Factory automation: A tool to create competitive advantage
Nikhil Padhi, Prasanna Kumar llla
Manufacturing industry has witnessed an explosive growth over the past decade. As globalization expands the market, it attracts a lot of new players. To survive and to thrive in a highly-fragmented environment, companies need to create sustainable competitive advantage. Broadly speaking, competitive advantage can be created through Product Differentiation, Cost Leadership, Target Marketing and excellent After Sales service. A company needs to achieve some of them if not all to maintain or to grow market share. When translated in the context of the Manufacturing industry, manufacturers need to come up with innovative products with low defect rates and aggressive marketing plan to be successful. Defining a consistent process, installing smart equipment, automating process steps and designing and implementing robust system architecture are key pillars to produce world class products. This paper outlines high level approach to System Architecture and Automation process to improve productivity and reduce costs in factories.