Leyuan Shi has been to over 400 manufacturing companies around the world. She told Phys.org, "By giving manufacturing companies the ability to track the progress of their sales orders in real time and manage their shop floors proactively, they can deliver high-quality products to their customers much faster than before." Big data and smart technologies can make a direct and measurable impact on your efficiency and success.
"Although smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous, many of the companies that make our everyday consumer products still rely on paper trails and manually updated spreadsheets to keep track of their production processes and delivery schedules," says Leyuan Shi, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That's what she hopes to change with a research idea she first published almost two decades ago. During the past 16 years, Shi has visited more than 400 manufacturing companies in the United States, China, Europe, and Japan to personally observe their production processes. "And I have used that insight to develop tools that can make these processes run much more smoothly," she says. These tools are based on the notion of a "digital twin," or a computer representation of physical assets (machines and people) and processes that helps managers better operate the systems that connect them. Read More