Production leaders know that the answer to increasing throughput is not always "more budget", "more machines", or "more people."
Before more investments can be made, the existing budget and investments have to be maximized and new resources have to be justified. At the end of the day, how can we make more parts or profit with the existing amount of machines, people, and budget?
Ultimately, it's a matter of allocating as efficiently as possible so that each input maximizes its associated output. People can be focused on high-value activities like managing machines and improving processes, and jobs and processes can be aligned so that machines are not only always running, but running the most profitable parts.
Every company believes that it “knows” the capabilities of its equipment. But those are often “gut” feelings or legacy knowledge. Advanced machine monitoring can help zero in on machine performance to uncover hidden trends that buck conventional wisdom.
For example, managers may believe that a high-quality fail rate is the result of running parts on certain machines. However, a deeper analysis of current performance and history may point to poor material and tool quality or selection.
An advanced machine data platform can also help identify underutilized machines. Few manufacturers have the luxury of tooling their operation with all-new equipment with advanced features from the same OEM.
This means that in any company, there will be equipment of different ages from different OEMs and even a mix of analog and digital machine assets. Manual machine data collection creates situations where machine utilization is over or under-estimated given this complex mix of assets. Generally, production managers overestimate their utilization.
By leveraging automated data collection, companies can unlock the full potential of their existing assets by having a clear view of their actual utilization across every piece of equipment. This can easily help shop floor personnel pinpoint problem machines, cells, or issues in process or training.
Further, the visibility alone will lead to productivity enhancements - the Hawthorne effect.
MachineMetrics’ data analytics capabilities can provide powerful insights into the effectiveness of frontline workers and what tools, training, and changes can be made to increase that effectiveness.
The MachineMetrics platform integrates seamlessly with advanced software such as MES, ERP, and MRP systems. The power of real-time data and analytics can help identify operator performance to pinpoint differences in performance that indicate a need for additional training and process improvement.
For example, if analyzing by operator and shift, analysis may show drop-offs specific to one shift’s output on the same machine and product type - often this can be seen between day and night shift. Or, analysis may indicate a higher quality dropout for certain types of jobs that point to the need for coaching or advanced training.
By capturing data on the processes around machines, and trying this production data to key operational data, including what job is running on a given machine, managers can begin to see where processes are hindering production performance.
This represents a significant departure from simply shifting work and people around. Instead, real-time data and actionable insights help managers understand which jobs are most profitable by machine and operator.
Using cycle time, for example, will lead to a better understanding of the cost of a given job. With that insight, pricing and quoting become more accurate. By differentiating higher and lower profitability with accurate data and analysis, companies can plan and optimize not only their resources but also their business strategy about what types and kinds of jobs they will pursue.
With the ability to capture and integrate raw production data with key operational data, the gap between shop floor production and bottom-line performance narrows dramatically. This convergence of the IT/OT worlds is ensuring that management has a very strong understanding of the return of each asset that the company deploys, from people and equipment, to investment in technology, processes, and training.
MachineMetrics offers the foundation element of production data, and with its flexible, extensible nature, ensures that the data from the shop floor is integrated with all other systems and data sources that enable managers to make better, faster decisions every single day. Together with production leaders, we are helping users squeeze more parts out of their operations without having to purchase more machines.
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