Reaching and sustaining full capacity has never been easy. Human error, mechanical failures, and process defects are just a few of the occurrences that slow production and reduce yields.

Labor markets remain tight while pandemic and climate-related supply chain disruptions persist, creating a moving utilization target that makes it much more difficult for manufacturers to perform capacity analysis. Even in the best of circumstances production data is often incomplete and cumbersome to collect. Crucial data related to setups, changeovers, runouts, and machine jams is routinely ignored or not collected at all because manufacturers just don’t know what to do with all of it. Best case scenario, this hinders manufacturers’ ability to fully assess capacity..

Put simply,capacity analysis is an evaluation of the production capabilities at a plant or similar facility. With business conditions constantly evolving, traditional methods of analysis simply cannot keep pace in the current environment. Performing capacity analysis with incomplete machine data culminates in raw materials shortages or oversupply, idle equipment, and labor resources not matched to real-time capacity requirements. The problem is, most manufacturers believe they are running operations against sufficient context from their data. Modern data practices, however, have proven that this belief is almost always incorrect.

Accelerating capacity analysis can create competitive advantages for manufacturers.

Don’t wait to analyze rich data

Collecting complete, rich production data from every nook and cranny of the operation will soon become table stakes for manufacturers- many are already doing it. Operational data comes from a wide variety of sources in a myriad of formats. But if it sits waiting for a conference room full of line and operations managers to break out the charts and easels, opportunity may already be lost. If there areany manual components present in the processes of standardizing and aggregating operational data, it opens the door for delay and error. The outdated practices of spreadsheets and slide presentations simply aren’t keeping pace any longer.

This is not to suggest that manufacturers are choosing to ignore important data. The reason most manufactures don’t collect all of the operational or machine data today is because they often don’t have sufficient tools or labor force to make use of it. Most still operate under the now-outdated practices of 1) identifying a business problem, 2) defining the data needed to solve the problem, 3) gathering that data, and then, 4) solving it to the extent possible with a limited cache of data. This is inherently true of almost all factory software, including ERP and MES solutions. These solutions can be incredibly adept at the problems they solve, but they simply don’t collect the rich production data that allows them to see deep into operations– passing by millions of dollars of wasted capacity each year. Margins are important in every industry but, in manufacturing, regaining even some of that visibility is an especially commanding advantage.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics are now nearly everywhere. That’s because they speed up important business-critical benchmarks, empowering manufacturers with today’s insights, not yesterday’s assumptions. AI-driven solutions provide actionable insights by applying predictive analytics and optimization models, creating much-needed alerts and playbooks for the organization.

Optimization Courtesy of Advanced Analytics

AI and ML solutions cannot optimize factory output alone, no matter how well trained it is. Expertise is essential. The professionals working at the machine, line and operational levels, need greater visibility about bottlenecks, where the attrition rates are highest, and where line utilization lags. Arch combines critical domain expertise with advanced, big-data algorithms that can be applied to all lines across the organization.

Arch’s advanced analytics modules use state-of-the-art algorithms to study every product cycle on every line in every facility. Arch applies insights from one line or machine to every theoretically-identical component of operation. This improves utilization rates and moves the operation closer to full capacity without relying on manual processes.

Arch’s analytics platform identifies and classifies all of the structural impediments that prevent a line or machine from consistently achieving optimal utilizations. These can be anything from a better understanding of downtime, workload imbalances between machines, to underutilized placement heads or transfer delays. All of this enables manufacturers to perform an accurate capacity analysis faster — helping them gain performance-enhancing insights that can all but eliminate downtime and right-size resource management.

Arch brings rich data-based analytics, visualizations, and intelligent actionable insights, at speed, real-time, that can allow flex to truly optimize its operations and performance, to a different level.

-Dave Dunne | VP, Asset Management | Flex

Arch offers a path to make capacity analysis and planning more efficient. Uncertainty surrounding supply chains and labor resources means manufacturers will be operating under fluctuating conditions for the foreseeable future. Leveraging domain-specific technologies combined with the power of AI and Machine Learning (ML), manufacturers can mitigate more risks and lessen impacts on supply chains.
It’s time to bring capacity analysis into the twenty-first century. Arch’s AI-powered solutions can accelerate capacity planning and quickly deploy process enhancements across the entire operation.

  • Arch advanced statistical analysis reveals root cause, identifies opportunities to improve efficiency, and suggests manufacturing innovations.
  • Using industry-specific analysis of instances such as feeder and nozzle mispick rates, Arch points the way to faster production, reduced waste, and fewer errors.
  • Arch provides operators with specific error and defect codes, helping them mitigate losses and improve downtimes and line utilization.

To learn more about how Arch can accelerate capacity analysis and bring operations to full utilization, talk to a specialist today.