Successful manufacturers always maintain a relentless focus on their customers’ success and product quality. An important part of ensuring product quality is visibility into all aspects of the production process, ranging from sourcing to final assembly and product delivery to customers. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, manufacturers worldwide have taken major steps to increase automation, remote collaboration tools, supply chain management processes, and process improvements as part of end-to-end digital transformation efforts.
PCI is an innovative EMS provider who strives to maintain high throughput and strict adherence to quality and yield targets for customer projects. As part of its commitment to continuous innovation and de-siloing of manufacturing operations, PCI recently implemented a mobile dashboard tool for employees as part of its larger Smart Factory program. Since implementing this program and additional digital transformation initiatives, PCI now has greater visibility into multiple KPIs across its manufacturing operations.
Driving Quality With Real-Time KPI Data
PCI has implemented multiple digital transformation initiatives as part of its Smart Factory program. These initiatives have spanned across multiple functional areas within the company to increase productivity, reduce defects, and maintain a secure supply chain for customers. Digitization within manufacturing operations has historically focused on greater process automation and automating some back-office functions rather than on linking disparate systems and providing real-time data access.
Today, companies in any industry can easily access multiple cloud services to help modernize and digitize their operations. Manufacturers can now gain visibility of their operations by implementing a modern IT infrastructure, ranging across functional areas. PCI’s cloud-based IT infrastructure links factory data across critical areas that drive customer satisfaction, lead times, and product quality, including:
- Sales order handling
- Front-end engineering
- Fulfilment status tracking
- Inventory and supply chain management
Data from these functional areas can then be used to develop and track KPIs in real time from any device inside and outside facilities.
As part of its digital transformation and focus on continuous improvement, PCI has gone beyond the typical focus on process automation by implementing a mobile dashboard to provide end-to-end data visibility across its operations. Company employees performing key management functions can access real-time production and order data via a mobile dashboard. Accessing this data and viewing critical APIs on-demand creates many advantages for the company and customers. Some of the important results of data visibility include:
Streamlined Order Flow
Data from front-end operations, such as sales order handling and front-end process engineering, can be instantly handed to the fabrication, procurement, and assembly teams as soon as new orders are received and processed. This quick data transfer between teams helps expedite production and allows procurement and assembly to be planned in parallel with fabrication. Order status and component inventory for each order can be tracked from anywhere on premises throughout this process. As a result, production delays and data errors can be eliminated, ensuring order flow remains on schedule.
Implementing Agile Operations
In the electronics manufacturing space, companies need to be agile and react to changes in customer requirements, supply chain disruptions, equipment uptime, and unplanned maintenance. Manufacturing operations have had to become more agile to react to these problems should they arise. This often places an undue burden on manufacturers, translating into greater cost or longer lead times for customers. With instant visibility in these areas, management can quickly spot problems, formulate solutions, and implement them with minimal disruptions to production schedules. With the ability to be agile during production, PCI can ensure conformance to production deadlines, which helps customers stay competitive and meet their go-to-market timelines.
PCI’s mobile dashboard also provides instant monitoring of raw material inventory, component inventory, and incoming orders from suppliers. PCI can use this data to quote project orders more accurately, forecast production schedules, and plan each step in the production process to ensure high throughput and adherence to schedules. The ability to track resource data also helps PCI control project costs and remain competitive while passing savings on to customers.
Continued Digital Manufacturing and Automation at PCI
PCI’s focus on quality has driven the company to implement multiple digital transformation initiatives, and these have recently accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the company’s Smart Factory program continues to unfold, other business processes will see continued digitization, particularly in the areas of supplier management, operational management, and plant maintenance. 2022 will see further execution of these plans as PCI continuously strives to improve efficiency and quality for customer products.
Companies that want to bring their new products to market should partner with an experienced EMS provider that brings extensive design and engineering experience. PCI’s new focus on operation visibility can help ensure sustainable production in a highly competitive industry and volatile supply chain environment. We have more than 30 years of EMS experience focused in consumer goods, industrial, automotive, and medical devices, as well as in Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) and box builds. Our Lean Six Sigma manufacturing expertise enables us to customize our manufacturing line to meet our partners’ requirements.
If needed, we provide our customers the flexibility needed to quickly scale production as needs arise. We provide our partners with high-quality products at lower manufacturing costs thanks to our shorter change-over time and leaner material control. Contact PCI today to learn more about our capabilities.