Digital Transformation in Manufacturing without Production Disruption 

The rise of Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing promises to transform not only manufacturing methods, but also business models, by deploying digital technologies to boost performance and innovation as manufacturers face immense price and competitive pressure.   

However, just 26% of manufacturers have a clear digital strategy compared to 32% in other sectors, according to the KPMG/Harvey Nash 2018 CIO Survey. So how can they overcome the burden of upgrading complex legacy technology estates, achieve manufacturing improvement objectives, while keeping the production line running and fighting off competition from emerging markets? In this post, we’ll explore how innovative manufacturers are deploying mobile computer vision and software-based scanning on smartphones to re-engineer, automate and optimize operational processes, like asset tracking and inventory management – all without disrupting production.

Mobile computer vision for connected manufacturing

At its heart, Industry 4.0 promises to connect operational technology on the factory floor with information technology, to create more data-driven, transparent operations that are faster and cheaper. Technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and smart devices, give manufacturers a sweet spot of opportunity to digitize operations.

Many manufacturers have already invested in enterprise technology applications in the areas such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), supply chain and distribution logistics to underpin digitization efforts. But during the actual manufacturing process on the shop floor, there are still operators using clip-boards and paper-based forms to capture crucial information, or using a shared device pool of expensive dedicated hardware scanners to complete workflows such as parts tracking or asset management. Using barcode scanning software in your employee mobile apps on smartphones is a smart way to gain the benefits of connected manufacturing today, without major disruption or cost. Equipping every employee with a portable, easy-to-use scanning smart device helps tackle manufacturing inefficiencies and drive innovation – using accessible technology that can simply be deployed into existing infrastructures and integrated into multiple app or web environments.

Scandit’s mobile computer vision software delivers high-performance scanning and augmented reality (AR) software turning everyday or rugged smart devices into a powerful barcode scanning system that can access and display real-time operational information. Our technology provides a next generation, cost-effective alternative to traditional, dedicated scanners. Watch this video to see how it works.

Manufacturing Innovation with Mobile Computer Vision

With mobile computer vision software, manufacturers can change the way they connect teams, processes and workflows to capture and utilize real-time data across ecosystems, without major disruption and while creating a platform for future transformation.  

Scandit-powered barcode scanning smartphone apps can track products and parts and capture data in real-time from supply chain to assembly to the field. This ability to process barcodes and physical text-based identifiers in real-time means components and finished products can be tracked, verified and delivered to the right place at the right time. Productivity is increased, while the risk of human error is reduced.  

Here are a few examples of how manufacturing can get smarter with Scandit:

Replace costly dedicated scanners with lower-cost flexible smart devices

Low-cost, rugged smartphones can be introduced for scanning of material and goods replacing hardware scanners, as well as introducing scanning where it wasn’t viable before. Any employee with a smartphone can quickly scan material and goods anywhere in the manufacturing process, while Scandit’s scanning engine delivers enterprise-grade scanning even in difficult conditions such as in bad light, at a distance or wide angles in the warehouse or even when labels are damaged or torn.

Get the right material to the right production line every time

Material and goods can be tracked everywhere they are handled, by providing an enterprise-grade scanner in a smartphone to every worker, to simply scan barcodes to update back office systems in real-time and improve visibility. No more paper-based processes and real-time updates from anywhere in the production process creates more accurate tracking of each part going down the material flow. Employees can scan bins and boxes with a smartphone app to speed up processes, even capturing multiple barcodes in a single sequence using Scandit MatrixScan to increase efficiency by up to 40%.

Employees can scan bins and boxes with a smartphone app to speed up processes, even capturing multiple barcodes in a single sequence using Scandit MatrixScan to increase efficiency by up to 40%.

Track any part down to a serial number and who completed the installation

By adding mobile scanning into workflows where dedicated devices weren’t previously present, each part is always trackable anywhere – down to the serial number of a product where it is installed, the worker who installed it, or the customer who reported it.  Parts installation can be instantly recorded with a quick scan of the barcode. Scandit barcode and text recognition software supports any barcode type used in manufacturing, including tiny codes, DPM codes, and serial numbers.

Customer spotlight: American Woodmark

American Woodmark Corporation is a leading manufacturer and distributor of kitchen and bath cabinets for the remodeling and new home construction markets. They needed an effective method for employees to quickly identify and report product quality issues from the field, so developed FieldTrac, a cross-platform mobile app.  

They deployed Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK software into the FieldTrac app to allow employees retrieve details about any product with a simple barcode scan. Scandit was the natural choice due to its enterprise-grade scanning performance in any conditions, support for many different barcode symbologies and ability to work on any mobile platform. This allows hundreds of employees to accurately identify a product when reporting a quality issue, quickly find a job associated with an order and improve general worker efficiency across the board.

Learn how to Implement Industry 4.0, One Mobile Scan at a Time

You can read our new whitepaper to learn more about the many manufacturing workflows that Scandit improves with mobile computer vision, like tracking parts throughout the supply chain, more efficient stocking, predictive maintenance and tracing products once despatched to market. Download the whitepaper and find out: 

  • How inexpensive, easy-to-use smart devices equipped with visual, intuitive solutions streamline manufacturing processes.
  • Why the ability to capture multiple barcodes in a single scan and AR-overlays speed up inventory management by up to 40%, avoiding the over stocking of expensive parts and equipment.
  • How to capture data from components to create predictive maintenance capability and enable the tracking of products plus their usage in the field.

If you’d like to explore how Scandit could help your manufacturing organization to innovate without disruption, contact us, we’d love to talk.