How to get a 3x productivity boost using Lean Manufacturing with AI

Does the philosophy of Lean Manufacturing with AI have actionable meaning? Simply put, Lean Manufacturing is a management philosophy that urges you toward eliminating waste and improving productivity. It is a legitimate methodology for manufacturers and business owners to adopt, which will help them optimize production, give value to customers, and thus transform into market leaders. But, what is a manufacturer really expected to do to join the burgeoning crowd in Lean Thinking? 

Even Henry Ford, regarded as the Father of Lean Manufacturing, inadvertently created waste in his ambitious attempts at minimizing it. At the Highland Park manufacturing plant in the early 20th century, they tightly monitored the production line of the Model T automobile. The process ‘flow’, from raw material being sourced to the point of sales of the automobile, got planned to the T. (Pun intended!) Although high production standards got achieved and maintained, flexibility in the processes was zilch! There was no scope for variations or any modifications. Also, Ford failed to consider consumer demand and kept pushing finished automobiles into the market. What could one expect from the large pile-up of cars pending sales? He had eliminated operational inefficiencies, but the unsold inventory was another form of waste and monetary loss.  

Offloading the costs incurred by wasteful production processes onto the customers is a big no-no! On the contrary, customer satisfaction is at the core of Lean Manufacturing. Not giving customers value for money will only damage your business relationships. For retaining position between tough competition, production must be flexible and adaptable to customer demands. So how can a manufacturer pull off this feat, improve production efficiency while also reducing wastage and being sensitive to consumer expectations? 

There are a few ways to boost productivity triple-fold (3X) with Lean Manufacturing, and it begins with just one step — embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI). Manufacturing gets Lean when AI breaks down siloed data and facilitates transparent coordination between diverse production teams. AI applications can help manufacturers streamline processes, eliminate waste, and achieve the ultimate goal — customer satisfaction. 

How it gets done — 

  1. Reducing batch cycle time: Manufacturers have to fulfill orders within tight deadlines. Any delay in fulfilling orders can cause huge losses for manufacturers, so being ahead of the game is critical. Bodhee® Golden Production Run AI app helps you identify quality parameters impacting batch performance through real-time visibility of patterns created by the Golden Digital Thread. Experience quality improvement by 10-12% and reduction of batch cycle time by 1-2 %. 
  1. Increasing workforce productivity: Lean thinking with AI brings a radical change in company culture with improved workforce management. Bodhee® Production Performance Monitoring app helps monitor production and Key Performance Metrics such as Overall Labor Effectiveness (OLE) with just one click. It gives manufacturers a competitive edge by reducing errors and requirements for reworking by 15%. It optimizes warehouse operations and improves product delivery time by 8-10%. 
  2. Increasing capacity utilization: It is essential to have dynamic planning in response to the events on the factory shop floors or in the supply chain or user feedback that keeps the businesses agile. Bodhee®Integrated Micro Scheduling AI app facilitates synchronized and Live micro-planning of the entire production process. Manufacturers can work out every tiny detail and customize it, thus ensuring shorter lead times, quality improvement, tailored solutions, and many other desired production goals. 

Studies suggest that 80% of manufacturers who adopted AI over the past two years realized a value increase between a moderate 23% and a significant 57%. Many of them who had latent IT and OT data assets harvested data from IoT sensors, which AI then leveraged to optimize processes and business results (1).   

As the manufacturing industry evolves with the Industrial revolution 4.0, and realizes the multiple potential benefits and value addition in Lean manufacturing with AI, it will soon become a norm or even mandatory for assured productivity.

Neewee Joins the SAP® PartnerEdge® Program

Bengaluru, India, September 23, 2021

Neewee announced today that it has joined the SAP® PartnerEdge® program as a partner that designs, develops, and builds software. 

“We are happy to announce Neewee is now an SAP partner,” said Harsimrat Bhasin CEO, Neewee. “This is a new milestone in Neewee’s journey and we would like to thank the entire team for this achievement. With Neewee’s leading-edge artificial intelligence apps in industrial analytics, manufacturing companies can improve their quality, efficiency, and productivity by leveraging the power of the internet of things (IoT) and AI.” 

Neewee enables manufacturing companies to see the larger context by collecting, connecting, and analyzing data from every point of the manufacturing process. This helps discover underlying patterns, uncover high-potential opportunities, predict deviations, and prescribe solutions. In turn, this intelligence augments day-to-day operations, empowering analysts, managers, and shop-floor staff to take crucial business decisions in real time. Neewee’s AI apps developed specifically for the manufacturing industry help identify parameters impacting yield, quality, production efficiency, consistency, and cycle times. They provide real-time recommendations and integrate with existing Information Technology/Operational Technology systems and platforms. 

As a partner in the SAP PartnerEdge program, Neewee is empowered to build, market and sell software applications that supplement and build on SAP software and technology. Neewee has its platform agnostic AI apps deployed on SAP Business Technology Platform. The SAP PartnerEdge program provides the enablement tools, benefits and support to facilitate building high-quality, disruptive applications focused on specific business needs – quickly and cost-effectively. The program provides access to all relevant SAP technologies in one simple framework under a single, global contract. 

About Neewee

We here at Neewee believe that a data-filled world needs a data-first approach. Neewee’s proprietary AI applications are optimizing manufacturing operations for leading global companies, and we have offices worldwide. We are driven with the vision of enabling complete digitalization of manufacturing to accelerate industrial transformation and profitable growth. 

Any statements in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties described in SAP’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent annual report on Form 20-F, that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. SAP cautions readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which SAP has no obligation to update and which speak only as of their dates. 

SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries.
Please see https://www.sap.com/copyright for additional trademark information and notices. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies. 

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Visit: https://neewee.ai/ 
Contact: letsconnect@neewee.ai 

Understanding the Difference between Digitization, Digitalization, and Digital Transformation.

91% of industry leaders have increased digital transformation investments in the past year,says the newly released 2021 State of Manufacturing Report.

Rising out of the phase of uncertainty brought by the global pandemic-driven shutdowns, the global manufacturing industry is now putting its back into regaining stability. Implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies is not an option for manufacturing companies but imperative to strategize the full recovery of business and achieve greener processes with more agility. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) leverages the 3 Ds of technology- Digitization, Digitalization, and Digital Transformation. 

Although the word ‘digital’ has been around for a few decades now, constantly advancing technology has changed its meaning dramatically over time. Also, the difference between digitization and digitalization is not clearly understood by many. And how these two terms are essential for digital transformation.

Digitization converts information available in the old analog form by scanning and encoding to store, process, and transmit in a computer-readable format. Essentially, digitization is the acquiring of data in the form of binary numbers to be processed by digital computers. 

In the manufacturing context, digitization of a product involves recreating an image of the physical product with the help of software tools, e.g., a clay model of an object gets designed in 3D CAD file format. The production process also gets digitized by creating a digital twin that mirrors every step in the process, end-to-end. With the help of AI applications, the entire manufacturing process- from product design and workflow of the production line to the finished product gets coded into the machines connected by the Internet of Things. Digitization replaces the paper-based processes even at the shop floor, where physical product design is no longer handed out but transmitted to a device. Thus, digitization is the foundation of digitalization — the latter cannot occur without the former.

The two terms, being closely associated, are often confused. But, scholars emphasize the analytical value in understanding the distinct difference between digitization and digitalization.

Digitalization is less about the specific process of going from analog to digital and more about a strategic and radical change in business operations. Gartner defines digitalization as the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities; it is the process of moving to a digital business. Accepting the overwhelming process of digitizing your traditional manufacturing processes and embracing automation and the Industrial Internet of Things is just one aspect. Digitalization also involves the workforce of your organization. In the wake of automation factory- workers and other employees need to shift from manual processes and adapt by acquiring digital skills relevant to their field of work. 

And thus, we arrive at understanding what digital transformation means. The strategic and considered move of upgrading the old factories to optimize your manufacturing processes by adopting technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Robotics, etc., is radical business transformation through digitalization. And equally vital to the transformation are the people working in the organization. But, digital transformation initiatives cannot stop at the implementation of digital technologies only. It goes beyond digitalization. For how can we forget that business is people, after all?

Digital transformation (Dx) is primarily a change in mindset that shifts the focus of organizational activities toward satisfying customer expectations, understanding pain points, and solving customer problems. Customer and employee experience is a crucial driver for successful digital transformation, as identified by the MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research. And the other driving factor is the operational efficiency of the organization. Embracing digital transformation means being willing to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to augment and free up workers for performing higher-value tasks. Harnessing technology for enhancing customer experiences while also aiming for a real-time lean manufacturing ecosystem will give massive business benefits —including cost efficiency, improved innovation potential, and the quintessential customer relationship. 

The unexpected advent of the COVID-19 pandemic made health and safety a major priority, which saw the whole world scrambling to cope with the new normal of remote working. And as a consequence, most enterprises converted into digitally functioning businesses for the sake of survival. There was an unprecedented change in human interaction, customer behavior, and people’s attitude toward exploring digital possibilities. There was a drastic paradigm shift, and it has come to stay.

Almost all business sectors have undergone slow but escalating digitalization. And we can surely expect that in the post-pandemic era, digital transformation — accelerated and deliberate — will become inevitable for all areas of manufacturing. If you wish to thrive (not just survive) in the next normal, your manufacturing industry has to turn agile and SMART.