Sunday, January 15, 2017

Eliminate Manual Data Collection In Manufacturing

One of the biggest pushes for the digitization of manufacturing processes is the elimination of paper and manual input into spreadsheets. According to the Manufacturing Enterprise Solution Association, 60% of Tier 1 manufacturers surveyed in 2014 were still reliant on paper and/or spreadsheet tracking. Those operations confront some very costly realities including exposure to errors; constant training and checking of documents steering attention away from data collection; slowness in data collection; inability to react in realtime to events. The bottom line in all of these realities is increased costs of operation and increased COGS.
Many manufacturers, realizing the inherent inefficiencies of paper and spreadsheets, are making steps toward digitization of their processes. They are looking toward Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) as a part of their digitization process, but should be including Yield Management as well.  When examining their options, some of the key characteristics that are important to their decision process are:
  • Ease of configuration. Whether it is the loading of BOM’s, parts, or processes the ideal MES will allow the users to load the information in accordance to their procedures and processes rather than relying on consultants to complete the work for them.
  • Tracking and traceability. The ideal MES system will be able to track processes and products through a variety of methods – user input, systems data transfer, bar code scanners, and auxiliary inputs like sensors. This in-depth tracking leads to tighter product genealogy traceability, resulting in true inventory management.  However, product performance testing and yield trending is a critical component of overall reliability and cost control.  This is the domain of a Yield Management system.  
  • Thorough data collection. Data collection needs to reach beyond just the manufacturing process.  It needs to capture from product performance testing, machine performance monitoring, and qualification data internally and from suppliers. Only with an integrated Yield Management system is this achievable.  This type of system stores data in a unified data structure, that binds it to the MES transactions, for true factory performance monitoring and deep product genealogy traceability. Digital transactional records make analytics timely and quick; data is more accessible for collaboration and realtime response to events.
  • Quick and Universal Access. The ideal MES + Yield Management system is browser based, eliminating the need for additional hardware, and accessible from anywhere in the network. Access to data should be graphical and coordinated so that decision making is visual, transparent, and timely.
INTRARATIO, a provider of intelligent manufacturing software solutions, offers an integrated MES + Yield Management solution, RUNCARD+DATACARD, that addresses these characteristics. The adoption of this solution removes the burden and costs of the paper habit quickly and effectively, for rapid ROI.