Improving Your Manufacturing Capacity

Imagine improving your manufacturing capacity by 10 to 50 percent. Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? A lot of manufacturing companies think they’ve eked out every last ounce of capacity from their shop floor. Truth is, most have little or no understanding of how the equipment on the floor is truly functioning.

For a manufacturing business to be truly effective, they must be integrated “from the shop floor to the top floor.” In other words, they need to know as much about what is going on at the machine level as they do at the financial level.

If I were to take you on a tour of the business systems of a manufacturer who is fully integrated, here are a few of the things you’d see:

  • The transfer of production orders from the ERP system to the machine is streamlined and automated via an “electronic traveler” that sends results, including part counts, run times, down times with reason codes, and quality information, back to the ERP system.
  • Automated data collection directly from any and all types of machines via machine to machine connectivity tools, including emails, reporting and alerts.
  • Dashboard metrics provide instant visibility and machine alerts for the entire shop floor to see so that problems such as machine breakdown or parts rejection can be dealt with immediately.
  • Executives and shop floor managers can monitor and benchmark productivity KPIs in real-time.
  • Production orders flow seamlessly from the ERP system through to the machine or work center on the shop floor, and results are sent back to ERP in real-time.
  • Operations running smoothly with vertical and horizontal integration; vertically shop floor to top floor and horizontally throughout the complete plant so all production teams are informed.

The bottom line benefits are impressive. Rose Integration, a precision machining operation with 30 machines, increased overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) across the shop floor from 40 percent to 82 percent in just 18 months. Magellan, an aerospace manufacturer, increased their machining time by 100 hours per month per machine.

Memex believes so strongly in the benefits of shop floor to top floor integration that we’ve partnered with Microsoft to bring you the Dynamics AX Connector. This utility supports a bi-synchronous import and export of work orders and respective operational information between Microsoft’s Dynamic AX 2012 and the shop floor.

John Rattray, V.P., Memex Automation Inc.

Memex Automation, partners with Microsoft, were invited to be a guest blogger on their site Dynamics Cafe. Visit their site to see the guest blog.