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In the ever-evolving landscape of manufacturing, staying competitive and efficient is the key to success, more than ever before as manufacturing organizations seek ways to optimize their operations, boost productivity, and reduce costs, technology is playing an increasingly pivotal role.

One of the leading solutions at the forefront of this digital transformation is IFS Cloud for Manufacturing, which leverages the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver Intelligent Automation. In this blog, we’ll explore how IFS Cloud for Manufacturing uses AI technologies to drive Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Manufacturing Scheduling & Optimization, ultimately enhancing the efficiency and agility of manufacturing operations.

The Evolution of Manufacturing

Manufacturing has come a long way from the days of manual labour and paper-based processes. The advent of Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) has ushered in a new era of smart manufacturing, where data and automation are the driving forces behind enhanced efficiency.
When I speak to customers, they are very clear when discussing what remains important to them:

1. Improving operational excellence in manufacturing

2. Improving agility and flexibility of operations

3. Increasing focus on product innovations

These priorities are confirmed even more so by Maggie Slowik, Global Industry Director for Manufacturing at IFS, who shared the findings of a recent IDC Study with me (IDC Global Future of Manufacturing Survey, November 2022).

In this study several Manufacturing organizations were surveyed and 50% of the surveyed organisations stated that improving operational excellence is the top priority for them in the next two years. 43% stated that improving agility and flexibility remains an important topic

Manufacturers’ top priorities in the next 2 years: 

Source: IDC Global Future of Manufacturing Survey, November 2022, n=160)

IFS Cloud for Manufacturing embraces this transformation by incorporating AI technologies to redefine how Manufacturing organisations operate.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES): Digitally transforming shop floor processes.

Manufacturing Execution Systems are the backbone of any modern manufacturing plant. They provide real-time visibility into production processes, tracking inventory, work orders, and equipment status. IFS Cloud’s embedded MES capabilities enable automation of shopfloor reporting and quality inspections enabling organisations to:

Reduce Production costs: automation of shopfloor reporting reduces manual data entry and minimizes errors – improved efficiency in data collection and processing leads to cost savings.

Improved Equipment Efficiency: Real-time monitoring and analysis of equipment performance helps identify and address issues early and promptly. Analyse comparative data to discover and predict future issues before they happen, helping to move from scheduled to predictive maintenance plans, reducing downtime.

Improve throughput and quality: Adjust machine settings based on real-time feedback to drive continuous improvement, such as optimizing the production plan.

IFS has built a partnership with our Technology Alliance Partner Crosser to enable machine integrations. At the same time, IFS Cloud, as should be expected of any modern enterprise solution, offers the flexibility for manufacturers to seamless integrate with 3rd party MES solutions:


Manufacturing Scheduling & Optimization (MSO): The Power of AI

Manufacturing scheduling and optimization play a critical role in ensuring that production resources, from machines to labour, are utilized efficiently. This of course relies on real-time data coming from shop floor machinery and equipment, enabled by MES, as well as relevant ERP data. IFS Cloud for Manufacturing leverages AI technology to make this process smarter and more adaptable via its Smart Manufacturing Planning Board:

Optimize Operations: Increase production planning and capacity utilization with new scheduling scenario functionality in Manufacturing which enables improved lead times, reducing WIP and optimized Inventory levels to improve customer service levels.

Resource Allocation: AI algorithms consider the skills, availability, and capabilities of the workforce to allocate tasks effectively. This ensures that the right people are in the right place at the right time, leading to optimized labour costs and reduced idle time.

Production Line Optimization: IFS Cloud enables continuous monitoring of equipment performance to identify potential maintenance needs before breakdowns occur. This predictive maintenance minimizes downtime and extends the lifespan of machinery.

The Benefits of IFS Cloud’s Intelligent Automation

By harnessing AI within IFS Cloud for Manufacturing, organizations can achieve a multitude of benefits:

1. Improved Operational Efficiency: Streamlined processes, reduced downtime, and optimal resource allocation translate to significant efficiency gains.


2. Enhanced Product Quality: Predictive quality control minimizes defects and ensures consistent product quality.


3. Greater Agility: The ability to adapt to changing market demands, and unexpected disruptions makes manufacturing operations more agile.


4. Cost Savings: Reduced energy consumption, efficient scheduling, and predictive maintenance all contribute to lower operational costs.


5. Data-Driven Decision-Making: AI-generated insights empower manufacturing leaders to make informed, data-driven decisions.

In conclusion, IFS Cloud for Manufacturing is a powerful platform for manufacturing organizations looking to achieve greater efficiency, quality, and competitiveness. By leveraging AI technologies, it enables Intelligent Automation in MES and Manufacturing Scheduling & Optimization, driving smarter, more agile, and cost-effective manufacturing operations. As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve, embracing solutions like IFS Cloud is essential for staying at the forefront of innovation and maintaining a competitive edge in an ever-changing landscape.

CAT: For additional information on IFS Cloud for Manufacturing and to learn more about our Industry focus and existing customers in this Industry, please visit the following website: Manufacturing Industry Cloud Software – IFS

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