Manufacturing on a Cloud

Cloud computing has already been adopted across countless industries. The ability to store and access data anywhere there is internet access has all but redesigned how businesses work. From meetings that can happen anywhere at any time to finally bidding adieu to forgotten documents needed for important meetings, we are quickly crossing the threshold where it will be virtually impossible to perform any kind of business function without access to cloud data.

Though used mainly for documentation storage and access in other industries, it’s cloud manufacturing that is truly beginning to test the limits of the cloud’s potential. Indeed, the phrase, “design anywhere, manufacture anywhere”, or DAMA, is quickly transitioning to the forefront of what manufacturers are focused on making a reality. It’s the simple idea that manufacturers should be able to exchange important data through numerous means, establishing links between planning, engineering and even customer relations.

Growing Pains and Gains

Of course, adoption of such a technology doesn’t come without its cons. While the future truly is in cloud manufacturing, few companies can afford a full transition to such a system at this time. Even with early adopters having tested out the kinks, the vast majority of manufacturing companies are still a bit too poor to do more than a pay-per-month or pay-per-year plan. Plus, many places don’t need full packages because of their smaller size, leading to a trend toward software options that can scale up or down depending on the needs of the business. In the end, however, biting the bullet and making the switch to a complete adoption already has been proven to pay for itself in terms of benefits. From faster executions to developing a truly seamless process, the pros are far greater than any cost.

Cloud manufacturing is, of course, more than just a benefit to the company itself. The cloud is what allows the manufacturer to service their clients in a faster, more efficient and more affordable way. Things such as an equipment library hooked up to a cloud means customers know immediately if you have something in stock on top of giving them the power to order exactly the number they need, not some arbitrary bulk number because your company needs to move stock. The benefits of this level of control with the accuracy afforded by cloud data are unparalleled.

Future Potential

All CIOs, no matter how small or large the company, are steering things toward cloud manufacturing. In part because of the current benefits, it’s a system that is designed to evolve with the latest technologies, meaning that as soon as a manufacturer is entirely integrated, they can begin altering their company to take full advantage of the power of total connectivity. Pursued correctly, it can be expected that industry is undergoing another revolution, only this time the winners will be those that harness the total adaptability of the technology afforded to them through cloud manufacturing.

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