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.

Why Manufacturing Companies Turn Off OEE Software

Over the years, our smart manufacturing consultants and systems engineers have narrowed down the top three reasons why manufacturing companies say they turn off OEE software:

  1. Not enough data - Some OEE systems take up too much operator time to collect data and enter it into the system. Data is often spotty or inaccurate, making the OEE software useless.

Production Scheduling Software for Medical Device: Why Good Models Matter

Manufacturers in life sciences have a strong appetite for smart manufacturing, and many are evaluating production scheduling software for medical device. We’re not surprised since medical device manufacturing is highly complex when it comes to production planning and scheduling. Supply chain professionals in med device face a wide variety of production processes, regulatory considerations, diverse materials and suppliers, and potentially thousands or tens of thousands of SKUs. These complexities translate to exponentially more production scheduling variables than other manufacturing sectors. When it's time to switch to production scheduling software for medical device manufacturing, more variables means many more models required to automate scheduling processes.

Planning, Scheduling, and OEE: A Mighty (but Untapped) Trio - Part 2

Part one of the Planning, Scheduling, and OEE Mighty Trio series provides a brief summary of what OEE is and explains how one of the OEE data components – efficiency – can have a meaningful impact on planning, scheduling, and optimization. This edition explores using unplanned downtime data from OEE, and OEE efficiency data by SKU for planning, scheduling, and optimization.

This article is part two of a two-part series. Continue reading, or check out part one now.

CESMII Award for Collecting Smart Manufacturing Data is Only Step #1

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.

Planning, Scheduling, and OEE: A Mighty (but Untapped) Trio - Part 1

Is your company using overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) data for better planning, scheduling, and optimization? Production schedulers are typically masters at applying available information in creative ways. However, some production planners are unsure how best to put OEE data to work in their production scheduling software to improve and optimize the manufacturing production schedule. If your company has an OEE system to record unplanned downtime, micro stops, and other reasons for capacity loss, you have access to a rich source of efficiency data. Every machine, line, and work center using the OEE system can benefit even more from your schedule optimization efforts if you apply the OEE data for a better production schedule. The key is understanding what the OEE data means and how to use it for even better planning, scheduling, and optimization.

This article is part one of a two-part series. Continue reading, or check out part two now

3 Production Schedule Problems (and how to solve them like a boss)

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.

OPC UA & MTConnect: Which Data Protocol Better for Smart Manufacturing

As companies continue to prepare for digital transformation, the debate around which data protocol is better for smart manufacturing systems rages on. The need to capture data from HAAS machines and other manufacturing equipment is a critical component because much of the data required for smart manufacturing originates in your company’s machines, robots, processing equipment, and inspection equipment. In some cases, the data resides in a computer on board the equipment; in many cases, the data sits in a proprietary controller. These data sources use a wide variety of protocols. Many standards organizations have attempted to consolidate communication protocols. A few leaders have emerged, but that perhaps has made decisions about how to capture machine data for smart manufacturing even more complex.

How to Handle Unplanned Downtime on the Production Schedule

Your company's production planner might be searching for a better way to handle unplanned downtime on the production schedule. Without the right production planning and scheduling software, dealing with unplanned downtime in manufacturing can be a headache. Yet unplanned downtime happens more often than people think: An unexpected maintenance issue causes a machine to stop working. Material is late or misplaced. A changeover takes longer than anticipated. Perhaps a trained operator is unexpectedly out for the day. Dozens of scenarios like these cause lines to stop. When unplanned downtime happens, everyone is relying on the production planner to make the right adjustments to minimize the impact on customer service commitments, staffing schedules, and operations in general.

Put Communication First for Great Planning & Scheduling in Manufacturing

Manufacturing companies are now looking to planning & scheduling as the next big opportunity to improve operations performance. The number of effective manufacturing planning & scheduling applications on the market today is proof that manufacturers are investing in this critical area of the business. So why are some companies still struggling to make their investment in production planning software and processes pay off? There are many reasons why a planning & scheduling initiative might not deliver expected ROI, but as I recall an incident from early in my career, I’m reminded that effective two-way communication is a critical element for planning & scheduling program success.

Worried About Team Turnover when Implementing Lean in Manufacturing?

Implementing lean in manufacturing is a tough but rewarding endeavor. Companies often report at least some turnover during the process. Is this normal? What (if anything) should managers and lean coaches do as part of the change management process to prevent losing team members?

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Why Manufacturing Companies Turn Off OEE Software

Over the years, our smart manufacturing consultants and systems engineers have narrowed down the top three reasons why manufacturing companies say they turn off OEE software:

  1. Not enough data - Some OEE systems take up too much operator time to collect data and enter it into the system. Data is often spotty or inaccurate, making the OEE software useless.

Production Scheduling Software for Medical Device: Why Good Models Matter

Manufacturers in life sciences have a strong appetite for smart manufacturing, and many are evaluating production scheduling software for medical device. We’re not surprised since medical device manufacturing is highly complex when it comes to production planning and scheduling. Supply chain professionals in med device face a wide variety of production processes, regulatory considerations, diverse materials and suppliers, and potentially thousands or tens of thousands of SKUs. These complexities translate to exponentially more production scheduling variables than other manufacturing sectors. When it's time to switch to production scheduling software for medical device manufacturing, more variables means many more models required to automate scheduling processes.

Planning, Scheduling, and OEE: A Mighty (but Untapped) Trio - Part 2

Part one of the Planning, Scheduling, and OEE Mighty Trio series provides a brief summary of what OEE is and explains how one of the OEE data components – efficiency – can have a meaningful impact on planning, scheduling, and optimization. This edition explores using unplanned downtime data from OEE, and OEE efficiency data by SKU for planning, scheduling, and optimization.

This article is part two of a two-part series. Continue reading, or check out part one now.

CESMII Award for Collecting Smart Manufacturing Data is Only Step #1

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.

Planning, Scheduling, and OEE: A Mighty (but Untapped) Trio - Part 1

Is your company using overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) data for better planning, scheduling, and optimization? Production schedulers are typically masters at applying available information in creative ways. However, some production planners are unsure how best to put OEE data to work in their production scheduling software to improve and optimize the manufacturing production schedule. If your company has an OEE system to record unplanned downtime, micro stops, and other reasons for capacity loss, you have access to a rich source of efficiency data. Every machine, line, and work center using the OEE system can benefit even more from your schedule optimization efforts if you apply the OEE data for a better production schedule. The key is understanding what the OEE data means and how to use it for even better planning, scheduling, and optimization.

This article is part one of a two-part series. Continue reading, or check out part two now

3 Production Schedule Problems (and how to solve them like a boss)

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.

OPC UA & MTConnect: Which Data Protocol Better for Smart Manufacturing

As companies continue to prepare for digital transformation, the debate around which data protocol is better for smart manufacturing systems rages on. The need to capture data from HAAS machines and other manufacturing equipment is a critical component because much of the data required for smart manufacturing originates in your company’s machines, robots, processing equipment, and inspection equipment. In some cases, the data resides in a computer on board the equipment; in many cases, the data sits in a proprietary controller. These data sources use a wide variety of protocols. Many standards organizations have attempted to consolidate communication protocols. A few leaders have emerged, but that perhaps has made decisions about how to capture machine data for smart manufacturing even more complex.

How to Handle Unplanned Downtime on the Production Schedule

Your company's production planner might be searching for a better way to handle unplanned downtime on the production schedule. Without the right production planning and scheduling software, dealing with unplanned downtime in manufacturing can be a headache. Yet unplanned downtime happens more often than people think: An unexpected maintenance issue causes a machine to stop working. Material is late or misplaced. A changeover takes longer than anticipated. Perhaps a trained operator is unexpectedly out for the day. Dozens of scenarios like these cause lines to stop. When unplanned downtime happens, everyone is relying on the production planner to make the right adjustments to minimize the impact on customer service commitments, staffing schedules, and operations in general.

Put Communication First for Great Planning & Scheduling in Manufacturing

Manufacturing companies are now looking to planning & scheduling as the next big opportunity to improve operations performance. The number of effective manufacturing planning & scheduling applications on the market today is proof that manufacturers are investing in this critical area of the business. So why are some companies still struggling to make their investment in production planning software and processes pay off? There are many reasons why a planning & scheduling initiative might not deliver expected ROI, but as I recall an incident from early in my career, I’m reminded that effective two-way communication is a critical element for planning & scheduling program success.

Worried About Team Turnover when Implementing Lean in Manufacturing?

Implementing lean in manufacturing is a tough but rewarding endeavor. Companies often report at least some turnover during the process. Is this normal? What (if anything) should managers and lean coaches do as part of the change management process to prevent losing team members?

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