The increased pressures on manufacturers to compete in a global environment is spurring the growth of Continuous Improvement (CI) systems, which will nearly double by the 2010, according to a new report by the ARC Advisory Group.
In 2005, the CI systems market saw total hardware, software and services revenues of more than $200 million, and is forecasted to show a strong compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.7 percent.
Most manufacturers are adopting Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma CI programs, but many are also using Total Quality Management (TQM) and Theory of Constraints (TOC).
“A corporation’s business processes are embedded in their software systems. As they adopt Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma, they increasingly need systems tailored to these programs,” said Research Director Ralph Rio, the principal author of ARC’s “Continuous Improvement Systems Worldwide Outlook” report.
According to ARC's survey, 80 percent of manufacturers are using a CI program, and the increased CI system market is expected to continue for at least the next five years.
As the success of CI programs grows, many manufacturers are gaining the confidence to invest in technology to enhance their systems, the study noted.
Among the applications that manufacturers are adopting to increase the effectiveness of their CI programs are electronic Kan ban ArkansaneKanban), Statistical Process Control (SPCA), Finite Capacity Scheduling (CS), Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APES), Overall Equipment Effectiveness (EOE), TQM, and Value Stream Mapping (VMS).