When it comes to improving your productivity on the shop floor, buying more machinery or hiring new staff may not be the answer.
More and more manufacturers are now using Performance Improvement Management (PIM) software to find out if their machines are running at optimal capacity – and discovering new, cost-effective ways to improve efficiency.
At NT CADCAM, we are discovering that a lot of traditional UK manufacturing businesses are still running at just 30 per cent of their Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE). Machines that should be pumping out £35K worth of products a day are producing just £7K, while nightshifts are 25% less productive than day shifts with companies losing their competitive edge because their cost per part is too high.
Amazingly, many of these problems can be solved with a PIM solution that captures production machines’ activity in real time. The software then uses state-of-the-art algorithms to learn, analyse and present the collected data to highlight what is causing the machines to be idle.
“Just throwing more machinery or people at a problem isn’t the answer if you are not using your machines properly in the first place,” says Dean Flaherty, manufacturing engineering consultant at NT CADCAM. “PIM helps you identify why your machines haven’t reached their production targets and how to fix this.’
By installing a PIM solution of hardware and software on the machines, information can be collected and digitalised from the shop floor. This data is uploaded to a secure cloud server where it is automatically analysed. From this, patterns of behaviour can be recognised such as loading times/cycle time/ new parts etc.
On the shop floor, operators can record any reasons for machine downtime, which can be relayed back to management in daily, weekly or monthly reports to highlight any problems. The PIM software will also record best-in-class times for specific parts and set operators attainable production goals that can be represented in Leader Boards and League Tables to encourage worker engagement.
“We are seeing OEE rates improve by 10-20% within 10 weeks of implementing PIM, then with engagements and root cause analysis we can drive this forward to reach OEE levels of 60-90%,” continues Dean. “PIM is not about telling you how poorly you are performing. Instead PIM provides you with a set of tools on how to improve production efficiency.
“The future of manufacturing is automation and embracing new software solutions such as PIM, which we are seeing deliver real results firsthand, is crucial for manufacturers wanting to remain competitive.”
If you want to improve your productivity, call NT CADCAM and ask us about our PIM solutions from Visual Factories on 0800 018 6957.
For more information, read our blogs:
Optimising the Human Element in Manufacturing
UK manufacturing must ride a new wave
Q&A with PIM founder Matti Tiano