Smart Manufacturing Blog

Supply chain experts, smart manufacturing engineers, data and applications architects, and manufacturing business consultants share best practices for using smart manufacturing and supply chain solutions.

Is Your Production Scheduling Process Helping or Hurting the Shop Floor?

A lot of companies wonder why the production schedule gets off track, and why there’s so much angst between production planners and shop floor people.  “This production schedule is ridiculous!  We just ran that last week!  What are they thinking in the office — do they even have a clue?”  Those are statements I've heard more times than I'd like to admit, and it's tough to hear.  People with these (and similar) comments are clearly frustrated and fatigued by the situation; they are simply tired of it!  Fortunately, there are lots of ways a manufacturer can create alignment and balance between shop floor staff and production planners.

Beyond Production Scheduling: Data Eliminates Conflicts

Does your company think of production planning and scheduling as simply a plant process to convert orders into a daily manufacturing plan?  If so, it might be missing out on some of the greatest opportunities to improve on-time delivery, optimize inventories, and increase profitability.  Over the years I’ve observed repeatedly how data helps companies eliminate conflicts, set priorities, and bring people together around shared objectives.  The longstanding plant-supply chain balancing act is a common one among manufacturers, and for the last five years I’ve had a front-line view of how world-class companies use data to overcome plant-supply chain conflicts.

Discovering Lean Tools and OEE

Not everyone in manufacturing roles has a lot of experience with Lean or OEE.  In fact, here we are nearly 40 years after OEE was first described in Introduction to TPM: Total Productive Maintenance , and people are still asking how to calculate OEE.  Everyone has a story about how they learned about OEE and Lean, including me.  What’s fascinating is that despite all that’s been written on these topics, manufacturing companies still struggle to capture significant value from Lean tools and OEE calculations.

Mirror Image: Manufacturing Execs, Private Equity Firms Both Seeking Value Creation

It doesn’t matter if it’s a manufacturing company looking for an investment partner, or a private equity company looking for an investment in the manufacturing sector.  Either way, it takes an expert in manufacturing enterprise operational excellence to identify, quantify, and prioritize operational improvement opportunities to deliver high ROI.

MES Failure not Predestined: ISA Framework Simply Exposes Organizational Fault Lines

Recently, the Toward Zero team examined some effects of organization culture on manufacturing execution system (MES) decisions.  In response to our article, “MES Tug of War: The Battle Continues,” Farukh Naqvi succinctly lays out ISA’s ongoing work to develop a framework and methodology for “solving conflict among the three diverse stakeholders” of an MES effort.  While the ISA-95 framework delivers perspective on system integration and the thousands of actions and data points throughout a manufacturing enterprise, it also inadvertently reveals the need for enterprise-wide cross-functional collaboration.

Dirty Little Secret of MES: Deployment Success More than “Just” Software Installation

An overwhelming number of manufacturing execution system (MES) deployments fall short of the finish line; in their wake, they leave partially implemented and, therefore, ineffective solutions. A typical outcome: stalled digital transformation and a budgetary freeze for additional IIoT projects.  It’s not an uncommon scenario for MES projects, yet most manufacturing companies seem unaware that many MES deployments fail to hit expectations.

MES Tug of War: The Battle Continues

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.

Six Culture Toxins that Cripple Operational Excellence Efforts

After working with many organizations it has become very apparent that desired cultural change is a result of good change management and organizational design. Equally, most of us would also agree that successful change can only happen when the majority of employees rally and cooperate to effect those changes ― cultural improvement is a result of these interdependent efforts. With today’s press to modernize manufacturing ― through digitalization, data capture, and a focus on operational excellence ― every company must get the change management and culture pieces of the puzzle exactly right if they want to achieve the promise of sustainable performance improvement, competitive advantage, and financial gains.

Sustainable MES and Master Data Flow

Over the past several years, many large manufacturing companies, at some level, have invested in a digital manufacturing initiative. With a typical budget of $500K to $5M, these projects range from a strategy for smart manufacturing to implementing a manufacturing execution system (MES).  Successful MES projects have delivered significant value and ROI.  When considering a smart manufacturing project today, it's important to know what designs have proven effective and more importantly, what hasn't worked.

7 Steps to build your ERP strategy

Implementing ERP and other large enterprise applications can be a daunting exercise.

1 2 3 4 5
... 6
Content not found

Is Your Production Scheduling Process Helping or Hurting the Shop Floor?

A lot of companies wonder why the production schedule gets off track, and why there’s so much angst between production planners and shop floor people.  “This production schedule is ridiculous!  We just ran that last week!  What are they thinking in the office — do they even have a clue?”  Those are statements I've heard more times than I'd like to admit, and it's tough to hear.  People with these (and similar) comments are clearly frustrated and fatigued by the situation; they are simply tired of it!  Fortunately, there are lots of ways a manufacturer can create alignment and balance between shop floor staff and production planners.

Beyond Production Scheduling: Data Eliminates Conflicts

Does your company think of production planning and scheduling as simply a plant process to convert orders into a daily manufacturing plan?  If so, it might be missing out on some of the greatest opportunities to improve on-time delivery, optimize inventories, and increase profitability.  Over the years I’ve observed repeatedly how data helps companies eliminate conflicts, set priorities, and bring people together around shared objectives.  The longstanding plant-supply chain balancing act is a common one among manufacturers, and for the last five years I’ve had a front-line view of how world-class companies use data to overcome plant-supply chain conflicts.

Discovering Lean Tools and OEE

Not everyone in manufacturing roles has a lot of experience with Lean or OEE.  In fact, here we are nearly 40 years after OEE was first described in Introduction to TPM: Total Productive Maintenance , and people are still asking how to calculate OEE.  Everyone has a story about how they learned about OEE and Lean, including me.  What’s fascinating is that despite all that’s been written on these topics, manufacturing companies still struggle to capture significant value from Lean tools and OEE calculations.

Mirror Image: Manufacturing Execs, Private Equity Firms Both Seeking Value Creation

It doesn’t matter if it’s a manufacturing company looking for an investment partner, or a private equity company looking for an investment in the manufacturing sector.  Either way, it takes an expert in manufacturing enterprise operational excellence to identify, quantify, and prioritize operational improvement opportunities to deliver high ROI.

MES Failure not Predestined: ISA Framework Simply Exposes Organizational Fault Lines

Recently, the Toward Zero team examined some effects of organization culture on manufacturing execution system (MES) decisions.  In response to our article, “MES Tug of War: The Battle Continues,” Farukh Naqvi succinctly lays out ISA’s ongoing work to develop a framework and methodology for “solving conflict among the three diverse stakeholders” of an MES effort.  While the ISA-95 framework delivers perspective on system integration and the thousands of actions and data points throughout a manufacturing enterprise, it also inadvertently reveals the need for enterprise-wide cross-functional collaboration.

Dirty Little Secret of MES: Deployment Success More than “Just” Software Installation

An overwhelming number of manufacturing execution system (MES) deployments fall short of the finish line; in their wake, they leave partially implemented and, therefore, ineffective solutions. A typical outcome: stalled digital transformation and a budgetary freeze for additional IIoT projects.  It’s not an uncommon scenario for MES projects, yet most manufacturing companies seem unaware that many MES deployments fail to hit expectations.

MES Tug of War: The Battle Continues

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.

Six Culture Toxins that Cripple Operational Excellence Efforts

After working with many organizations it has become very apparent that desired cultural change is a result of good change management and organizational design. Equally, most of us would also agree that successful change can only happen when the majority of employees rally and cooperate to effect those changes ― cultural improvement is a result of these interdependent efforts. With today’s press to modernize manufacturing ― through digitalization, data capture, and a focus on operational excellence ― every company must get the change management and culture pieces of the puzzle exactly right if they want to achieve the promise of sustainable performance improvement, competitive advantage, and financial gains.

Sustainable MES and Master Data Flow

Over the past several years, many large manufacturing companies, at some level, have invested in a digital manufacturing initiative. With a typical budget of $500K to $5M, these projects range from a strategy for smart manufacturing to implementing a manufacturing execution system (MES).  Successful MES projects have delivered significant value and ROI.  When considering a smart manufacturing project today, it's important to know what designs have proven effective and more importantly, what hasn't worked.

7 Steps to build your ERP strategy

Implementing ERP and other large enterprise applications can be a daunting exercise.

1 2 3 4 5
... 6
Content not found