Tuesday 14 April 2020

How mobile apps transforming manufacturing industry

Benefits of Mobile applications in Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is in unusual times. While Covid19 has locked all of us at home, we are still in need of products and services. A lot of consumers have turned to online shopping and manufacturing still needs to gear up from producing necessities. A significant number of manufacturers are pivoting from their original product offering to join hands in fighting the pandemic like perfume makers are manufacturing on hand sanitizers, industrial manufacturers have started manufacturing masks, gloves and swabs and automotive companies are working on producing ventilators.

Need for production in the new normal

It’s an interesting juxtaposition where lack of workforce to produce supplies and high demand in supplies are pushing the manufacturing industry to come up with innovative ways to tackle the challenges. While automation has already helped in reducing manual labor there are still several areas that need manual intervention in the production process.  Keeping the workforce safe while also keeping the business running has been a major concern in this sector.  

Not all manufacturing companies get to be productive at this unusual time. Automobile and industrial manufacturing companies which have no way to pivot are gearing up for the worst to come. However, once this new normal is established there will be a surge in the products and services. Hence, it’s vital that the manufacturing companies focus on how to ramp up production when the dust settles.

Transforming the manufacturing process with mobility

Mobile applications are the front runners in Industry 4.0 technologies such as IoT, AI, ML bringing significant innovations making smart factories a reality.  Manufacturing operations management (MOM) have been complex to manage in the past, however, they provide real-time manufacturing data. By injecting mobile app backed with Industry 4.0 technologies it's possible to use this data into actionable outputs in real-time for business to increase productivity and efficiency. In our blog, we have talked about predictive maintenance and how ML is used to reduce downtime in this post.


Mobile apps are designed to be portable by nature.  The on the go use can eliminate the need to return to a physical point to receive or update information such as a checklist. Whether it is fulfilling an order,  conducting an inspection checklist or updating order status, Mobile apps can make it easy to communicate data in real-time. Problems during the process can also be updated to all the stakeholders using alerts and immediate time-saving actions can be taken.  

  1. This mobility can help in
  2. Increased productivity
  3. Increased efficiency
  4. Cost reduction
  5. Immediate access to critical information
  6. Increased synergy between people, process and machinery

Health and Safety

While handling critical machinery and hazardous elements pose a threat to the safety of the workforce, there are far more situations that can affect the health and safety of the workforce. Given our COVID19 situation, the future is going to take health and safety of workforce very seriously.  Usage of robots, IoT and remote command via mobile apps can help in maintaining a safe distance from machines and harmful materials.  Social distancing especially when working in medical supply production can also be possible using smart solutions and mobile apps.  Wearables, for example, can trigger closer proximity, the temperature change in the environment or even sensing a change in the environment such as pressure or air quality.

Traceability and reporting

Real-time real data coupled with GPS tracking, Mobile Apps can provide traceability and reporting as it happens to the management.  Whether it's tracking of an order, or production efficiency traceability provides enough data for prediction models operated by ML can provide suggestions to take necessary actions. Supplier traceability can help in identifying non-conformance and corrective action (NC/CA), Corrective and Preventative Action (CAPA), Statistical Process Control ( SPC) and genealogy data available to management immediately.

In summary

Mobile applications can provide tangible ROI to business and already many organizations are including mobile in their MOM strategy.  From the simplest task of all such as inventory management, order tracking, process traceability to manufacturing intelligence, going mobile has more advantages with less investment. At PsiberTech we have been working in the manufacturing industry for over a decade and have delivered several applications to companies like 3M. If you like to know how mobility can help in your manufacturing process write to us here.

Srivatsan Aravamudan
ML Solution Consultant

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