The First Step to Improve the Status Quo

“What is the first step to improve your shop floor productivity? Has the status quo of your manufacturing operations management stagnated? If you are not sure of that first step, or perhaps have already taken many steps but failed, read on as we highlight a proven and cost-effective solution that affords manufacturers of any size the means to KNOW exactly what changes will increase productivity.”

Read the full article on page 17 of this months publication of CTMA ‘View’ magazine: http://flip.matrixgroupinc.net/ctmt/2021/fall/#page=17

Canadian Tooling and Machining Association
https://www.ctma.com/

#manufacturing #manufacturingnews #iot #iotconnectivity #industry40 #manufacturingexecutionsystem #manufacturingautomation

 

MANUFACTURING AUTOMATION | Industry Watch: The Importance of Finishing Well

manufacturing automation paul hogendoorn

“…it often takes a whole career to learn how to finish well. We get so much more practice starting than we do finishing.” ~Paul Hogendoorn, Founder, FreePoint Technologies

See Paul Hogendoorn’s full article in MANUFACTURING AUTOMATION Industry Watch:

https://www.automationmag.com/industry-watch-the-importance-of-finishing-well/

MANUFACTURING AUTOMATION | Industry Watch: Three Key Words for Economic Recovery

economy

“Rank may designate you as the leader, but being able to find a way is actually what makes you a leader.” ~Paul Hogendoorn, Founder, FreePoint Technologies

See Paul Hogendoorn’s full article in this month’s MANUFACTURING AUTOMATION Industry Watch:

https://www.automationmag.com/three-key-words-for-economic-recovery/

Three Reasons for Manufacturing’s Resilience

FreePoint Technologies CEO Paul Hogendoorn

Paul Hogendoorn – FreePoint Founder

Earlier this month, FreePoint Founder and CRO, Paul Hogendoorn was featured in Manufacturing Automation Magazine for his article titled “Three Reasons for Manufacturing’s Resilience During the Pandemic”. Throughout his article, Paul explains that demand remains strong for the “higher value” products where North American manufacturers primarily focus, as consumers spend their discretionary income on “durables” instead “consumables” like entertainment, vacations, and services.

As value-adding activity has retuned to pre-COVID-19 levels, technology allows a lot of the administration and management to be done remotely. While COVID-19 has been tumultuous for life outside of the factory, for some, life in the factory has provided a period of near normalcy as PPE was already part of many jobs and breaks and interactions were largely structured.

Paul goes on to explain that manufacturing’s resilience can directly be attributed to the efforts of our great people – from operators, to management, to the c-suite. Our people are dedicated, dependable and deliver tangible results every day. Employees are buying what they are making and manufacturers are creating both the product and the market for the product.

As Paul says in the culmination of the article “The companies that have come through this stronger have done so by sharpening their focus on their value adding activities, getting more done in less time, and by unleashing the adaptive, dedicated and innovative potential of their people. ”

Get all the expert insights by reading the full article here.

FreePoint Technologies CEO Paul Hogendoorn

How Shimco North America is Using ShiftWorx Plus

We recently had a discussion with Sandeep Oberoi from Shimco North America where he explained how ShiftWorx is bringing transparency to their data through remote monitoring, real time information, dashboards with KPI’s, and automated reporting.

Over their 30 years in business, Shimco has provided custom shims and small parts to global aerospace, defense, medical and industrial supply chains.

Listen to more of what Sandeep’s goals are for Shimco and implementing machine monitoring within the organization.

ShiftWorx Plus allows you to maintain your operations from a distance by logging and reporting on metrics ranging from job, operator and scrap, to parts, SKUs and more. You can also create custom, role-specific dashboards for your managers and supervisors; so everybody stays in the know, even from home. To find out how ShiftWorx Plus can help your shop drive improvement and help guide data driven decisions, book your demo today.

Zooming Into Charts in ShiftWorx

Today we have a ShiftWorx quick tip that is simple, but not everyone knows.

When looking to isolate data, zoom in, and dive deeper into your ShiftWorx reports, you are able to left click and drag to zoom on your charts and reports. This can help shape a further level of understanding and clarity in your reports.

Here is a quick example.

We are committed to driving operational excellence through your shop and have released some truly revolutionary ShiftWorx enhancements and new modules over the past few months to drive continuous improvement including:

Reach out to us today to schedule a demonstration of any of this new functionality.

MANUFACTURING AUTOMATION | Industry Watch: The Critical Value of Purposeful Work in Manufacturing

work

“…the first lesson is that work has inherent human purpose, far more than just a means to earn a living. There is a tactile and palpable sense of satisfaction that comes from completing tasks that have tangible and visible results, which most people have an inherent need for – especially people who are drawn to manufacturing careers.” ~Paul Hogendoorn, Founder, FreePoint Technologies

See Paul Hogendoorn’s full article in this month’s MANUFACTURING AUTOMATION Industry Watch:

https://www.automationmag.com/the-critical-value-of-purposeful-work-in-manufacturing/

ShiftWorx Brings You A Digital Call Box/Andon Functionality at a Fraction of the Cost of a Traditional System

Call Box Screen

Did you know that in our commitment to driving operational excellence and continuous improvement through your shop, we have several additional ShiftWorx Modules that can drive your industry 4.0 and lean manufacturing initiatives? We have touched on enhanced customization capabilities for custom views and dashboard and how coupling Job and Operator data with Business and AI tools can create a wealth of new insight, but today we want to discuss a Digital Call Box Module that not only brings transparency into your process and improves your maintenance response but can be configured to function as a Digital Andon system.

Call Station Example

Our Digital Call Box/ANDON functionality enables operators to send messages (email and text messages) to immediately address issues involving machines (e.g. broken down, safety) with the push of a button. This enhances the clarity of your production process and flows of information on the plant floor by tracking the number of calls, mean time to respond, start time, and completion time of a call. Problems are visually identified so corrective action can be taken immediately.

Best of all, our easy-to-use and the customizable system can be configured with many of the benefits of an Andon solution without the additional costs. With a traditional Andon system costing thousands of dollars to set up and install, The ShiftWorx Digital Call Box/Andon system is even better because:

  • No Wiring
  • No Installation
  • No Labor
  • Immediate Notifications
  • Full Tracking and Reporting Capability

You get advanced reporting and all the advantages of an Andon system, at a fraction of the cost.

To See our Digital Call Box/ANDON system in action, reach out to us today. 

Andon Dashboard

Advantages of Andon Systems

Andon has a crucial place in any lean manufacturing operation or connected industry and provides numerous benefits through:

  • Transparency: – Employees are encouraged to react to problems so that quality, safety, and down time improve. Process owners are notified in real time.
  • Productivity: Problems are quickly noticed and resolved to ensure minimal production interruptions.
  • Empowering Employees: Operators are given the freedom and flexibility to categorize issues when they arise depending on their priority and take action,  instead of waiting on leadership. This increases accountability overproduction issues.
  • Reduce downtime: Operators and supervisors are better able to resolve manufacturing issues and keep the assembly line moving.
  • Cost and time: The Andon board allows for greater communication on the floor so that time is saved and labor is cut.

Ultimately, the goal of any Andon system is about removing anything that inhibits production flow. It is about responding to issues immediately, finding the root cause of the issue, and putting a permanent corrective action in place so that the issue never occurs again. By utilizing the ShiftWorx Digital Call Box/Andon Module, you will quickly be able to document routine production challenges and provide Shift Supervisors and Engineering Departments the knowledge of the frequency and severity of problems that interrupt workflow.

Contact us today to get a demonstration. 

Bridging the IIoT Technology Gap

One of the largest Industry 4.0 roadblocks we often observe rests in addressing the gap in knowledge and objectives that exists between the different levels in manufacturing organizations.

CEOs are usually well intended in adopting Industry 4.0 technologies, but they are not comfortable with the technology conversation, so they delegate down the chain to someone who is. The people deeply involved in IT, or considering advanced technologies, are usually far more technology focused than they are day-to-day manufacturing focused and sit several levels away from the CEO with different responsibilities and objectives that don’t necessarily tie directly to the organizational vision or overall performance.

FreePoint has spent the last few months analyzing this challenge we have developed a Value-To-Vision process and Self Assessment Tool with the help of some industry partners that can address ways to close the gap and assess your IoT readiness. Part of that process was to discuss with manufacturers and understand the roles and objectives of each organization and we have boiled those conversations into the persona chart (Pictured above). There are a few key take aways:

  • Individuals on the left side of the persona chart have very short term objectives – this hour, this shift, etc. They are more tactile, non-financial and have very specific measurements – how many strokes, how many parts, how many minutes…
  • The right side have long term and ‘fuzzy’ objectives (sustainability, keeping work in one plant or another, improving overall competitive position), which are usually financial.
  • In the middle, you have the people tasked with developing and deploying a technology adoption project. They are often disconnected from the vision (CEO) by several layers, and equally disconnected from the people doing the actual work.
  • Sometimes there may be a CTO in the picture, but they are generally not in the value-to-vision stream. Some companies have CIO’s (Chief Information Officers), and because their output (data, information) is consumed by the CFO and CEO, they are more likely to be in the value-to-vision stream.
  • The right side of the chart is the vision side. The left side is where value is actually created day-to-day.

Over the next few months, we will be sharing more information in conjunction with our industry partners. If you would like to have a preliminary conversation on closing the technology gap or review our self assessment tool, please reach out to us. 

MANUFACTURING AUTOMATION | Industry Watch: Does Data Lie?

data

“Does data lie?  Data is useful for many things, and data-driven decisions are valuable. But context and intent are key.” ~Paul Hogendoorn, Founder, FreePoint Technologies

See Paul Hogendoorn’s full article in this month’s MANUFACTURING AUTOMATION Industry Watch:

https://www.automationmag.com/industry-watch-does-data-lie/