The manufacturing industry has seen significant changes in recent years, with global competition and rapid technological advancements requiring companies to adapt quickly and continuously improve their processes.
In this environment, agility has emerged as a critical factor in achieving competitiveness and growth, with agile manufacturing practices becoming increasingly popular among manufacturers worldwide.
Agile manufacturing is a production methodology that emphasizes flexibility, rapid response to changing customer needs, and continuous improvement. It is a way to optimize the manufacturing process by reducing waste, increasing efficiency, and improving quality.
In an agile manufacturing system, production is decentralized, with teams working collaboratively and sharing information in real-time to respond quickly to changing customer demands and market trends.
Agile Manufacturing: some facts
The adoption of agile practices in manufacturing has grown significantly in recent years.
A survey conducted by Deloitte in 2018 found that 76% of manufacturers had adopted agile manufacturing practices, while a report by the Aberdeen Group in 2017 found that 44% of manufacturers had implemented agile manufacturing practices.
These statistics suggest that agile manufacturing has become an important trend in the manufacturing industry, with a majority of manufacturers recognizing its importance in achieving competitiveness and growth.
The 4 pillars
Agile manufacturing leverages best practices from years of experience in manufacturing settings as well as new technology trends.
We can therefore identify 4 enabling pillars:
- innovation and technology: knowing how to introduce new innovative approaches and new technologies to enable system flexibility is a crucial aspect in the planning phase
- designing flexible and modular systems: taking advantage of these principles is important at the product / process design stage. This can be done at the concurrent engineering stage, for example.
- operational excellence: a system cannot be agile in the presence of waste and defects. This is why Lean Six Sigma fits perfectly in the agile context
- digital transformation: the new technologies of Industry 4.0 are an essential tool for enabling agility
The benefits are numerous. By responding quickly to changing customer demands and market trends, agile manufacturers can better meet customer needs, improve customer satisfaction, and increase sales.
Additionally, by continuously improving processes and reducing waste, agile manufacturers can reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase profitability.
The adoption of agile manufacturing practices can also help manufacturers stay ahead of their competitors. By responding quickly to changes in the market, agile manufacturers can gain a significant competitive advantage over their slower-moving rivals.
Additionally, by continuously improving their processes, agile manufacturers can increase their efficiency and effectiveness, further strengthening their competitive position.
Agile manufacturing has emerged as a critical factor in achieving competitiveness and growth in the manufacturing industry.
With the majority of manufacturers adopting agile manufacturing practices, it has become an important trend that is here to stay.
By embracing agility and continuously improving their processes, manufacturers can meet the demands of the market and stay ahead of their competitors, ensuring long-term success and profitability.
How agile is your manufacturing system?
Accialini Consulting supports companies to enhance agility in their production systems. Thanks to the so-called Agility Assessment, you will be able to identify agility gaps and implement activities such as pilot projects in order to become more adaptive, resilient and sustainable. If you want to learn more, you can buy the book on Amazon!
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Hi there! I am Nicola, founder and admin of SkillS4i. Aerospace Engineer, technology enthusiast and industrial expert. I live in Spain and I like travelling, cycling, hiking and reading.