Lean is making opportunities for manufacturers of servo drives. The servo drive is important to lean initiatives because it offers greater reliability in production machinery. Less downtime equals better flow, as users of TPM understand.
The worldwide servo drive market will expand nearly 5% during the next five years, according to an ARC Advisory Group study. Globalization is causing manufacturers to invest in automation to drive down costs and raise productivity. Servo drives are at the core of every piece of automated equipment that helps achieve higher agility and flexibility in operations.
Globalization means North American manufacturers of servo drives, or manufacturers anywhere, for that matter, could benefit from growth in Asian markets they otherwise see as a threat. Air shipping a high-value non-consumer product to Asia, rather than putting it on the proverbial slow boat to China, might be justified.
What if you don’t happen to make electric servo drives? Could you adapt what you know from a different product to start making servos? If not, how could your expertise be leveraged to tap other new markets? Where are the new markets? What lean companies benefiting from such growth might be looking for new suppliers who understand lean? Goldratt described this as being alert to the constraint in the marketplace. If you see it, you can overcome it.
To be a lean innovator, you have to constantly be on the lookout for new opportunities if you want to achieve the no-layoff ideal as you get more efficient. It’s also a key to your goal of greater prosperity and profitability.
Yes, I’m painting a rosy picture, based on no personal experience. But that’s what I do best.