Manufacturing & Deployment: Understanding your priorities

Systematic deconstruction of the manufacturing and deployment challenges highlights 5 key areas that you need to address:

  1. Components: New products may need the creation of new tools, techniques, and in some cases, the development of new materials.

  2. Supply Chains: most companies understand conventional manufacturing supply chains, but for some new products, they may need to adapt or even invent new supply chains.

  3. Processes: In many cases, the manufacturing and deployment of new products may only require some process optimisation; in some situations however it may be necessary to design a completely new manufacturing process; this may need to be done from scratch, or could be done by ‘cross-fertilising a process from one market space to another.

  4. Deployment: Some products and services may require an on-going relationship between the provider and the customer. For example, deploying computing platforms can create additional challenges based on how products are assembled, installed and set-up. In some cases, the product or service may require continuous active monitoring of components and systems, including dynamic management and maintenance.

  5. Integrated Operations: Advances in manufacturing and deployment, including mass customisation, are changing things; for example, the Industry 4.0 initiative, which builds on the potential for dynamic tooling, supply management, and customised manufacturing and deployment, means that companies need to understand inter-operability, data transparency and exchange, and automated decision-making.

Probably the biggest emerging manufacturing challenge concerns the logistics and integration of design, simulation, manufacturing, deployment, and management. Cloud computing companies provide a good example of this challenge.

The technologies for secure data processing, storage and distribution are well developed, but the logistics of how products and services are deployed remain a major challenge. These challenges are becoming more acute with the proliferation of more granular data, large data volumes, faster responding networks, and more sophisticated functionality in the hands of end-users.

New IOT (internet of things) services highlight this problem but the same challenges can also apply in the healthcare market space; for example, the design of new products and services enabling gene therapy for patients, or the provision of personalised bed-side bio-processing and treatment.

Another challenging area concerns the scaling of manufacturing techniques; for example, in some types of bio-tech manufacturing. processes designed in pilot plants may not scale to full-scale manufacturing because of non-linear behaviour of enzymes and catalysts.

The Triple Chasm Model highlights the need to understand the changing balance between manufacturing and deployment, for example in mass customisation of products.