Archive for December, 2011
In a single minute there are over 695,000 status updates on Facebook. That’s just one example of the mind boggling scale of online activity.
The following infographics show a bunch of other incredible things that happen in 60 seconds…
Source: Business Insider, Gus Lubin, December 2011
Deciding whether you need a manufacturing execution system (MES) is easier than ever, yet deciding how to proceed is more difficult than ever. Sound confusing? It might be—or it might not be.
For about 20 years, people have been asking me: “If my company has modern automated controls and an effective enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, do we also need MES?” My answer is more likely to be “Yes” than ever before. In fact, Cambashi and other industry analysts’ surveys for the past five years or so have showed that a higher percentage of companies plan to buy an MES than most other major application types…
Source: Automation World, Julie Fraser, December 2011
This CPG company, with 30 + sites around the world, required a standardized metrics system that was flexible enough to encompass sites that had dissimilar equipment types and different cultures and end customers. Automating the collection of downtime and performance data would allow the company to move from a subjective view of where the issues are to one of knowing what was happening in real-time. Packaging Operations is a complex area in their environment: high speed with a variable product flow. It was difficult for operators to document what was happening as they were very busy keeping the machines running; typically an operator would be responsible for 3 lines each. In addition, the lack of information made it difficult for maintenance to prioritize the issues they were experiencing by the significance of the issue to production. The goals for the project were to increase production throughput and enable faster changeovers.
Customer already owned System Platform, Application Server, InTouch, Historian and the Information Server. The new software added for the project was Wonderware Performance. Wonderware Performance was selected because it had the functionality that the project required, the customer had a strong foundation, and experience, with other Wonderware software and it was the best choice for standardization across the enterprise. The system was designed to measure the performance of packaging equipment, provide OEE metrics, provide downtime reason information and reporting capabilities.
Removed the myths about what was occurring operationally. Common metrics were implemented which facilitated the comparison of plants by way of consistent measurements. The customer enabled their internal Performance Improvement Teams with real data such that it eliminated the debate about what the most important problems are. Lastly, the customer experienced measurable improvement in Overall Equipment Effectiveness and Performance.
Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)
Manufacturers are becoming more confident in the economy as the year is winding down. In the last NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers — which was released in September 2011 — respondents were mostly positive, but they were significantly less optimistic than earlier in the year. They were confronting a number of challenges, thus increasing anxieties and depressing their sales.
Source: Industry Week, Chad Moutray, December 2011