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November 15, 2017


High-Volume Manufacturing: The Moment of Truth

by Bob Brown

Producing items at a high volume can bring challenges different from those associated with small-scale efforts, even when manufacturers are dealing with the exact same products. From assembly to materials sourcing, throughout the supply chain, there are extra considerations needed as businesses scale their operations up. The following are a few examples of situations where manufacturers have to confront these inherent challenges and develop thoughtful solutions.

Medical Equipment
As Medical Design & Outsourcing recently reported, the switch from creating complicated and highly regulated products on a small scale and producing them en masse can be a shock for factories. For instance, the pressure to find more efficiency will rise in intensity, and this may call for design changes. Working with suppliers may also become complicated when high-volume contracts become necessary. Manufacturers cannot assume the key elements of their processes will scale up gracefully.

Smart Autos
According to Manufacturing.net, the car and truck sector is in for a rude awakening of its own when autonomous vehicles become more prominent. The tech-intensive systems that let these automobiles navigate with little driver input are radically different from the electronics that currently go into passenger vehicles.

Mass production may call for major changes to the way supply chain relationships develop, with stronger collaboration between manufacturers and their software partners. These needs haven't emerged in the current low-volume stages, but could become major differentiators in the market to come.

Applications that Scale Up
Manufacturers dealing with faster and more complex processes than ever before need to be sure their software and other systems will be able to adapt to higher volumes. Labeling systems fall under this umbrella of necessary technologies, as companies that cannot quickly and effectively retrieve components and shipments may find their overall supply chain speed suffering.

Speed and volume pressures affect every link of the manufacturing supply chain. Effective centralized labeling can foster efficient information transfer between all of these partners.

For more on barcode labeling for Manufacturing check out our Q&A on the topic.