Modular construction has gained popularity in recent years as a way to build structures quickly and efficiently, and is continuing to grow in popularity as a solution to the housing crisis due to the efficiencies gained from assembly line production and cost reduction. This method of construction involves building prefabricated units in a factory and then assembling them on-site. However, like any manufacturing process, there are still many areas where productivity and efficiency can be improved as many modular manufacturers continue to cite supply chain challenges as sources of operational struggles.
Software and AI offer powerful solutions to help modular manufacturers streamline their operations and increase productivity. Here are three ways modular manufacturers can use automation and AI to improve operational efficiency and productivity.
1. Automating the Procurement Process
Procuring materials and supplies is a crucial part of modular manufacturing, but it can also be time-consuming and prone to errors. Automating the procurement process using software can help manufacturers save time and reduce errors. Automated ordering systems can also reduce the time it takes to place orders and ensure that the right materials are ordered at the right time. AI can also be used to analyze supplier performance and identify areas where improvements can be made. This can help manufacturers choose the best suppliers, negotiate better contracts, and reduce costs as well as reduce the risk of material shortages and minimize waste.
2. Smart Scheduling for Project Management and Work Stations
Scheduling is a critical part of any manufacturing process, and modular construction is no exception. Manufacturers can use AI and scheduling software to create accurate project schedules that take into account the availability of resources, such as labor, equipment, and raw materials. AI can also be used to optimize workstations and minimize asset downtime. For example, certain software can be used to analyze the performance of individual workstations and identify bottlenecks that are slowing down the manufacturing process.
By automating scheduling and optimizing workstations, manufacturers can reduce the time it takes to complete a project and increase overall productivity. Many ERP’s have attempted to tackle this by adding in project management and scheduling features, but the solutions within the ERP still require a significant amount of human interaction and oversight. Manufacturers can realize greater productivity gains with smart scheduling software that is integrated with their ERP system.
3. Overall Visibility
Visibility is key to optimizing manufacturing and on-site assembly processes. One of the most significant challenges with modular construction is the need to plan and execute using external vendor partners and to orchestrate and coordinate the timing of production, transportation and off-site assembly. Manufacturers and construction teams can leverage cloud-based software to streamline communication between off-site and on-site teams and maintain real-time visibility into project status and completion percentages. AI can also be used to forecast inventory and raw material needs, which can help manufacturers reduce the risk of material shortages and minimize waste.
Manufacturers can leverage software with AI capabilities to analyze historical data to predict future material needs and optimize inventory levels based on sales forecasts and purchase orders, and other data. This can help manufacturers reduce the time and cost of ordering and storing excess inventory. With better visibility into their inventory and raw material needs, manufacturers can ensure they have the necessary materials on hand to meet production demands while also minimizing waste. With improved visibility into the manufacturing process, manufacturers can make data-driven decisions that help them reduce costs, improve quality, and increase productivity.
Software and AI offer powerful solutions to help modular manufacturers improve operational efficiency and productivity. However, it is important to note that while automation and AI can provide significant benefits, they are not a replacement for human labor. Manufacturers must find a balance between automation and human labor to achieve optimal results. By using automation and AI to complement human labor, manufacturers can increase productivity and efficiency while also providing a safe and rewarding work environment for their employees.
If you want to learn more about how NGA can help you improve productivity and reduce waste and costs, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.