Metalmechanics: a sector
in transformation

Opinion article by Nuno Figueiredo, Board Member, Sales & Marketing, Abaco Consulting, for “InterMETAL”:

Over the past few years, the industrial sector has faced new challenges, driven by the increasing complexity of supply chains associated with globalization, the interconnection between different areas, the intensification of digital transformation and the inclusion of new industrial processes, of which example is additive manufacturing. However, a common aspect to all these new challenges is the need for digital methods that ensure the management of these complex processes, coordinating them for an efficient functioning of the company, which thus raises the relevance of the management software in the decision-making processes.

A clear example of this transformation can be seen in the metallurgical and metalworking sector, a sector on the rise in our country, with strong internationalization and leading solutions recognized worldwide. In these cases, the implementation of a management system is a complex and demanding challenge, especially due to the need to ensure business continuity, and the benefits must therefore be tangible and noticeable.

Given this context, the challenge now lies in the ability, through the implementation of an advanced management system, to manage more efficiently and reduce the costs associated with production, since, by establishing an interconnection and allowing the flow of information from management teams up to the production lines, they are able to provide unique and timely information for greater efficiency in the decision-making process. In this way, when a management solution (ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning) is implemented, national companies, in the internationalization phase, for example, can also equip themselves with a set of information and data legally framed in each country in which they operate. , since an effective management system, which integrates the provision of information on mobile devices and in the ‘cloud’, allows access anywhere.

In this way, a modern management system allows responding to the real needs of companies, ensuring real-time information, enabling personalized production, integrating production processes with supply chain management and optimizing the use of equipment and human resources. production processes. This superior control capacity also allows a more efficient management of costs and margins, by allowing a more accurate perception of the real cost of the product, isolating the different costs from the factors of production. Thus, the first result that can be obtained from the use of a modern management system is to reduce production costs and, consequently, to increase efficiency. This is due to the fact that the ERP is able to access all the costs of the factors of production and by isolating the costs, we are able to have a global view of them and to reduce them proactively.

The second result is efficiency in management, through the integration of technological trends, which, although not recent, remain essential to support the decision-making process, namely: the Internet of Things, the Cloud, Mobility, among others, relevant to any business and which are fundamental as other technologies such as additive manufacturing gain traction and enable increasingly personalized and ‘on demand’ production. In this sense, it is now possible to analyze information and make decisions anywhere, even outside the factory.

In short, the new technological trends, associated with the capacity that ERP has, in reading the business of the companies where it is implemented, will assume an increasingly relevant importance in order to boost business and support the decision-making process more ‘ intelligent’. Smart is not just the fact that we are in control of the business, because that was something that happened in the past, but the fact that we now have ‘live feeds’ of information that will help us make the best possible decision.

Now, thanks to the new management systems, it is possible to perceive in real time whether or not our line is producing the goods in accordance with the quality rules and with the consumer’s orders. In this way, you will be able to maximize the efficiency of your production line as the most modern systems and management communicate between the ‘Top Floor’ to the ‘Shop Floor’ in a single, global view of the entire process.

That said, it is essential that companies in this sector begin to digitize their businesses and include these technological trends, as this is the only way they will be able to achieve maximum efficiency in their production and, consequently, in their decision making.

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