Machine insights

How shop floor control drives instant visibility and ROI

Modern management approaches recognize the importance of effective shop-floor management. It is proven that organizations with optimized production operations generate better revenue and are able to meet their commitments in a timely manner. An optimally functioning shop floor also enables senior management to be aligned with manufacturing directors, who can, in turn, ensure they have a direct line of sight into the activities of plant and shop-floor managers and their respective teams. 

By following modern shop-floor management techniques, companies can increase employee productivity and morale throughout the organization. These techniques allow manufacturers to streamline production according to industry best practices on the shop floor. Any loopholes or weaknesses in the production process can be identified immediately and corrected accordingly. 

When organizations are empowered to create a systematic process of continuous improvement, it means that there is a clear and structured path to follow in making improvements. 

On the shop floor, an effective operation provides data to senior management. It analyses to make informed decisions on how to better maximize production by reducing downtime and improving capacity, eliminating gridlock in the process, and justifying financial expenses. 

Many factors determine business success, but it’s important not to underestimate the importance of efficient shop floor operations in achieving that success. 

Definition of shop floor control  

In a manufacturing facility, a shop floor is where parts and equipment are produced and assembled by automated systems. In years gone by, most of these functions would have been carried out by workers, but modern production-line technology makes it possible for automated systems or a combination of both to perform these tasks. 

Shop floor control is a system that enables managers to track, schedule, and report on the progress of tasks being performed on a manufacturing unit’s shop floor. 

When we think of manufacturing, we generally think of tangible products like cars, electronics, or appliances. But even the most thoughtful and refined of products begins as just a list of materials, equipment and personnel needed to create it. The three main components that all manufacturing processes have in common are: 

  • Materials (either natural resources or artificial materials) which are the “ingredients” used to make products.
  • Machinery, equipment, and tools – These three components work concurrently to manufacture the physical end product.
  • People – Machinists, operators, plant managers, engineers, and others play a close role in operating equipment and managing production on a daily basis.

The three phases of shop control are: 

  1. Order release: The first phase involves releasing all of the documents needed to process a production order. They typically include: 
    • A route sheet is a document that contains a detailed process plan for your team to follow when completing an order. 
    • The material requisition identifies the required raw materials and is withdrawn from the inventory. 
    • Job tickets are used to ensure that the correct amount of labor time is assigned to each order. 
    • Move tickets indicate when materials, parts, or other items must be moved from one production area to another within your facility. 
    • Parts lists are used to keep track of the production order and its progress through the manufacturing facility.  
  2. Order scheduling: In the scheduling phase, production orders are assigned to relevant work centers within the manufacturing facility. They are then listed in a dispatch list, which specifies which work centers will carry out production orders. 
  3. Order progress: During this phase, the status of each order is evaluated in terms of both progress and production performance. Each step of the project is summarized and recorded in a report. 

Improving Your Shop Floor Management 

To improve the quality of your shop floor management processes, you need to gain greater visibility into the status of your operations. This means you need real-time, granular insights. Where are your operations currently with respect to commitments and goals? Are there existing or potential roadblocks or bottlenecks? Is any equipment experiencing unscheduled downtime or being underutilized? 

A robust shop floor management system can help you realize the following benefits: 

Real-time Visibility 

You need to have instant access to production data at multiple levels of the organization in order to keep to production schedules and ensure your operators are accountable for production goals. 

The real-time feedback provided by this level of visibility means that workers can detect problems and quickly deal with them. 

Benchmarking Insights 

Benchmarking your manufacturing operation’s current status and output against its historical performance and pinpointing any emerging trends requires you to collect accurate data. To achieve this, you need to be able to benchmark your operation’s production performance against prevailing industry standards. 

Lower Costs 

Automated shop floor control systems can help you cut costs in several ways. For instance, automated data collection mechanisms can eliminate the need to create and maintain cumbersome spreadsheets or paperwork, freeing your workers to focus on revenue-generating endeavors such as creating quality parts. 

Unplanned downtime can be costly. By taking a proactive and predictive approach to machine health and performance, you can minimize the chances of unexpected outages and failures. 

Shop floor control measures can help to reduce unwanted scrap parts by reducing the amount of unusable or unneeded products within an operation. 

Identify Opportunities for Ongoing Improvement 

Identifying production underperformance and waste on the shop floor is important for improving your overall manufacturing output. By leveraging automated shop-floor control techniques, you can quickly identify bottlenecks and unused capacity to increase your facility’s overall output and productivity. 

How can data capture and analyze shop-floor insights? 

Forward-looking businesses committed to embracing modern shop floor management approaches recognize the power of data and automation as tools to give them visibility, control, and a competitive edge. Data can lead to satisfied customers and increased sales. 

It is essential to have accurate, real-time automated data collection mechanisms for both machines and operators in order to achieve optimal productivity. 

The increasing popularity of big data in manufacturing is due to the fact that many manufacturing processes are quantifiable. With the right tools, manufacturers can use data collected on machines, equipment, and people to optimize productivity. 

Predictive and prescriptive maintenance can significantly reduce downtime and quality issues, and other benefits include supply cost reduction as well as supplier scoring, demand forecasting, warehouse optimization, and waste reduction.

Selecting a Shop Floor Control System for Your Plant 

If you are planning to take your shop-floor control capabilities to the next level, you need to carefully evaluate your service provider options and technology-investment decisions. 

Facttwin has developed an advanced shop floor control solution trusted by hundreds of manufacturing organizations across the globe. The system collects data from machines, relying on several complementary methodologies to take the measurements. Factors such as a machine’s age, control, make, and model impact its capabilities. 

Features to look for in a shop floor control system:  

Manufacturing Data Collection and Shop Floor Software 

Facttwin Manufacturing Data Collection Software is purpose-built to take care of the complexities of gathering, standardizing, and analyzing data behind the scenes on your behalf. Its functionality includes: 

  • Manage and monitor automated tasks that need to occur in a timely manner.
  • A cloud-based platform that helps companies reduce the cost of storing and analyzing data by providing access to powerful resources at a fraction of the cost of purchasing the same equipment.
  • Integration of different machines by the PLC or I/O helps in enabling the accurate and swift collection of machine data. 
  • The integrated software allows the integration with various manufacturing systems like ERP, MES, CMMS, and others.
  • The system can communicate and connect with the sensor, such as motion detectors, which are particularly powerful under various circumstances.
  • High-frequency data collection and storage through our low latency data pipeline enables you to train time series and machine learning models.

Granular tracking and reporting capabilities:

Facttwin’s real-time tracking and reporting functions allow you to easily keep track of all your work and productivity, wherever you are. 

  • Pre-built reports use data extracted automatically from equipment to populate charts, maps, and graphs. 
  • Advance your continuous improvement journey by using advanced reporting and automation tools. 
  • Analyze Pareto reports using a simple web-based user interface to predict what causes excessive scrap parts without spreadsheets. 
  • Use machine utilization reports to ensure your machines are running at optimum capacity. 
  • Establish benchmarks using your historical performance data and trends to evaluate how individual machines operate. 
  • Automating scheduled availability, performance, and quality with machine data will improve your OEE.

An empowered and informed workforce:

Facttwins’ shop-floor control system is designed to boost performance and accountability among your workers and offer relevant, actionable insights to your senior management team.

  • On monitors in each department, you can view real-time dashboards that give you a look at shop floor performance. 
  • Operators have access to real-time performance data and can easily see their contribution to the goals of the production process. 
  • Track people’s KPIs in real-time by eliminating spreadsheets. 
  • Make sure that the operators and managers are able to track production using either part-count tracking or OEE. Use colour codes to bring attention to jobs that are performing below expectations so that you can act quickly. 
  • roviding operators with detailed information about failures and scrap material will help them reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. 
  • When a machine breaks down or is running slowly, be sure to identify the problem as fast as possible so that the necessary personnel can fix it. 
  • When dispatching jobs, remember to track setup time into the workflow. 

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