Speaker: Michel Gadbois
Complex discrete manufacturing is not just about the number of parts that go into something such as a smartphone. A smartphone includes a lot of parts, but one is produced every 6.5 seconds, and if it does not work, it does not go back onto the line. The manufacturer simply hopes to engineer out all the variability.
In complex discrete manufacturing, an organization invests between $300,000 and $400,000 in only one piece by the time it reaches the end of the process. If that one piece is scrapped, it is a pretty big decision. It is different from automotive, for example, where the process is engineered, a configuration is agreed upon, and the production flies because it is not practical to oversee and modify each individual car.
In the aerospace industry where a $27 million plane is being manufactured and the customer changes his mind, that particular aircraft is going to be configured differently from the one before it. Complex discrete manufacturers are constantly reacting on a unit-by-unit basis, which is a concept not seen in any other industry.
There’s no denying that complex manufacturing has requirements unique to each project. And in order to help streamline their processes to compete in today’s competitive industry these companies must enlist in an MES (Manufacturing Execution System).