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James BrookJan 5, 2024 11:17:11 AM2 min read

How SME Manufacturers can harness technology to drive productivity in 2024

In the realm of digital technology adoption, large OEM and Tier 1 manufacturers have traditionally taken the lead. However, an increasing number of SMEs are recognising the practicality and affordability of tech solutions, leading to a surge in their adoption.

SMEs, with their inherent flexibility, often prove more adept at implementing these changes successfully. Nevertheless, it is crucial for SMEs to carefully choose the right technology amidst the myriad of available solutions.

As a trusted technology partner to more than 120 manufacturers, FourJaw’s approach is to work with manufacturers to understand the unique issues and priorities they have to see if a technology like our machine monitoring platform would be the right solution to enable them to meet their operational and commercial goals.

Production manager looking at real time shop floor data-1

Manufacturing analytics platforms, like FourJaw's, enable real-time data capture from the factory floor, converting this information into actionable insights for optimising processes and ultimately improving productivity.

Case Study: Empowering Growth with Machine Monitoring at Hydrafeed

Hydrafeed is a leading manufacturer of automation equipment for CNC applications and a sub-contract supplier to the aerospace industry, recognised a need for enhanced visibility into its shop floor operations.

Hydrafeed Operator

By implementing FourJaw's machine monitoring solution, Hydrafeed gained real-time insights, allowing it to efficiently manage growing production demands with existing resources. Within a month, the technology facilitated energy savings exceeding £17,000.

Notably, Hydrafeed achieved comparable output with four fewer machines in its milling cell during the initial five weeks, leading to a 30% boost in machine utilisation in the turning cell.

The entire team at Hydrafeed now possesses a clear understanding of their objectives, contributing to improved productivity and profitability.

Read The Case Study

Starting Your Factory Digitisation Project

For SMEs embarking on the journey of digital transformation, taking small, well-planned steps is advised. Identifying challenges and exploring opportunities, particularly with the aid of new technologies, forms the foundation.

Establishing a clear business case, defining improvement goals, and securing internal stakeholder buy-in from the outset are crucial steps. Identifying manual, time-consuming tasks ripe for automation is paramount.

For instance, machine data monitoring software, such as FourJaw's, is tailored to enhance productivity by pinpointing causes of unproductive machine downtime and providing data for focused continuous improvement efforts.

Production manager and machine opertator looking at machine downtime data

In the event of uncertainty regarding the readiness or benefits of technology adoption, consulting fellow manufacturers who have undergone a similar experience is recommended.

Embracing smart technology, like machine monitoring, should be seen as an iterative process – it's OK not to get it right on the first attempt or even the second. The key is to learn, adapt, and continuously refine the integration of technology for sustained improvement across your manufacturing operations.


James Brook

A passionate and experienced Marketing Leader with a background of 15+ years in developing and implementing marketing, brand, and product strategies for companies across a breadth of sectors and geographies. Over the last five years, James has worked in the technology space, having led the global marketing function at an Industrial monitoring and control company and more recently joining FourJaw as Head of Marketing & Communications. FourJaw is a SaaS business that is helping to change the world of manufacturing productivity through its IoT machine monitoring platfom.