Intelligent automation • Manufacturing innovation • Sustainability • Viewpoints

Moving Production Closer to Demand

The global supply chain was hit hard in the last few years and still hasn’t fully recovered; the cost of materials is continuously rising today, and new ‘Made in America’ legislation is influencing and incentivizing a shift in where production takes place. These changes are ushering in a new age of manufacturing, with many large manufacturers reconsidering where they make goods and how they move them. As they look to reshore or nearshore, they’ll first need to tackle two significant challenges: the cost of labor and trained labor availability, otherwise known as “skill and scale.”

How to solve for ‘skill and scale’
Technology, for the first time in history, can help manufacturers move production closer to home (or closer to where demand is) and solve for skill and scale in a way that’s not overly dependent on people.

The key ingredient for success in any smart facility is intelligent automation. This, coupled with the right talent, is how manufacturers make the promise of reshoring and nearshoring a reality; it’s how they offset the labor-cost arbitrage of moving production home, and it’s how they maximize outputs.

  • Create smart factories with intelligent automation: We’ll see the industry continue to move from human-centric manufacturing to fully automated, machine-centric manufacturing, but in the meantime, companies will deploy hybrid solutions—a combination of people and intelligent machines. Intelligent, scalable solutions such as Bright Machines Microfactories, which leverage software, machine learning, computer vision, and robotics, allow companies to take a more flexible approach to production. They can adjust input/output based on changing demand levels in the region they’re serving; they can make changes to the line without having to swap out equipment, and they can easily and quickly program lines to accommodate different assembly tasks.
  • Attract new talent and uplevel existing talent: Manufacturers need to implement programs that train workers how to tackle new, exciting technologies for today’s complex production environment as well. Reskilling and upskilling opportunities can not only advance the careers of those individuals but can directly benefit the company through continued innovation. For an industry that’s struggling to retain strong workers and attract fresh talent, this is the solution.

Embracing the new age of manufacturing
With the skill and scale challenges solved, manufacturers will reap the benefits of moving production closer to home, with each benefit waterfalling into another one.

  • Increased protection and control: In some regions, reshoring increases intellectual property protection and control. Manufacturers can more easily know exactly what’s going into the product, which can be difficult with overseas production. This is something most manufacturers – in fact, most brands – are being asked about today, too.
  • Build to order: When there’s proximity to the end customer, manufacturing will naturally become “build to order” rather than “build to stock.” The numerous, time-intensive steps associated with the global supply chain have previously trapped manufacturers into making poor forecasting choices that often lead to either too much or too little product. With inherently flexible systems like the Microfactory, manufacturers can produce based on local or regional demand, which shortens the lead time, and can make changes to the product based on market response.
  • Sustainable production: A localized supply chain, paired with smart factories, reduces air pollution, produces higher yields, and creates less waste. All manufacturers should be looking to adopt more sustainable practices today, and reshoring or nearshoring will undoubtedly contribute to eco-conscious initiatives and goals.

 

Those who can successfully navigate the requirements of skill and scale first and then move production closer to home will be poised for long-term success in an industry that’s rapidly changing (and for good reason). When manufacturers embrace this new age of manufacturing, they will improve their company, our economy, and the environment.

Interested in learning more about how Bright Machines can help your company address skill and scale? Reach out to [email protected].

 


Ready for what comes next?

Learn more

Manufacturing: Once a great Equalizer, Now a Competitive Advantage
Viewpoints

Manufacturing: Once a great Equalizer, Now a Competitive Advantage

June 25, 2021

Read more 
Black Swan or Invisible Hand of The Market? How the Pandemic’s Ripple Effects will Shape Manufacturing
Viewpoints

Black Swan or Invisible Hand of The Market? How the Pandemic’s Ripple Effects will Shape Manufacturing

June 2, 2021

Read more 
A new Chapter in Bright’s Story
Viewpoints

A new Chapter in Bright’s Story

May 17, 2021

Read more 
Seven Metrics to Understand Your Factory’s Financial Health
Viewpoints

Seven Metrics to Understand Your Factory’s Financial Health

April 19, 2021

Read more 
Lessons from the Front Lines of Manufacturing: Ford, Honeywell, and My Journey to Bright Machines
Viewpoints

Lessons from the Front Lines of Manufacturing: Ford, Honeywell, and My Journey to Bright Machines

April 13, 2021

Read more 
Is your Automation Automated? How Software is Opening the Door for Increased Innovation in Manufacturing
Viewpoints

Is your Automation Automated? How Software is Opening the Door for Increased Innovation in Manufacturing

March 30, 2021

Read more 
Innovation Latency in Industrial Automation
Viewpoints

Innovation Latency in Industrial Automation

March 24, 2021

Read more 
Be Paranoid, Android: Here Come the Humans
Viewpoints

Be Paranoid, Android: Here Come the Humans

February 25, 2021

Read more 
Four Factors to Ensure Success on First Automation Projects
Viewpoints

Four Factors to Ensure Success on First Automation Projects

February 8, 2021

Read more 
An Intelligent Platform for Innovation
Viewpoints

An Intelligent Platform for Innovation

February 3, 2021

Read more 
Finding the Bright Spots in a Dark Year: 2020 Year in Review
Viewpoints

Finding the Bright Spots in a Dark Year: 2020 Year in Review

December 21, 2020

Read more 
Five Predictions For The Manufacturing Industry In 2021
Viewpoints

Five Predictions For The Manufacturing Industry In 2021

December 11, 2020

Read more 
How to Avoid Automation Investment Pitfalls
Intelligent automation • Viewpoints

How to Avoid Automation Investment Pitfalls

January 17, 2023

Read more 
Reshoring the Assembly of Data Center Infrastructure
Intelligent automation • Viewpoints

Reshoring the Assembly of Data Center Infrastructure

January 3, 2023

Read more 
Tackling Obstacles to Achieve Scalable Production
Intelligent automation • Viewpoints

Tackling Obstacles to Achieve Scalable Production

December 6, 2022

Read more 

Ready for what comes next

Brightware software

Brightware®

Game-changing software that makes it easy to design and deploy flexible assembly lines.

Learn more 
Hand working with tool

Bright Machines Microfactory

Fully programmable production lines – powered by Brightware – that intelligently automate repetitive assembly and inspection tasks.

Learn more 
Contact Us

Interested to learn more about how Bright Machines can help you get started?