Lighting the path for outstanding manufacturing data analysis and improved factory management

New data tools and artificial intelligence applications are coming online. How will the emerging Industry 4.0 revolution help resolve issues on the factory floor?

With the tools of legacy industry 3.0 data, SMT manufacturers have already changed the world, creating both new and better products at scale and setting marketplace expectations for a certain level of quality.

But, a certain level of waste and inefficiency has lingered, seemingly the inevitable friction of the fast-moving lines.

However, those expectations are based on old capabilities. Beyond the SCADA data collection, RDBMS data systems, and multi-step manual data crunching of the past lies a world where better data visibility can create new production insights into production-slowing bottlenecks and hurdles to efficiency.

Always driven to efficiency

Of course, the factory manager is on the front lines of efficiency and smart factories, driving the competitiveness of the global operation. SMT manufacturing is a fiercely competitive industry. Every efficiency that a factory manager finds will improve manufacturing key performance indicators (KPIs) while increasing profits and opportunity. In SMT manufacturing, efficiency finds its way into every conversation.

Factory managers are lauded for speeding response to unexpected downtime, streamlining line changeouts, and refining maintenance schedules. They do this all with their experience applied to their observations and data. Giving them better data visibility gets better outcomes.

The new data techniques built into ArchFX is an architecture that helps deliver greater, more significant analytics to the factory manager. The architecture pulls streaming event data from the machines and uses cloud-based brokers to combine the data. ArchFX employs modern databases capable of storing and correlating high resolution data from vast troves of historical as well as real time data to give factory managers the visibility to apply their abilities better.

With better production insights, the factory manager can more efficiently leverage their expertise to make lines more efficient, more responsive, and more reliable. The data transformation will be felt on the factory floor, every day. It will be seen in the KPIs every quarter.

Those inefficiencies that were thought of as inevitable will not be inevitable; manufacturing data analysis that identifies and addresses them will be the key to competitiveness.

How factory managers apply production insights

As factory managers are watching all aspects of the factory, they certainly have considered the quality of the lighting on the factory floor and how it affects the ability of their people to be effective. In a way, visibility onto the factory floor is lit by data. With new technologies, a brighter, wider beam of light can shine on the activities across the lines. A smart factory is illuminated by smart data infrastructure.

Insights into waste and performance

For a single line or machine, that visibility can guide decisions that will increase efficiency. For instance, if a particular oven is irregularly creating tombstones on a particular part or a unit has apparent shorts that occur seemingly at random, the industry 3.0 visibility would not be able to correlate the issue at testing to the machine that created the issue. If it is a problem that does not rise above the expected efficiency, the wasted boards would be considered acceptable.

But if the factory manager had visibility into the source of that failure, if what seemed random was revealed to be cause-and-effect, then the manager could address this ongoing weight on the line efficiency.

Through attribution, ArchFX can correlate test results to the machines — even down to the nozzle and feeder — that built that board. The analysts and managers at ArchFX clients often find that a few rogue nozzles are the source of much of their waste and performance issues. With that visibility, those problems can be addressed with maintenance, repair, and replacement.

Combining rich event data across the line will reveal correlations that the factory manager can use to increase efficiency.

Comparing lines

Lines are rarely identical, and they are rarely working on the same recipe. As a result, it requires extensive manual analysis to identify what is working best in one line to transfer those techniques to other lines.

A line manager with better data visibility, enhanced manufacturing analytics, and more intuitive dashboards can leverage historical data more rapidly to test a theory or correlate issues starting new jobs, changing shifts, or managing maintenance. The best practices of one line can be applied across the factory floor — even globally across the organization.

A well-lit factory floor

While the daily work of a factory manager is personnel issues, safety, budgets, supplies, and all the little surprises that bubble up, ultimately, they answer to productivity. The decisions they make frequently are boiled down to a KPI at the end of the quarter.

Better visibility lights the way to faster, more confident, and more effective decisions to increase productivity. The obstacles to increased OEE are visible, the opportunities to increase the velocity of lines come into view, and downtime-generating incidents are addressed quickly.

New data tools are lighting the path, enabling factory managers to use their expertise in unprecedented ways.

Learn how Process Insights™ by ArchFX can revolutionize your factory analytics