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Microsoft Best Apps Conference – FreePoint is Delivering IIoT Results Now!

FreePoint Technologies is featured at this weeks Microsoft Best Apps Conference, taking place live Thursday, May 20, 2021 from 1:30 – 3:00pm EST.  Manufacturers will be participating virtually and listening to various industry leaders presenting on the Top 10 software / apps essential to help Canadian businesses achieve their Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) goals in the current economic environment.

FreePoint Technologies Microsoft Best Apps Conference

FreePoint Technologies’ ShiftWorx software delivers IIoT results now!  Presentation by Paul Hogendoorn at Microsoft’s Best Apps Conference is at 2:15pm on Thursday, May 20, 2021.

Paul Hogendoorn the founder of FreePoint will be presenting on how our SaaS solution affords manufacturers the means to connect their machines, to visualize and report data, and motivate their workforce to improve.

ShiftWorx - FreePoint Technologies Inc.

The barrier to entry has never been so low – ShiftWorx provides manufacturers of any size, with any number of machines regardless of age or type the ability to connect those assets in the cloud, improve productivity, understand data, and engage their people.

ShiftWorx manufacturing KPI dashboards provide visualized data in an easy-to-understand layout that empowers the user with integral knowledge needed to improve; including productivity data such as machine status (is the machine operating and adding-value, or not?), uptime and downtime tracking, quality and waste tracking, and more with powerful Business Intelligence (BI) reports accessible at the press of a button.

Ultimately, ShiftWorx connects every machine, and reports accordingly so that all involved are on the same page and equipped to always make informed decisions.  We live by the credo that one cannot improve what is not measured, and we have proven the information ShiftWorx provides is pivotal to achieve that goal.

As a leader in Industry 4.0 innovation, we have developed a machine connectivity and reporting solution any manufacturer can benefit from; and we have truly reduced the obstacles to entry with a software product that is not expensive, and not difficult to integrate or use – so we ask, what are you waiting for?  Contact us today to get started!

FreePoint Technologies CEO Paul Hogendoorn

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.

FreePoint Connect Unlocks New Connection Options (Kepware, OPC-UA)

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.

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/

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/

MANUFACTURING AUTOMATION | Industry Watch: Technology Adoption Has to Start at the Top

freepoint technologies

“…manufacturing CEOs are usually well intended when adopting Industry 4.0 technologies, but they are not comfortable with the whole technology conversation.” ~Paul Hogendoorn, Founder, FreePoint Technologies

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

https://www.automationmag.com/technology-adoption-has-to-start-at-the-top/

FreePoint at the 2019 Microsoft VOX ISM Event

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.

Read more

How Reason Codes Help Reduce Machine Downtime

The worst enemy of any manufacturer is machine downtime. How to control and mitigate downtime is a constant battle for manufacturers trying to increase efficiency and maintain peak production. At FreePoint, through machine monitoring and production tracking technologies, we work with manufacturers to minimize downtime as much as possible, while maximizing machine output.

One of the ways we help manufacturers control their machine downtime is with Reason Codes, the backbone of downtime narration in our ShiftWorx platform. When a machine becomes idle, operators can apply a reason code to categorize that downtime period. Rather than seeing a machine offline for 20 minutes with no explanation, plant managers can see in real-time what the cause of the delay is— and address it. Those small increments of time add up, 10 minutes here or there can be worth over 6 figures in a year.

Using Reason Codes, you can:

  • Diagnose Machine Downtime Causes and Apply Solutions
  • Alert Decision Makers in Real-Time to Plant Floor Issues
  • Identify Machine Maintenance Needs
  • Empower Employees to be Part of the Solution

FreePoint’s ShiftWorx dashboard visualizes machine performance with one-click application of downtime reason codes.

Identify Downtime Causes

With reason codes, employees and managers can easily identify factors impacting machine downtime. Whether the reason is “waiting on materials” or “needs repair”, everybody is made aware of what factors are contributing to delays— valuable data for plant managers seeking to increase efficiency and achieve seamless production in real time. If someone has transparency into delay causes, they are more motivated to solve the cause of the delay. This makes the overall process more efficient and engaging.

Keeping Everyone in the Know

Reason codes also help mitigate machine downtime with real-time alerts. When reduced productivity or machine delays are detected, notifications are sent to all devices connected to our ShiftWorx platform, through SMS or email. Real-time alerts increase response time to problems that impact production—meaning solutions are found faster, and the length as well as the frequency of downtime can be decreased.

Identifying Downtime Patterns

By comparing actual performance to projected performance, you can benchmark productivity against past data to identify opportunities for improvement. A recurring reason code could indicate a machine issue in need of maintenance, or another machine consistently causing delays. Identifying these factors better positions plant managers to rectify them and prevent them from happening in the future.

It is important to understand that all data is good data. Even un-anticipated downtime, machine breakdowns or inefficient scheduling can give you crucial insight into your operation. When machine monitoring hardware works in tandem with data visualization, you can see every performance detail from any machine, regardless of industry or age of machine.

Schedule a demo today and learn what ShiftWorx can do for you!