Trends in Quality Manufacturing – Innovation & Integration

Trends in Quality Manufacturing
Mechanics fixing the roto of a helicopter

Trends in quality manufacturing are emerging in reaction to Covid-19 and various international political issues.  Industries are having to rethink products, processes, markets, and strategies to remain competitive and viable.  Many analysts have suggested that at this time a fundamental paradigm shift is required for many businesses to achieve resiliency.  This view is echoed in the recently released 2020 Georgia Manufacturing Survey

Manufacturing Requirements and Challenges

Skilled Workforce

Many industries are noting a shortage of labor force with required skill sets.  This shortage pertains to basic skills required for job performance as well as technical acumen.  In some states, industry is teaming up with education to shore up this critical shortage.  Often businesses are offering education incentives to bolster their existing workforce capabilities. 

Many companies are reluctant to actively engage in external training.  Additionally many do not perform cross team training to ensure adequate staffing at all times.

Information Security

As is in all enterprises, manufacturing is experiencing increasing risk from data breaches.  Businesses in all sectors have been behind the curve in implementing effective cybersecurity strategies. 

Manufacturing facilities face increased vulnerabilities to cyber attacks due to the use of digital devices such as programmable controllers on industrial internet.  Often these devices are legacy devices that lack proper security.  Additionally, the rapid increase in Internet of Things (IoT) devices are often installed and operated without sufficient regard to security.

Secure Supply Chain

The global supply chain is having to be rethought of in light of recent events involving China and Covid-19.  A secure supply chain is essential for producing a quality product that meets customer requirements on schedule.  Many manufacturers are seeing value in diversifying their supply chains to mitigate risks.  This includes moving away from foreign sources for critical items.

Reconsideration of supply chain vulnerabilities is also including outsourcing.  Trends in quality manufacturing in 2020 are showing a rapid movement towards reshoring manufacturing back to the United States.  This growth in manufacturing in the United States is expected to continue in growth in coming years.

International Trade and Tariffs

Recent international political events have changed import and export laws.  This again is effecting the viability of supply chains.  It is however, also effecting the customer base because of changes in tariffs and export law.  Often this is driving manufacturers to compete with products that are innovative and of higher quality in lieu of competing in low priced goods.

New Directions in Manufacturing

Modernization

To remain competitive many manufacturers are modernizing their shop floors.  This digital transformation includes an integration of information across silos.  Manufacturing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is allowing organizations to better collect, store, manage and analyze big data.  As a result organizations are better able to monitor the pulse of the business and make better informed decisions based on predictive analytics.

The implementation of robotics and advanced sensor technology, including RFID, is helping produce higher quality goods more efficiently.  Technology is assisting both manufacturing and quality management teams to improve the continuity of quality manufacturing through automation and better monitoring capabilities.  Often these technologies can be implemented with relatively low investments in capital.

Challenges for Quality Management

Trends in quality manufacturing are changing the nature of the industry at a rapid rate.  As a result Quality Management Systems (QMS) must adapt to a new dynamic.  Today quality systems must examine and mitigate supply chain risks, manage data security, while ensuring that quality products are consistently being produced that meet or exceed customer expectations.

To meet these challenges quality management systems must integrate information from more stakeholders.  QMS must analyze this information as well as data from automated systems to dynamically monitor business sectors and respond appropriately.  Because of this process improvement becomes a daily activity with results yielding almost instant data for analysis.

CVG Strategy Quality Management Consultant Services

CVG Strategy quality management experts can help you create and maintain a Quality Management System that is tailored to the unique requirements of your organization.  We have extensive experience in ISO 9001:2015, AS9100, and ISO 27001.  A properly developed QMS can mitigate risks and create continuous process improvement.  This is especially important at a time when manufacturing is undergoing such rapid change.

Kevin Gholston

Kevin Gholston

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