Machine downtimes are typical events in the manufacturing sector. However, when they are excessively long or unplanned, they can have a negative impact on production performance. In this TechStory we tell you how you can prevent and correctly manage the production stops of your lines.
There are several ways to distinguish the various types of stops. A first can be according to their duration. If less than 3 minutes, for example, they are defined as micro-stops or minor stops (the definition varies greatly from company to company depending on the type of process and the historical moment in which it is located).
Another way is instead to distinguish them between scheduled and unscheduled.
Scheduled production stops are functional to the correct functioning of the entire production. For example, they can be caused by scheduled maintenance or by a stop for setting up the machine and loading the material. Scheduled stops are reflected and planned precisely in the production scheduling.
The unplanned ones, on the other hand, are a problem because they are all those machine downtimes that the company has not planned for and which can have a negative impact on the entire production process. A technical problem, a human error or the failure of a component are just some of the causes of these stops.
Unplanned downtime should be kept to a minimum. Those programmed, on the other hand, do not need to be reduced but it is important that they are really useful for making production as efficient as possible.
Every minute in which production is interrupted translates into economic damage for the company. There is in fact a slowdown in production and a decrease in the number of pieces now produced.
Companies that work with delicate raw materials, such as occurs in the food sector for example, could be damaged with consequent deterioration and unusability of the lot.
Furthermore, frequent stops could also be a symptom of a problem on the machine and consequently the company should evaluate whether or not it is necessary to invest more in maintenance or to change it.
Technology is meeting companies today by simplifying the collection and analysis of data relating to the entire production process and therefore also to stops.
In addition to implementing digital solutions, companies should invest in scheduled maintenance to avoid downtime due to sudden failures and evaluate whether it is appropriate to renew the machinery fleet.
It is also essential to train lineside personnel so that they can independently and quickly resolve the most common machine downtimes. An important action to make them feel more part of the improvement process undertaken. An involvement is only possible if all the data has been collected accurately and for a certain period of time.
TechMass’ solution consists of several modules. Among these, one of the first that companies implement is precisely that relating to the monitoring of machine stops.
In fact, our solution allows you to manage stops by involving both operators and those involved in planning and controlling production (plant manager, production manager, lean/kaizen manager and operations manager).
In fact, on board the machine, thanks to an IoT Plug&Play device to which sensors are connected, it is possible to collect all the production information from any machine. The operator, on the other hand, is involved in entering the stop reasons on a tablet.
On the edge of the line, it is also possible to install monitors with Andon which allow you to see the production progress of the entire plant or line in real time, quickly identifying any stops.
All data flows into dashboards in real time, allowing for a precise and accurate analysis of production progress. Important information to be able to take decisive strategic actions without delays or mistakes.
Having fewer stops means having a more efficient production process, a parameter that is quickly calculated through the OEE.