For manufacturers, understanding how the business is operating is critical to ensuring the business is able to function and grow over time. Additionally, manufacturers must understand the inputs that feed their operations in order to fully understand the productivity and efficiency metrics that factor into profitability.
In order to get a better understanding of how the business is operating as a whole, manufacturers require a comprehensive solution to track a range of different metrics in order to measure, analyze, and provide a clear overview of the entire manufacturing process.
Advanced production tracking strategies and systems are able to provide this real-time insight, enabling businesses to act quickly in response to the data they’re collecting. This is especially important given the increasing complexity of many manufacturing processes today.
In this post, we’ll provide a detailed overview of the current state of production monitoring, how businesses are collecting real-time production data using digital tools, and how you can improve tracking across your operations to drive continuous improvement.
What is production monitoring?
Production monitoring is a process that involves observing the activities within a manufacturing facility to gain insights into how the shop floor is operating.
Having an in-depth understanding of everything happening on the shop floor is critical for identifying sources of inefficiencies, product defects, and bottlenecks. By identifying these improvement opportunities, manufacturers can take action resulting in a more efficient, productive business.
Historically, production monitoring has consisted of manual, human-based data collection and analysis, creating a significant gap between when issues occurred and when the supervisors were able to take action. Additionally, relying on human data input is a recipe for inaccurate and inconsistent data, upon which it can be nearly impossible to make informed decisions.
In order to capture all of the benefits associated with real-time production monitoring, businesses are increasingly investing in robust manufacturing platforms that are able to automate data collection at every step of the production process, ensuring managers and supervisors are equipped with all the data they need to take the necessary steps to improve production.
Benefits of monitoring production data
As mentioned before, manufacturers engage in production tracking to gain more visibility into their manufacturing operations. The resultant insights inform business decisions, leading to a variety of benefits. These include:
Consistent product quality: Production monitoring allows manufacturers to track product and process standards in real-time. This provides operators and supervisors with accurate and timely data on the state of the production run.
In case of any nonconformances or inconsistencies, the relevant personnel can intervene. In so doing, they can fix the issue or recalibrate the machines, ensuring that all products passing through the line adhere to the same specifications.
Smoother production: The increasingly complex and dynamic manufacturing environments provide several potential points of failure. However, robust production monitoring keeps an eye on all these points, alerting the relevant operator or supervisor in real-time.
For example, if a machine breaks down in the middle of the production line, it creates a bottleneck, stalling operations at either end. However, with modern production monitoring, supervisors are aware of potential issues before they happen.
As a result, the potential issue can be avoided through preventive maintenance, reducing downtime to enable smoother production operations.
Employee safety: Well-thought-out automation in smart factories makes for a more productive manufacturing business. However, the introduction of more complex and powerful equipment can put on-floor workers at risk of injury.
But with constant production monitoring, manufacturers have real-time data from potentially dangerous machines. For example, pressurized machines have optimal operation ranges. If the pressure exceeds a particular limit, the production monitoring system alerts operators, warning them to exit the area.
Production savings: Real-time production monitoring provides data from the factory floor. Analyzing this data provides managers with informative insights they can apply to optimize overall equipment effectiveness. This reduces downtime and its associated costs.
Also, the real-time data affords supervisors the ability to monitor production status. This allows them to make adjustments if production falls behind schedule, reducing costs from completing an order in a different production run scheduled for another order.
Improved customer satisfaction: Consistent product quality and timely order fulfillment – resulting from well-executed production monitoring – foster customer satisfaction, trust, and repeat business.
By implementing an effective production monitoring system, businesses are able to identify any source of issues, allowing them to address the issues quickly and efficiently.
Improving real-time monitoring with a production monitoring system
Modern production monitoring systems take advantage of the dynamic interconnectivity among shop floor equipment and IoT devices to glean more comprehensive data sets. Additionally, these systems have advanced analytic features, providing real-time, actionable insights.
Advanced production monitoring systems also have visualization and customization features. Therefore, manufacturers can tailor these digital tools to fit their unique production operation. Not only that, production managers are able to track and visualize data in seconds using customizable manufacturing dashboards.
Finally, production monitoring data feeds into other aspects of manufacturing like material sourcing and shipping, informing other business aspects like finance, customer relations, and logistics.
Over the years, we’ve helped hundreds of businesses improve their production monitoring capabilities using Tulip’s intuitive, no-code platform.
Using Tulip, manufacturers are able to automate data collection from the workers, machines, and devices across their operations. This data can then be visualized in a centralized, digital dashboard, providing businesses with the insights they need to identify inefficiencies and issue corrective actions.
If you’re interested in learning how Tulip can help you capture real-time data and streamline your production monitoring, please reach out to a member of our team today!
Improve your production tracking capabilities with Tulip
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