How Much Can You Trust Your KPIs?

There is more to effective manufacturing analytics than reports. You need an effective and efficient process for collecting data.

By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software

Manufacturing is changing.

3d small people - way choice

Are you using data to optimize production?  Illustration by http://www.colourbox.com

In the past, it was enough to write a few notes on the traveler, type them into a spreadsheet at the end of the day and print up a report. As long as work was completed and product moved, a shop floor could get by.

With the advent of new technology, smart manufacturing, and a digital foundation for production, paper-based data collection is no longer sufficient to support the shop floor. With paper, you can’t easily access the relevant analytics to support process improvement and collaborative manufacturing. There’s no reason not to have relevant and actionable data on production, and a plan to optimize the shop floor.

While reports are important to shop floor optimization, a process to collect the data, relevant data, is equally important. Consider these questions as you review your shop floor analytics program:

  • How is the data being collected?

If you implement a shop floor system to collect and collate data, but still rely on scribbled notes on the traveler or an operator’s memory, then your reporting system is never going to be as effective or efficient as you need.  Transcription errors or missing data may also compromise the accuracy and usefulness.

  • Are you collecting data in all the relevant areas of the process?

Knowing a product has a non-conformance is important for your customer; you also need to know the root cause of the quality escape. Knowing where the non-conformance occurred is a critical step for process improvement. You need to collect data throughout production, not just at completion.

  • Are there holes in the data collection?

Many companies focus their data collection on machines. Pulling data from a machine is easy, but many times non-conformances occur at other points in the manufacturing process. Without data collected at every operation and every critical step, you’re faced with questions on when and how a non-conformance occurred.

  • Quality.

    An MES will not only collect data, but give your data relevance. Illustration by http://www.colourbox.com

    Is the data you are collecting relevant?

Data needs perspective and context to be relevant. An MES provides a framework for manufacturing. The data collected is automatically contextualized with a process, becoming more than a single point in production. It becomes an element in a process.

Giving Production Data Relevance

An MES creates a foundation that both collects the data and gives it relevant perspective. It provides a way to seamlessly, and many times automatically, collect data in real time during the production process.

Data collected is connected to an operation, a production, a work order, and to an operator. You can see the events preceding the data collection and the events following.

If you’re still struggling to peel back the layers in your manufacturing process and understand the root factors in operations, then contact CIMx today for a free shop analysis to see what data an MES can reveal for you.

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