Tag Archive for: industry 4.0

Manufacturing Monitoring and Employee Engagement: How ShiftWorx™ MES Connects the Two

There is very little doubt that manufacturing monitoring software appeals to forward-thinking plant managers, shop supervisors and CEOs for its ability to track production and increase operator efficiency, saving companies thousands of dollars a month.

However, a key benefit (potentially one of the most important features) of manufacturing monitoring that is often overlooked is the impact it has on shop floor operators and employee engagement.  When operators are engaged in the task at hand, they are known to work more efficiently and with more focus. Manufacturing monitoring, when set up properly, provides that type of engagement.

.

Machine monitoring being used to enhance employee engagement

Having a screen at each machine or workstation, and large screens on the shop floor that display and track the employee’s production statistics empowers the workforce in the following ways:
.

Accountability

When an employee’s production is being tracked and recorded, there is a clear sense of accountability for their work.  Creating accountable employees delivers numerous benefits to the company, including superior execution, lower employee turnover, more creativity and innovation.

Gamification

Gamification is the process of applying and integrating elements of game mechanics in order to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty.  Gamification takes the data-driven techniques that game designers use to engage players and applies them to non-game experiences to motivate actions which add value to your business. ShiftWorx™ MES enables that type of engagement with its ability to keep scores, track progress and display user-statistics.

Consistent Measurement of Performance

Machine Operator Displays his Manufacturing Monitoring Dashboard

In one of our recent blogs, Top 3 Questions Asked About Manufacturing Monitoring, we highlight that one of the questions asked most frequently is, “What do Operators on the Shop Floor Think of Manufacturing Monitoring; is this More of “Big Brother” Watching?”  The feedback we received the most is that operators are in favour of having the monitoring implemented as it gives them a consistent measurement of their performance that they are able to see every day.  With a manufacturing monitoring system like ShiftWorx™ MES, operators are empowered and engaged when they are able to view and understand their performance metrics in a real-time feed.

FreePoint Technologies is dedicated to helping manufacturing companies improve their bottom line, improve employee engagement, and bring modern technology to the plant floor.  Through the power of the internet and our patented technology, we are able to connect to any machine or any process, giving you the tools you need to keep your manufacturing facility going strong, and continuously improving!

.

looking to engage your employees book a demonstration white text blue background rounded edges freepoint technologies

.

#SmartManufacturing #Industry40 #MachineMonitoringSystem #IIoT #ManufacturingExecutionSystem #MESsystem #ContinuousImprovement #ManufacturingAutomation #DowntimeTracking #OEE #LeanManufacturing

Top 3 Questions Asked About Manufacturing Monitoring

.
Manufacturing monitoring, what are the most frequently asked questions?  Over-time FreePoint has observed the top 3 questions about this topic we wish to highlight today, along with the answers!

.

Question #1

Can ShiftWorx™ MES Connect with ERP, MRP or Other Business Systems?

Absolutely!  Machine and process data is stored in common, open and easily accessible data formats, making it easy to connect the data from ShiftWorx™ MES to any other systems, or to import data from other systems into ShiftWorx™ MES.  Utilizing our powerful API tool your machine and process data is accessible across different systems enabling you to send the data across the various platforms and programs within your organization.

Question #2

What do Operators on the Shop Floor Think of Manufacturing Monitoring; is this More of “Big Brother” Watching?

Most of the operators and employees on the shop floor know that they are being measured, however, they are not aware of their ‘score’ according to their supervisors.  From our experience many of the employees feel that the current metrics by which they are being measured are not the true measurement of their efforts and contribution.  With a manufacturing monitoring system like ShiftWorx™ MES, operators are empowered and engaged when they are able to view their performance metrics in a real-time feed.

In fact, employees are empowered by self-measurement, meaning they personally account for the speed and quality of their tasks before a supervisor needs to interject.  Self-measurement also empowers team members to identify and solve problems quickly as they happen; and if needed, the help of a supervisor is quickly available at the touch of an Andon button on the operator touchscreen that can raise an alarm, display an alert on a shop floor screen, or send an email or text notification to expedite the solution.

Question #3

Should We Implement Manufacturing Monitoring Now, or Wait Until After We Make Other Improvement Efforts or Investments?

Manufacturing monitoring should be implemented BEFORE making any other improvements or investments so the manufacturer can properly measure and benchmark the true beneficial effect of the changes planned.  Fortunately, ShiftWorx™ MES is an easy to deploy, cost-effective solution that enables manufacturers to establish an empirical baseline now, against which the benefit of all future changes and investments can be calculated.

Bonus Question

What Machines or Processes Can the Manufacturing Monitoring Solution Connect to?

Our patented technology cloud-connects ANY machine or process non-invasively.  In terms of machines, equipment or tools, regardless of the brand, type, complexity or age, ShiftWorx™ MES connects them all.

In Summary, ShiftWorx™ MES Affords You a Manufacturing Monitoring Solution that:

• Cloud-connects ANY machine or process.
• Increases shop floor productivity by 50% or more.
• Is rapidly deployed in less than 5 days.
• Achieves 30% decreased downtime.
• Achieves 20% improved employee engagement.
• Offers a fast ROI in less than 6 months.

.

Interested to learn more about manufacturing monitoring?  The FreePoint Team is here to help you; contact us to book your industry specific consultation and software demo today!

Click to read  ShiftWorx™ MES customer reviews at Capterra and GetApp:

manufacturing monitoring

manufacturing monitoring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#SmartManufacturing #Industry40 #MachineMonitoringSystem #IIoT #ManufacturingExecutionSystem #MESsystem #ContinuousImprovement #ManufacturingAutomation #DowntimeTracking #OEE #LeanManufacturing

Top 4 Reasons You Need Custom Dashboards

Cut through the noise by drilling down to the metrics that matter most to your shop, and to your people with customizable dashboards. Regardless of title, anybody within your organization can have role-specific views that quickly communicate the data needed to drive continuous process improvement throughout your operation.

What are the Top 4 Reasons Custom Dashboards Benefit You?

  1. Showing the Right Data to The Right People

  2. Viewing Data from Across Your Organization

  3. Improving Decision Making

  4. Quickly Identifying Issues

 

1. Showing the Right Data to the Right People

Dashboards provide an easy way of visualizing actionable, impactful insights into your process. Rather than a one-size-fits-all solution, custom dashboards empower you to:

  • Create role-specific views for managers, supervisors, operators, team leads, etc.
  • Display the data that’s most important to your users
  • Customize your solution in a way that best suits your organization and your role

Customize ShiftWorx™ MES dashboards and shop floor monitors to display the data that’s vital to your continuous improvement initiatives.

By displaying metrics relevant to specific roles, employees within those roles can quickly and easily drill down to the data they need. Without the unnecessary complexity, manufacturers can react faster to issues on the shop floor while identifying areas of improvement within their control.

machine monitoring and downtime narration

ShiftWorx™ MES is accessible from any device using any web browser.

 .

2. Viewing Data from Across Your Organization

You can also leverage custom dashboards to enhance operational visibility. Integrating your ShiftWorx solution with other systems, such as ERP, gives you all the metrics that matter most to you in one convenient location. In addition, by displaying ERP, MES, QEP or CRM data alongside production data, you get the full picture of what’s happening in your shop – with no blind spots!

.

3. Improving Decision Making

With intuitive, role-specific views providing real-time insight into your operation, managers and operators alike gain a 360° view of the processes that matter most in their organization. Deeper insight facilitates more informed and educated operational decisions while displaying relevant, actionable data to the individuals who can make a difference right away.

 

 .

4. Quickly Identifying Issues

Every manufacturer is different, so it makes sense that their Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) would be as well. As opposed to their off-the-shelf counterparts, customizable dashboards give you the power to view the information you need to quickly identify production issues.

Create and Display Your Own KPI’s that Reflect:

  • Machine Uptime/Downtime

  • Scrap/Waste

  • Production Performance

 

Experience the Benefits of Custom Dashboards

In manufacturing, a few minutes of downtime can result in massive revenue losses for the shop. By giving the right people the right information as they need it, staff can respond faster and with more accuracy when addressing production issues on the floor.

 

To explore what customization options are available in the ShiftWorx™ MES
platform specific to your industry schedule a demo with us today.

Click to read  ShiftWorx™ MES customer reviews at Capterra and GetApp:

custom dashboards

custom dashboards

#SmartManufacturing #Industry40 #MachineMonitoringSystem #IIoT #ManufacturingExecutionSystem #MESsystem #ContinuousImprovement #ManufacturingAutomation #DowntimeTracking #OEE #LeanManufacturing

CASE STUDY | Machine Shop Increases Productivity By 69% In One Year

Learn How FreePoint’s ShiftWorx™ MES Successfully Helped a Machine Shop Save $325/day by Increasing Productivity 69% in One Year!

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 ShiftWorx™ MES solution.

The image below (the before scenario) shows pertinent productivity information from these 4 machines from a typical day before the integration.  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) and set-up 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.

 

productivity

.

The screenshot below illustrates the exact same 4 EDM machines shown one year later.  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 before snapshot.  The result from integrating ShiftWorx™ MES 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.

  productivity

.

The image below compares the productivity before in one month, to the same month one year later.  As illustrated in the graph, every day of the month before had machine activity, meaning that employees were in the shop running the machines.  The year after, 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 the year previous, to 56% on a typical 17 hour day 12 months later representing an increase of 69%!

 

productivity

.

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

For More Information on How ShiftWorx™ MES SaaS Can Benefit Your Manufacturing Operation, Please Contact Us to Schedule Your Consultation and Live Demo Specific to Your Industry!

#MetalFabrication #JobShop #SmartManufacturing #Industry40 #MachineMonitoringSystem #IIoT #ManufacturingExecutionSystem #MESsystem #ContinuousImprovement #ManufacturingAutomation #DowntimeTracking #OEE #LeanManufacturing

 

See FreePoint and CIMx at the Advanced Manufacturing Expo

Attend the Advanced Manufacturing Expo 2022 Tradeshow in Grand Rapids MI, at the DeVos Place August 11-12, 2022.

See FreePoint Technologies and its Partner CIMx Software in the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center Pavilion – The Smart Technology Zone!

Advanced Manufacturing Expo

Read more

FreePoint Joins BC FOOD & BEVERAGE

FreePoint has the right ingredients for Food & Beverage Manufacturers to GROW, and we’re proud to bring the ShiftWorx™ MES solution to the members of the BC FOOD & BEVERAGE Association.

bc food & beverage

Read more

See Us at the Furniture Manufacturing Expo with TexTempo

FURNITURE MANUFACTURING EXPO 2022

Bringing Together Suppliers and Manufacturers of Home Furnishings.

Meet the TexTempo and FreePoint Team this Wednesday, July 20 and 21 in Hickory, North Carolina at the Hickory Metro Convention Center BOOTH 1514:
www.furnituremanufacturingexpo.com

furniture manufacturing expo

Read more

4 Ways to Increase Production Capacity

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.

Machine Cloud-Connection – How Does it Work?

.

FreePoint Connect provides the various means to get your machines or processes operation data connected to the cloud.

New machines, or legacy machines of ANY age, type, or brand can be easily connected using our patented technology in 3 ways. Learn how it works by following this link:
GetFreePoint.com/How-it-Works

 

ShiftWorx™ MES software enables manufacturers in the collection, monitoring, and visualization of machine or process data; putting vital analytics in the hands of management and plant floor workers resulting in improved productivity, quality, and reduced waste. ShiftWorx™ empowers your organization to continuously improve.

The optimization of your shop floor can begin as a low-cost, low-risk pilot project that:

  • Cloud-connects ANY machine of any age, type or brand.
  • Is rapidly deployed in less than 5 days.
  • Increases your shop floor productivity by 50%.
  • Achieves 30% decreased machine downtime.
  • Achieves 20% improved employee engagement.
  • Offers a fast ROI in less than 3 months.

Contact us today to consult with our shop floor optimization experts:

#SmartManufacturing #Industry40 #MachineMonitoringSystem #IIoT #ManufacturingExecutionSystem #MESsystem #ContinuousImprovement #ManufacturingAutomation #DowntimeTracking #OEE #LeanManufacturing

.

PRESS RELEASE | FreePoint Announces the Appointment of Two New Board Members

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – FreePoint Technologies Inc.
June 9, 2022

FreePoint Announces the Appointment of Two New Board Members

London, OntarioFreePoint Technologies, a leader in the manufacturing machine monitoring and data insights industry, today announced the appointment of two new members to the board of directors: Sophear Net and Rick Jankura.  This brings the number of board members to five.

“I am very pleased to welcome Sophear Net and Rick Jankura to the FreePoint board”, said Dave Eto, Chair of the Board of Directors.  “Sophear and Rick are distinguished executives with valuable, direct experiences in manufacturing and manufacturing technologies.  We look forward to their strategic contributions to FreePoint as the company continues its high growth trajectory.”

Sophear Net is an experienced technology executive with extensive industry experience in electronics, software development, project management, and renewable energy.  Sophear is a Professional Engineer and holds an MBA.  Previously, Sophear was the CTO of FreePoint and the company is very pleased to have her involved now in the role of Board Director.
Linkedin

Rick Jankura brings a wealth of expertise and industry experience to the FreePoint Board.  Rick is a Chartered Professional Accountant and senior executive with a diverse range of executive management experience in both private and public companies and board of director experience in private businesses and public sector entities.  He has held senior roles with companies in a broad range of industries including banking, venture capital, aviation, manufacturing and health care.  Rick will assume the role of Chair of the Governance and Audit Committee.
Linkedin


About FreePoint

ShiftWorxTM, by FreePoint, is a powerful machine monitoring technology solution with visualized data, product tracking, manufacturing insights, employee engagement, and more – enabling manufacturers to measure production utilization and experience 35%+ efficiency gains.  Manufacturers across numerous verticals can now make better decisions faster.

 

Media Contact
Tony Borges
Director of Marketing
tony.borges@getfreepoint.com
800-682-0486 ext. 116
https://getfreepoint.com

.

Collect.  Analyze.  Share.  Improve.

 

#SmartManufacturing #Industry40 #MachineMonitoringSystem #IIoT #ManufacturingExecutionSystem #MESsystem #ContinuousImprovement #ManufacturingAutomation #DowntimeTracking #OEE #LeanManufacturing

Book A Demo