If you are a fabricator you understand the value of measuring a process and the continuous improvement of that process. Each company inevitably develops its own unique processes and must continue to improve them over time. Why is process improvement so important? Because a company’s unique “process” is one of the key competitive differentiators that each company has and must continuously improve upon to remain profitable and viable. An efficient process helps to keep a fabrication company and its products profitable. Process improvements cannot exist without measurements. Continuous improvement of a process requires accurate information and data, both to validate and to further enhance the process. Real-time data enables processes to be measured as they occur, and as data accumulates over time, to measure process consistency.
Analyzing the Data
At the highest level of information, knowledge is the ability of machines to communicate in a standardized format so that OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) software can analyze the data. The OPC (Open Platform Communications) protocol is an industry-standard communications protocol that serves as a data interface to OEE software for high-level analysis of machine availability and machine performance. With OEE data, companies can identify improvement opportunities through analysis and where predictive measures can be implemented to offset unplanned downtimes. All of this data enables managers to monitor their processes and their equipment and make the proper decisions in real-time.
Managing Production with MES
In today’s fast-paced production environment, the ability to have a high-level overview and control of all released production jobs, and to monitor their status, is essential to production management and maintaining on-time delivery schedules. Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software enables companies to plan, monitor and track all steps within the manufacturing workflow for any given order. This is made possible by the interconnectivity of machines and the real-time data generated by each machine. The use of MES software has greatly enhanced the ability of manufacturers to dynamically respond to changes in orders, prioritization and workflow capacities in maintaining production schedules.
Managing in Real-Time with Smart Manufacturing Software
Gaining the edge in today’s competitive market requires intelligence derived from data and the ability to act upon information to improve processes and machine performance. Modern CNC equipment has the ability to provide real-time data that can be used not only by automated systems but also by Smart Manufacturing software systems that provide real-time intelligence for manufacturers to continuously improve their processes to gain a competitive edge. Data intelligence is providing the information necessary for manufacturers to remain efficient and profitable and also maintain quality and delivery schedules.
By Frank Arteaga, Head of Product Marketing, NAFTA Region
Bystronic Inc., Elgin, IL – Voice.firstname.lastname@example.org