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Small But Effective – Gaining Insights from Data Acquisition

Best-Practice Insights bei FASTEC
Data, data, data and what you can practically learn from it! We are always surprised and delighted by the insights our customers gain from the data collected by FASTEC 4 PRO and the optimization solutions they implement in their production processes as a result. We would like to share this with you here. This page will be continuously expanded. It's worth taking a look!

Based on the digital evaluation of the root causes of malfunctions, it became clear that even experienced employees can be fooled by their gut feeling.

For product A, the line was down for an average of eight hours per order due to various faults that could not be defined in more detail using the available button selection. Based on their gut feeling, the employees assumed that they knew the most frequent cause of the fault. In order to check this, a button was implemented in FASTEC 4 PRO with the reason for the malfunction assumed by the employees.

As time went on, it became clear that this button was hardly ever pressed and that the gut feeling was deceptive. Incorrect assessments can result in high costs for replacing components without eliminating the source of the fault. Thanks to FASTEC 4 PRO and the detailed root cause analysis, it is now possible to identify where the problems lie in the production process based on facts.

By installing cameras on the central production lines, unplanned disruptions can be clearly identified. If the MES identifies an unplanned interruption, the complete video recording of the line activity enables the exact cause of the fault to be identified. This enabled our customer to identify a disruptive factor on a line that had been causing regular short downtimes and therefore high costs for years.

A switch within the line was positioned slightly too far to the right, causing produced parts to repeatedly get stuck in it. By correcting the switch, the cause of the malfunction could be eliminated and production on the line could be made more efficient in the long term.

Only the real-time data recorded directly on the production lines revealed the cause of the unplanned downtimes. With a small and simple correction, this could be eliminated in the long term.

Through digital data acquisition, our customer discovered that the performance data on a system did not correspond to the manufacturer’s specifications. The actual productivity of the machine measured in production deviated significantly from the manufacturer’s specifications.

Thanks to the transparent, digital recording of this data, a complaint could be made to the manufacturer. The manufacturer discovered that a component had been installed slightly differently to the ideal configuration, which led to a loss of productivity. The machine manufacturer optimized the structure free of charge, which led to the system achieving its maximum cycle time and thus to a considerable increase in productivity. As a result, production became significantly more efficient and customer B was able to increase its output.

The aspect of sustainability can also be promoted through transparent data. Our customer NORMBAU has developed best practices for this.

With the help of FASTEC 4 PRO, electricity consumption is measured in kWh via meters. The evaluation can be carried out per order, per machine and per building.

This data collection made it possible to implement optimization measures, such as insulating the heating strips. As a result, significant energy savings were achieved thanks to the data from the MES. 

We approach problems at our customers with the help of the DMAIC method from Six Sigma. The first step was to define the objective: reduce short downtimes on a filling/packaging line in the small container sector by 50%.

There is high production pressure on the line and the planned quantities were not being achieved due to a lack of efficiency. The question arose as to which unit should be optimized in order to be able to meet the required quantities in the long term. The employees all had different opinions on this.

Based on the data from FASTEC 4 PRO and a Pareto analysis, it quickly became clear that most productivity losses were caused by short downtimes at the carton erector. In the following steps, further evaluations and analyses identified various error patterns and uncovered the root causes. For example, it was noticed that the cartons were sticking together more frequently as the pressure roller sporadically got stuck. Furthermore, excessive humidity in production led to instability of the cartons, which meant that the stacker could not work cleanly and cartons were occasionally crushed in the production process.

Through various optimization measures, such as the repair of the inserts of the pressure roller and the redesign of the diverter, high efficiency potentials were activated and the target set at the input was far exceeded. The short downtimes on the system were reduced by 87.5 % thanks to the optimization measures on the carton erector.

A pharmaceutical manufacturing company wants to test whether OEE recording makes sense and uses the device on a single-product line. After a good two weeks, the production manager reports that productivity on this line has doubled. The reason for this increase was the recording of short downtimes. These malfunctions on the line describe downtimes of less than two minutes. The realization of what effect the sum of the many short downtimes has on the total shift time was enormous. Although it was known beforehand that the line stops frequently, the actual quantity was surprising. The system manufacturer’s service technicians were then informed and quickly analyzed and rectified the causes. This prevented expensive losses in the long term.

The OEE recording made the extreme dependency of the OEE on the Lot size visible for the first time. It became clear how much the many very small orders massively reduced productivity due to set-up and cleaning processes. As a result, countermeasures were taken on the sales side. The newly gained transparency also helped to massively reduce response times to machine malfunctions as well as set-up and cleaning times. Overall, it was even possible to reduce shift times despite increasing throughput, which led to lower personnel costs.

At a meat processing company, the OEE analysis made it clear that the existing three slicers were the bottleneck in production. They were then replaced by a new, more powerful slicer, which also led to a sustainable increase in productivity.

Further exciting and detailed use cases and details about the FASTEC 4 PRO solution can be found in our detailed user reports in the download center.

Author: Anne Gebhard

Design and Content Manager
Since 2019 experience in content creation for digitization projects in factories, close cooperation with sales and customers.

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