A New Take on the Production Board

The production board is a common sight–and a time-tested visual management solution–on the factory floor, especially on lean shop floors. It helps shop floor supervisors keep track of production information such as planned production, actual production, and the gap between those numbers. This gives supervisors and operators alike visibility into line and operator performance as well as any issues or barriers that may be preventing them from meeting goals. Color-coding numbers on the dashboard allows immediate visibility into overall progress for the day.

Tracking hourly production on a whiteboard

Tracking hourly production on a whiteboard (source)

While the whiteboard is a practical solution, its manual nature has a few shortfalls:

  • It’s prone to human error, such as when a supervisor forgets to update the board, updates the board with the wrong number, or an error is made due to messy handwriting.
  • Handwriting may be difficult to read from across the shop floor, making its visibility less than ideal.
  • Finally, the very nature of the dry-erase board is that the data gets erased at the end of the day, so any production information will get lost.

Enter the digital production dashboard. With manufacturing software, manufacturers have access to powerful data analytics at their fingertips. It’s easy to throw a plethora of KPIs up onto a screen and visualize the data across days, weeks, and even months–practically anything is possible!

However, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with information in a manufacturing dashboard, and not all of it is actually useful to operators on the shop floor.

So what do operators and line supervisors really need to see at a glance on the shop floor? We think manufacturers should revisit the humble whiteboard.

Introducing the Tulip Production Dashboard

The Tulip Production Dashboard displays hourly production data at a glance.

The Tulip Production Dashboard displays hourly production data at a glance.

The Tulip Production Dashboard, designed to be displayed on a large screen visible to everyone at a production line, offers operators what they really need to know at a glance: hourly production, performance against hourly and daily goals, and the count of defects reported.

Tulip’s Production Dashboard integrates beautifully with the manufacturing apps you use in production, such as the Tulip Terminal or other custom work instructions app. The Production Dashboard works by pulling in data on process completions and defect reports from your apps. The data updates automatically in real-time, so supervisors are relieved of the need to manually update a production board.

The Production Dashboard integrates production and defect report data from Tulip apps.

The Production Dashboard integrates production and defect report data from Tulip apps.

Digging Deeper with Real-Time Analytics

Finally, the production data is automatically recorded, so supervisors, process engineers, and managers can gain deeper insights into production using Tulip’s Analytics. Data can be visualized, incorporated into reports, and shared with stakeholders across the organization.

Live-updating data visualizations allows shop floor team leaders to discover and respond to problems in real-time. The ability to view production insights remotely allows quality engineers and plant management to respond to problems when they arise, rather than taking the team leader away from the line.

Tulip Analytics allows for immediate visibility into production issues and real-time root cause analysis.

Tulip Analytics allows for immediate visibility into production issues and real-time root cause analysis.

The Production Dashboard is designed to be easy to configure to your production line needs. It comes pre-integrated with the Tulip Terminal, but it can easily be adjusted to work with different manufacturing apps.

You can try the Production Dashboard free for 30 days with a free trial of Tulip.