Manufacturers are being pushed to become more and more efficient while chasing diminishing profit margins. This can be seen in the Manufacturing Outlook Executive Summary which highlights that being efficient means there should be more automation on the production line. More automation means more reliance on the machines that are part of the manufacturing process. These could be robots welding panels, a conveyor in a bottling plant, or a CNC machine.
Every part in the manufacturing process becomes more important and to have one of these machines breaking down immediately impacts delivery dates and profit margins.
So why not automate the process of calling a repair technician as well?
By connecting the production machines to an Enterprise Asset Management system (EAM) a repair technician of the correct level of competency can be notified that there is an issue on the production line as soon as it happens so the downtime of the stopped machine is minimised.
To do this the EAM must ‘know’ where the repair technicians are and that they are trained to the correct level of competency to repair the stopped machine. The Talent and Skills Infographic portrays how employees need to be trained to have the right skills to work on automated production lines. The single database and open architecture of IFS Cloud is made for knowing where the technicians are and if they have the required skills to repair. It links the monitoring of the machine with data stored on the technicians record. Then, using a scheduling engine, it finds the nearest available to reduce the downtime of the stopped machine.
IFS Cloud is now taking this to the next level.
As IFS Cloud provides EAM with ERP and FEM in one database, it is possible to link the notification of a stopped machine with the Production plan to look for alternate machines that might be available to take the load while the stopped machine is repaired. Using a scheduling engine in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) part of the database with the EAM part. To understand more about IFS cloud, check out this Brochure.
Having this seamless connection to all data in the database enables the operations planning team to see the issue (machine stopped). Then, they can act on suggestions for alternative routing of the operations. By doing this any delay to the delivery date to the customer is minimised and operations ‘downstream’ of the stopped machine are kept operating as close to the production plan as possible.
To see this in action go to our video on the connected factory here.
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