Tag Archive for: productivity improvement

The Top 10 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing is a concept developed during the 1990s, and at the time it was referred to as the Toyota Production System (TPS).  It sets out to clarify the processes within the manufacturing timeline that add value and eliminate the processes that inhibit it.  TPS identified the seven wastes of lean manufacturing, which we’ll be exploring in this blog; but it doesn’t stop there – we’ll also be examining some additional areas of waste that affect the factory line.

TIM WOOD

The TPS “seven wastes” are easily remembered via the acronym TIM WOOD, i.e., Transport, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Over-Processing, Overproduction, Defects

What are the Wastes of Lean Manufacturing?

Waste is anything that does not add value.  When your production line follows a large number of processes, it’s inevitable that, over time, elements of that process develop that hamper the efficiency of the build.  This costs the manufacturer money, which, in turn, gets transferred to the customer.

Eliminating waste is an essential component in a company’s ability to compete, while helping increase profits.

Your customers expect timely delivery, consistent quality and the right price. So, streamlining your processes to remove waste is essential.

1. Transport

Unnecessary transportation of goods within a factory-line is the product of a variety of problems: poor factory-floor layout; complex handling systems; large batch sizes; storage in multiple locations; and over-production.  These all result in unnecessary transportation.

The movement of materials from location to location is a waste because it adds no value.  You need to pay people to move materials, and the maintenance of vehicles is costly.  A poor floor layout can increase the distance between operations, resulting in delays in processing and expensive transportation costs.

2. Inventory

Inventory costs the manufacturer money until it has been sold on to the customer. Every finished product or material component require storage space; waiting on the shelf to be sold.

Large amounts of inventory increase the chance of transit damage and cause delays in transportation and therefore adds to the wastes of lean manufacturing.

3. Motion

Unnecessary motion occurs where movements by either man or machine are not as small or as simple as they could be.  It could be that your engineer needs to bend down to pick up heavy objects multiple times throughout a shift – this puts strain on their back and could be eliminated by merely feeding those materials at waist-height, rather than on the floor.

This is all common sense because even robots will wear out eventually.

4. Waiting

A sloppy production timeline results in unsynchronized activity, causing waiting within the production process.  Idle time occurs when interdependent procedures are not in synch: operators are kept waiting or work slowly to accommodate slack cogs in the wheel.

5. Overproduction

Overproduction breeds waste!  It results from producing more product than your customer requires.  This causes storage problems from unnecessarily large batch sizes, and an inability to respond to customer need.

If your customer wants 150 pieces of x and 12 pieces of y, but you already have 700 pieces of y and only 10 pieces of x, then your customer is going to have to wait for you to produce to their requirement.  Streamlining your processes to meet customer need means that product is sent directly to the customer, in a timely fashion (and not stored) is a means to reduce the wastes of lean manufacturing.

6. Over-processing

Over-processing occurs where elements of your manufacture don’t add value.  Painting of unseen parts of the product, or cleaning or polishing beyond required levels are example manifestations of over-processing.

Manufacturers need to aim to process to the degree that is useful and necessary.  Over-processing is generally caused by a lack of standardization, unclear specifications, and inconsistent quality acceptance standards.

7. Defects

Defective goods are the most apparent waste.  While faults can never be eliminated entirely, you can reduce them by implementing poka-yoke systems (processes that help equipment operators to avoid mistakes).

This requires thorough documentation of processes and standardized training so that everyone follows a standard set of operations to achieve a uniform result.

8. Wasted Talent

If an employee is simply moving materials or equipment from one place to another (transportation), then that person’s talents are being under-utilized.

Non-utilized talent equally refers to management’s ignorance of continuous improvement feedback that comes from those operating the machines.  If management fails to engage with talent, it’s considered to add to the wastes of lean manufacturing in these terms.

9. Ineffective Performance Measures

Machine or process monitoring is a valuable resource for transitioning a process to lean manufacturing.  By obtaining an accurate data-reflection of current processes, you can identify waste.

You can also empower the workforce by providing the ability to monitor their own performance and recognize productivity norms, while rewarding uniform, standardized working practices.

10. Poor Supplier Quality

No production process can overcome an unreliable supplier.  If you need materials to produce, then you need to be able to rely on your suppliers to make sure your processes are as efficient as they can be.

Of course, there are always extenuating circumstances, but if your suppliers are continuously letting you down, it might be time to look elsewhere.

To Conclude

Your workforce is your business, and making sure that they’re productive is more than continually watching over them.  Listen to them, because they will have the first-hand experience of any problems on your production line.

Eliminating waste is about examining your existing processes, and empowering operators to help you streamline the factory floor.

ShiftWorx™ MES software enables manufacturers to measure and record granular production information right off the plant floor, from any machine or process in real-time to help eliminate the wastes of lean manufacturing.  Not only does this help eliminate waste, it engages your employees with actionable data!

Achieving lean manufacturing is now easier than ever with ShiftWorx™ MES:
Cloud-connect ANY machine, tool or process
Increase your shop floor productivity by 50%
Rapidly deploy the solution in <5 Days
Reduce waste, and decrease downtime by 30%
Improve employee engagement 20%
Achieve a fast ROI in 3 months!

ShiftWorx™ MES ultimately enables manufacturers to Make Smarter Decisions, FasterContact us to book your industry specific consultation and demo.

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

Scheduling Jobs is Now Easier with ShiftWorx™ MES

Save Time and Money with ShiftWorx™ MES Digital Production Scheduling!

Commonly used spreadsheets or paper-based job schedules are difficult to manage, maintain, distribute, and access.  ShiftWorx™ MES production scheduling provides a centralized digital scheduling solution that significantly improves the speed to optimize jobs and ensure machines / workstations are fully utilized.

 

Click to download the brochure to learn more: PDF Download

 

See a Live Demo of ShiftWorx™ MES Next Week at FABTECH 2022!

fabtech 2022

 

Meet the FreePoint Team and see a demo of ShiftWorx™ MES and the new Production Scheduling add-on November 8-10 in Booth A1917.  Register for free, it’s on us – use the Promo Code “FBGUEST” with this link before November 4, 2022: www.fabtechexpo.com

Paul Hogendoorn, FreePoint’s founder will be sharing FreePoint’s insights in the Smart Manufacturing Track’s Surviving Technology and Labor Challenges in Digital Manufacturing session.  He will be presenting on the “Key Manufacturing Problems Solved by MES SaaS” in your transition to Industry 4.0.  We’re looking forward to seeing you there, safe travels!

Learn more about ShiftWorx™ MES: https://getfreepoint.com/products/mes-software/

#productionschedulingsoftware @fabtechexpo #fabtech2022 #SmartManufacturing #Industry40 #MachineMonitoringSystem #IIoT #ManufacturingExecutionSystem #MESsystem #ContinuousImprovement #ManufacturingAutomation #DowntimeTracking #OEE #LeanManufacturing

Meet the FreePoint Team at FABTECH 2022!

Another FABTECH is upon us, and we’re excited to be back in person to meet our valued customers and to acquaint with new manufacturing professionals keen on continuous improvement and their advancement to digital manufacturing practices.

Join the FreePoint team from November 8 -10 at FABTECH 2022 in Booth #A1917.  FABTECH is North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event; and it’s returning to the Georgia World Congress Center providing a convenient ‘one-stop shop’ venue where you can meet world-class suppliers, discover innovative solutions, and find the tools you need to improve productivity and increase profits.  There is no better opportunity to network, share knowledge and explore the latest technology, all in one place!

See Paul Hogendoorn’s Presentation November 9th at 9AM in Room B303

fabtech 2022

Paul Hogendoorn, FreePoint’s founder will be sharing FreePoint’s insights in the Smart Manufacturing Track’s Surviving Technology and Labor Challenges in Digital Manufacturing session.  He will be presenting on the “Key Manufacturing Problems Solved by MES SaaS” in your transition to Industry 4.0.  We’re looking forward to seeing you there, safe travels!

EXPO HOURS

Tuesday Nov 8 10 AM — 6 PM
Wednesday Nov 9 9 AM — 5 PM
Thursday Nov 10 9 AM — 4 PM

ADMISSION

Register for free, it’s on us – use the Promo Code “FBGUEST” – Register using the link below before November 4, 2022. After this date and onsite, there is a $50 registration fee:
www.fabtechexpo.com

VENUE INFORMATION

Georgia World Congress Center
285 Andrew Young International Blvd NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30313

 

Learn more about ShiftWorx™ MES: https://getfreepoint.com/products/mes-software/

@fabtechexpo #fabtech2022 #SmartManufacturing #Industry40 #MachineMonitoringSystem #IIoT #ManufacturingExecutionSystem #MESsystem #ContinuousImprovement #ManufacturingAutomation #DowntimeTracking #OEE #LeanManufacturing

Getting Started with IIoT Has Never Been Easier!

A common misconception we hear about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 is that these technologies are still in the future for the manufacturing industry, or just beyond the manufacturer’s grasp today.  Many think digital transformation is too costly, too challenging, or both!

Getting Started is Easier Than You Think

We understand that even for manufacturers who are ready for Industry 4.0, the process can seem overwhelming.  What do I need?  How do I get it?  Where do I begin?  Starting your digital transformation doesn’t have to be so hectic.

With ShiftWorx™ MES Software, Here is All it Takes to Begin Your Digital Transformation:

  1.  Connect Machines / Processes
    • A non-invasive connection via sensors to your machines, tools or processes, and the utilization of patented technology to monitor and visualize data.
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  2. Transfer Data to the Cloud
    • The cloud-connection of machines/processes to our ShiftWorx™ MES software through a PC on your shop floor.
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  3. Visualize Data
    • The display of the collected data on the shop floor using touchscreens and large screen monitors; or accessible from any device simply using a web browser.

The Sooner, the Better

These first, small steps are really all it takes, and the sooner you can get started – the better!  By deploying these technologies today on your shop floor, you will be able to establish baselines and collect data that will help you make smarter decisions, faster, i.e., educated, data-based decisions that are essential for continuous improvement.

Rather than a months-long process, ShiftWorx™ MES solution can be installed non-invasively to any machine over the course of roughly 20 minutes – without the need for your IT people’s involvement.  Once connected to the ShiftWorx™ MES platform, you can start purchasing whatever tablets, or LCD screens you need to visualize your data and engage your operators on the shop floor.

With ShiftWorx™ MES, this can all happen within 24 hours, and with less than 20 minutes of machine downtime!  To get a quote or schedule a live demonstration, book a demo today!

 

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

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.

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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:
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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!

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

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

Top 3 Questions Asked About Manufacturing Monitoring

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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