State of Factory Software and Digitization in 2020

Garment Factory Software and Digitization

Uttering the word “manufacturing” once conjured up images of long assembly lines, 2D schematics, paper drawings, and punch cards. 

But those days are now long gone. As with everything else in the world, the manufacturing industry has now entered the age of digitization. This means that technology has made processes more efficient than ever. In fact, the past few decades have seen manufacturing slowly ease into Industry 4.0, or the field’s fourth revolution. This builds upon the industry’s last revolution (Industry 3.0), where computers were first adopted, and levels it up by infusing it with the latest in data and machine learning. 

This digitization is both an opportunity and a challenge. The abundance of technology clamoring for a place in your factory can make it overwhelming to decide what exactly will be beneficial for your business. That’s why it’s important to explore how factory software has evolved over the years and how digitization and industry 4.0 is changing the manufacturing landscape in 2020. Additionally, we’ll even take a look at how Zilingo’s Production Software can become your one-stop platform for bringing your factory into the digital era.

How we got here

As mentioned above, Industry 4.0 builds on what’s happened in the past decades. When computers were first introduced in manufacturing during Industry 3.0, the use of logical processors and information technology disrupted the entire industry by introducing the early steps of automation. Though these processes often operate without the need for human intervention, there is still a large human aspect behind it all.

But thanks to the Internet of Things, technology and smarter computer systems, Industry 4.0 promises a world where computers can effectively communicate and work with each other with no human involvement.

So how does this impact manufacturing?

Manufacturing is about to become a lot faster

In the past, the process of moving from design to floor was bogged down by a time-consuming, manual process consisting of inefficient communication between engineers, design staff, and managers. All of these problems would only be exacerbated if the factory floor and management were half a world away.

Today, however, factory software has evolved in order to facilitate much smoother and even real-time communication between all levels of the factory floor. Aside from communication, robots and other automated technology are now being used to speed up the manufacturing process itself. According to data from Tata Consultancy Services, a manufacturer’s Overall Equipment Effectiveness (a common metric to measure the efficiency of the overall manufacturing process) could be increased from 65% to 85% thanks to better machine learning.

But Industry 4.0 benefits extend to the apparel industry as well. Spanish clothing brand Mango, for example, has around 400 machine-driven operations in one of their factories. The automation here has enabled the factory to produce 75,000 garments in an hour. This is a 300% increase from their former capacity.

As a result of Industry 4.0 technology, the manufacturing playing field is more cutthroat than ever before. Businesses must embrace the new reality of digitization or risk getting left behind.

Better and easier quality control management

As mentioned above, inefficient communication has proven to be an obstacle in the manufacturing process. This pattern holds especially true when it comes to quality control in particular - when the reporting process is too laborious or overtly technical, for example, details about any defects may not even be entirely accurate. 

Furthermore, when a defect DOES occur businesses run the risk of finding out too late. Shipping out defective items can damage your brand’s reputation and online shoppers who receive a defective item are far less likely to buy a replacement item.

Digitization has improved quality control management in that reports can be given on factory output and quality in real-time. Real-time reporting vastly reduces the resources that may be spent trying to fix production problems and allows your business to redirect them to other, more pressing matters. In the case of Zilingo Production Software, businesses have used the real-time reporting available to them to reduce factory defects by as much as 50%. 

Centralized data and analytics

Just last year, it was predicted that 2020 will see up to a 50x increase in the amount of digital content that is available. Such massive amounts of data can make useful analysis intimidatingly time-consuming and complex.

As a result, many businesses are opting to move all their relevant data to a cloud. This makes information on things like supply, delivery, and customer support easily accessible by every stakeholder. Aside from seeing things unfold in real-time, important data can be securely accessed from pretty much anywhere in the world.

This stands in stark contrast to the olden days of manual reporting, where management couldn’t get timely reports if they weren’t physically at the factory. Digitization even makes sure that information stays preserved, as opposed to storing information on paper that could get torn, spilled on, etc.

How Zilingo Production Software can help you do it all

If digitization is key for any manufacturer looking to stay competitive in 2020, how can a business take necessary action without having to sacrifice too much precious time and money?

This is where Zilingo Production Software can be of use.

Zilingo Production Software first enables line managers to easily monitor garment quality through an easy-to-use interface based on traffic lights. The whole process happens in just a few, easy steps:

First, factory workers make the garments and Zilingo Production Software assists by monitoring their performance as they work.

The line manager then uses a tablet to tag errors. They’ll first select the product they’re reporting on by clicking on that product’s silhouette on the tablet.

They’ll then use the traffic light system to report on quality. Garments who pass quality testing get the green light, the yellow light for a defective product that goes back into production, red for a rejected product and blue once a product has been reworked.

A scoreboard then summarizes the data and streams it straight onto the factory floor where workers on the production lines can easily see the quality of their output. This way, corrective action can be immediately taken in case something has gone wrong with the production.

Factory directors and owners are even given the option to access in-depth performance analytics over time, helping them improve their overall decision-making and turn their factories that much more efficient. These analytics and other reports can even be accessed from anywhere in the world and on any device, instantly eliminating the problem of geography.

Armed with the Zilingo Production Software, a countless number of our manufacturers reported greatly improving their efficiency in just a few weeks- -as much as a 12% increase in production outputs.

In short, Zilingo Production Software has proven to be the perfect investment for manufacturers looking to keep up in the age of digitization. If this sounds like it could be right for your business, follow the link below to avail of a free trial and put your business on the path towards a brighter future!

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Learn More about Zilingo Production Software. This article is submitted by Zilingo Team.

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