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4 Ways to Increase Production Capacity (With the Same Headcount)

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

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.

Downtime Narration

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.

Bottleneck Identification

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.

Maintenance Alerts

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.

Improvements To Productivity By Minimizing Downtime With FreePoint’s Notifications

FreePoint’s Notifications product uses the ShiftWorx platform to send out alert messages by e-mail or SMS text message when a specific machine condition has been met. These conditions are typically when a machine is off or not performing as expected.

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FreePoint and Intellacor Team Up To Reinvigorate US Manufacturing

Using ShiftWorx, Intellacor brings Industry 4.0 to existing factory equipment across the United States

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FreePoint Opens First US Office

As a growing company that strives to think globally and act locally, FreePoint recognizes the importance of establishing permanent offices closer to the major markets and customers we serve. FreePoint recently opened its first US office, strategically located in the Seattle area. With existing offices in London, Ontario and Toronto, FreePoint looked further west for the site of its next office. Seattle is a gateway to Asia and the South Pacific, where FreePoint has a growing number of customer installations, and closer to FreePoint’s existing customers in Mexico. Washington state is also a major force in the Internet of Things (IoT) market and is home to cloud providers Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) as well as major facilities for Boeing and many other aerospace manufacturers.

FreePoint Senior Vice-President John Traynor is responsible for growing and expanding FreePoint operations globally and will be based in the Seattle office. He has lived in the Seattle area for nearly 20 years and is a member of the Washington State IoT Council. John recently spoke at the Intelligence in Data Symposium held at the University of Washington. His presentation titled “Realtime Data in Industrial IoT” addressed the importance of getting meaningful live information to people on the plant floor so they can take action right away to improve manufacturing operations.

To contact the US office, please call +1 425.979.5990 or email Email Us: info@getfreepoint.com.

US Office:

8201 164th Ave NE, Suite 200
Redmond, WA 98052

FreePoint Expands Into Soft Goods With TexTempo Partnership

TexTempo brings deep experience in textile and related industries to FreePoint ShiftWorx platform

LONDON, Ont. and ATLANTA, Jan. 30, 2019FreePoint Technologies, an award-winning provider of software for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to manufacturers worldwide, today announced that it has entered into a strategic relationship with TexTempo, a leading provider of software for labor efficiency tracking in the soft goods industries. Through this partnership, TexTempo will bring new capabilities for machine monitoring, downtime tracking, and operating efficiency to its existing portfolio of labor efficiency and payroll processing products.

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FreePoint Doubles Down On Industrial IoT Growth In Manufacturing

Company announces acquisition of CoreSolutions to address demand from customers worldwide

LONDON, Ont., Jan. 9, 2019FreePoint Technologies, an award-winning provider of software for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to manufacturers worldwide, today announced that it has acquired CoreSolutions, a software development company with offices in London, Ontario and Toronto. Through the acquisition, FreePoint will accelerate the development of its industry-leading ShiftWorx platform for machine monitoring in manufacturing while providing enhanced flexibility for configuration and customization to meet enterprise customer needs.

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5 Reasons You Need IIoT Technology In Your Factory Today

The business of manufacturing is rapidly evolving. Being coined the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, it’s all about retrieving big data that couldn’t be accessed before. By bringing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) into factories across the globe manufacturers can streamline production and push products to market faster. Are you ready to gain a competitive edge?

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Recruiting Millennial Employees: How To Make Your Factory Next Generation Ready

The face of manufacturing is changing. As older workers retire, millennials (aged 18 to 35) are the biggest workforce available to manufacturers today. Is your plant ready?

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You Can Connect All The Machines On Your Shop Floor Today!

You’ve likely heard the term Internet of Things (IoT) in reference to smart home technology but how does it relate to your shop floor? In its simplest definition, IoT means “things” that are connected to the internet, physical objects such as your home, office or car. In smart manufacturing, it’s known as Industrial IoT (IIoT) or Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution. It provides manufacturers with the ability to connect all machines and equipment in their plant to the internet to gather real-time, actionable data. With Freepoint, connecting machines is quick and easy on both legacy and new machines.

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Case Study: Machine Shop Increases Efficiency By 69% In One Year

The following case study demonstrates how FreePoint Technologies has successfully helped a customer increase efficiency by 69% over a one-year time span and saved them $325/day.

The customer is a modern machine shop located in the border region in Mexico. The shop has 4 Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM) that are critical to the company’s production. The following figures demonstrate the impact of FreePoint Technologies’ system.   

The image below (the before scenario) shows pertinent productivity information from these 4 machines from a typical day in October 2015. The blue bars illustrate the EDM machines’ run times for a 24 hour period and the white gaps indicate the setup time between each run. Both the run (blue bar) & setup times (white bar) vary depending on the job. The shop, in the before scenario, required 24 hours of scheduled production time to produce a total of 43.5 hours of “value adding” activity using the 4 machines on that day.

 

The screenshot below illustrates the exact same 4 EDM machines shown one year later (October 2016). Similar to the previous scenario, the blue bars still vary in accordance with the jobs being run on each machine, however, the setup times (the white gaps between the blue bars) are now consistently smaller than the 2015 snapshot. The result from integrating FreePoint Technologies’ system is that less time is being lost between productive “value adding” periods. For the customer, this means that more value adding activity (specifically 57 hours on this day) occurred in less scheduled production time (two 8.5 hour shifts vs. three 8 hour shifts). All of the recovered lost machine time was then aggregated, and the machines were freed up for an entire shift. Not only does this decrease production cost for parts being produced, but it increases the plant’s capacity and ability to take on more work.

 

The image below compares the month of October 2015 to the same month, one year later in 2016. As illustrated in the graph, every day of the month in October 2015 had machine activity, meaning that employees were in the shop running the machines. In 2016, the machine activity occurred only on weekdays, freeing up most weekend shifts as well. This allowed the customer to increase their capacity and take on more business. The machine’s efficiency went up from 33% on a typical 24 hour day in 2015 to 56% on a typical 17 hour day in 2016 representing an increase of 69%.

At that rate of productivity improvement, the system as implemented paid for itself in 20 days, and the cost of the ShiftWorx subscription is recovered in the first day of every month. It’s hard to beat that kind of ROI!

For more information on how a FreePoint system can benefit your plant, please contact paulh@getfreepoint.com