Increasing the efficiency of production activities should be focused on time optimization. More efficient production processes is one of the indicators of an organization success.

Key indicators of production

The main indicators that are measured in the production process or in the activity of the manufacturing company are the following:

  • Quoted Lead Time – time from receipt of the customer's order to its fulfillment;
  • Production Lead Time – time from delivery of raw materials to production to the finished product;

Production managers have to ensure, that the set requirements is met, and orders will reach customers on time - there is a need to always reach opportunities to improve productivity.

The basic principle of production improvement remains the same – aiming to speed up the production flow and short production time. As the manufacturing rate increases, the cost of the manufactured product decreases proportionately, because more products is manufactured in the same time, and local costs when production speeds rise - increases much more slowly.

One of the most important goals of production is to maintain the maximum acceptable rate at work. It is necessary to constantly look for different ways, which could allow optimization and increase of production efficiency. Weaknesses in the production process are also known as "bottle necks", when there is a lack of the necessary raw material capacity or there is incomplete exploitation of the production capacity. Constantly looking for efficient work, there is a constant search for and removal of the "bottle necks". Eliminating one of the "bottle necks" looking for the next one. It is a continuous process of production optimization, which requires extra attention. One of the effective production optimization tool is a process flow recorder, which allows real-time monitoring of the performance of weak production points, and also allows to record short-term malfunctions or downtime. If any changes has been made during the production optimization process, the system allows user to enter a tag with explanatory text, what changes have been made. The real-time graph shows how the change affected the production process.

Purpose of the production process recorder - continuous monitoring of one production process, data recording and display, without complicating the work of the machine operator or shift foreman with excess information.

Frequently asked question: Who needs this recording device, if the company already uses Lean, TOC or other similar work methodologies?

The answer: The use of a recorder is not harming other production optimization systems, it complement and make the production process more efficient. More complex systems often require access to a computer, which is often uncomfortable at the production site. The production activity recorder allows to display the process information, and when unplanned event occurred, it allows the problem to be noted and documented at the place of production, using a mobile phone.

if needed detailed history or current production information, the recording device will display it in a web browser window, on a mobile phone or on a computer.

What data can the production process recorder collect?

It can collect any repetitive steps in production, or events lasting an indefinite period of time.
Here is some typical application examples:

CNC milling / cutting / engraving machine operation mode recorder:

Signal lines IN1 - IN3 that are used in the recording device, is for measuring the duration of an incoming signal and summing the signal. The incoming signal can be a button press of the paint spray robot, motion sensor trigger either switching on or off the operator's production devices. The IN4 line in the device is dominant, when it receives a high front signal (positive voltage), automatically shuts off IN1-IN3 lines, and when the positive voltage signal disappears on the line - automatically enables that lines.  

Recording mode: Recording of working time intervals.
Recorder connectivity: IN1 - spindle frequency converter connection, IN2 - signal line, indicating that the mechanism is currently active, IN3 - signal line for external button - or this could be a new device connection, IN4 - not used, or used when the meter needs to be switched off or on after a certain event.


The meter records or displays the production process data (optional):

  • CNC machine tool operating time;
  • Total working time duration or as a percentage expression;
  • Number of cutting tools used and replaced;
  • An sound signal to the operator that a worn out tool needs to be replaced;
  • Down time or duration or percentage expression;
  • Work shifts, breaks and unexpected downtime is visible on the graph;
  • Clock function.

Any periodic operations performing mechanism

Recording mode: Pulse counting.
Recorder connectivity: IN1 - operation relay or any sensor, that outputs signal each time performing actions that are mentioned above. IN2-IN4 - not used in this case.
Production process data is recorded or displayed (optional):

  • Number of mechanism cycles per shift, and in a given short time interval;
  • Tact duration in real time, counting number of cycles in the given time interval;
  • Downtime, duration or percentage expression;
  • Work shifts, breaks and unexpected downtime is visible on the graph;
  • Clock function.

 

Examples of process recorders used in the production area