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Ubisense Survey Finds Nearly 85 Percent of Manufacturers Cite Worker Error for Quality Control Issue

10/17/2014

Ubisense reveals findings of its 2014 Smart Manufacturing Technologies Survey

DENVER — Oct. 9, 2014 — Only 20 percent of manufacturers today rely on objective data to make decisions about process changes. This issue is among several uncovered by the 2014 Smart Manufacturing Technologies Survey, commissioned by Ubisense (AIM: UBI), a global leader in location intelligence solutions. Eighty percent of survey respondents said they rely on team observations to support process improvement initiatives, meaning the majority of manufacturers rely on subjective, rather than objective, data when making changes to their manufacturing processes.

In fact, only 16 percent of respondents indicated that they rely on sensors that measure process flow and provide objective data. This lack of data may be a contributing factor in the challenge to optimize production. The lack of flow optimization is evident when 54 percent of respondents reported that up to 10 percent of cycle time per product is non-value-added process waste. This means if it takes eight hours to manufacture one car, 48 minutes is simply wasted time.
Furthermore, in operations where products may run through a repair or rework process, the survey revealed that almost 15 percent of manufacturers don’t prioritize product repairs at all. The repair process is one which typically receives far less technology investment than the primary manufacturing process but can be a source of significant waste.

“Moving to proactive, data-driven flow optimization is a key step on the road to Industry 4.0, the next Industrial Revolution,” said Adrian Jennings, CTO of real-time location intelligence solutions for the Americas, Ubisense. “While there is a lot of industry excitement around the technological advancements that Industry 4.0 will bring, this survey revealed that most manufacturers are far from 4.0 status. Today manufacturers need to focus on automating their systems and gaining a more valuable, objective level of visibility so they can better optimize their workflow and reduce errors in their processes.”

In addition to restricted ability to optimize processes, lack of data traceability is also a key issue for many manufacturers. The survey revealed that nearly 50 percent of manufacturers do not match torque records to specific products. In assembly plants, torque operations are critically important. Without data linking results to products, there is no way to identify systemic errors. Perhaps even more important, there is no way to respond to warranty spikes or recalls without the traceability of quality metrics.

To learn more about the findings of the 2014 Smart Manufacturing Technologies Survey, join a free webinar on October 23, hosted by Ubisense. To register, select the preferred time based on location.

Europe: 10 a.m. BST: http://bit.ly/1u6ncfz
Americas: 10 a.m. EDT: http://bit.ly/1pCHQO2

Access the complete survey results at http://bit.ly/1vpRUPm.

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