Tag Archive for: Big Data
In every manufacturing process there are two elements; value added, and non-value added. Both cost time and money, but only one will yield returns. Machine monitoring systems connected to the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) is the best way to capitalize on value-added, innovative production processes.
For many manufacturers, increasing efficiency and production capacity is the primary focus. However, where the challenge really lies is in increasing production capacity without hiring additional staff or purchasing more machines.
Fortunately, manufacturers can leverage industry 4.0 as a driver for growth as well as productivity; with machine monitoring technology, you can unlock the full potential of your factory, and those who operate within it.
Machine monitoring provides a long list of benefits to manufacturers, these benefits result in increased production capacity and increased profitability. For a real world example, a client of ours managed to improve overall efficiency by a 69% in just 1 year – saving roughly $325/day without increasing personnel or machines.
Read below to learn the 4 ways to increase productivity without hiring new employees or procuring new equipment.
Employee engagement through machine monitoring is focused on inviting collaboration between management and machine operators. It is not a “big-brother” tactic, quite the opposite actually, by showing employees how their contribution affects the big picture, you help unite management and plant employees working towards the same goals.
Using visualized dashboards, employees can easily see their role in the manufacturing process from a data perspective – which helps them fully realize the value of their contribution. This can even evolve into a “gamified” environment, as employees compete to see who can be most productive. This encourages employees to constantly improve, as they can now view their performance in real-time.
Machine monitoring allows for real-time narration of downtime, another way a manufacturer can leverage IIoT to increase production capacity, without increasing headcount. Not only is downtime narration critical for plant managers seeking seamless production, it’s also a strong motivator for employees as well. Obtaining insight into what causes delays allows employees to better understand the impact of any delays in their work station.
It’s important to understand all data is good data. Even unexpected downtime or broken machines can give you valuable insight into your process. With proper real-time narration, managers can identify and mitigate root causes of machine downtime, as well as highlight strong points in the production chain.
Like we mentioned earlier, machine monitoring provides valuable insight into your manufacturing processes, one of those insights is bottleneck identification. When one process is being delayed due to another person or machines performance, you know exactly where along the workflow the delay is occurring – empowering you to address the problem in real-time, and create fixes to prevent it from happening in the future. By proactively identifying holdups in your process, you are better positioned to make actionable changes to your workflow that will increase both efficiency and productivity.
Machine monitoring also enables a more proactive approach to machine maintenance. Rather than having to wait for someone to notice a machine is broken, then communicate that to management, you can get real-time alerts as issues arise. That means a significantly faster response time when a machine unexpectedly goes down, and a much quicker fix. It all comes down to maximizing machine uptime, the more value-added time that a machine contributes, the more efficient your plant becomes.
Are you ready to Increase your Production Capacity without Adding more People or Machines?
With FreePoint’s globally deployed solution, manufacturers are seeing near-immediate benefits to their processes. Increased efficiency, mitigated machine downtime, and improved employee engagement are accessible benefits to all those willing to shift into the IIoT world. Machine monitoring not only helps management make more informed decisions, it also provides real-time visibility into individual contributions and the entire production process overall.
If you’re interested in saving time and money, being proactive about your machine maintenance, and gaining total transparency into your entire production process, you should consider making the transition to industry 4.0.
We have taken another huge leap forward with our release of FreePoint Connect, which fundamentally cloud-connects machines of any age, type or brand; although, it now opens up even greater flexibility via Kepware and direct machine controller connections. Machine connection is step one, and with FreePoint Connect it is easily managed in a web browser using ShiftWorx Plus MES software!
Option One – Connecting Through Kepware
Kepware is an industry leading industrial connectivity platform that can aggregate data from your machine controllers and PLC’s and send that data to FreePoint Connect.
Option Two – Connecting Directly Through the Machine Controller or PLC
FreePoint Connect allows your machine to directly communicate with ShiftWorx through OPC-UA. This machine-to-machine communication protocol removes the need for additional hardware to connect.
Option Three – Connecting Through our FreePoint Remote Module
Our “Black Boxes” will continue to provide non-invasive, secure, and reliable connections to any type, age or brand of machine independent of machine PLC’s.
How FreePoint Connect Works Graphic (Click to Expand)
Contact Us today to learn more and see a demo.
“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:
Ontario’s automotive sector has always played a crucial role in the Canadian economy. With over 100,000 auto-related jobs across the province, investing in the sustainability and advancement of the auto industry is vitally important – which is why we are excited about Ontario’s next round of applications for the Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP) open until October 7th, 2020.
Aimed at helping Manufacturers adopt new technologies quickly, the new program provides eligible manufacturers with a grant up to $100,000 to support purchases and projects that fall under one or both of these two categories:
- Technology Adoption
- Lean Manufacturing
This program has made emerging technologies significantly more attainable for manufacturers considering a digital transformation. You can now reap the benefits of Industry 4.0 for a fraction of the cost by implementing any of our advanced manufacturing solutions. Whether you are looking to use machine monitoring, downtime tracking, or a customizable API – you could be eligible for a grant up to $100,000 . With our state-of-the-art data visualization software and extensive suite of machine monitoring solutions, you can begin your digital transformation while maintaining eligibility for government funding.
“What gets measured gets improved”. Our IIoT solutions help you measure everything you need to measure to improve, including establishing an empirical baseline for where you are today. Our visualization tools will drive productivity improvements right away, and our reporting tools will help you identify the things that need to be done to get even better. If you have been considering a FreePoint system in your plant, there has never been a better time, so reach out to us today!
Check out the following links for additional information:
The speed and volume of data collection is rapidly increasing. This makes it overwhelming for manufacturers to determine how best to leverage the metrics at their disposal.
A recent study found just under half (48%) of manufacturers still use spreadsheets or other manual entry documents to keep track of their data, which explains why less than 40% of manufacturers use data analysis to solve production issues. If data was being collected automatically as opposed to manually, it would be easier to collect, analyze, and act on.
The study also found that 76% of respondents said in order to immediately act on collected data, they require “software solutions that analyze data in real-time”. By leveraging automation and industry 4.0 solutions, manufacturers can reap benefits ranging from increased efficiency to lowered costs and lower risk of error.
Machine monitoring allows you to obtain real-time automated data that will not only improve your collection process, but also increase response time to any issues that may arise. Don’t wait for the weekly or daily data report to find out days after-the-fact that something went wrong. Automatic alerts can be set up to let you know the second a machine goes down, and in some cases, before it happens.
By automating your data-collection with industry 4.0 technologies, you also greatly increase the accuracy of your data. Multi-tasking workers, managers putting out fires, or an inexperienced employee don’t impact the quality of the data being recorded if the data is being recorded automatically – greatly mitigating the potential for human error.
Real-time data collection doesn’t just impact efficiency and production, it also impacts profitability and costs. Though it may seem like a small change, eliminating manual data-entry significantly decreases the paper-trail that comes along with printing excel spreadsheets or filling out data-tracking forms.
In our experience, the transparency gained through automation and real-time visibility has a significant impact on manufacturing costs. By leveraging the insights gained from their real-time data, a client of ours was able to save roughly $325 a day without hiring more employees or buying new equipment—a powerful incentive for those considering automation and industry 4.0.
Unlock Your Factory’s Potential Today with Real-Time Data
Overall, real-time data collection gives you a level of transparency and control over your process that would be impossible to achieve without automation. You will be able to improve performance, production and profitability just by implementing one vital, but very attainable change to your process.
If you are ready to enhance the efficiency of your factory, reach out today to book your free demonstration and get yourself started on the path of Industry 4.0!
As a proud member of the Canadian Tool and Machining Association (CTMA), FreePoint is excited to again be attending the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in London, Ontario. The Annual General Meeting is always a great opportunity to learn about the association’s accomplishments over the past year, while also setting the stage for the years to come. We’re looking forward to hearing what is sure to be an insightful and inspiring Keynote Address by Scott Kress and can’t wait to congratulate this year’s Apprentice Award Recipients.
The CTMA represents Canadian tooling manufacturers at various levels of government and works together with other associations to promote and protect the interests of the overall manufacturing industry.
If you’re a tooling and machining manufacturer within Canada, you should consider reaching out to the CTMA to become a part of this rewarding community.