Chemistry has always been fascinating to me. Mixing two elements together and having a reaction that provides the ability to improve the way we live is an important part of civilization as we know it today. One such process is that of a battery, which provides power for many of the devices we use every day.
The design and making of batteries is both a science and an art. Many things need to be considered, including the operating environment, and current draw and charge rates. Battery manufacturers are also very concerned with safety and the use of their batteries by consumers.
Because there are many battery manufacturers around the world, the supply chain aspects of producing and selling batteries becomes very important. It’s important not to make too much stock and produce stock that is of high quality, and to be able to react to an issue in the field very quickly in the supply chain.
In the past, we worked with a battery producer that was having issues with a battery that was used in data centers. Under certain conditions, it would fail dramatically.
Because this customer had an MES solution in place that was generating a great amount information, it was easy for them to analyze the process and trace back to the issues with this battery to make improvements.
But before this can happen, the manufacturing organization needs to be notified of the issues in the field. This communication of what is going on needs to happen in near real time to influence the bottom line.
Unfortunately, communication of the failure rates did not go back to the manufacturer organization and it produced over 1,000 units of bad batteries before it could halt production. Having a linkage between the field, the supply chain, and the manufacturing organization to make continuous improvements and to communicate the status and demand for product can save literally millions of dollars in a large organization.
This is the power of a connected organization that leverages the digital thread and data to drive operations.
Miss the first tip? Read 12 Manufacturing Tips for a Brilliant 2017. Tip 1: Manufacturing Physics
Want to continue on the series? Read Tip 3: Do the Right Thing