With 20 facilities across seven states, Mayville Engineering Company (MEC) is a leading U.S.-based manufacturer providing a broad range of prototyping, tooling, production, fabrication, coating, assembly, and aftermarket services.
Despite MEC's strong growth, decision-makers at the organization were limited by the data collected during production. They had little insight into machine uptime and utilization, and there was no way to identify where opportunities for improvement existed. And when production goals weren’t met, the explanation wasn’t evident.
MEC partnered with MachineMetrics to monitor the actual uptime of its machines, quantify the amount of and reasons for downtime, and assign dollar values to these issues.
MEC invested considerable capital in new machines with automation and higher throughput. This shift in strategy changed its priorities concerning machine downtime; with the newer fiber laser equipment, one hour of downtime was the same as three hours on CO2 machines.
Higher throughput meant that the impact of downtime was compounded, often resulting in the equivalent of entire days lost. Each machine down represented a much more significant loss of capacity and throughput, so keeping machines running became even more critical.
Data collection was a key challenge for MEC. Many of its newer machines only tracked uptime for specific categories, and operators often needed to write down why and when a machine was down. Data had to be manually accessed, cleaned up, and analyzed, often taking days or weeks to complete.
To address this challenge, MEC began looking for a way to automate its data collection and analysis process to make it faster and easier for everyone involved.
Before selecting MachineMetrics, MEC looked at 12 different vendors. MachineMetrics offered a very capable product that could be integrated into MEC’s system, a more attractive, modern-looking interface, a lower cost of entry, and a very flexible integration strategy. Having a means for operators to categorize downtime was another significant consideration.
MEC began its journey with MachineMetrics by collecting uptime data from its tower-fed laser system, robotic brake presses, and machining centers. As the rollout continued, the company saw a productivity and uptime gain. Operators knew they were being measured, and the act of measuring changed how they acted.
The deployment of MachineMetrics began to show immediate results. MEC feels that the improvement in visibility between management and operators accounted for a 5-10% increase in productivity alone.
Operators now have a voice and note problems via their tablet to add context to collected data. This contributes to process improvements and gives operators confidence that their notes are reviewed.
Leveraging accurate, real-time data and advanced analytics has resulted in a 10-15% improvement in overall uptime and driven a 15-20% efficiency gain. MEC runs four shifts weekly, and these gains are the equivalent of nearly another full shift.
MEC was able to quantify how much time was lost to each downtime reason code and how many dollars were attributable to those variables. It quickly implemented process improvements across the organization and achieved a 90-day ROI on the MachineMetrics Machine Connectivity Platform.
Michael Wisnefsky, Engineering Manager
Agriculture, construction, and military
Laser machines, Brake Machines
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