Think of all the data that needs to be captured continually in any given manufacturing plant. And consider that many plants are still operating with paper – for every job, every machine. What then are the advantages of running a paperless operation? Intouch Monitoring investigates in this article.
Imagine every job, every machine, a job sheet for every production order; the setters with their bits of paper with their changeover times listed; scrap and downtime noted at some point.
Any time there is a change, it has to be noted, printed out and distributed…which makes it out of date before the information can be used.
Not only is that a huge job requiring a lot of time (using expensive overheads like labour and paper) but it is invariably inaccurate and late. Even if records are nearly accurate, that ‘nearly’ can cost the company a lot of time, money and labour.
And then you don’t have the information in a format that can be seen as a whole or broken down to see what you need to change. That means that mistakes will keep being repeated.
Quality is also affected. It is almost impossible to access and collate manually and on paper, all the information needed about machines, operators and procedures to prevent any errors occurring at every step of the operation. The random checks that tend to take place at paper-based plants to try and prevent errors are largely ineffective.
So what happens when you switch to a paperless Manufacturing Execution System?
You immediately get more predictable manufacturing with more consistent quality and less scrap.
- Real-time monitoring with digital dashboards depicting the factory floor, machines and processes live, means that any issues can be dealt with immediately and before they become a costly problem.
- Delivery promises can be consistently met as little production time is lost when correcting errors.
- The high visibility of the shop-floor encourages operators to keep production going as well as possible.
- All production and process data that has been digitally collected is automatically and accurately recorded in the archive database and made available to the Intouch reporting and analytics modules.
- Reports can be configured for any selected time-period and available by machine, tool, product, workgroup or operator with many key performance figures (KPI) such as OEE, scrap, down-time and other defined parameters.
- These reports give you a complete overview of what has happened in a variety of graphical ways – from charts to dials, which make anomalies or patterns easy to spot and changes that need to be made become obvious.
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