In the challenge series, we delve into the most common challenges facing manufacturers today and how they can be solved. The seventh challenge:
How do I gain intelligent insight into our manufacturing operations data?
The manufacturing challenge:
The manufacturer is struggling to gain any insight into their manufacturing operations. They need to build quarterly business reports for their Board of Directors but it takes them hours to track down the data they need and it is then very difficult to present this data. They want to be able to demonstrate how they are making improvements in their operations, the level of order fulfilment to customers and where losses are occurring and how they are going to rectify these issues. With manual, paper-based processes this is time consuming and costly to do, if not near impossible to actually gain any insight from disparate sources of data.
The manufacturer needs to be using one software solution to manage their operations. This would enable them to have one source of data and one place where everyone is storing production information. Most commonly, this comes in the form of an MES solution, such as LYNQ MES.
LYNQ MES is one solution that equips a manufacturer with tools to plan, track, automate, analyse and optimise their manufacturing operations.
LYNQ MES includes advanced planning and scheduling functionality as well as data collection from the shop floor. This means that a manufacturer is not only able to intelligently plan their output but they are also then collecting data on:
- how well this plan has performed,
- how long it took to produce the planned orders and
- if there were any disparities between planned vs actual output.
All this data is stored in LYNQ MES and:
- Stats such as OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) and OLE (overall labour effectiveness) are automatically calculated.
- The manufacturer can easily see what is happening on the shop floor, if production is performing as planned or if there are issues (in real-time) and
- The manufacturer will be able to analyse this manufacturing data in easy-to-understand graphs and charts (that can be exported for business reports).
The solution will also show where the highest number of losses are occurring, whether this is due to quality, a particular machine, or a substantial amount of time being lost (due to changeovers or machine maintenance). Again, this is shown in a visual way so that the manufacturer is easily able to click on the largest area of loss, and drill into the reasons behind where and why this is happening. This allows a manufacturer to make intelligent decisions moving forward on their production schedule and factory setup.
An aerosol manufacturer using LYNQ MES was able to identify via the solution that it was taking much longer to changeover machines on certain production lines than others. This time was costing them money as it is all downtime where they weren’t producing the product. By having the visibility into the schedule and customer orders they were able to move around orders so that that particular production line was only set up when it could be producing for a full day. This meant that the setup time is worth it, they are able to efficiently plan when certain orders are produced and use the rest of their manufacturing space for faster, more urgent orders, increasing their overall order fulfillment.
The intelligent insight they have gained through collecting data from the shop floor, through LYNQ MES, increased their on-time delivery to customers as well as their production output, through clever scheduling that optimised the manufacturing operations capabilities.