It doesn’t matter if that product is something as small and (relatively) simple as a light bulb, or as large and complex as a monster truck. The data needed to create both to standard needs to meet the same, stringent benchmarks.
Of course, this is nothing new. Long before digitisation and Big Data, accurate information still had to flow through the manufacturing supply chain – from raw materials to production, testing to distribution – for any product to be made.
What has changed is the sheer amount of data collated and collected at every step, as well as the way that data is handled, shared and used by manufacturers. With this change comes significant potential for manufacturers to go beyond box-ticking with data, improving efficiency and uncover new commercial opportunities with data.
Let’s go back to our lightbulb and monster truck. The manufacturing process – and the number of components – is obviously very different for each. But the basic data touchpoints remain the same.
- Raw materials need to be fully traceable, for sustainability, product safety and regulatory control.
- Assembly processes need to be communicated and followed across every plant.
- Measurement criteria must be precise.
- Regulations need to be met in production, testing, and end-user information.
- Test results – from raw material to final product – need to be communicated and acted upon.
- Uniformity needs to be maintained throughout the process, to ensure that the product meets the same safety and quality standards no matter which factory it is produced in.