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Manufacturing Apps

In the industrial sector, the digitization of existing processes presents a major challenge. Entrepreneurs who do not adapt to modern Industry 4.0 production will quickly lose touch with their competitors. With smart apps, both small and large companies can adapt their businesses to the new digital reality.

Apps to digitize manufacturing processes

Industry 4.0 is the intelligent networking of machines, people and products with the help of information and communication technologies. The exchange of information makes it possible for networked systems to react intelligently to one another and for production processes to be optimized overall. For communication to work, every component must be digitally recorded. Sensors in machines and digital technologies such as RFID chips, which enable identification via electromagnetic waves, open the way to Industry 4.0.

The following goals are focused on Industry 4.0:

  • Reduction of costs
  • Better quality
  • Increased productivity
  • Shorter production times
  • Facilitation of human work
  • Increased flexibility in manufacturing

Important steps of the manufacturing process in industry

A manufacturing process is the totality of all activities that occur in a company to provide a product or service. Tangible goods such as raw materials are combined with intangible goods such as human labor to produce a final product that is offered to consumers.

In addition to producing a finished product or service, other goals of the manufacturing process include:

  • Improving competitiveness
  • Ensuring medium- and long-term continuity
  • Maximization of profits
  • Increasing the demand for products and services
  • Adding value to existing products
  • Renewal of the product catalog or market when obsolete or sold-out products are discovered

The manufacturing process is structured into 5 major stages.

The first phase includes the development of the product. First, market potentials are identified and evaluated. Then the product idea, business model and a product concept are developed and production is prepared on this basis.

In the second phase – the planning phase – the production plan is drawn up. This includes the machines and technology used as well as all production steps. During planning, a number of questions need to be answered, regularly reviewed and improved. For example, unnecessary waiting times should be identified and considerations should be made to minimize setup times and inventory costs. The optimal setup of machines to minimize travel distances also has a key role to play.

The procurement of raw materials represents the third phase. It is of fundamental importance to plan optimally; in terms of quantity and timely availability in order to avoid production shutdowns. Otherwise, financial losses and penalties for violation of contract can be the result.

Finally, in the fourth phase, it comes to the production itself. Production should be constantly checked and analyzed in order to optimize all processes on an ongoing basis.

Packaging and shipping of the finished products represent the fourth phase. Optimization measures (e.g., storage) are also required in this phase in order to reduce costs.

Quality management is another component of the manufacturing process. However, it is not a separate phase. Quality management should be a constant focus throughout the entire process in all areas involved. The key factor here is that information can be accessed by all parties involved at any time and that it is possible to intervene in ongoing processes.

Using intelligent networking for successful manufacturing processes

There are many ways for companies to use intelligent networking. Both technical and organizational measures play an important role.

These include, for example:

  • Optimized logistics: when ideal delivery routes are calculated by intelligent algorithms and machines independently indicate missing material and order new material, an optimal flow of goods can be achieved. It is important that the flow of goods is not interrupted and that there is no idle time in production.
  • Flexible production: In Industry 4.0, there are often supply chains that involve several companies. In order to avoid time delays, all participants must provide their contribution “just in time”. A prerequisite for optimally coordinated steps and the utilization of all machines is a reliable communication. Digitally networked systems enable precise monitoring of all work steps and rapid countermeasures if problems occur. For example, abrasion can be detected and fixed at an early stage before a product fails. For accurate communication, all parties involved must have access to centrally stored data from any location and be able to work on it in real-time.
  • Trained employees: Work steps in the context of Industry 4.0 are often very complex and require a strong technical understanding. Well-trained employees are therefore essential for smooth production processes. Digital processes can help workers build up extensive knowledge and always maintain an overview of all processes.
  • Resource-saving circular economy: If the lifecycle of products is considered on the basis of data, it is possible to determine this at an earlier stage and in which way certain materials can be reused.
  • Customer-centric solutions: Intelligent networking makes it possible to bring customers and producers closer together and to incorporate customer requirements directly into manufacturing processes. This is the only way to exploit the full potential of flexible and efficient production is to offer customers innovative services.

Helpful Apps in the Manufacturing Sector

Specific apps play a key role in expanding and improving digitalization in industrial companies. They help improve workflows, increase productivity, shorten the sales cycle or free up manpower and resources for other business purposes.

Open as App helps you drive the digitization of your business. Our platform enables automated app creation without the need of developer resources. All you need to create your custom apps is the data you already use every day in a spreadsheet. We’ll give you some examples of how Open as App can be used by industrial companies.

Inventory management apps

Digitization in inventory management is a key measure for industrial companies to operate efficiently and successfully in the long run. Especially in the context of information flow, digitalized inventory logistics offer considerable added value. Processes that are networked by using apps provide numerous advantages. Travel times can be reduced, material and goods waste can be prevented, and inventory processes can be accelerated. In addition, an app creates transparency for inventories and goods movements.

The barcode scanner app gives you access to information about all products with just a few clicks by simply scanning the respective barcode or QR code. A time-consuming search in the entire database becomes obsolete. The barcode scanner is particularly useful for inventory processes, which can be completed quickly and easily via these apps.

Apps for maintenance and repair

You can also use Open as App for maintenance and repair. Managing repairs, breakdowns, and delays through apps enables cost-efficient work. Apps can also be used to assign tasks for machine maintenance or to provide background information and guidance. All recorded data is immediately available centrally for further processing. Mobile reporting also helps you save time.

Manufacturing management apps

A variety of information systems have an impact in manufacturing. Production employees have to analyze relevant information, make decisions and report results back to the relevant systems. Apps can help reduce time and the need for a lot of paperwork. Real-time communication between people, machines and systems means that information is available to everyone involved at all times. This creates the basis for optimal utilization of resources.

Material calculator app

Smart apps can be used for material requirements planning. Information from inventory data, the production plan, and bills of materials is used to calculate which and how many materials are needed during manufacturing processes. Apps enable fast and accurate calculation – no matter from what location. The main goal of material requirements planning is to ensure that all materials are available and manufacturing is on schedule. With an intelligent app, you can also use an optimal material calculation to ensure that no raw materials are wasted.