In recent years, expected growth in the production value of the global high-temperature ceramics market has increased the rate of growth of production of different end-users. It has increased the output of many local and regional companies such as Corning Incorporated (U.S.), Metco Products Co., Inc. (U.S.), M&W Laboratories, Inc. (U.S.), Ceramtec Group (U.S.), Glaukos Corporation (U.S.), and ORM.SIGNINGS CO. (France). At the same time, increasing environmental concerns in some regions of the world have raised concerns regarding the production management practices of different materials and products. Many companies have increased their research and development activities to satisfy the rising demand for environmentally friendly products.
Production Management Growth
With this production growth, many companies must invest heavily in additional production capacity and physical facilities to meet the increasing demand. It is expected that shortly, it will further increase the production of high-temperature ceramics. The demand for electrical and optical applications will increase faster than the production of electrical components. With these new production facilities, the demand for high-temperature ceramics for photovoltaic modules will be the major application segment in the next decade.
- The market is characterized by increased investment in research and development activities to improve production processes in the short term.
- Production management has become the key focus in different industries and sectors. Manufacturing organizations are increasingly using production management software for managing and streamlining their production processes.
- The high-temperature ceramics industry is expected to increase by more than 5% per year through 2021.
- In the year 2017, more than 500 companies have already adopted production management software.
- To grow a business, a company needs to focus on effective production management processes.
Major Product Offerings
At present, companies in the high-temperature ceramics market offer products such as processing aids, additives, products for the production of high-temperature ceramics, and ceramic coating and coating modifiers. Manufacturing applications of these products include powder coatings, ceramics, oil refinery, and aerospace. The production of high-temperature ceramics has increased significantly in the last few years with growth in the ceramics manufacturing industry in major regions of the world such as Asia and North America. By 2021, it will produce more than 2,200 metric tons of high-temperature ceramics products each year. It is expected that the demand for different types of ceramics such as oxide ceramics, zirconium oxide ceramics, sesquioxides, and boron nitride ceramics will be the major application segments for high-temperature ceramics.
Production management practices are, of course, relevant in many other industries as well. Here, we would like to share some industry insights on production management by 2021.
The next decade of production management will bring numerous innovations and changes. However, the big change in the production management landscape will likely not be major new technology development but the introduction of machine learning techniques as a fundamental part of production planning.
Among the current challenges for production management, here are the main trends we are looking at.
1. More Production Value Adding in Automotive Sector
The automotive industry, including manufacturing and parts supply, accounts for about 4% of the worldwide manufacturing value. The share is predicted to grow to nearly 7% in 2021, making it the most important market segment for production management, as far as we can see.
The automotive sector can break down manufacturing processes into three main types. A small percentage of these is made in production facilities, comprising the most profitable production activities. The rest is made in different parts and components’ production processes and further expanded into the final product. And here we see the big changes. We are entering a stage where all the value addition activities will be integrated as production processes.
A production process for a single component can produce multiple components in parallel. The effort is to optimize the optimal amount of parts and components for each stage of the process. Yet this does not automatically mean adding capacity to handle the increased demand. Instead, it can mean substituting two or three steps in the production process to reduce production costs. In an automotive factory, the production process can be divided into smaller steps. With several smaller steps and fewer components, there is more capacity for final parts and components, which results in lower costs.
In a more general sense, this means that production planning will become more intelligent. Machine learning and similar techniques will play an increasingly important role in production management, not only for production planning but also for managing more complex processes like inventory management.
2. Managing More Complex Processes and Increasing Energy Efficiency
We just described that automotive production management is similar to a typical manufacturing process for many other industries. That is, processes are highly complex and multistage and are made up of multiple stages. At the stage of initial assembly of components, production planning and inventory management are, of course, the key to the overall process. But it is not only inventory management that has to be considered at the end of the production process.
Other processes such as physical repair and maintenance are also important to ensure efficient operation in the automotive industry. Meanwhile, at the next step of production, the manufacturing equipment may need further maintenance. Here, complex processes are created involving maintenance personnel. It will be necessary to automate production processes and processes that require human input as much as possible to make them efficient. In a future production process, human operators would only come into play at the final step.
But automation does not only mean managing repetitive processes. It also means managing energy consumption, which is rising in automotive production. It is one of the main trends of the automotive industry, which currently accounts for nearly 10% of global energy demand.
In production processes, energy consumption is related to different stages of production. For example, energy consumption during material production increases as the parts are produced. After manufacturing, it drops. The amount of energy consumed by energy-saving technology at the production stage increases. After that, the energy consumed by energy-saving technology decreases even further. For this reason, managing energy in an efficient manner is one of the most important challenges facing production managers.
What can be done to improve energy efficiency? The key is to identify the optimal amount of energy consumption for each step of the production process and then manage the production process optimally. It is based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Meanwhile, energy consumption is closely related to the production process. In automotive production, energy consumption is concentrated mainly on the final assembly and adjusting the components and the production process. Since the products are heavy and energy-intensive, it is important to apply different production processes according to different loads and vehicle types.
3. Increasing Productivity
Productivity is another common challenge for production managers. In a production plant, equipment managers are usually in charge of the production process and the components. However, they are often paid by the hour and by the result of the production process. If production is running fast, the production manager has a lot of work.
Production managers are usually in charge of the production process on the production floor. However, they also have to coordinate the processes and machinery to coordinate the manufacturing process and achieve optimal efficiency. Productivity increases with the introduction of new processes and technologies, advanced production equipment, and management processes.
The two main principles for increasing production productivity are managing the production process more efficiently, optimizing the manufacturing equipment and processes. It is in contrast to the traditional approach, which requires optimizing the production process only. The production process optimizes itself, which means optimizing the production equipment and processes in a coordinated way.
When implementing management processes, production managers often focus on managers and executives. But management processes also help the maintenance personnel, production supervisors, and production operators. In production plants, managers and executives oversee the production process. But management processes also help technicians, production supervisors, and production operators control the production process, which means improving the work efficiency of all the involved parties.
All of this led to improvements in overall production efficiency and increased production efficiency. A production manager can often do the job of two or three personnel. Management processes increase the level of responsibility in the production process. The people who manage the production process can manage the personnel in the production process. And the production processes increase the work efficiency of all the people involved. It is important to manage the production process in a coordinated way to achieve optimal results and achieve high production efficiency.