Increase Throughput: Make More Product with Your Current Equipment

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By Emilie A Lachance - March 15, 2021

For today’s food manufacturers, maintaining high levels of production throughput is one of the critical factors for achieving profitability. Equipment sitting idle is considered a waste and is money lost that cannot be recovered. Processors face continuous competitive pressures from competitors and customers. To rise to these challenges, processors often must increase throughput to meet new customer volumes, enter target markets, and take advantage of rising interest in new products. Inability to manage these challenges can mean quickly falling behind.

In the current environment, companies must do everything possible to maintain production at efficient levels while achieving cost, quality, and customer service goals. For managers and supervisors alike, having real-time actionable data directly from production lines provides invaluable insight into operating conditions. This data helps all employees ensure smooth flows and high levels of throughput. 

Performance metrics such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), downtime and its causes, quality levels, order fulfillment rates, and other KPIs are important reflections of actual operating conditions. To obtain this data, forward-thinking companies implement Industry 4.0 technology solutions into their operations. 

Integrating Factory Operations and Smart Factory Software

A core element of today's rush to high-tech manufacturing is Smart Factory software that integrates many elements of the processing lines and generates data needed for effective management. Analyzing this data helps companies understand and improve factory throughput

KPIs such as OEE, downtime, quality levels, and throughput are presented on monitors or TileBoards located throughout the factory. Employees can see up-to-the-minute operating measures and can take action should conditions deteriorate. This data supports managers’ efforts to increase throughput. Increasing product volumes by converting downtime to productive time and improving product quality are key strategies for meeting production goals and customer commitments.

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Use Smart Factory Results to Reduce Your Downtime, Improve Your Quality, and Super-Charge Your Throughput

Worximity’s smart factory software provides managers the information they need to monitor and improve both downtime and quality. By analyzing these areas managers can identify hidden downtime and resolve product quality issues. Both of these areas offer companies the ability to make changes quickly and see results within days or weeks. 

1. Finding Hidden Downtime Costs

When managers think about downtime, the events that most often come to mind are equipment breakdowns, changeovers, and preventative maintenance activities. Each of these events offers plenty of opportunities to reduce downtime, increase uptime, and increase throughput. Programs such as reliability-centered maintenance can reduce breakdowns that interrupt production. Reviewing and analyzing preventative maintenance procedures often uncovers ways to build efficiencies into the procedures to minimize the time equipment is out of service. Changeovers can be studied to ensure each step in the changeover process is planned, coordinated, and well executed.

Nevertheless, capturing downtime information using on-line, real-time data capture often reveals production losses that might otherwise go unnoticed. In many plants, processing lines will stop for very short periods while minor adjustments or changes are made. These types of stops, called micro-stops, can accumulate and represent significant amounts of lost production over a shift or production run. 

Using Smart Factory analytics software developed by Worximity Technology, the amount and causes of these micro-stops can be determined. Root cause analysis can then be carried out on the data and changes implemented to reduce the number and length of this category of downtime.

2. Improving Quality 

Making a bad part is worse than making no part at all. Using data from Worximity’s Smart Factory analytics, volumes and types of rejected and reworked products can be analyzed to determine causes and solutions. If line adjustments are frequently required for such things as feeds, speeds, filling rates and amounts, and label equipment settings, analysis of maintenance practices or set-up procedures should be conducted. Processors can increase throughput by improving quality and reducing rejects. Quality is one of the three components of OEE, and any reduction in the quality value will adversely impact overall OEE values. 

Take Advantage of Worximity’s OEE Trial

To help you take the first step toward Industry 4.0 and improved throughput, Worximity is offering an OEE trial. This trial allows managers and supervisors to witness firsthand the power of our Smart Factory analytics system and to understand the benefits of receiving real-time, actionable data directly from existing equipment on your factory floor. The trial includes everything you need to calculate OEE for one of your processes. Working with our consultants and using data from the trial, you’ll be able to gauge your process performance and see how your line stacks up against others in your industry. You'll also be able to see how OEE data can help improve factory-wide efficiencies and throughput. 

Worximity Technology is the industry leader in Smart Factory solutions for today’s food and beverage processors. We offer customers state-of-the-art data collection and analysis systems to gather real-time processing data and generate performance metrics. 

One of the most valuable production measurement tools available to managers today is OEE. This metric comprises three critical operating measures; performance, availability, and quality. Together, these constitute an excellent measure for tracking operating performance. To learn more about participating in our OEE trial, connect with us via our website.

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Worximity provides simple realtime technologies to solve food processor pains such as downtime, rejects, waste, overtime; helping them gain profit velocity by improving throughput, yield and OEE.

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