As the manufacturing industry seeks to capitalize on economic recovery, two thirds of manufacturers report their investment in simulation is set to increase in the coming year, according to findings by leading simulation-modeling and process improvement solutions provider Lanner Group.
The upbeat figure compares to 3 in 10 of firms (29%), who say their simulation budget remains frozen, and just 6% who expect to see a reduction in their process analysis and optimization spending in the new year.
• Businesses agree process simulation drives performance improvement
Following global IT analyst Gartner’s recent assertion that simulation and optimization are key to “unlocking significant business improvements”, 90% of manufacturers surveyed across the defence, automotive, chemicals, aerospace, oil and gas, food and beverage, and construction sectors, agreed that process simulation is a key driver in performance improvement.
• Simulation takes a pivotal role in facilitating efficiencies
As the global recession has encouraged manufacturers to shave budgets, simulation has taken a pivotal role in facilitating efficiency. Of those polled, 39% of firms say that the value of simulation has increased over the last two years as their organizations recognise the extent of savings and productivity improvements it can deliver.
• Increasing recognition as a “strategic technology”
Following on from the appearance of simulation for a second year in row in Gartner’s “Top 10 strategic technologies” for 2011, 13% of businesses surveyed report the use of simulation modeling has evolved from use in one-off cost cutting exercises, to more strategic projects. One in four manufacturers in the poll claims that no decision relating to process improvement is made without the use of simulation analysis.
• Misconceptions, though diminishing, still act as a barrier to adoption
Despite the increasing prolificacy of simulation in the last two years, barriers to adoption still exist. Two thirds of respondents believe simulation is complex, or that decision-makers do not understand the technology. However compared with 18 months ago, misconceptions around simulation are beginning to diminish. One in five (20%) manufacturers feels that implementation is time consuming and fewer (15%) say that cost is a barrier. This compares with 24% and 19% respectively in March 2009.
David Jones, CEO, Lanner Group comments, “Fuelled by the global financial crisis, the manufacturing sector has faced unprecedented change in the last two years, and simulation has played a pivotal role in the cost cutting strategies which have enabled manufacturers to survive.
“Manufacturers are realizing that simulation process optimization has an even bigger task ahead in executing conservative growth strategies, which must be carefully aligned with cost cutting and exposure to risk.
“Simulation presents a low cost, low risk means of facilitating better decision-making, achieving efficiencies and boosting productivity in order to deliver profitability. While some misconceptions around its complexity prevail, this research highlights that these perceptions are abating. This can only help the manufacturing industry’s quest to capitalize on economic growth.”
The survey’s findings follow this month’s release of the latest Power with Ease 3.0 version of WITNESS simulation-modeling system.
The software, which is released this month, is built with flexibility and ease of use in mind. It contains further advances in virtual representation, combined with a wide range of new features which enhance the breadth and depth of the solution’s capabilities.
The software builds on the core strength of WITNESS to deliver greater scope for results using out-of-the-box functionality.
Key features include:
• Faster, smoother virtual reality with added animation, including walking animation on path and part operation
• Major new path innovation – multi source, multi destination, faster routing and route caching to facilitate easier, quicker modeling
• New direct access to event queue timings with time manipulation, which enables hands-on precision modeling capabilities to make fine adjustments
• Major new elements options for breakdown and setups
• Even more linkage to Excel
• Reprise Licensing Management offered as standard, enabling easy roaming from networks and quick and flexible licensing options
Lanner Group, Inc.
is the Houston, TX based Americas subsidiary of Lanner Group Ltd (lanner.com), a UK company dedicated to delivering innovative solutions to model, analyze and optimize processes through simulation software enabling business managers to make comprehensive decisions in a risk-free environment. Its client roster includes over 3000 customers including end users HP, 3M, Boeing, Ford, GM, Nissan, and Rolls Royce. In 2010 Lanner Group, Inc. was certified a Top 20% Performer by Open Ratings Inc., a Dun & Bradstreet company based on Past Performance Evaluation responses of its reference customers.