What is the main relation between productivity and data management

Post Written by InfraSpeak Team.  We live in the age of Industry 4.0, the world of Big Data and Internet of Things. This means that generated and well-managed data are at the "pinnacle" of importance for companies and their workers. Its purpose lies in optimal performance and an increase in productivity. Let’s dive into the reasons that justify these theories. Why data matters? Firstly, for data to really matters, you’ll need to generate from the right source. It's pretty simple: if you gather data to be analyzed on a specific situation that is not applicable, the results won’t be adequate. So, for a boost in productivity, you need to capitalize on generating suitable data. The next step to upgrade your performance will be focusing on managing your data. Gathering all the data in the world won’t help you unless you manage it accordingly. Analyzing big data is just a super-enhanced way of traditional data study, which processes information coming from a huge number of sources thanks to the connectivity allowed by IoT. This IoT technology grants higher efficiency and quick processing. In enterprises, lack of information or data can lead to poor performance, non-motivated employees and mediocre…

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The biggest problems in running your factory with Excel

We don't need to explain that much right? If you are here, you might know a lot about this important tool. While you are reading this text, millions of people are using Excel right now.  Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. It has been a very widely applied spreadsheet for these platforms, especially since version 5 in 1993, and it has replaced Lotus 1-2-3 as the industry standard for spreadsheets. Excel forms part of the Microsoft Office suite of software. Digital Maturity in the Packaging Industry Benchmarking Report: Download it now for free! Among its important use cases, one of them is to help factory managers to collect and manage data on a daily basis. It's been an important tool for the past decades, but some issues can be perceived as companies have new demands on their management environment. On this matter, we bring to you the biggest problems running your factory with Excel. Human error/data reliability First of all, this is the most common issue in Excel. In the reliable part…

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The four core technologies that drive digital transformation

Based on the Chapter 3 of the book: “Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an era of Mass Extinction” by Thomas Siebel By Mario Ishikawa, CTO of PackIOT In his recently published book “Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an era of Mass Extinction”, Thomas Siebel, Founder, and CEO of C3 IoT addresses the fact that the moment we are living now is unique. Digital transformation, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is bringing massive changes to how we live as a society, and especially for companies, it is a moment to thrive or die. Digital Maturity in the Packaging Industry Benchmarking Report: Download it now for free! CEO’s are playing a core role in this process. Digital transformation in a company is started and supported by the CEO, in contrast to earlier technology adoptions on enterprise, usually led by IT and Engineering teams. By going to the very core of the organization, digital transformation requires the CEO to understand the fundamentals of his business. If you are a car manufacturer, is your business fundamentally about making cars or is it about delivering transportation and mobility? Once the importance is understood, then comes the digital transformation plan, and the…

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How a packaging manufacturer increased $144k in factory capacity?

Where will we allocate the retrofit budget for our machines? This question had been asked over and over, every year by one of our customers, a major player in the packaging industry. Imagine the situation and even try to remember if it happens in your company: the CFO gathers 4 or 5 managers and launches this question in the room, projecting the budget for the following year. The industrial director made the same challenge with his factory management. And that's where the "opinion fight" begins. (We like to say that without data, you are just another person with an opinion). Each one brings his/her side, wanting the best for his/her line. But no one can prove why retrofit money should be allocated to a particular machine, since downtime and scrap data are difficult to gather without a proper system. So, did you identify yourself within the situation? In the past, the company used solve this situation in an unsatisfactory way: CFO, CEO and Industrial Director ended up dividing the retrofit budget into equal parts. This ends up not being an effective strategy, not even measurable in the medium term of the plant but at least it made everyone in the…

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How to identify bottlenecks in a packaging production line

Imagine a production line in which only good parts are produced (100% quality), as fast as possible (100% performance) and without stops (100% availability). The Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) would equal 100%, which means “perfect production”. Even though dreams can come true (100% OEE), perfect production is rather rare, and in many cases, the manufacturing shop-floor can become, for those directly involved in the production, a nightmare instead. Machines fail for several reasons, humans make mistakes and all of this together makes it impossible to achieve perfection. Digital Maturity in the Packaging Industry Benchmarking Report: Download it now for free! The good news is that there is always room for improvement, i.e. we can always do things better. Aiming at that, a continuous improvement process should be put in place to tackle exactly what prevents a production line from being perfect. In the “Theory of Constraints”, Eliyahu M. Goldratt, author of the best-selling book titled “The Goal”, argues that one should follow “The Five Steps of Focusing” to achieve the goal (e.g. maximize overall throughput): Identify the system's constraint(s); Decide how to exploit the system's constraint(s); Subordinate everything else to the above decision(s); Alleviate the system's constraint(s); If…

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Without engaging operators, your digital transformation might be a huge flop

Despite automation, the rise of new technologies and the growth of industry 4.0, factories employees still play and will continue to play a key role in the industry's success. According to a Gallup study, employees in production jobs are now the least engaged compared to other sectors. This clearly shows us that the industry as a whole is still struggling to actually increase employee engagement. While industry 4.0 technologies - such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, and mobile solutions - are being implemented in manufacturing plants around the world to transform manufacturing processes, little has been done to transform the employee experience. For years and years, managers for all kinds of industries have been trying to implement new processes and tools based on their own decisions and ways. And I can assure you this is one of the most common problems when companies are trying to get into new approaches and technologies. Usually, those who make a decision are those who are not going to effectively will use the new tech/process. To really achieve great results in digital transformation, the industry sector must bring the operators to the center of this discussion. And by saying this,…

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Measuring OEE on packaging lines: SCADA or a MES? Maybe none!

What technology do I need to measure the efficiency of my packaging manufacturing lines automatically? SCADA? For many people, SCADA (Supervisory, Control and Data Acquisition System) is the first kind of system that comes to mind when thinking about a shop floor software. And indeed SCADA systems are quite flexible and therefore can supply custom demands a manufacturing plant. But when talking about OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency - see more here ), there are several key points to have in mind. OEE is strongly dependent on counters and unlike other time-series variables such as temperature and speed, counters only make sense when you consider the value within a time-frame. Usually it will be shift, day, week and jobs. So analysing performance of a job means aggregate the counter increment within the job period. And there are several other characteristics that add complexity to the case: when is counter reset on the PLC? How to get a fast query response of total production during a shift if the counter was reset during this period? How to get quick response on reports for longer periods, such as month to month?   The challenge is no longer on how many tags and…

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How to track downtime in your packaging manufacturing line in 7 steps

Understand how often and why your packaging line is stopping Knowing how often your production line is stopping is one of the most important single things a production manager can do to start improving productivity. This comes before OEE, for two simple reasons: downtime is an actionable metric and easy to understand. Digital Maturity in the Packaging Industry Benchmarking Report: Download it now for free! There is a lot of theory as to how to do that. It is covered by Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. Although it is important to understand the theory and we encourage you to study it, what we see in reality is that what most companies need is an easy-to-use and effective system. Therefore, we divide this into 7 steps. The reliability of information is the number one priority when it comes to data. People do not use the number they do not trust. And time is a difficult one to track without an automatic system. It’s easy to measure (you just need a stopwatch, right?), but it’s difficult to track. Many companies ask their operators to log downtime on a spreadsheet. “Every time the machine stops, you…

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7 Biggest Mistakes Packaging Factories Make With OEE

OEE + Packaging Manufacturers + Challenges Every production manager is familiar with OEE (an abbreviation for the manufacturing metric Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and has tried to implement it in their factory. For a production manager, OEE is almost as important as his or her credit rate, body mass index or golf handicap. It carries the simplicity of being a single number and this is great. However, there are many traps to avoid when using this in your factory to know if you are doing it right or not. Below we would be outlining the most frequent mistakes packaging manufacturers make when using the “holy number”. 1. Comparing Apples To Bananas Since it is a single number, people tend to use it to compare different factories, as a method of comparing their efficiency. This is a dangerous game, for some reasons: Not all companies calculate OEE the same way. Actually, if you ask 10 production managers how they calculate OEE, you will get 11 different answers. Some exclude preventive maintenance from the availability calculations, others exclude holidays others don’t. Batch sizes and process inherent particularities can hugely affect OEE. Take for example a film extrusion line compared to cosmetic plastic…

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