During these trying times of uncertain economic upheaval, manufacturers face the evolving challenge of maximizing operational efficiency while also optimizing output and ensuring consistent quality. All good Manufacturing Execution Systems start with Production Monitoring, but Process Monitoring is where top tier MES solutions really stand out.
What's the difference? Production Monitoring tracks machine/tool cycles, good/bad part counts, uptime/downtime and reject/assist/downtime events and reasons. Real-time Process Monitoring collects data on critical process variables including temperatures, pressures, flow rates, run-times, and can even include things like vibration and electrical draw/load. This additional data empowers manufacturing management while also enhancing floor productivity, quality and compliance. With the aid of powerful MES Solution, raw data from your factory is transformed into powerful actionable insights. Used correctly, process monitoring can pinpoint machine anomalies and variability that can bring productivity to a standstill if left undiscovered.
How Process Monitoring Works
Process monitoring software captures measurement and process data from all machines on the floor. Data can be collected across all shifts, and individual machines can be examined in detail to enhance peak performance. In addition, process monitoring tools are integrated directly into SPC and other reporting systems.
As engineering professor Kevin Dunn explains:
“Any variable can be monitored. However, the purpose of process monitoring is so that you can react early to bad or unusual operation. This implies we should monitor variables as soon as they become available, preferably in real-time. They are more suitable than variables that take a long time to acquire. We should not have to wait to the end of the production line to find our process was out of statistical control.”
By leveraging data via a process monitoring tool, your team can chart data sets directly into an intuitive dashboard, providing a visual overview of machine health.
Best-of-breed process monitoring solutions collect data for every cycle. Typical process variable parameters include: cycle time, fill time, charge time, injection start pressure, maximum injection pressure, take-out time, screw speed, barrel zone temperatures, and more. SYSCON PlantStar's Manufacturing Execution System has the ability to set limits on each variable and send off alerts when any of these process variables go out of limits. These alerts include email, text, or PA system voice alerts or can utilize lights or siren based alerts.
As raw data is transformed into insight and insight into alerts, manufacturers gain pro-active control over every aspect of the manufacturing process: quality control, machine operation and maintenance.
How Process Monitoring Benefits Manufacturers
Because process monitoring automatically oversees processes and activities, manufacturers see improved quality and operational efficiency. This, in turn, enhances factory floor accuracy with a reduction of human-interaction errors. The bottom line? Manufacturers realize superior quality and reduced costs with a reduction in defects, rejects, product returns, and rework while deploying actionable intelligence to best control processes ahead of possible costly issues.
Process monitoring, in a sense, provides your team with a kind of “crystal ball” when it comes to predicting and staying ahead of process exceptions. With predictive capabilities inherent in next-level data analysis, your shop floor will make more effective use of resources based on real-world, real-time performance modeling.
The PlantStar Advantage
With tools like SYSCON’s PlantStar software, you’re in control of your process monitoring environment. Our system empowers you to collect and analyze all shop-floor data, delivering complete visibility that lets you make proactive decisions—and THAT improves the bottom line. With down-to-the-second insight, PlantStar provides a top-notch solution to collect and, more importantly, utilize data from your machines.
PlantStar's peak-performance manufacturing execution system (MES) informs the entire team—manufacturing, quality control, management, accounting, and financial systems.
Ready to bring the power of process monitoring to your floor? Schedule a demo to explore our software, and subscribe to our blog for ongoing industry updates.