How Collecting and Analyzing Data Improves Manufacturing ProductivityMay 8, 2015
Collecting and analyzing data is crucial in ensuring the productivity and sustainability of your operations. Without this critical aspect of your process, you’re unable to see on which components of OEE (Availability, Performance, or Quality) your facility should focus.
Insight into manufacturing metrics allows you to optimize in real-time, ensuring your production continually trends upwards. There are many software tools available that can help assess the productivity of your manufacturing floor through data collection, but not all are created equal. Determining the right tool for your needs is always an important first step in the process.
Read on to see why collecting and analyzing data is one of the most crucial components of a smarter, leaner, and more productive manufacturing process.
Make Smarter Financial Decisions
Understanding, in real-time, how each asset on your plant floor is operating, is essential when optimizing your process and planning for future production.
For example, through proper reporting, you’ll know if a machine tends to be down more often than it’s in-cycle. If a machine constantly trends this way, it’s clearly not contributing to the efficiency of your operations. In fact, it may be doing more harm than good as repairs cost time, money, and ultimately disrupt production flow.
It may not seem as though a few delays will cost your manufacturing facility thousands of dollars; however, depending on the frequency of delays and the time the machine is down, it may.
You can easily see how each machine contributes to your bottom line with e$CORE, part of the Freedom eLOG suite. It offers full transparency into manufacturing gains or losses (in terms of dollars) and puts key metrics – such as the amount of money, either saved or wasted – in front of management in an easy to understand way.
Proper reporting will allow you and your management team to make the more informed financial decisions, and help move your operation towards greater profitability and productivity.
Identify and Optimize Based on Historical Trends
Depending on which data collection tool or software your facility utilizes, you may also be able to analyze and understand how your assets have performed in the past. This is important in understanding how your facility is trending and what, if any, changes you need to make to your process or tools to ensure leaner, efficient manufacturing in the future.
If available, review how your assets performed five years ago, three years ago, one year ago, and six months ago. These various timeframes will allow you to get a “big picture” analysis of your manufacturing history, which is essential in understanding where your manufacturing productivity has been and where it’s going.
If you find that your productivity decreased during a specific six-month timeframe, it may help you identify potential root causes.
Did you bring in new machines, which took a month or longer to set up? Did you have employee turnover and did it take a while to fill the positions?
The reasons stated above are not necessarily avoidable but they’ll help you discover how outside factors influence your production. For example, if you found that bringing in four new machines at once created a temporary 25% decrease in productivity, stagger the purchase of new machines in the future to counteract this decrease.
One way of monitoring the history of your shop floor, along with how it’s trending, is with software like Freedom eLOG, which automatically extracts critical manufacturing data to produce web-based reports and analytics. From the moment your assets are hooked up to the software, it provides insight to asset utilization, performance, availability, quality and OEE, ensuring your process is continually improving.
In fact, customers using Freedom eLOG have reported productivity improvements of up to 50%.