Technology is a driving force behind today’s fast-paced global marketplace. Manufacturing is one of the best examples of how information technology and automated processes are revolutionizing an industry.
But for company leaders, it’s not always clear where manufacturing IT will have a real return on investment and where it will just be another line item on the expense sheet. Software and physical networks need to reduce downtime and improve productivity. You need a manufacturing IT provider that can help you get the most from your investment.
TenHats helps manufacturers make strategic, data-driven decisions to accelerate their growth. From hardware connections to secure cloud infrastructure, we provide tailored IT solutions and help desk support for forward-thinking organizations.
What is Manufacturing IT?
Manufacturing IT encompasses the different systems and technologies used in the production industry. This includes the usual stack needed to run a business: computers, internet with plenty of bandwidth, and a CRM. However, there are unique aspects of manufacturing IT that every business in the industry needs to thrive.
Unique Software Services
Like nearly any other industry, software is a critical part of manufacturing. This includes two unique types of software:
- Enterprise resource planning
- Manufacturing execution systems
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software helps plan resources efficiently and in an integrated manner. It encompasses core business processes such as inventory, order management, procurement, and HR.
Manufacturing execution systems (MES) software monitors and manages manufacturing processes on the shop floor. It tracks and controls production activities and provides real-time data for decision-making.
Process automation refers to the use of technology to streamline and optimize various tasks and workflows within a manufacturing environment. It involves the use of software, hardware, and other technological tools to perform tasks that would otherwise be carried out manually.
This enables increased:
- Efficiency and productivity
- Inventory management
- Cost reduction
Process automation plays a critical role in enhancing efficiency, quality, and competitiveness. It leverages technology to handle tasks that would be impractical or inefficient for humans to do manually.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) plays a crucial role in revolutionizing the way businesses operate and manage their production processes. Sometimes called the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), IoT refers to a network of interconnected devices, sensors, and systems that collect and exchange data over the Internet.
This allows them to perform important functions including:
- Data collection and monitoring
- Predictive maintenance
- Supply chain visibility
IoT in manufacturing IT empowers businesses with real-time visibility, predictive capabilities, and the ability to make data-driven decisions. This leads to increased operational efficiency, cost savings, improved product quality, and enhanced competitiveness in the global market.
Cloud infrastructure revolutionizes manufacturing IT by offering a flexible, scalable, and cost-effective computing environment. It enables your business to store and process massive volumes of data generated by machines, sensors, and production lines in real time.
This data can then be analyzed to:
- Optimize operations
- Improve quality control
- Enhance supply chain management
Additionally, cloud platforms facilitate seamless collaboration among teams spread across different locations, ensuring efficient communication and coordination. Cloud services also provide access to advanced technologies like AI and machine learning which can be leveraged to drive innovation. Cloud infrastructure is a must when evaluating outsourced IT services.
This shift to cloud-based solutions empowers manufacturers to adapt quickly to changing market demands. It also helps to reduce your organization’s infrastructure costs and stay competitive in an increasingly digital landscape.
How Do Manufacturing IT Services Help Your Business?
Ongoing Software Support
IT is non-negotiable when it comes to investing in manufacturing, including software. Unfortunately, most software providers don’t offer ongoing technical support for their products. Partnering with a managed IT service provider like TenHats can help you make the most of your software and other IT investments.
Manufacturing IT services ensure the smooth operation of manufacturing software through ongoing support. They promptly:
- Address bugs
- Provide updates
- Optimize performance
Providers maintain security with regular updates and vulnerability management. They also integrate new technologies and uphold compliance standards. Dat
a is safeguarded through backups and recovery plans.
IT services monitor and report on system performance, ensuring proactive issue resolution. They manage vendor relationships and licenses. Feedback is collected for continuous improvement, guaranteeing that the software remains aligned with manufacturing needs.
Unplanned downtime costs the manufacturing industry around $50 billion a year. Manufacturing IT services reduce downtime by employing real-time monitoring systems to detect potential issues before they cause disruptions. By applying predictive maintenance strategies using data analytics, they can schedule maintenance tasks precisely when needed.
Issue resolution is expedited thanks to rapid troubleshooting and remote support capabilities. Manufacturing IT services also ensure software and hardware are up-to-date and compatible, preventing compatibility-related downtime. They implement redundancy and failover mechanisms to ensure uninterrupted operations in case of hardware or software failures.
IT services for manufacturing help lower costs through several key strategies. They accomplish this by:
- Optimizing processes
- Integrating software and automation
- Reducing manual labor and operational inefficiencies
- Preventing costly equipment breakdowns and unplanned downtime.
IT services implement cost-effective solutions, including cloud-based platforms, to minimize upfront investments. They also streamline inventory management and supply chain operations, reducing excess stock and associated carrying costs. They also ensure that your organization stays compliant with industry standards and regulations. This mitigates the risk of costly penalties or legal issues.
IT solutions for manufacturing let you leverage virtualization to enhance operational efficiency. By creating virtual versions of physical hardware and resources, they enable multiple operating systems and applications to run on a single physical server. This maximizes hardware usage, reducing the need for additional equipment, which in turn lowers capital and operational costs.
Virtualization also simplifies resource allocation, allowing for better management of computing resources like:
- CPU (central processing unit)
It enables rapid
deployment of new virtual machines and facilitates scalability, adapting to changing manufacturing demands without significant hardware investments.
Strategic Business Consulting
Manufacturing IT Services offers strategic business consulting by aligning technology with organizational goals. They assess the specific needs and challenges of a manufacturing operation, identifying areas where technology can drive efficiency and growth.
Through in-depth industry knowledge, they recommend:
- Tailored software solutions
- Automation strategies
- IT infrastructure improvements
These services involve advising on the adoption of emerging technologies like IoT, AI, and industry 4.0 initiatives. This strategic approach not only optimizes current processes but also anticipates future needs, positioning the business for long-term success and competitiveness in the industry.
How TenHats Delivers IT Solutions for Manufacturing
TenHats can support your manufacturing business with a number of IT solutions for manufacturing. With our expertise, we’re your one-stop shop for all your manufacturing IT needs. Whether it’s backups and disaster recovery or cybersecurity, we’re here to support your success.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
TenHats employs robust backup systems to safeguard critical data. Scheduled backups ensure real-time duplication of crucial files and configurations. In case of a disaster, rapid data recovery is possible to minimize downtime and potential losses. This strategic approach ensures continuity and resilience in manufacturing operations.
Learn more about the backup and disaster recovery services TenHats offers.
We integrate enterprise-grade IT to tailor solutions to the unique needs of your manufacturing processes. This involves deploying specialized software for production planning and streamlining operations. Additionally, it integrates IoT devices and sensors to monitor machinery, enabling predictive maintenance and reducing downtime. Through data analytics, it provides actionable insights for process optimization and cost reduction.
Help Desk Support
At TenHats, we offer 24/7 help desk support to address production-related technical issues. As manufacturing IT providers, we understand the importance of having your technical concerns and questions answered as quickly as possible. That’s why we offer remote assistance, address hardware and software issues, as well as solving other problems.
Cybersecurity is only going to become more important in manufacturing as time goes on. To meet this demand, TenHats offers custom measures to meet your industry-specific needs.
We help shield your organization from data breaches by employing:
- Access controls
Our continuous monitoring and threat detection systems swiftly identify and mitigate potential cyber threats. Regular system updates and patches fortify system resilience. This proactive approach bolsters the overall security posture of manufacturing operations.
Evaluate your company’s cybersecurity. Take our cybersecurity quiz.
On-Site Data Center
Unlike most IT service providers, we have our own data center to support your manufacturing IT needs. This enhances practically every aspect of our services for your organization, including cloud environments and virtualization. Our purpose-built data center provides a cost-effective way to scale your efforts as well as secure your data.
Want to learn more about manufacturing IT solutions from TenHats? Get a free quote today!
Manufacturing IT involves crucial systems and technologies to enhance productivity and streamline operations. They provide specialized software, process automation, IoT, cloud infrastructure, and more. IT solutions for manufacturing include continuous software assistance, minimizing downtime and expenses, along with virtualization and strategic guidance. TenHats delivers customized IT solutions, encompassing backup, enterprise-grade IT, help desk support, cybersecurity, and an on-site data center for comprehensive assistance.
In 2016, TenHats built the region’s first purpose-built colocation data center in over 20 years. Located in Knoxville, TN, our data center can serve any organization in East Tennessee and beyond. With our team’s IT experience, we provide a lot more than simply protected data. When you call us, you talk to a real IT expert. Connect with our team about data center services today!