To improve productivity and maximize profits in the manufacturing industry, it is important to improve the production control structure. Among these, the improvement of process control is directly related to QCD optimization. This article provides an overview of manufacturing production control and specific ways to improve process control. We will also explain what benefits can be gained by implementing a process control system, so please take a look.
Basics of Production Control in Manufacturing
Process control is a part of production control. Therefore, it is important to first understand the basics of production control in the manufacturing industry. Here, we will explain the operations and objectives of production control, as well as process control, quality control, and demand forecasting.
What Is Production Control?
Production control in the manufacturing industry refers to the management of the manufacturing process from receiving orders to manufacturing and delivery of products. The main tasks of production control are as follows:
- Order management (demand forecasting)
- Production planning
- Procurement management
- Process control
- Quality control
- Inventory Control
- Shipping Management
- Cost Management
- Development Management
Although production control operations cover a wide range of areas, it is fundamental to focus on the four important aspects of manufacturing: delivery date, inventory, process, and cost of goods.
The objective of production control is to maximize the company’s profit by optimizing QCD (Quality (Q), Cost (C), and Delivery (D)), and if QCD can be optimized, it is possible to manufacture high quality products with short delivery times and low costs.
To optimize QCD, it is necessary to improve process control, which manages manufacturing-related processes.
What Is Process Control?
Process control is a part of production control operations and is the management of manufacturing-related processes. While production control operations cover a wide range of tasks, such as order management and shipping control, process control involves the management of “the process of manufacturing products,” which is the most important part of production control operations. The main objectives of process control are to:
- Maintain stable quality
- Ensure on-time delivery
- Shorten the production period
- Increase productivity
- Reduce in-process inventory
- Reduce manufacturing costs
Thus, process control is related to delivery time, inventory, process, and cost, all of which are important to the manufacturing industry. Improving processes related to manufacturing is directly related to optimizing QCD, which is the objective of production control. The key to achieving the objective of process control is to efficiently execute the PDCA cycle of “make a production plan (P),” “implement the plan (D),” “evaluate the activities (C),” and “improve problems (A).
What is a Bill of Materials (BOM)?
Parts are indispensable for manufacturing industrial products. If even one part is missing, an industrial product cannot be manufactured. This is where the Bill of Materials (BOM) comes in. The BOM is the Japanese translation of BOM (Bill Of Materials) and refers to a list of parts required to manufacture a product.
There are two types of BOM: Summary BOM and Structure BOM. The summary type simply lists the part names and quantities in order. In contrast, the Structure type has a hierarchical structure and includes intermediate processes until the product is completed.
The BOM is an important part of production management. It is needed in all aspects of production management, including procurement management, process control, and cost control. In order to improve the production management structure, it is necessary to improve BOM management, and the introduction of a BOM system is essential for this purpose.
If the BOM is created on paper or in Excel, problems such as errors and difficulty in searching may occur, which can be solved by implementing a BOM system.
What is Quality Control?
Quality control refers to the management of meeting customer requirements for quality. While the objective of production control is to maximize QCD, quality control is characterized by its objective to maximize quality (Q) out of QCD. Maintaining stable quality leads to increased confidence in the product and the brand.
Quality control emphasizes the management of the “4Ms” of Man, Machine, Method, and Material. By controlling these 4M elements, it is possible to prevent the shipment of defective products. This will lead to the maintenance of stable quality.
What is Demand Forecasting?
Among the tasks of production control, demand forecasting refers to the process of optimizing inventory by predicting the short-, medium-, and long-term demand for a product. In the manufacturing industry, holding large amounts of inventory is undesirable. Excess inventory can lead to deterioration of cash flow and product obsolescence and deterioration.
Inventory can be expressed by the formula “demand forecast – actual demand. The more accurate the demand forecast is and the closer it is to actual demand, the more inventory can be reduced. In order to improve the accuracy of demand forecasting, demand forecasting, which predicts future needs based on historical data and market trends, is becoming increasingly important.
In recent years, AI (Artificial Intelligence) has been used for demand forecasting, and by introducing an AI-based “AI Demand Forecasting System,” highly accurate demand forecast values can be calculated. This will prevent the occurrence of excess inventory, optimize inventory, and improve operational efficiency.
What Is Production Control System To Improve Manufacturing Process Control?
In order to improve manufacturing process control, it is necessary to implement a process control system or production control system. A production control system enables centralized management of “delivery date,” “inventory,” “process,” and “cost,” all of which are important to the manufacturing industry. It will optimize QCD, which is the purpose of production management, and maximize the company’s profit.
Some production control systems implement “BOM systems” for efficient parts management and “AI demand forecasting systems” for highly accurate demand forecasting. These systems can be used in all aspects of production management, including process management.
In addition, introducing a production control system to improve process control will optimize QCD and enable the manufacture of high-quality products with shorter delivery times and lower costs. This also greatly contributes to the improvement of corporate profitability.
In process control, it is important to efficiently execute the PDCA cycle. By implementing a production control system or process control system, you will be able to efficiently execute the PDCA cycle of process control based on data.
Furthermore, some production control systems and process control systems are equipped with functions that enable visualization of the progress of the manufacturing process. The progress status of each process can be shared throughout the company.
By checking the progress of the manufacturing process in real time, each department in the company will be able to promptly take effective countermeasures. In addition, the system will make it easier to adjust the load of each process and simplify the management of managers, among other benefits.
Improvement of manufacturing process control is directly related to optimization of QCD. Therefore, it will have a significant impact on improving company profitability. Considering cost-effectiveness, the introduction of a production control system is an effective way to improve process control. Companies that want to increase their profitability by improving productivity should consider implementing a production control system.