enabling work to be monitored, analyzed, and improvements rapidly implemented.

The result: 

  • Manual labor is no longer required for collecting, handling, or matching data. People were freed for more valuable work.
  • Product visibility increased, the process is significantly faster, and operational costs decreased.  

Today, more informed business decisions are made based on trusted data combined from a variety of sources and available in a management dashboard, speeding the production process and saving operational costs.

Connected products enable a better understanding of baseline figures 

Data accuracy is critical when it comes to production processes. While there are many ways manufacturers collect data, without connected systems in place it is more difficult to detect deviations from production plans with sufficient time. Cumulated deviations reveal themselves only after a certain number of cycles, typically at the end of a shift. In some extreme cases, it may take much longer.

Connecting manufacturing equipment will help you measure details and get a clearer picture of your production processes, the business, and, most importantly, to make more informed decisions on future investments.

Engage a partner with manufacturing digitalization insight

Making business-critical decisions is not easy. We understand that. The digitalization of your processes will have to happen sooner or later. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Consider involving an experienced digitalization partner who can help measure, analyze your business objectives, and take action toward a more connected production process.

You can move towards a more digitalized and sustainable production process. Share your challenge: we will find the most effective way technology can help your operations to be more efficient.


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