Lower Manufacturing CostsLower Six Manufacturing Costs with IoT (eBook)


Lower Manufacturing CostsHow can IoT and advanced technologies lower costs in manufacturing? Lower Six Manufacturing Costs with IoT explores how new technologies can help keep age-old manufacturing expenses in check. The report discusses how the Internet of Things (IoT) and related technologies for monitoring and using data can streamline processes and support people in making profitable decisions.

Please enjoy the summary* below. Please visit our sponsor PTC for the full research (registration required).

Table of Contents

  • Cost and Margin 
  • Workforce Productivity 
  • Material Costs 
  • Asset Costs 
  • Energy Costs 
  • Cost of Quality 
  • Safety and Compliance Costs 
  • Recommendations 
  • Acknowledgments

Cost and Margin

Age-old Manufacturing Challenges

Margins matter. Ever since people began turning materials into higher-value goods and selling them for a living, lowering costs has been an objective for manufacturers. In the margin equation (simplified to income minus expenses), costs are often the easiest to control.

For manufacturers, operating costs are a logical place to seek improvement. Manufacturing inherently has a set of input costs: workforce, materials, machinery, energy; lowering those costs improves operating margin. Problems with quality, safety, or compliance can add to the margin squeeze.

Smarter Manufacturing to Lower Costs

Each advancement in production methods and information technology has allowed better and less expensive production. Previous moves from artisans to steam power to mass production to control automation have each done this.

Costs continue to drop with the transition to IT in operations and today’s IoT-connected distributed intelligence.  Yet those savings require initial investments to create a smart connected factory.

New technologies offer specific ways to reduce costs. We’ll show them in six primary areas:

  1. Workforce productivity
  2. Materials
  3. Assets
  4. Energy
  5. Quality
  6. Safety & Compliance

Lower Manufacturing Costs


Continuing Cost Reductions

Cost improvements are crucial for manufacturers to remain profitable in the “new normal.” Fortunately, technologies for every level are now available to reduce operating costs across all six dimensions. Capabilities to bolster include sensing, monitoring, communicating, analyzing, predicting, and displaying operational data and performance indicators.

As with previous generations of manufacturing technology, adding new technologies can create incremental – and sometimes dramatic – cost reductions. Some are one-time savings; many continue to reduce costs.

Actions to Get Started

While every company’s cost structure and situation is different,
there are some things every manufacturer should do.

  • Examine operating costs and focus efforts on significant needs
    or easy-to-identify wastes.
  • Add IoT sensors to gather more data where critical opportunities lurk.
  • Provide workers with as much support as possible through work instructions and remote expert support on-line or through AR goggles.
  • Use all data feeds available to monitor materials, processes, and equipment precisely.
  • Assess energy and quality in detail and add guidance or monitoring to keep costs in line with revenues.
  • Consider compliance and EH&S systems – are you still facing risks?
  • Consider how new technologies in this paper will integrate with and leverage current automation and software systems.

To stay competitive with low costs and healthy margins, companies must invest. Now is the time.

*This summary is an abbreviated version of the research and does not contain the full content. Please visit our sponsor PTC for the full research (registration required). 

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