Petford Group Increase OEE by 15% Thanks to Intouch MES

Petford Group was looking to further modernise their manufacturing operations, so in September 2021, they implemented Intouch across their machines, including 9 injection moulding machines, a welder, and a robot cutting saw.

Petford Group was looking for a system that could help them improve OEE, reduce scrap, streamline reporting and remove manual record keeping, which is time-consuming and prone to human error. Additionally, Petford was looking for a solution to reduce operators’ workload and waste.

Following a review of the options, Petford felt that the Intouch production monitoring functionality would help them overcome their primary operational needs and challenges, integrate with their ERP system and help them streamline their data processes. The ability to ‘try before you buy’ with a 60-day free trial made the decision easy. Petford felt fully supported by the Intouch training team and the ability to tailor dashboards to their specific needs to maximise the benefits and value of the system.

Fully understand what is happening on their shop floor

Petford has eliminated manual record keeping and switched to digital reporting. Live data and
reporting 24/7 have enabled the production team to take action immediately to mitigate and reduce downtime.

The company is committed to quality and customer satisfaction and works to ISO 9001 and IATF16949:2016 standards at their two UK sites. Utilising the Intouch Production monitoring system, they have streamlined their operations further and can actively monitor quality and efficiency across their production process 24/7.

Visibility has made a significantly positive impact to the operations, and they feel confident that they now fully understand what is happening on the shop floor at any moment “you can’t hide from reality with live, real-time data”.

Petford Group struggled with accurate reporting and lacked the visibility they wanted of their manufacturing processes. Now, they have much better scrap recording and using OEE reporting can build a picture of their main issues. This allows them to deal with challenges more effectively.

From manual, inaccurate and late record keeping to real-time visibility

Prior to implementing Intouch, operators had to fill in manual sheets with information on production, scrap rates, and scrap codes. However, the reports were prone to human error, which made them inaccurate. This meant they lacked a single source of truth with their data. Assessing efficiency and improvements always used historical data rather than understanding current events.

The operators on the presses used to have to fill in a sheet every hour on what parts they’ve made and what scrap they’d had. Before Intouch, we struggled with accurate reporting, which wasn’t live. There was a lot of miscounting and misremembering. So, we lacked visibility.’ Richard Parkes, M P & L Analyst.

Petford Group struggled with accurate reporting and lacked visibility into its manufacturing processes. Now, they have much better scrap codes and can build a picture of their main issues using OEE reporting. This allows them to deal with challenges more effectively. Petford Group also struggled with tool changes because of many short running jobs with low volume and a limited number of cranes. With Intouch, they can see if tool changes are happening on time and spread them out more easily.

Immediate ROI and dedicated customer support

Petford Group decided to invest in Intouch when the i4 Cloud system became available as it became financially accessible. They could see the value and immediately measure their ROI using the Intouch system.

Lucy and Andy from Intouch worked closely with Petford to understand their unique requirements and customise the system accordingly. The team was trained on the production monitoring, scheduling, and OEE analytics tools, and shown how to access dashboards on-site or remotely and modify settings as needed.

With Intouch, the reports are live and available anywhere, giving Petford greater visibility. It has in effect, halved the operators’ workload: The system can also be accessed from any device, on-site or remotely: “The fact that it’s live and you can see it anywhere on your phone at home is a big plus for me.”

Intouch has alerts in place to warn Petford of issues, such as high levels of scrap. This allows them to address issues quickly, “nipping them in the bud early.”

‘We have alerts warning us if, for example, the scrap rate exceeds 2%. It flashes red, and then we can stop the job and take a look and find out what the problem is.’

The support desk at Intouch was praised for being efficient and helpful in resolving any issues. The system is user-friendly and operators found it easy to learn, as noted by Richard, who stated, “The system is fairly simple to use and learn, especially from an operator point of view.

The results

Petford Group has seen significant improvements in efficiency and visibility since implementing Intouch. The manual and error-prone data entry process has been eliminated, giving the company a clear, real-time picture of their operations from the shop-floor to management. With OEE reporting, Petford Group has gained deeper insights into their production, furthering their commitment to quality and operational excellence.

Petford Group found the integration of Intouch with their ERP system particularly beneficial, as it streamlined their data input process. By having the ability to transfer parts data directly from their ERP system into Intouch, they save time and reduce the risk of human error. This feature has proven to be extremely useful for the team and has eliminated the need for manual data entry.

Read more news from Intouch here.

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