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Tag Archive for: productivity improvement
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.
Top 3 Benefits of Machine Monitoring
In our previous blog post, “How Machine Monitoring Works”, we explored the 6 steps involved in connecting your machines, storing and displaying information, and using the data to increase productivity.
Today, we are going to continue with this theme and look at the top 3 benefits of machine monitoring.
Benefit #1 – Reduce Downtime
Every manufacturing plant wants to run their operations as lean and efficiently as possible and one of the biggest obstacles that stands in the way is downtime. Downtime consumes valuable resources that could have been used for productivity. When a FreePoint’s monitoring system is integrated with your machines, managers and supervisors are notified as soon as the machine goes down. They can than investigate the issue, find out what the problem is and prevent it from happening again.
When speaking with Vic Kinesella, plant supervisor of AutoTube, he mentioned that before their company implemented FreePoint, they had no idea how long machines were down for. Now that they have machine monitoring implemented, Vic can respond quicker to the issue and find the root of the problem. This has saved Vic’s company thousands of dollars in reduced down time.
Benefit #2 – Empower employees
At FreePoint, we believe in the importance of empowering and engaging employees with modern technology. Manufacturing processes need to be re-humanized and provide an environment for workers to play a bigger role in identifying productivity improvements using factual, real-time process information. Machine monitoring enables that. When our customers share their machine data with their employees, the machinists start to feel engaged and a have sense of accountability. When management invests in a machine monitoring system, it demonstrates to their employees that they are committed to increasing productivity and continuous improvement.
Benefit #3 – Make informed decisions
With the data you receive from your machines, it will help to make more informed decisions on a daily basis. Here are just a few items where the information will be used:
- More accurate quoting for jobs
- Better decision making on purchasing more machines
- More informed decision making on hiring employees
- Useful information that can be used for training employees
At FreePoint, we are dedicated to helping manufacturing companies improve their bottom line, engage their employees and bring modern technology to the plant floor. Through the power of the internet and our patent-pending technology, we are able to connect to any machine, giving you the tools you need to keep your manufacturing facility going strong. Reach out today to start experiencing the benefits of machine monitoring!
Read more: Learn The 6 Ways Machine Monitoring Saves You Money!
FreePoint Helps A Customer Increase Their Productivity By 42%
The following case study demonstrates how FreePoint’s technologies were successfully used by their customer to help increase the productivity of a critical machine by 42%.
The customer is a leading international manufacturer and distributor of high quality die sets, components, steel plates, and metal fabrications used in the production of tools, dies, and molds. The following figures demonstrate the impact of FreePoint Technologies’ system.
During FreePoint’s ShiftWorx training in November 2015 with the client, ShiftWorx tools were used to assess the impact of the company’s recent continuous improvement project with a critical vertical machining centre. In September 2015 the customer implemented a change in their process, and FreePoint decided to use that situation as a training example.
The first chart below shows the active machining time for the machine from October 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. FreePoint used this period to establish a “baseline” from which to compare the future improvements against. The period was selected for the following reasons:
- The machine was operated by the same operator for the same shift in a steady fashion for a long period of time
- The period did not include the traditional vacation period (July and August)
- Workload varied from week to week and month to month, but a 9 month period leveled out the peaks and valleys.
- “Zero days” show up on the chart but are excluded from the average calculation.
- The percentage are based on a 24 hour (or 1440 minute) “day”. They can easily be converted to a shift by multiplying the percentage by 1440 (total for a 24 hour day) and then dividing by the minutes in that shift. (For instance, 11.72% of a 480-minute shift would be 35%)
The chart below shows that on average, the machine operated 11.72% of a 24 hour day, or 169 minutes of “value adding” time on a single 8-hour shift, which equates to 34.2%.
For comparison purposes, the following chart shows the summer months – June 2015 and July 2015. There are 3 weeks of inactivity, likely due to holidays or lack of work for the machine. The daily average is down a bit, to 10% of a 24 hour period, or 144 minutes or 30% for the 8-hour shift.
The month of September shows a slight increase over the pre-summer numbers, at 12.75% of a 24 hour period, or 183 minutes of value adding time per day or 38% for the 8-hour shift.
The month of October comes in at 13.46% of 24 hours, or 194 minutes or 40.4% of an 8-hour shift.
And finally, November 2016 (up to November 25th) comes in at 16.76%, or 241 minutes of value adding activity, equal to 50.2% of the 8-hour shift.
This represents a 42.6% increase in value adding machining time when compared to the baseline established for the 9 month period from October 2015 through June 2016.
We had the opportunity to ask the customer some clarifying questions to gain an insight into the effect FreePoint Technologies had on their business.
Q: What problem were you trying to solve?
A: The problem we were trying to solve was to reduce setup times on the machine and to increase the time the machine was working.
Q: What change or changes made the biggest impact?
A: The two biggest changes were that we added setup vises for clamping material, and made changes to our programming. Parts are put in vice and clamped square, reducing setup time on the first side. We also made changes to the program so that the face head was in contact with the material making chips more often. We did this by reducing air passes and reducing program editing by the operator.
Q: How long did it take to implement the change?
A: It took about 2 weeks to implement the changes and we saw results immediately.
For more information on how FreePoint can help your continuous improvement efforts, please contact email@example.com. Remember, you can’t improve what you don’t measure!