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01Apr, 2022
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Role of Big Data in Manufacturing

Big data is becoming an increasingly important part of our lives. It has already had a significant impact on many industries, including manufacturing. This article will explore the role of big data in manufacturing and look at the history, some of the trends, and future possibilities for this field.

History and development of big data in manufacturing

Big data is not a new concept. John Mashey coined the term in the 1990s. However, big data only began to gain popularity in recent years as we have seen a massive increase in the amount of data that is being generated. This increase is due to several factors, including the growth of the internet and the proliferation of mobile devices.
Manufacturing is one of the industries that has been most affected by big data. In fact, big data has become an essential part of many manufacturing operations. Let’s look at some of the ways big data is currently revolutionizing manufacturing.

Current role of big data in manufacturing

Predictive maintenance.

Machine maintenance is an essential aspect of the manufacturing process. A faulty machine may lead to sub-standard products, injuries, and other disasters such as fires. Such occurrences result in numerous lawsuits. As a result, companies suffer losses by paying damages and compensation to the victims. In addition, they still have to renovate the building and acquire new machines. Therefore, there are employees tasked with monitoring machine performance.

However, some machines are very complex and require more sophisticated monitoring methods. Big data in manufacturing has been essential in collecting the most intricate machine details. Therefore, companies are notified in real-time when machines require repairs and maintenance. Companies can use big data to predict when equipment will fail or need maintenance by analyzing past data. This can help to reduce downtime and improve efficiency. Furthermore, it drastically reduces the probability of hazards, injuries, and production of substandard goods.

Process monitoring. and operational efficiencies

Big data in manufacturing has been critical in monitoring the manufacturing process. Companies can use big data to monitor and optimize manufacturing processes by tracking data from process sensors. As mentioned previously, a faulty machine will affect the manufacturing process negatively. Tracking electricity, fuel, and water consumption is essential for manufacturing companies. It is necessary for budgeting and predictive analysis.

For example, fuel prices regularly fluctuate. Most machines rely on fuel for their operations. Others are electrical, and fuel costs directly affect electricity costs. Therefore, the company must predict how the rise in costs of these goods will affect the production process financially. After that, they can adjust prices accordingly. In some instances, these costs may make the overall process unsustainable. In such cases, many companies opt to shut down and relocate to areas where these costs are lower.

Operational efficiencies

One of the primary benefits of big data in manufacturing is improving operational efficiencies. Big data can help identify inefficiencies in production processes and enable companies to make changes in increased efficiency. For example, companies can use big data to track factory performance, quality control metrics, and supply chain information. By analyzing this data, companies can identify areas where they can make improvements. After that, they make changes that result in increased efficiency.

Quality assurance:

Quality assurance is a critical factor in manufacturing. Many countries have enacted laws guiding the production process. The regulatory bodies ensure companies adhere to these laws to protect consumers from substandard goods. In addition, by analyzing data from quality control checks, companies can use big data to identify and correct product defects. As a result, fewer consumers suffer physical and financial losses from purchasing substandard goods.

Sales and marketing:

Companies can use big data to develop targeted marketing campaigns and improve sales outcomes by analyzing customer data. For example, companies manufacturing skin care products need information on consumer needs and preferences. The World Health Organization has succeeded in creating awareness of living healthy lifestyles to prevent chronic diseases such as cancer. As a result, consumers are increasingly seeking healthier products in the market. Therefore, manufacturing companies need this information to adjust their products accordingly.

In addition, it enables the companies to formulate effective marketing strategies using this client information. There has been a lot of debate concerning data mining and data privacy for marketing purposes. Some experts find no issue in it. It is where we are right now and where the world is heading with the adoption of technology. They believe that hyper-capitalism, the current global economic ideology, forces companies to mine data to stay competitive. However, other experts are more conservative. They think it is unethical for consumer data to be mined and sold without the consumers’ consent.

No matter which side of the debate one supports, what is evident is that big data has enabled many manufacturing companies to stay competitive. In addition, healthier goods continue to dominate the market.

Reduced waste

Big data in manufacturing has been vital in reducing waste in the manufacturing sector. For example, companies are using big data to monitor energy consumption in factories. By identifying areas where they waste energy, companies make changes that reduce energy consumption. In addition, companies can use big data to track the use of resources such as water and raw materials. By understanding how the company utilizes these resources, companies can make changes that result in reduced waste. With the impending threat of global warming, companies must embrace more environmental-friendly processes.

Trends and prospects

Industry professionals expect the role of big data in manufacturing to continue to grow in the future. Some of the trends and prospects for big data in this industry include:

The continued growth of the internet of things (IoT).

The IoT refers to a network of devices connected to the internet. These devices include cars, appliances, factory equipment, and medical devices. By connecting devices to the internet, companies can collect large amounts of data that they can use to improve operational efficiencies and product quality.

The growth of cloud-based big data solutions.

Cloud-based big data solutions offer several advantages for the manufacturing sector. These solutions are scalable, meaning that they can accommodate the growing needs of the manufacturing industry. They are also cost-effective and easy to deploy. In addition, they offer the potential for real-time collaboration between multiple users. This makes them ideal for use in the manufacturing sector, where timely decisions are often critical.

The growth of big data analytics.

Big data analytics is a field that is rapidly growing in popularity. This is because big data analytics can extract insights from large data sets. By understanding the trends and patterns in this data, companies can make better decisions about how to improve their operations. In addition, companies can use big data analytics to predict future outcomes. This makes it an ideal tool for forecasting needs and making decisions about the future of the manufacturing sector.

Big data is playing an increasingly important role in the manufacturing sector. Its ability to improve operational efficiencies, reduce waste and improve product quality makes it a valuable tool for companies in this industry. The trend is towards the continued growth of big data in manufacturing.

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