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Oleksandra Tsyganok May 4, 2021 4 min read

Digital factory use case: Global manufacturing operations

NavVis IVION Enterprise enables global operations managers to virtually inspect and compare their different production sites all over the world, all from within a web browser.

When making decisions that are critical to your business, you’ll want to have all the latest information at your disposal.

This is the situation that a global operations manager and their team will find themselves in on a typical workday, presented with a multitude of choices spanning their entire production and sourcing network. Without the full picture, decisions take longer, and those delays can ripple outwards to impact productivity and efficiency.

But why are they required to make such choices in the first place?

One reason is the need to optimize the global production network because of shifting market demand or technological trends. A global operations manager will have to quickly evaluate the status quo and then initiate improvement and change projects.

Another reason is that, if they operate in a highly competitive market, there is inevitably pressure to lower production costs, shorten lead times and time-to-market for new products or a product refresh.

Finally, there are customers who expect not only that the products they buy should be of high quality, but that they should be easily available and with a retail price they find agreeable. Otherwise, they can easily take their business elsewhere...

Challenges to making effective decisions

A dynamic decision-making process is desirable to address all these factors and more besides, but there are challenges too. We’ve covered these in detail in the NavVis Digital Factory Guide, but to recap several:

  • Production sites might be scattered all over the globe and share a very low level of standardization between them.
  • Factory plans and documentation are woefully out of date, with no current or reliable overview of the factory inventory.
  • Accessibility for all stakeholders is limited to those with the technical expertise to use CAD (computer-aided design) tools.

If you’re a global operations manager, then you might be familiar with the ways that these challenges can throw up roadblocks to progress.

Important decisions might be taken based on ill-informed opinions or “gut instinct”, made after protracted video conferencing with no real connection to the actual circumstances of the production environment.

Alternatively, you might be compelled to undertake a lot of traveling by plane, train and automobile to the site in question, an activity which can be expensive, time-consuming and stressful.

With the lack of a common understanding, teams reporting to a department head or a vice president can’t work together effectively. If email or instant messaging are your main channels of communication, then you’re in a for a protracted sequence of misunderstandings and communication loops.

What’s the solution?

But it doesn’t have to be this way. NavVis IVION Enterprise enables global operations managers to virtually inspect and compare their different production sites all over the world, all from within a web browser.

You won’t have to physically travel any more. You and your team can remotely visit a site to gain a complete understanding of machines, tools, and even entire factory layouts.

This empowers you to quickly make a qualified decision – in full confidence – without the need to be on-site. Saving time and expenses required for travel doesn’t hurt the bottom line, either.

In the scenario outlined in the video above, we simulate the acquisition of a new plant for manufacturing components. The global operations manager needs to inspect the new site and align with the local operations director.

But before manufacturing can properly begin, some adjustments need to be made to the factory to align with the global production standards of its new owner.

The site is easily shared as a link directly from NavVis IVION Enterprise and added to a web meeting to discuss matters from within the factory's spatial context.

This way, stakeholders can effortlessly gather all the critical information, then assess and swiftly resolve any engineering issues that may arise before the start of production.

The local operations director can also remotely access the digital twin of the respective lead factory, then make a visual comparison against the local site.

Taken together, the NavVis workflow and the digital factory twins enable a higher level of standardization, higher flexibility, and faster optimization in production.

It is also a guaranteed means of reducing travel time and cost while simultaneously increasing the collaboration of all stakeholders such as logistics, industrial engineering, continuous improvement, and more.

Wrapping up

If the goal in your organization is to have greater flexibility in production, not to mention fast optimization of your global production network, then look no further than NavVis IVION Enterprise.

As the manufacturing footprint of your company grows through mergers and acquisitions, you can anticipate the need for standardization. Reduce costly planning mistakes and make smarter decision based on the most current information available.

For information on NavVis IVION Enterprise and the NavVis Digital Factory Solution, download our free guide or make an appointment to speak with a consultant. We’d be delighted to hear from you.