On-Demand, Distributed Manufacturing Blog

A supply chain is a complicated system to manage from both the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) perspective and the tiered supplier perspective. OEMs require on-time delivery of quality parts for assembly. Suppliers are looking for a predictable schedule and demand, as well as needing on-time delivery of quality parts from their suppliers.

Variability in demand and schedule can be very stressful for industries that do not have high volume output and products are made to order. To enable distributed manufacturing, you need to assemble the right capabilities and resources and have the available capacity to fulfill the job. The problem with systems today, is they do not have a way of communicating what they can make.

Manufacturers need a way to communicate, in real-time, their capabilities and capacity so that upstream companies can find the right supplier to deliver on-time quality components. Current Supply Chain Management (SCM) solutions cannot do this.

The data must also be made available outside of the shops four walls, so the analytics must reside on a cloud platform to allow for reliable and easy integration to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and SCM applications without leaking confidential information about other customers and business operations.

An OEM needs to track their orders using real-time dashboards to know if there are any issues or delays. They also need to get reports on inspection and process verification at each step. If a disruption occurs, the OEM can quickly find an alternative supplier to ensure on-time delivery.

From the supplier perspective, having a trustworthy way of communicating real-time data allows them to work with more upstream companies. The instant delivery of status and progress on jobs to interested parties alleviates concerns about fulfillment and quality.

Manufacturers need to improve demand forecasting, so they can reduce or better manage volatility, increase asset utilization, and provide customer convenience at optimized cost – they can accomplish this with predictive analytics.

VIMANA Elevate provides customized analytics and dashboards of real-time data from manufacturing operations. It presents information to all parties in the supply chain with customized views. The open APIs from VIMANA allow other applications in the ecosystem to utilize the data. Using VIMANA’s digital twin of the shop floor, they can make decisions based on an objective truth about the manufacturing execution.

VIMANA has the unique ability to judge the equipment’s capabilities and provide an accurate reason why machines are not operating. It will not only help the shop to optimize its processes; it will also offer upstream companies the information to find the correct supplier with fewer concerns. With a digital foundation in place, companies can capture, analyze, integrate, access, and interpret high quality, real-time data – data that fuels process automation, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and robotics – the technologies that will soon take over supply chain management.

All shop and business information is supplied using the industry-leading standards for data, quality, and business processes. VIMANA is working with MTConnect, QIF, OPC/UA, and ISA-95 standards so that integration with existing applications requires the minimum custom software development. VIMANA is committed to supporting the industrial ecosystem through the development of standards and open source technology that promote a more robust and dynamic industry.

Learn more about this topic in this video from IMTS 2018 Conference Session: Transform Traditional Manufacturing to Manufacturing as a Service.