CESMII just named Toward Zero the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Award winner for its groundbreaking achievement in collecting smart manufacturing data from CNC machines. During an interview with Aaron Muhl, founder and president of the smart manufacturing engineering firm, I learned more about the award and the innovations that led to CESMII honoring the Toward Zero team.
- June 10, 2022 / by Diane Murray
It's not easy to narrow down the toughest production schedule problems schedulers face. We're hard-pressed to even imagine a "day in the life" guidebook for the manufacturing schedule heroes that balance inputs like materials, resources, inventories, customer service obligations, on-time order commitments, business rules, maintenance needs, and myriad other requirements to tackle complex optimization problems. We do know that there are three particularly difficult — yet common — situations that cause angst for shop floor schedulers that use spreadsheets, a whiteboard, or other manual methods to respond when the unexpected happens in the plant. Companies that arm production schedulers with an advanced planning and scheduling solution can respond and adapt to constantly changing conditions on the shop floor. Manufacturers that rely solely on the ERP system aren't usually equipped to handle events that happen in real time on the shop floor.
- May 5, 2022 / by Diane Murray
If you’re an operations leader or a production planner in manufacturing, you might know how hard it is to get top management approval for production scheduling software. Where technology funding is concerned, senior executives will often question why the ERP system isn’t enough to keep the daily manufacturing schedule on track. However, the ERP system isn’t usually equipped to handle events that happen in real time on the shop floor. When everyday problems disrupt production orders, the people in charge of production scheduling and operations management can join forces to decide if production scheduling software is right for the manufacturing company. Building a business case for production scheduling software helps you quantify the financial impact, articulate how it impacts business goals, and create a powerful tool for engaging corporate executives.
- August 18, 2020 / by Diane Murray
Manufacturing companies are still eager to use OEE. Some industry analysts say that it's “dead,” but not everyone in manufacturing agrees. Yes, it’s high-level, and as a standalone metric it’s not particularly actionable. However it’s also a powerful measurement that nearly anyone in a company can quickly digest and use as a starting point to uncover why things aren’t going the way they’re supposed to. That’s not to say that OEE hasn’t been the subject of significant debate — and even angst — since it first made an appearance in Seiichi Nakajima's 1982 book TPM Tenkai. (later published as Introduction to TPM: Total Productive Maintenance, also by Seiichi Nakajima).
- May 20, 2020 / by Diane Murray
We see it constantly: “corporate” insists on one brand of MES, while the manufacturing plant wants something different. The execs running the show regionally or globally don’t trust plant management’s choice, while the plant believes corporate’s pick won’t work for them ― because “their situation and production environment is different.” This kind of battle isn’t limited to one or just a few industrial sectors ― indeed, automotive manufacturers, life sciences companies, food and beverage manufacturers, and consumer products manufacturers (also known as CPG companies) around the world have all seen and are at risk when the “MES tug of war” ensues.
- December 17, 2019 / by Diane Murray