By Scott Hageman

10 ways Live Factory real­-time visibility into manufacturing improves your bottom line

Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where you could get real-time visibility into your manufacturing processes just like you receive personal information on your phone? Do you need a way to immediately know what’s happening on your shop floor and capture that operational data in order to do analysis? Do you want a solution that gives you a Common Operational Picture (COP) of your entire manufacturing process?

Live Factorysm provides that solution.

Below are 10 ways real-time visibility with Live Factorysm can improve your bottom line:

1.Insights into your “hidden factory”
100% of real-time problems are known to your front-line operators.  74% of real-time problems are known to supervisors. 9% of real-time problems are known to middle management. Only 4% of real-time problems are known to top management. This results in a “Hidden Factory” where many key people do not know what is really happening as it happens. Live data visualization of the process and the equipment provides insight to reduce unplanned downtime, increase performance and increase quality.

2.Improved production plan performance through better accuracy of schedule
Knowing how you are doing to your plan as it happens is critical to improving your overall production performance.  If you don’t know you are behind until late in the process, you have no way of reacting to get back on track.  Greater schedule accuracy based on real-time data from the shop floor makes production plans more efficient, increasing productivity.

3.Longer life of equipment using real-time data to predict maintenance
Real-time monitoring provides insights into how manufacturing equipment and machinery life spans can be increased. By combining real-time condition-based data with predictive analytics, it is possible to determine when a given machine will need repair. Old assumptions on preventative maintenance are changing due to greater insights gained from real-time data.  This ability will realize better business results which will drive increased Return On Invested Capital (ROIC) as machinery lasts longer.

4.Improved quality by using real-time data for Statistical Process Control (SPC).
Knowing which production processes, machines, work centers and product lines are operating at high-quality levels and which aren’t is essential for keeping shop floor operations running smoothly. Having real-time data to use in SPC for continually tracking, controlling and fine-tuning manufacturing processes is key. Operators can also get a real-time view of process performance using quick inspection, control and trend charts. Setting up alerts to quality management, production engineering, and scheduling when there is a deviation in performance can help avert millions of dollars in lost production time.

5.Improved Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
Real-time visibility of availability, performance, and quality allow manufacturers to determine which areas are most impacting performance. LNS Research found that manufacturers who rely on real-time data gain a significant competitive advantage over their peers. Manufacturers with OEE levels below 80% need to consider shifting from batch-based to real-time data.

6.Improved traceability and tracking with real-time integration to machines and shop floor process
With the rapid advances in PLC-based monitoring and Machine to Machine (M2M) interfaces, capture of real-time metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of interest is possible. Getting data from your operational process in real-time and looking for patterns, trends and predictive insights are key for Manufacturing Intelligence. Live Factorysm can capture item number, manufacturing number, work order details, component parts, lot numbers, date, time and additional metrics and data to make traceability one of the strongest aspects of your manufacturing operation.

7.Improved performance from machinery
Utilizing Live Factorysm data collection and measuring helps increase the performance of machines rapidly from the time of implementation. Its application is perfectly suited for both obtaining the maximum performance from new equipment on the production line, and for implement in other machines that are already working.

8.Improved scalability
You can start using the Live Factorysm system on a single machine or process and continue to expand its implementation until it is employed across multiple production plants. This scalability means it becomes a very versatile system, one that can be adapted to any company, regardless of its size.

9.Reduced machinery costs
Knowing the actual performance of the machinery goes hand-in-hand with knowing whether or not the machine is working properly, or whether there are issues that may lead to the need for the future repair. Live Factorysm is able to anticipate these events (analyzing unexpected shutdowns, reduced speeds etc.) and represents a major saving in both preventive maintenance of machinery, as well as in the high costs associated with the failure of the machine itself.

10.Improved reaction to exceptions
Knowing that you have a problem is always the first step toward fixing it.  Knowing that you have a problem as it happens allows you to react and adapt quickly to minimize the impact of the exception.