Tag Archives: Asset Management

What it Takes to Succeed with Machine Maintenance

Manufacturers invest millions in machines and equipment. These high dollar assets provide the foundation of successful and efficient manufacturing, and yet many companies rely on a spreadsheet, a plastic binder hanging from a hook, and the memory and experience of employees to maintain that critical investment.

If a machine goes down, production stops. Work has to be re-routed, putting ship dates and orders at risk. If work has to be done by a partner company, production costs will skyrocket. Scrap, higher production costs and late shipments are common consequences of machine problems.

Modern shop floors can’t rely on spreadsheets, plastic sleeves, and memory for machine maintenance. Machine upkeep is a critical production process requiring a production control system like Quantum. Successful upkeep and maintenance incorporates process control and conformance, just like every shop floor operation, and should be linked to operations and scheduling to eliminate downtime and increase production velocity.

Control and Conformance for Machine Maintenance

When evaluating your current processes, consider the following critical elements of a successful machine maintenance program managed by a production control system:

  • Schedules and Alerts for Required Maintenance

Machine maintenance is a critical production activity. If you aren’t following maintenance protocol, you risk machine downtime, failed audits, and unsafe work conditions. A scheduled maintenance program eliminates these risks. Support the shop floor with alerts and a system that removes the risk of using a machine due for maintenance – a common occurrence when the shop floor is under pressure to move product and meet deadlines when maintenance is scheduled.

  • Revision-controlled Maintenance Instructions and Records

Machine failure is a risk when you rely on paper-based records or worse, memory, for maintenance instructions. Over time, maintenance requirements can change and employees retire or leave. You need accessible, revision-controlled maintenance and repair instructions that can be accessed when needed. Records, beyond initials on a spreadsheet, should be kept on maintenance activities. A robust maintenance program will protect your investment and significantly reduce machine downtime and production costs.

  • Integrated Maintenance and Production Schedules

When you are investing millions in production machines, maintenance must be a priority. It should be done regularly to optimize machine output and eliminate unscheduled downtime. A successful maintenance schedule that won’t negatively impact production must be integrated with the production schedule. The production supervisor should know when there is work scheduled on a machine to route orders accurately, and ensure shipping and production deadlines are met. With a digital schedule and a production control system, maintenance can be scheduled ahead of time and work optimized to maintain production velocity.

A Program for Optimizing Machine-use

Even though industrial machinery is a critical component of manufacturing, especially make-to-order manufacturing, many companies consider machine maintenance an afterthought until a machine goes down or the shop floor fails an audit. Spreadsheets and plastic sleeves on the machine aren’t an adequate maintenance program, especially when the shop floor comes under pressure to increase output.

Quantum production control system provides seamless support for your machine maintenance program as part of your standard production process, eliminating unscheduled machine downtime, the risk of failed audits, and the stress of upkeep while optimizing scheduling for machines and production. All the benefits are part of the standard product.

Contact CIMx to learn more about Quantum’s integrated machine maintenance in a production control system, and discover how you can optimize machine use while increasing production velocity.

Do You Know Where Your Production Assets Are?

While production requires tools, materials, parts and equipment, many manufacturers don’t track or properly manage these assets. This oversight adds “hidden” production costs like scrap, inefficiency and waste – costs that can quickly overwhelm profit.

How much scrap and waste is generated by one of your operators using the wrong part or searching for a missing tool? How many of your late shipments are symptoms of orders sitting on the shop floor waiting for missing parts or materials? Problems like these are common when companies aren’t tracking and controlling assets in production.

Without granular data to optimize and control asset usage, mistakes are made and costs increase. The Quantum production control system manages parts, materials and tools during production, eliminating these mistakes and reducing costs.

Empower Production with Asset Control

A production control system actively links the management of tools, parts and materials to manufacturing activities.

Serialized assets, or assets given a unique identifier, are not only be used to track parts and materials for regulatory compliance, but also eliminate the scrap and waste caused when the wrong parts and tools are used. Engineering specifies a tool to be used in an operation, the operator then validates the correct tool with a simple bar scan before work begins. The validation adds invaluable conformance and control to the shop floor.

By collecting and analyzing production data on tool usage, you can track when an asset requires calibration, further reducing mistakes and scrap. If a tool is due for calibration, an alert is sent and the tool is put on hold until the proper calibration can be performed.

Data from the production control system can further improve asset efficiency. Over time, as you begin collecting production data and matching it to the serialized assets used, tools that aren’t operating efficiently are identified. Corrective action, such as more frequent calibration or part replacement, can be taken before the issue becomes a serious problem.

By managing tools, parts and materials in a production control system and validating on-hand quantities, you eliminate a root cause of late shipments.

Before an order is released, Quantum validates parts and materials are available. The system automatically lists where they are stored, reducing the time and effort necessary for kitting. If materials or parts are missing, the floor supervisor can put a hold on the order until the assets are available. Inventory can be moved to fill the order, ensuring the shop floor stays focused on critical and available work. You can identify an asset issue at the earliest stages, allowing corrective steps to be taken. Linking asset availability eliminates wasted time and helps ensure orders ship on-time, every time.

Lower the Cost of Production

Assets are a critical component of a successful and efficient production process. Production costs and shop floor errors increase when there isn’t a link between production and asset management, especially for make-to-order manufacturers that work under strict conformance and control requirements.

Once the link is in place and the production team is synchronizing work and asset usage, you’ll start identifying and correcting additional sources of errors and inefficiencies, further fueling production cost savings.

Contact CIMx today to learn more about part and material management in Quantum, and discover how production control software can lower costs and increase productivity for your business.