10 NEWEQUIPMENT.COM I JUNE 2020COVER STORY | FOR REMOTE WORK, REAL-TIME DATA MONITORING IS NOT ENOUGH
2. THE NEXT REVOLUTION IS
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without visionis a nightmare. —Japanese Proverb
Typical machine centered approaches miss the criticalneed for Digital Transformations on the people and process fronts. People are our most adaptable and capablesensor platform. They can detect problems on a dynamicshop floor in ways machine sensors will be hard-pressed.They know and are responsible for the ever-changingcontext the machine is operating within. They are especially critical when the problems are with non-machinerelated processes and procedures directing the manufacturing operations.
So, what about the processes that attempt to standardizethe shop floor? They need a Digital Twin that is as adaptable and re-definable as they are. The speed at which standardized processes evolve and change is a fundamentalfactor in the pace of innovation. Get that wrong and it canlead to disaster. If process improvement doesn’t keep pacewith the changing environment on the plant floor, you willbe perpetually solving the problems of yesterday, insteadof today and tomorrow.
This critical need becomes more apparent as you getto high levels of Operational Availability (OA) where themachines aren't the problem anymore. The tell-tale symptom is when machine uptime is high and yet productionnumbers are still missing their targets. Recognizing there'sstill a gap between what the machine should have beenable to produce versus what it did produce is the first step.That gap represents the failings of the other processes inthe plant that are not machine-related. The questions thenturn to support processes: Did we run out of material? Didwe have a quality issue where the machine was runningbut found some other problem with the product or the rawmaterial? Were we waiting for a Quality Inspector, to comeout to resolve a questionable quality issue?
Ask any engineer if it's a machine or an operator problem. Chances are they'll tell you it's an operator problem.
If that is true, then we need to wrap a system around the
operators, and the rest of the plant, just like we do with the
machinery. When you look at the simple numbers, with
one operator for every machine, then at least 50% of the
movement on the plant floor is human. With our average
customers, less than 10% of issues that happen on the plant
floor are machine-related. The other 90% provides ample
room for substantial improvement.
Managing Actions and Reactions
Once you have remote monitoring capabilities in place,
the next step in this evolution is to leverage the unique
capabilities of a LES to provide real-time data monitoring
around the reactions to the metrics. How effective is your
team at reacting and improving? This is the new frontier in
You'll be tempted to focus on more accuracy in your metrics.Like, whether our Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is54% or 55%? It's hard to argue against getting the most accurate data you can, but it misses the big picture altogether. Thereal focus should be on what you can do to increase your OEEby 35 to 40 points. The only way to do that is by focusing onyour reactions to the metrics and the underlying root causes.That's where true continuous improvement happens.
A good starting point would be to cut your reactiontime, and measure how quickly you can solve downtimeproblems and get back on track. If you can't monitor andmeasure that reaction plan in real-time, then you'll never beable to achieve the gains that move the OEE needle. From aremote work perspective, this is a perfect time to start usinga LES to change and adjust processes in a no-code, "citizenIT" manner. It's a game-changer when you can evolve thoseprocesses in real-time.
Again, monitoring equipment effectiveness isn’t a problem,but do we have a system enabling us to monitor the peopleprocess effectiveness just as clearly?
Using L2L’s LES Platform to Enable Remote Work
Where typical plant floor systems are focused on machine
monitoring, an LES platform enables you to monitor the big-
ger picture of the shop floor without omitting any details.
Two of the most eye-opening things for manufacturersthat deploy L2L’s LES are both the cumulative effect of small,innocuous problems on the overall health of the plant floor,and the previous disconnect between what is perceived as thelargest problem to solve, and what they come to discover asthe actual largest or most costly problem to solve. This level ofreal-time clarity around the problems and what’s being doneto solve them is where many manufacturers are findingtheir competitive edge, especially as they’re forced to shift asmuch of their workforce to a remote-work model.
Photo Credit: Leading2Lean