Technology Savvy Manufacturers Will Come Out Ahead

Smart manufacturers are significantly improving manufacturing operations by adopting new technologies to gain real-time manufacturing intelligence.

With the high cost of manufacturing in Australia, companies often struggle to compete with overseas manufacturers that have lower overheads and easy access to large global market places. Australian manufacturers have to find ways to compete more effectively or risk going out of business.

Manufacturers that identify the most critical metrics, and deliver the right information to the right people at the right time, will be empowered to make better decisions, and become more competitive.

Increasing production capacity, decreasing time to produce and reducing operating costs are common goals for most manufacturers. Improvements made to manufacturing productivity positively impacts the bottom line and affects labour, machinery and equipment, processes and output quality.

A formula for operational efficiency

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a powerful method of evaluating the productivity of production systems to improve manufacturing operations. The OEE formula has become a significant KPI across many industries, influencing equipment and production improvements.

A recent white paper, “The Critical Guide to Drive Manufacturing Productivity”, gives manufacturers an understanding of how to calculate OEE, with easy to understand explanations and examples.

The paper, from Parsec Automation Corporation, explains how companies can improve operational excellence and achieve world-class performance.

Although many production teams are already familiar with OEE and how to calculate it, they may be missing the mark on how to capitalise on the data collected. Important considerations are:

  1. Automation of OEE data collection
  2. Applying the metrics to business process improvement
  3. Displaying the correct information visually

Smart global manufacturers are adopting new technologies to automate and leverage the benefits of measuring and analysing OEE at a strategic level, by utilising manufacturing operations software.

Real-time manufacturing intelligence

AstraZeneca in Newark, Delaware, is one example of a global company that relies on OEE data collection for reporting, to better measure its productivity for sustaining continuous improvement goals.

The pharmaceutical company achieved a significant improvement in productivity by implementing real-time manufacturing operations software. The goal was to identify the root causes for equipment downtime, by automating the collection of OEE data for easy and fast reporting. The manufacturing operations software made it possible to monitor plant performance – in real time.

In the first year, OEE on one bottle line was improved by 10%, adding 1 million bottles per year of capacity without additional investments in capital. AstraZeneca operators can view production efficiency in real-time and make improvements during the production process. OEE typically improved 10% to 40% on various manufacturing lines where the manufacturing operations software was deployed.

Australian manufacturers that embrace the technology evolution, take time to consider their business goals, and focus on market opportunities and pain points that need to be overcome, will be successful now and in years to come.

Click here to download the free guide.