Reducing production costs will always be a priority for any manufacturer looking to save money. The best way to do this is through access to data, analytics, and in-depth insights into their manufacturing environment. Nearly every industry expert agrees that more than 50 percent of manufacturing potential remains untapped. Finding better ways to utilize existing manufacturing lines can help manufacturers uncover that extra potential and put it to work.
At Arch, we talk about using advanced metrics and analytics to improve manufacturing line performance a lot. But this time, we want to talk about how improving line utilization is not just great for an organization’s bottom line, it’s also beneficial to the environment.
How does it help the environment?
Manufacturers who reduce waste and increase efficiency improve their impact on the environment. This effect happens in a few different ways.
First, reducing waste is the easiest way of improving the impact on the environment. While waste is inevitable in manufacturing, there are definitely specific areas in every line where improvement is possible. We can minimize how many of our resources are wasted. These areas include defects, overproduction, and transportation waste. Pinpointing points in the production line where these issues can occur is the first step in reducing waste.
Second, increased efficiency reduces environmental impact by cutting down on motion waste, excess processing, and under-utilized lines. Lines that spend any time sitting idle waste both power and money. Better data and analytics can enable better line utilization by pinpointing high wait times, idle machinery, and production bottlenecks. Locating and addressing the problem reduces environmental impact and the manufacturer sees more efficient use of space and processes. Manufacturers will find that instead of buying more machines to meet production goals, they can instead use existing lines more efficiently.
For many ArchFX users, the most impactful result is extending the usable life of machines. The impact of discarding a machine is huge, and greater insights allow machines to have a longer life. Operating machines to the highest degree of performance and performing maintenance before break-downs extends their usefulness. This directly contributes to the reduction of a factory – and of course the bottom line. If a company has a carbon footprint tracking goal, waste reduction helps achieve that goal.
How do you get better line utilization?
Manufacturers can no longer cling to out-of-date myths about the difficulty of using rich data to improve line utilization. With the analytics tools available from Arch, they can now pinpoint problem areas, such as underperforming machines and under-utilized lines. By leveraging the ability of advanced analytics to inspect millions of events per day across every machine, line, and site worldwide, manufacturers can continuously identify where focus on maintenance and repairs that increase efficiency and extend the life of machines.
Though there are numerous metrics associated with line utilization, manufacturers focus on mispicks, which are notorious for creating waste and extending manufacturing time. Indeed, mispicks can be quite expensive. They cost an average of $30 per incident but can run up to $100 for high-value items. However, when manufacturers are able to look at rich, event-based data, the numbers can be staggering. One manufacturer found that just 0.3 percent of feeders are responsible for 33 percent of attrition. They were able to resolve those problems and reduce a dramatic amount of waste.
Analysis of granular cycle time data can reveal the root causes of issues, giving manufacturers the opportunity to resolve those root causes and push performance toward best-case numbers. However, this requires the collection and analysis of data.
One frequent assumption is that legacy machines will have to be replaced with expensive new manufacturing machines in order to get data out of them. Fortunately, both new and legacy machines can provide valuable data with the right connectors.
Utilizing the ArchFX Platform, manufacturers can be ready for a complete transformation of their manufacturing and assembly operations. With a three-pronged approach comes better insight and a deeper understanding of problems and issues that enable improvements to line utilization.
Consumption Insights: Reducing Environmental Impact
The operational analytics generated by the ArchFX platform aren’t just great for production, but also for understanding how manufacturing lines are impacting the environment through both consumption and waste. The consumption insights of ArchFX serve two overlapping purposes. They help improve line utilization and pinpoint opportunities to reduce waste generation. One Arch customer relies on data from the ArchFX platform to support their ESG (environmental, social, and governance) initiatives. This data helps them calculate and report on Scope 1 and 2 emissions. It also supports their understanding of Scope 3 emissions.
Finally, manufacturers tap into insights that improve key performance indicators, begin the process of organizational improvement, and help the environment. Clear views of line performance expose the real situation on the factory floor, allowing manufacturers to take a new, environmentally conscious approach to address utilization issues and waste reduction.