Updated: Feb 25, 2022
Bright AM Reading Time: 4 minutes
Investing in software is critical to bring Additive Manufacturing into Industry 4.0. Data gives you the ability to plan ahead, predict disruption, eliminate waste, and impress your customer base.
Before you can get to data’s real potential, however, you need robust software designed for the new manufacturing era. Here are our top four must-have features for Lean manufacturing software.
Automatic end-to-end documentation
Documentation is rife with human error and data gaps. But with the right solution, you can take human error out of the equation. You can streamline your entire production line, motivate your teams, and optimize your data.
The right solution also ensures these three things.
You eliminate complexity
Complexity introduces unnecessary steps, and automatic documentation ensures that no detail is missed. You will have all the correct data for quality control audits, changes to orders, or customization. Reducing unnecessary steps can improve your bottom line because you have the chance to see when things are getting out of control and you never have to chase after missing documentation.
Your software is user-centric
Your software needs to work for you, not against you. If you’re spending more than a few minutes trying to find the data you need, it’s not the right solution. Software can take over mundane, detail-intensive tasks. When your team doesn’t have to expend unnecessary energy trying to keep up, they can return to higher-order tasks, a much better use of their time.
You reduce risk and errors
Whether it’s quality control risk, compliance risk, or a combination of the two, automatic documentation works by reducing human error during manual processes. You’re always ready for critical audits, and you have the information that you need to make data-driven decisions that put your company’s best foot forward.
A process control module in your Lean manufacturing software helps you map your value stream and identify bottlenecks. This module is vital to Additive Manufacturing because it enables you to do two crucial things.
Process control options ensure the principles of continuous improvement. Good Lean software helps you examine the entire end-to-end process, spotting trends before your entire process is out of control.
Process control modules also make it easy to visualize the product lifecycle to identify areas of waste. You’ll find potential solutions for reducing complexity, and you’ll be able to monitor recycling efforts.
Automate and Map
How much time do you spend doing things manually? Manual processes are a significant drag on your team’s time and make it difficult to operate a truly Lean enterprise. With the right software features, you can decrease the need for manual inspects, reducing downtime.
Getting your process under control by mapping out product pathways and identifying inefficiencies can help your bottom line in various ways. It decreases unnecessary inventory, you learn from mistakes and misfires, and you can eliminate the bottleneck and allow the company to pivot.
You don’t need to manage your process through slow manual inspections and endless meetings to map out the pathway. The software should do it for you so you can spend less time in the process stages and more time making decisions.
Intelligent planning and scheduling
Planning ensures success. A planning module ensures that the critical transfer from production point to production point happens without incident. In fact, the more data that you retrieve for insights, the easier quality control gets. The right software planning solution:
Automatically links your planning directly to a work order
Enables rapid revision
Schedules, reroutes, and revises jobs
Manages shifts and changes
Planning is a manual process that’s due for an upgrade. Intelligent planning and scheduling removes the necessity of manual intervention, streamlining logistics and allowing your team to focus on tasks that require more intense focus.
Intelligent planning also helps keep your customers in the loop. You’ll have informed forecasting for production time, material, scheduling, and shifts. With data from vital parts of the supply chain, you’ll also reduce customer frustration over incremental changes in wait time.
Communication is vital. You need to communicate with the customer, your organization, and every department. When you do it right, you’ll have automatic documentation of any changes or agreements and a better understanding of process and scheduling.
A robust, universal communication hub puts all data in a central location. Every department knows what’s going on, and no one forgets to communicate with any vital parties. There’s a chain of responsibility and better documentation for audits.
A robust communication tool:
Eliminates your departmental silos—no one is in the dark about crucial changes or announcements, and everyone knows what’s going on
Integrates fully with all other modules—your communication process should flow from each point of the production process, supporting Lean operations
Offers a full notifications list for any communication need
Make the most of your tech
Upgrade your technology to include these essential features. You’ll reduce overall waste, human error, and risk, all while ensuring a smooth, cohesive production process from quote to invoice. Lean manufacturing software for Additive Manufacturing ensures that a complicated process becomes transparent, value driven, and data informed.
Bluestreak | Bright AM offers software solutions to address each component of successful Lean manufacturing. Your Bluestreak | Bright AM dashboard unlocks the power of Lean operations, from communication to processing and advanced quality control.
When your quality control process needs improvement, you’re wasting time and money. You are also putting future business at risk, and we know how small of an industry this can be. Dissatisfied customers tend to spread the word to their colleagues, which can hurt future sales. Recognize the warning signs and take action today by contacting Bluestreak | Bright AM.