There are machines, software solutions, processes, and equipment that can and will improve your production line output as well as the profitability of your business. There are also things that will cost money to implement but will deliver negligible improvements. Making a distinction between the two is the conundrum facing managers in today’s manufacturing facilities.
All productions lines can become more efficient and more profitable, but achieving these gains requires investment. How can you be sure the investments you make will help the business while avoiding wasting money on those that don’t?
Machine monitoring software is the solution.
What Is Machine Monitoring Software?
Machine monitoring software collects data from all the machines and processes on your production line. High-quality machine monitoring software, like TOTALdata, achieves this by being vendor neutral.
The data it collects includes both production and non-production events, allowing you to see what is happening on the line and why.
This greatly helps the day-to-day running of your production line, but machine monitoring software also offers additional benefits. Specifically, you can use machine monitoring software to run predictive models.
Making Critical Investment Decisions
All too often, managers in manufacturing facilities must make investment decisions blindly. This happens when machine monitoring software is not in place.
Let’s look at an example of modifying a piece of equipment. The vendor has told you what it thinks the performance benefits will be, plus you will know the costs the vendor will charge.
You won’t, however, know the following with any degree of accuracy:
- Baseline performance data
- Predicted improvement data (rather than general figures from the vendor)
- Actual improvement data post-implementation
As a result, you must use assumed figures and estimations.
Making Informed and Transparent Decisions
Machine monitoring software gives you the data you need to make decisions based on facts. Firstly, the software will give you a performance baseline using real outputs from your production line.
Secondly, you can run simulations on the machine monitoring software. Crucially, you can do this before you make an investment or change anything on your production line, i.e. prior to engaging the vendor.
These simulations use data from your production line and enable your engineering teams to quantify and independently evaluate payback on process changes. They will do this by measuring the results from the simulation against your benchmarking data.
At this point, you will have an estimated return on investment figure based on real data. This enables you to make an informed decision on the investment.
There are also benefits of machine monitoring software post-implementation of the change in your production line. This is because you have the benchmark taken before any modifications. The software can then monitor the performance and profitability of your production line post-implementation, giving you an accurate and tangible return on investment figure.
In other words, you will have the following:
- Evidence the investment is worth pursuing before making a decision
- Proof the investment did pay off, enabling you to justify the decision post-implementation
The above applies to both small and large investment decisions, including decisions like buying a second production line.
Other Benefits of Machine Monitoring Software
Machine monitoring software is not static. Instead, it is flexible and dynamic, scaling and adapting to your business as you make continued improvements. In addition, the software is straightforward and cost-effective to implement when you use a product like TOTALdata.
To remain competitive, you must continually improve the efficiency and productivity of your production line and overall business processes. Machine monitoring software is an essential tool in achieving this.