Bottom Line: Capturing machine process and measurement data with real-time process monitoring helps manufacturers improve quality and compliance, while also increasing production yields and shop floor productivity.
Manufacturers are continually faced with the challenges of improving time-to-market while reducing production costs and increasing quality. Given the massive amount of data a typical production plant generates daily, it can be challenging to decipher which data signals matter the most.
Just as the most effective physical fitness plans that deliver lasting change start with a true baseline of performance, and the same holds for defining a machine’s baseline performance across a shop floor. To create performance plans for their machinery that drive results, manufacturers rely on real-time monitoring for the baseline data they need.
Using Real-Time Process Monitoring To Create A Manufacturing Fitness Plan
It’s time for more manufacturers to put their production machinery on a fitness plan. And the first step is to benchmark how healthy each machine is, and its contribution to improving shop floor workflows and efficiency. Real-time process monitoring provides feedback on how each machine is doing over time, often measured on a Statistical Process Control (SPC) chart. The DELMIAworks RealTime™ Production Monitoring system can be integrated directly into SPC and other reporting systems. To get every machine in the best shape possible, here are four steps of how real-time process monitoring can help:
- Capture baseline data for every machine across several shifts to check for any noticeable, easily-defined variation in output. Creating a dataset of each machine’s performance across the shop floor is the starting point for every individualized machine fitness plan.
- Choose an initial set of metrics that every machine is capable of reporting today to complete the baseline comparison. Every machine can be analyzed on four metrics: cycle times, set-up times, scrap/rework rates, and yields. Differences between machines will show up immediately. Knowing how well each machine performs against these four criteria provides invaluable insight into how its useful life can be extended.
- Identify the most and least in-shape machinery by analyzing the baseline data and indexing machines’ prior activity to customer returns and quality problems. The machinery responsible for the highest percentage of customer returns and quality problems is often the same machines that show abnormally high rates of wear and tear. Checking to make sure their mean time to repair (MTTR) and MTBF estimates are accurate is a prerequisite to prolonging the life of the machine and increasing product quality and yield rates.
- Combine real-time monitoring with machinery upgrades to uncover how production sequencing impacts machinery reliability and performance over time. Knowing why certain machines are starting to fail may have more to do with their relative position in a production workflow than initially may be apparent. That’s why real-time monitoring combined with the latest upgrades to smart, connected machinery makes sense. Together, those steps remove two potentially large sources of variation from understanding how to prolong a machines’ useful life.
Product Gains Achieved with Process Monitoring
DELMIAworks customers are accomplishing the following production gains by using real-time process monitoring software today:
- Reject rates plummeted from 30% to 2% as Quality Assurance had real-time monitoring to track where scrap was being produced in the production process. Like on-time deliveries, scrap rates and reject rates drastically improved when Eldon James had real-time data from DELMIAworks to manage production. Where and how scrap was being produced was no longer a mystery; the answers to the most challenging quality assurance questions were in the DELMIAworks system anytime they needed them.
- Augustine Plastics, Inc. (API), a world-class custom injection molder in Somerset, PA, relies on IQMS’ RealTime process monitoring software, a module of DELMIAworks for capturing and reviewing production data, then making the necessary adjustments for improved efficiencies. The impact of COVID-19 has significantly increased the demand for medical components, and API has been able to adjust production schedules to meet customers’ critical demands continuously.
- DELMIAworks’ real-time process monitoring software enables Core Technology Molding’s staff to work from home and campus and stay safe by accessing real-time monitoring data, analytics, and reports from their ERP system. Having designed the IT systems with business continuity in mind, Brandon Frederick, Manufacturing Engineer and Business Development Manager at Core technology Molding implemented an ERP system that provides for remote access. Non-production employees can log in from home or campus and get their work done, staying safe.
Real-time process monitoring drives measurable results by providing machine- and workflow-level data that wasn’t easy to capture before. Now it is using the DELMIAworks RealTime™ Production Monitoring system. Augustine Electronics, Eldon James and Core Technology Molding and many other DELMIAworks customers are using real-time process monitoring to follow jobs in real-time as they move from the schedule through production, view overall enterprise or specific work center performance, and drill down to view additional job details as well. Real-Time Production Monitoring is designed to provide instantaneous feedback on critical parameters such as total parts created, production time, downtime, rejects, and parts remaining to be produced, and cavitation changes. Augustine Electronics, Eldon James and Core Technology Molding, and many other DELMIAworks customers also rely on the RealTime Production Monitoring System to track machine utilization, scrap, and downtime reporting help identify poor machine performance before it becomes a problem. They’re also running shift and OEE reports that provide accurate and timely production information including good and bad parts, downtime, rejects, all helping to simplify shift reporting and inventory reconciliation.