Small-batch manufacturing has become important in a business world where agility is key.
It’s not easy for startups to find the right manufacturing partner, and small-batch production offers a way for new and small companies to test products without a lot of waste. And with the rise of the web, finding small-batch manufacturers is easier.
Making small-batch manufacturing work requires efficiency, and automated workflows are outstanding at powering efficient operations. Here are some of the ways automated manufacturing and workflows go together to power new and innovative business operations.
Traditional textile manufacturing is designed for large scale production, which can be too risk- and resource-heavy for smaller companies. Textile micro-factories allow manufacturing on demand at varying volumes, reducing risks and waste.
The micro-factory production paradigm is typically “Sell, Produce, Deliver,” rather than “Produce, Sell, Deliver.” It is mostly driven by online sales, where clients select and buy textiles before they are produced. Automated workflows take care of tasks like image processing, digital printing, and cutting, and dispatch, allowing micro-factories to work far more quickly than traditional textile manufacturers. Without automated workflows, however, it would be much harder to make this type of operation profitable.
3D Printing Operations
3D printing can also be run as an on-demand operation, but automated workflows are needed to make it work efficiently and profitably. Workflows for 3D printing include both internal and customer-facing aspects. Customer-facing workflows allow those who need articles 3D-printed to transfer their build data to the manufacturer, while internal workflows allow engineers and designers to specify parameters like material and manufacturing methods.
Workflows can then be forwarded to those who validate the designs, prepare them, and send them to the 3D printing equipment. Without automated workflows, 3D printing in small batches would be difficult to make profitable.
Electronic Batch Records in Paperless Manufacturing Environments
Electronic batch methods make sense for both large and small manufacturers, because replacing paper-based workflows with electronic workflows reduces errors and accelerates processes. As a result, time-to-market is reduced, which leads to greater profitability.
Another important advantage of automated workflows in manufacturing environments is that they make regulatory compliance far easier. Not only can automated workflows ensure that all regulation-required steps are taken, they can make automated annotations each time this occurs, so if the company is audited, proving compliance is much easier.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that automated workflows are only for large enterprises. Cloud-based workflow software is affordable even for the smallest start-ups. And don’t think that workflow software requires the help of a programmer. Solutions are available that allow the actual workflow users to create custom workflows that suit their needs precisely.
PerfectApps is workflow software that requires no programming and that scales as you need it to. With PerfectApps, you can create custom forms and workflows with no programming whatsoever. Simply drag and drop form or workflow elements into place using the intuitive PerfectApps interface.
You can create workflows for anything from onboarding new employees to managing IT service requests to preparing manufacturing batches for production. The flexibility of PerfectApps means that as soon as you create an automated workflow for one process, you’re sure to envision new workflows for other processes, which you can then create easily. We invite you to watch the PerfectApps demo video and see for yourself how automated workflows can benefit your business, raising efficiency and sharpening your competitive edge.