The bottom line is important for every single business, especially in the 21st century where competition is global in nature. Looking after the bottom line means that businesses often need to take risks in their pursuit of greater efficiency. This is particularly true of companies whose entire operation rests on the capacity of machines. For assembly lines, and engineering businesses, relying on their machines is part of their success, or failure.
A Rapidly Changing World
In a highly mechanised world where robots and artificial intelligence are playing a growing part in the manufacturing process, it is vital that every operation is maintained at peak efficiency. But what happens when machine operations are inefficient? Consider the following issues:
- Reliability: The smallest problems in calibration can cause major problems. This can lead to the sudden breakdown of machines, and other vital equipment that causes delays, slows down production, and negatively affects the bottom line.
- Inefficiencies: Production lines are calibrated to work at peak efficiency, but quite often there are small inefficiencies that have a big impact. Imagine if the third robotic arm in an assembly line is performing movements that are not as fast, or as efficient, as they could be? This could throw the entire production line off by a second, and that single second could lead to thousands of units not being produced each month. In effect, this means lower profits.
Identifying the Problems
The trouble is that many of these production line problems are small and difficult to detect. In fact, identifying them alone may cost thousands of dollars in time and delay! The solution to this problem is to use Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) system software, to monitor and analyse the production line. OEE software manufacturing, and the use of such a system, offers the following measurable benefits:
- Monitoring and analysis: OEE software monitors and analyses every single second of the production line, recording time, movement, and energy.
- Reporting: Graphical reporting presented by the OEE system offers business leaders the ability to drill down on inefficiencies and uncover the real story behind the production line. The reports are human-readable, which means no more complex spreadsheets!
- ‘What-if’ approach: What if you could swap one component of the production line for another that might be more effective? What if you could change the programming for one robotic arm to change the timing of production? An OEE system allows for an evaluation of these ‘what-if’ scenarios without having to change a thing! These virtually modelled production line scenarios mean that valuable time is saved on rolling-out changes, and finding the one that works best.
Making Small Changes to Cause Big Impacts
An OEE system not only allows a company to carefully monitor and report on the effectiveness of production lines, but it also allows for the evaluation of ‘what-if’ scenarios. This saves money, time, and frustration. By using an OEE software system, a company stands to make valuable gains in terms of labour recovery and the bottom line.