While many people think GIS professionals work with anything but manufacturing companies, you know better. In fact, as today’s global economy continues to expand in new and innovative ways, manufacturing companies rely on these professionals to help solve a variety of problems. Before using any of these tools, however, GIS professionals need complete scans of the land, facility, and resources included in and around the facility, depending on the purpose of their work. After creating general scans of the area or even the facilities specifically, there are a few tools that they use to analyze and report to the business owners or contractors that the manufacturers are working with.
There are many tools that are available to a GIS professional but the most common one is probably GIS, which is software containing a lot of tools specific for GIS professionals. Along with a number of other tools that help GIS professionals create useful visual information for the companies that they work with. Manufacturing facilities tend to have unique needs and thus use the tools in a specific way to meet those needs.
Overlay and Proximity Software
When it comes to identifying where to set up a manufacturing facility or what is on or around the facility that might be utilized for expansion or as selling points to partnering companies. An overlay and proximity tool is used for analysis It can help to identify what the soil type is for the area, where county lines are located as well as water resources, etc. This tool does exactly what it sounds like it does, it provides a visual overlay on a map representing where different resources are in conjunction with that of the actual facility or potential facility location. As you can see, this is a tool that can be used before selecting a facility location as well as a tool that can be used after the facility has been erected to continue with potential expansions or partnerships.
The Buffer Analysis
Since manufacturers rely more and more on the digital network infrastructure to optimize their value chains, GIS experts rely on buffer tools with fixed and variable distances to let companies better visualize their connectivity and infrastructure. As a result, network outages can be located and fixed much quicker. There is an overlap of zones, but it does narrow down the potential places much faster. One way to visualize the use of this tool is by considering a satellite dish with a bubble around it. That bubble intersects with the proximity of other satellite dish bubbles. If one dish stops working, the bubble pops and you’re able to use the buffer analysis tool to identify what bubble popped.
The Clip Tool
The digital version of a cookie-cutter, the clip tool carves out vectors and rasters when performing GIS overlays for a manufacturing facility. When put into practice, this tool is crucial in augmenting plant logistics, and lets employees, visitors, and carriers find their way in and around your manufacturing plant safely and efficiently. When visualizing this tool, you can consider looking at a map at your local mall or park that indicates where you are. Typically these maps will have a magnified cut-out of the position that you are at. The magnified cut-out is similar to how the clip tool is used to indicate a space.
The Merge Tool
When the merge tool is used within GIS operations that pertain to manufacturing, the result is large amounts of data being merged together within complex software systems. In essence, two existing sets of data are combined into a merged set, making its analysis much easier. Within manufacturing, this is often used to optimize route planning. When done properly, it will reduce delivery times significantly and keep a manufacturing facility’s costs down. To visualize how this works, consider two different maps, one of North America and one of South America. When the maps are stitched together, or merged, it is more clear what direction and path a ship should sail, for example, when traveling around both continents.
The Intersect Tool
When the goal of a manufacturing facility is to simplify the management of its facilities, you will find GIS professionals making excellent use of the intersect tool. Along with preserving the best attributes from all existing data sets, it allows for the addition of multiple inputs. Once this takes place, you can expect the manufacturer to have map-based visualizations that can be used to organize repetitive workflows. For example, if a manufacturing facility is looking for the ideal location to create a new facility, it is likely that they will look for resources like access to the railways while also having access to a significant water source. By using the intersect tool, a GIS professional can identify where the facility should be located to get access to both resources.
The Union Tool
GIS experts use the union tool very often when working with manufacturing facilities. Important in the areas of risk management and assessment, you can use the union tool to help provide solutions for supplier assessments, create geospatial solutions to logistics issues, and help lessen the risks that come with factory management of assets.
When these tools are used by GIS professionals in these and other areas of manufacturing, you can expect them to have a significant impact financially and otherwise. From helping plan delivery routes to ensuring workflows are efficient, these tools will accomplish this and much more.