Machine monitoring used
in planning investments
Ensto is company that manufactures electrical supplies and operates in 17 countries. Ensto has been using Machine Track monitoring software since the beginning of this millennium. The software was implemented at Ensto in 2000, and now almost 90 machines are monitored by it.
“Our yield has improved by a few percentage points. This is a significant improvement since the initial yield was over 90%, so the expectations for the development were already high,” Edward Frisk, Technical Manager at Ensto explains.
Frisk explains that the payroll system uses incentive bonuses for the staff, which are based on the quality factor of production and the number of staff work hours and machine operating hours. The connection to the additional incentive eased the adoption of the system and motivated the users to use machine monitoring as a tool to raise efficiency.
“Machine Track and the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software have a shared interface. The number of finished products reported by the ERP system is compared with the theoretical capacity. These are quite simple key indicators, but in this case they are clear and work well,” Frisk explains.
Production facilities display utilization rates for the machines in real-time and possible wait and error times are displayed as well, with different coloured bars. This allows the user to know with one glance if any of the machines require immediate attention.
Frisk also explained that implementing a quality factor has transformed the working culture in the production department. Previously it was important that machines were simply running, but today the personnel place particular attention in the achieved quality – it does also add to their pay cheque, of course.
Machine monitoring provides a good basis of information for strategic planning. For instance, Machine Track revealed that for some products the manufacturing capacities of certain components were not in balance and this component formed a bottleneck. With this revelation, it was easy to invest in the specific part of production that was holding back the overall process.
Also, some machines were found to be more susceptible to faults and errors than the rest of the production machinery. Efficiency was raised by increasing the monitoring and preventive maintenance of these machines. This solution proved successful and delivered the desired effect.
In addition, the utilization rate is examined at the macro level and the error and wait times on a quarterly basis. When these are compared with the remaining capacity, investment planning can be designed in detail. Therefore, machine monitoring supports strategic planning, meeting one of its primary goals.
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