The Essential Guide: The A-Z of Smart Manufacturing-as-a Service

May 28, 2021
Manufacturing | 6 min READ
What Is Smart Manufacturing-as-a-Service (SMaaS)?
According to Fortune Business Insights, the global smart manufacturing market exhibits a 12.2% CAGR and is projected to reach USD 506.33 billion by 2027. The advancement and faster adoption of Industry 4.0 are expected to drive this growth, and there will be an increased inclination towards connected factories.
Shamdutt Kamble
Shamdutt Kamble

Global Practice Director

Digital Manufacturing


Smart manufacturing is an enhancement stepping up the efficiency of the manufacturing operations through a portfolio of innovative technologies like Robotic Process Automation, Bog Data Analytics, and computerized controls aiming towards maximum productivity at minimum cost.
Smart Manufacturing as a Service combines data from IT and operational systems, enabling manufacturers to swiftly alter processes on the factory floor and across the value chain at the time of need and when disruptive transformation demands production efficiency.
The Need For SMaaS
Players leveraging on Industry 4.0 technologies are better placed to weather the storm during a crisis than the slow movers. Hence, there is an immediate need to embrace SMaaS across business operations.
End to End Seamless Supply Chain Management
Being smart technology on the cloud, SMaaS enables breakthrough innovations in end-to-end supply chain management. These new technologies and service providers allow businesses to give open visibility to the entire asset and product life cycles. The connected factory concept aids real-time collaboration ensuring optimization of productivity and cost. Simultaneously, taking care of the risks that are associated with supply chain operations.
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Asset Traceability and Monitoring Product Performance
Leading supply chain players who are already utilizing Industry 4.0 are better positioned to keep an eye on their assets and logistics operations. Tracking and maintaining cloud-enabled deliveries. Setting up a virtualized infrastructure to ensure the entire supply chain network adheres to compliance and regulatory guidelines. Monitoring the product or asset performance closely to diagnose any follies or loopholes impeding the entire system's smooth functioning.
Insights for Original Equipment Manufacturer
The process flows and the operational excellence can be monitored with the help of predictive data and insights. A single point of view of the entire operations effectively consolidates the data on design improvements, much-required feature updates, spare management, and warranty.
Third-Party Maintenance for Service Providers
There is a greater need to maximizing results through cost savings in today's world. SMaaS helps save money and resources that would have been used for third-party maintenance. There are well-cut-out solutions to monitor asset health performance and planning schedule checks improving the overall quality of the work processes.
The Need For Smart Manufacturing-as-a-Service
The Need For Smart Manufacturing-as-a-Service
Reduction in TCO for End-User
Total Cost of Ownership or TCO is a crucial measure for industries to consider the often-overlooked costs. Calculating an ROI is essential while switching to a smart factory. SMaaS helps in effectively optimizing ROI, reducing the overall cost of operations for the end-user by reducing the CAPEX needs using opex (platform overhead costs) levers.
Specification And Compliance Adherence For Suppliers
With a consolidated view enabled by smart manufacturing services, it is easier to keep an eye on every work process's compliance adherence and regulatory practices, making it easier on the part of the businesses and suppliers.
Business Model Innovation
Technology is continuously evolving, as is the business model. Through advanced technology, robotics, AI, IIOT, cloud computing, and digital twin, innovations are rampant and getting well integrated with the traditional business functioning.
The Essential Guide: A-Z on Smart Manufacturing-as-a Service
Examples of SMaaS Model
Real-time Operational Insights Services
Smart manufacturing factory ensures ordered are delivered to customers on time, in total, and at the correct cost. From moving trucks to an overview of the operations, a digital control tower assess real-time data to gain actionable insights on possible late production, deliveries, inventory, and stocks, and all the fallacies that impede operations.
These help in improving on-time service operations and reduce the cost of transports through increased fleet utilization. To built resilient and more innovative supply chains, real-time operational analytics plays an important role.
Performance Analysis Services
Customers today look for the best quality at an economical rate. Measurement of supply chain performance helps to monitor the overall system. This integrative system approach includes the factories, suppliers, and distributors.
Digitized and automation of warehouses use different performance enhancement tools to automate and monitor warehouse management. Using digital twins with IT-OT-ET systems enables optimization of cost, delivery, and quality. They are using a swarm of robots and inventory inspection drones to reduce manual intervention.
Optimization and Decision Support Services
Easy to scale without disrupting the existing infrastructure, this SMaaS model removes the roadblocks to making effective decisions. Connected factories use a single source of truth, from raw materials processing to finished goods. Cloud solutions ensure a centralized information flow connecting and controlling the various platforms to minimize risk and process duplication. Data-driven solutions induced real-time actions enabling more innovative manufacturing and operations.
Examples of Smart Manufacturing-as-a-Service Model
Examples of Smart Manufacturing-as-a-Service Model
Predictive Operations and Insights Services
Predictive maintenance utilizes interconnected devices, lightweight sensors, curated AI and IoT technologies, public clouds to keep critical machinery up and running with little to no human intervention. Throughout the implementation process, the critical failures due to a machine are tagged, and data is collected from sensors with the help of advanced machine learning algorithms.
This predictive maintenance of operations is usually done by a team that translates this information into action-packed decisions improving business value. Predictive quality and production insights are mapped to the corrective and preventive actions. This improves overall process efficiency and effectiveness.
Benefits of Adopting SMaaS
A smart manufacturing-led factory has numerous benefits to leverage for bettering the overall state of the manufacturing industry during unprecedented change.
Reduced Time to Market
Through automated systems and processes, SMaaS uses the cloud to establish a connected factory. A centralized cloud-enabled environment ensures automated collection and updates from one single source instead of accessing multiple databases. Analytics performed on real-time streaming, and batch data provide:
  • Real-time insights into production processes for prevention of rework and material scrap.
  • Improving labor productivity.
  • Reducing mean time to repair and to recover, which reduces the lead time. Also, identify and predict bottlenecks for material flow and shop floor, improving material flow efficiency. Feedback to design systems improves the overall product lead-time and time to market.
Reduced Cost of Production
Disruptive technological adoption in the manufacturing industry improved through modern sensors, robotics, actuators, and improved overall production efficiency. Smart operations focus on asset management, operations management, energy management in an integrated manner. This significantly impacts the overall workflows, ensuring process improvement and reduces the cost of operations, quality assurance, and maintenance.
Benefits of Adopting Smart Manufacturing-as-a-Service
Benefits of Adopting Smart Manufacturing-as-a-Service
Reduced Cost of Logistics
Consistent and automated tracking of parts, inventories, and goods. Geofencing solutions to locate data and GPs for tracing assets improves logistics operations. The solutions create an environment that alerts businesses during stock storage and inventory shortage to ensure that the business never runs out of stock.
Lesser Cost of Maintenance and Quality Management
Better asset utilization reduces OPEX and CAPEX, improving the overall product lifecycle and asset utilization. Connected touchpoints enable enhanced data analysis to better view the overall quality and maintenance of the products and assets. Blockchain-enabled action points ensure transparency, keeping a tab on the product movement and transactions.
How to Build Your SMaaS Strategy
Evaluating all the pros and cons, the smart way to build a SMaaS strategy is to start by analyzing the current framework and business objectives. Blind integration of technology won't bring out the results the business needs. The existing operational environment and business process optimization should be aligned and lay down to ensure outcome effectiveness. Identify the key areas and driving a phase-wise transformation is a key to seamless implementation.
Depending upon the current maturity of the factory for IT-OT systems, automation, horizontal integration, and critical pain point and business goals to address – services model should be defined and implemented for the below functions.
  • Intelligent Asset Performance Management (IAPM 4.0)
  • Smart Operations Performance Management (SOPM)
  • Closed-Loop Quality Management
To know more on how to build your Smart Manufacturing-as-a-Service strategy, check out this exhaustive post.
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