Type of features manufacturing equipment should have to increase uptime

Production engineers are already inundated with information – they don’t simply need more – they need better insight into their production and processes to improve output.

The costly consequences of downtime and benefits of uptime have been covered in a previous blog – but today we’ll look at how, by having certain key features, uptime can be optimised.

To increase uptime through data visibility, manufacturing equipment should have these key features:

  • Track supplies – to monitor consumables usage and be able to re-order before running out.
  • Interchangeable modules to shorten stoppage time: look for a service module that has been designed to make regular maintenance simple for the end user.
  • Remote monitoring to alert for upcoming problems (like tyre pressure alerts in a car to ensure tyres are topped up, thereby avoiding problems).
  • Notifications of worst-case scenario (an unexpected line stoppage) to minimise disruption.
  • Notifications of errors allows users to identify where the problem is without the costly and time-consuming issue of getting an engineer to site. Some units even offer connected servicing to fix problems remotely too.
  • Easy restart after stoppages ensures downtime is minimised.

    General features for management of the system:
  • Can be run on phone, PC and tablet – to ensure managers can view the information anywhere and at any time.
  • Get all data in one place: having a single source of information means no time is wasted trying to find the information.
  • Review historic production data to help you plan future production runs and support continuous improvement.

Additional features to minimise human error, save time and optimise production:

  • Keep data (such as your approved messages) in the cloud-based online message store so the correct formats and details are always included. This ensures meeting legal requirements (such as traceability or code type) without operators needing to be extensively trained.
  • With the cloud-based system, the online message store also operates as a backup – enabling quick recovery from unapproved changes or in the case of loss of printer settings.
  • When there is a problem, managers can see history of the production line and what happened: they can see trail of actions and operators. In this way, further training or tweaks to the system can be identified and put in place.

Production and engineering managers are up against a myriad of tasks and need to have the right tools to make effective decisions. It is imperative that manufacturers take measures to reduce production problems (and the inherent costs that brings). By implementing the best equipment and data management possible, they will be allowed the space to focus on important innovation and improving output, making a real difference to the bottom line.