In a market environment rife with fierce competition, manufacturers need to optimize their processes to effectively and consistently meet customer expectations. In order to understand what areas of the business need to be updated, manufacturers must be able to reliably collect, track, and report on production data on a daily basis. However, many businesses lack the effective production reporting they need to uncover opportunities for improvement given their size as well as the relative complexity of their processes.
This problem is amplified further when manufacturers are dealing with continuously shifting expectations from their customers. As such, visualizing reliable and vital production metrics from the factory floor can help supervisors and managers make informed decisions for the good of the business.
When it comes to Industry 4.0, businesses are turning to comprehensive, automated production reporting systems. These digital tools provide real-time data directly from shop floor machines or operator stations, ensuring that operators, supervisors, and managers have an accurate view of production processes.
As a result, modern production reporting is a way to visualize production data originating from the measurement and analysis of every action across all production processes in different sections of the plant.
Benefits of real-time manufacturing reports
Historically, reporting in traditional industrial settings has required operators and supervisors to manually enter key metrics into a spreadsheet or whiteboard. However, this method isn’t timely and doesn’t safeguard the data’s integrity for meaningful decision-making.
On the other hand, digital reporting systems present a number of meaningful benefits for a plant’s operation. These include:
Accurate, real-time data: Most modern production plants have connected machinery and sensors distributed throughout the shop floor. This means that operators rarely have to manually input data into a given system, keeping human error to a minimum.
As such, supervisors and managers have access to accurate data for informed decision-making. Additionally, automation allows key personnel to have a snapshot of real-time production activity on the shop floor, enabling them to effectively track progress toward their goal over a given time period.
Comprehensive data visualization: In the traditional form of manufacturing reporting, data visualization can become a laborious effort that still falls short of accurately displaying key data emanating from production activities.
However, real-time data monitoring presents information in a legible, easy-to-digest format. This allows operators, supervisors, and managers to know what’s going on at a simple glance.
More collaboration between various departments: Real-time production reports capture different kinds of data points valuable to different departments and plant sites across an organization.
This modern system then goes further and provides this information to relevant personnel, allowing key decision-makers from different sectors to utilize production data and adjust efforts as needed. Consequently, a manufacturing operation gains more flexibility and agility due to this non-siloed data distribution and availability.
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Accurate monitoring of production activity: Manufacturers need to optimize their operations to be as lean as possible if they want to remain competitive in today’s market. Real-time reporting software makes this much easier by allowing supervisors and managers to monitor and respond to actions taking place on the shop floor.
Production reporting tools usually have analytic capabilities, allowing them to present clear data regarding different production time metrics. This enables managers to evaluate areas that need optimizing to improve production efficiency and drive continuous improvement.
Robust quality monitoring and control: Businesses need to put out quality products to gain and retain customers. As such, they need to embed effective quality control measures and practices to reduce the number of rejects and defective products.
Real-time production reports put the quality manager right in the production process, allowing them to monitor product, machine, and operator activity that influence a product’s quality during manufacturing.
Improved inventory management: In most cases, production reporting tools can be integrated with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Now, with real-time production monitoring afforded by reporting tools, you can track work orders and production status to feed data back into your back-end systems.
As a result, the ERP system can automatically update inventory information to reflect accurate stock based on data coming directly from the shop floor.
Accurate job costing: Manufacturers usually have a standard costing for a single job. However, activities on the floor don’t always align with this standard. And that’s where real-time manufacturing reports can come in handy.
Precise monitoring and reporting provide management with actual, representative data that allows them to adjust job costs to reflect what’s happening on the ground.
Essential production metrics to keep an eye on
Production manufacturing digital solutions tap into all relevant machines and sensors, extracting key production metrics that can be tracked across an operation. Operators, managers, and supervisors all require different production metrics to make informed decisions given their specific responsibilities.
Here are some of the key performance indicators that manufacturers can trust with a fully automated production reporting system.
Target units to be produced in a given time period
Actual units produced in a given time period
Defects and reject parts or units in a specific period
Machine run time
Machine stoppage frequency
Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)
Using Tulip to collect data and visualize production
With Tulip, manufacturers are able to automate the collection of data generated by the operators, machines, and sensors across their operations.
This data can then be easily visualized in charts and dashboards, enabling managers and supervisors to gain full production visibility, identify actionable insights, and make proactive decisions in real-time.
Interested in learning more about how Tulip can help elevate productivity across your operations? Reach out to a member of our team today!
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