Industry predictions indicate that manufacturing will grow faster than the general economy*. Growth in areas such as global aircraft manufacturing is projected to spike from the less than 4% rise seen from 2013-2017 to nearly 9.5% from 2017 until 2021. These high manufacturing expectations are bound to cause an increase in production needs for OEMs. But how do you best scale up production without falling victim to overspending on inventory or finding yourself unable to fill orders due to long lead-times and or lack of capacity?
With the news of backlogs at record highs this year, industry OEMs and suppliers are looking for ways to ramp up production to meet demand. Meeting these needs can become challenging when fulfillment issues arise. According to forecast experts like Deloitte, manufacturers in 2019 should be focused on strengthening their supply chains, more effectively managing projects, and leveraging advanced technology to increase efficiency. As OEMs and suppliers both contemplate ways to meet demand, here are a few things all procurement professionals should look for in suppliers to prevent fulfillment pitfalls.
No matter how precise a tool may be, it still needs to be honed, recalibrated, and reevaluated in order to stay in prime condition and do its job correctly. This is no different for a workforce. No matter how knowledgeable or skilled an employee may be, there are always ways for the employee to refresh their knowledge. Continuous training to keep the workforce up to date on all its processes produces a workplace culture which is centered on preparedness and reliability.
Most companies work to ensure a maximum standard of safety in a workplace environment. There are several unique ways that Liberty makes employee safety and security a priority, by getting not only employees involved, but their families as well.
One way that a company like Liberty ensures an efficient and well-equipped workforce is by making sure the tools that employees use on a daily basis are current, calibrated, and functioning. The proper maintenance and organization of all tooling is a key element in a workforce that is confident, safe, and well-equipped.
One way a company can support its community is by offering educational and employment opportunities to the members of the community, especially students. This is particularly true for companies, like Liberty Electronics, in the STEM field. By engaging with the community, the company can educate students about the field and equip them with opportunities for the future. Larger companies, such as Lockheed Martin, do this regularly. Liberty, though located in a smaller community, still offers valuable resources to the area through career, STEM, and mentorship programs to reach students and potential employees.
The global light rail industry is forecasted to reach $4.97 billion by 2026, growing at an annual rate of 9.8%. While Europe continues to maintain the highest market growth, the recent rise in light rail passengers across major U.S. cities has led to approvals for light rail extension projects throughout the country — expecting to drive market growth even further. Light rail vehicles produced by companies like Bombardier, Siemens, Kawasaki, Alstom, Ansaldo, Kinki Sharyo, CAF, etc. are expanding across the nation due to advancements in areas like noise reduction, comfort and safety.
Lack of capacity, along with rising operating costs and increased competitive pressures, have caused companies to explore the option of contract manufacturing for their products. Contract manufacturing outsources certain manufacturing operations to a third-party, passing on the responsibility for materials, capital, equipment, staff, and software.
Imagine notifying your two largest customers that their lines will be down because you won’t be able to deliver their products for 16 weeks. Imagine the daily conference calls, site visits, audits, and over-time costs while your organization is turned upside down trying to deliver product, all for one simple reason: a key part of the process was never formally documented on an assembly that is newly outsourced, or outsourced from a new supplier.
In wire assemblies, there are hundreds and often thousands of opportunities for defects per assembly. Therefore, it is imperative that a manufacturer takes rigorous steps to mitigate the risk of incurring those defects. Multiple process controls must be deployed to ensure that a wire assembly is produced that meets or exceeds the customer’s requirements. Many of these measures are taken before the components are even built. Revision-controlled quality requirements---specified on prints and in workmanship standards---must be understood. Operators must be trained and must demonstrate this understanding. As an assembly is produced, a predetermined regimen of tests and other validations are employed, both by operators and technicians. These validations, depending on the project, can include mechanical, electrical, and environmental tests. Each of these stages in the quality assurance process ultimately ensures that the product meets or exceeds the customer specifications.