Manufacturing problems can hinder profitability for industrial printer and material handling OEMs. It is critical to be aware of these problems in your own manufacturing operations before they cost you your business. So what are the top manufacturing issues and challenges that face OEMs? Based on our experience working with industrial printer and material handling manufacturers, below are the top problems we think you should consider.
1. Manufacturing Innovation
In order to compete in their market, manufacturers need to keep up with the high demands and expectations of an ever-advancing technological world. As you work to stay ahead of your competitors, you might be tempted to compromise quality for innovation. But don’t cut corners at the risk of sacrificing a great product. When you learn about innovative techniques, compare them to your current process and business goals. Will the new idea or innovation integrate seamlessly with your current structure? Will it provide savings in time or cost?
2. Manufacturing Regulations
Manufacturers of industrial printers and material handling equipment, like so many in the industry, are faced with increased compliance and regulation standards. Waste management, safety, and health are just some of the measures that are being regulated. Some regulations are crucial. But others become a huge hurdle. This is especially the case for OEMs selling products internationally who have to meet different regulations per country.
With rising regulations, it’s so important for manufacturers to have a full picture (or even documentation) of their own and their suppliers’ compliance (e.g., Ask if they hold an ISO 9001:2016 certificate). Often times regulations require the ability to track materials and items involved in the manufacturing process.
Manufacturers might have a problem trying to stay ahead on the latest regulations and managing compliance reports. Some companies decide to hire teams to keep them aware of new rules.
3. Sustainable Manufacturing
In line with the topic of regulation, sustainable manufacturing requirements can be costly. Of course eco-friendly processes are good and worthwhile investments for employees, community, and environment. However, it’s important for manufacturers to be aware of the expense it takes to meet these requirements so they can plan their pricing accordingly.
4. Managing Equipment & Inventory
If you’re a printer or material handling OEM, you probably don’t have a high quantity demand for certain subassemblies. In this case, you might be wasting warehouse space and maintenance dollars on large equipment that only produce one part for your product – that could otherwise be outsourced to a supplier. Similarly, you might be wasting warehouse space on inventory that could be better stationed with your supplier.
5. Made in USA
It’s obvious that many (American) consumers like to see the “Made in USA” / “Made in America” labels on the products they purchase. However, this isn’t the only reason you should consider having your parts made in the states. Due to increasing wages in China, there is a rise in demand for products that are made in America.
Where to Find Manufacturing Solutions
If your company is struggling with any of these manufacturing problems, decide if now is the right time to implement a solution. Your first step towards a solution is to investigate every aspect of your business. We recommend checking on the production of your subassemblies. We’ve seen OEMs enjoy having all of these problems addressed when they took advantage of inertia friction welding for building industrial rollers. Maybe this could be your solution.