Tulip Take: What are Manufacturing Apps?


Hi, my name is Saul Lustgarten and I lead
product marketing here at Tulip. Today I want to talk about how the manufacturing
workforce, especially the workers in the shop floor, so process engineers, quality engineers,
manufacturing engineers, but above all, associates and operators, have been left behind by technology. In their personal lives, they might be enjoying
the benefits of technology through their smartphone. Maybe they can order food from their phone,
they can check the weather from their phone in real time. Once they get to work, we’re asking them to
leave all of this technology behind and rely on the same old paper-based processes. If you think about other functions in manufacturing,
that’s not the case, right. So product development teams have PLM software,
they have CAD software. The financial side of the house has their
ERP, and to an extent execution has MES’s. But if you think about the people actually
running these processes on the shop floor, they don’t have any apps they can use to do
their day-to-day job. The good news is that manufacturing apps change
this equation. So, what are manufacturing apps? Manufacturing apps are regular apps. They look and feel like apps you would use
on your phone, but they turn your analog processes–for example, an assembly–they turn them into
instrumented, data-collecting, digital processes. So these apps are visual, they’re intuitive,
they feel more like something on your phone, and less like software from the 1980s. They also can connect with your tools, with
your machines, with sensors on your shop floor. In essence, what they do is they help your
team, your people, make more parts. And it makes it harder for them to make mistakes. Smart manufacturers are already using apps
to augment the skills of their workforce. And as manufacturing apps continue to proliferate
over factories all over the world, I’m excited to see the manufacturing workforce finally
enjoying the benefits of software.

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