Flexible manufacturing system driving demand for high mix, low volume components
RALEIGH, North Carolina, 22 November 2021 / PRNewswire / – Increasing demand for high-mix, low-volume components (from industries such as medical, aerospace, automotive) requires customization and high production flexibility, which creates the need for a Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS). The adoption of FMS has created a positive impact on production efficiency as well as quality. Some FMS users recorded production efficiency of 150-200 percent, while a reduction in delivery times was over 20 percent.
“The implementation of FMS has created a positive impact on both productivity and quality due to factors such as increased accuracy, increased consistency, reduced human error, etc. ” said Vignesh Premkumar, Research Analyst at Beroe. “The increased automation and flexibility in the implementation of FMS has a direct impact on reducing production times. This also results in an improvement in the quality of the product, which subsequently leads to increased precision. “
The need to reduce operating costs and downtime when configuring tools, along with agile production in industries such as medical, aerospace, provide extensive support for FMS. In addition, the need to produce highly customized parts / components at a high mix of delivery times and reduced costs has resulted in increased demand for FMS. It helps component manufacturing industries to be competitive.
Some of the challenges of adopting FMS lie in the planning phase, which is considered the most critical stage of FMS.
- High capital investments present a challenge for Tier II and III providers when implementing FMS.
- Manufacturing industries also face infrastructure constraints, as the FMS requires major changes to the existing plant setup.
- Major changes need to be made to the layout of machine tools to find space for the installation of robots. Arrangements for the storage of raw materials and tools are also important to finalize the plant layout to reduce downtime in the loading / unloading process.
- Industries have to use big data analytics involving huge man hours to collect and feed data passed into computers and require regular updates.
- Businesses would need highly skilled employees to operate machinery and equipment, which would increase the cost of wages.
- Higher maintenance costs are expected and the FMS can only be implemented in stages requiring temporary production shutdowns that can range from two to four months.
- The main implementation of FMS is batch production of components and also in warehouse management where material handling, storage / retrieval systems, automated inspection, etc. are carried out.
Some of the areas where FMS is preferred include batch production of components or parts, automated material handling, inspection, storage or retrieval systems.
The adoption of FMS is increasingly seen in the automotive industry, especially among luxury car OEMs, due to the large number of variants produced by companies for a particular brand. Notable trends in the implementation of FMS are the use of robots and automated guided vehicles in storage or retrieval systems. The use of big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) by distribution companies for efficient operation has also supported the growth of the FMS. Increased efficiency and zero error have been achieved through the use of Big Data and IoT in the FMS implementation process. Forging, machining, metal fabrication, surface treatment and other processes become automated and interconnected with the implementation of FMS.
“FMS has come a long way since the concept was first developed by Jerome H. Lemelson in the 1950s, says Vignesh Premkumar, Research Analyst at Beroe. “The demand for FMS is driven by the need for manufacturing industries to achieve cost, operational efficiencies and support the concept of Industry 4.0. And this trend will only increase in the years to come.
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SOURCE Béroé Inc.