Article | May 18, 2021
For twenty years as an editorial contributor to Quality Digest magazine, I have had the pleasure of authoring or collaborating more than 80 articles for the publication. During this two-decade tenure, I have worked with Dirk Dusharme (pictured left), Editor in Chief of Quality Digest.
Quality Digest’s website receives more than three million page views each year, which provide editorial content, live broadcasts, videos, and on-demand webinars presented by industry experts on international quality standards, leadership, manufacturing, metrology, statistical process control, training, and more.
Quality Digest continues its important role as companies navigate a post-COVID reality with a critical role of safety, quality, efficiency, and resiliency. Quality elements are no longer an after-thought. It is essential when examining automation, lean manufacturing, and new paradigms for best practice. During COVID, all of us became more remote savvy and the demand for visionary content and information essential.
According to Dusharme, “Since their debut almost a decade ago, Quality Digest's "enhanced" webinar events have raised the bar for the traditional webinar experience. Our audience has come to expect concise, informative, and engaging presentations with subject matter experts who know what they are talking about. Apart from the traditional quality topics, we delve into areas that broaden our audience’s knowledge. These topics range from cybersecurity, to supply chain management, to understanding and dealing with cognitive biases. Our goal is to provide up-to-date, actionable information that our audience can immediately put to use. Live video feeds of the presenters and the products, interactive Q&A sessions, surveys, and valuable downloads all make up our usual webinar experience, followed by next-day access to the on-demand recording and materials.”
Enhanced Webinars from Quality Digest feature real-time streaming video of host, subject matter expert, and a case study in action. Users can email questions, chat, or download files in real-time. This modality is ideal for visual case studies/product demos, team or customer training, and new product/new service announcements.
Article | December 23, 2021
Every manufacturing company aims to be as efficient as possible to maximize profit. However, it's difficult to determine where you stand and what targets to establish unless you can precisely measure your efficiency. Manufacturing KPIsplay an important role in this process.
Keeping track of many indicators without considering their commercial worth is a waste of time.
“Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted”
- Albert Einstein
But connecting goals to measurements is a certain way to track progress and improve processes. So let's get started with how to choose the most appropriate key performance indicators(KPIs) for your business.
Manufacturing KPI 2022: How to Choose the Right One?
Why are KPIs called “Key” Performance Indicators? While any statistic can be used to assess performance, KPIs are the most critical. Hence they are called key performance indicators. Companies' priorities while selecting their company KPIs may differ substantially depending on the industry in which they operate.
“Strategic-operational KPIs alignment gives the organization a powerful tool to use when implementing change.”
― Pearl Zhu
A corporation should not track more than ten manufacturing KPIs to avoid overblowing processes. So, manufacturing efficiency, customer satisfaction, lead times, etc., should all be included.
Depending on your business nature, you must select your KPIs. However, each of those indicators must meet a set of criteria before being considered meaningful.
So, what is a decent KPI for manufacturing?
It gives objective and clear data on progress toward a certain goal
It measures efficiency, quality, punctuality, and performance
It allows for tracking performance over time
It helps in decision making
It should be the one that matches the company's long-term objectives
It has to be measurable and quantifiable
It must be realistic and actionable
Following that, let's have a look at the most important manufacturing KPIs for 2022, which will assist you in better understanding your manufacturing business and formulating a growth strategy in line with that understanding.
Most Critical Manufacturing KPIs in Order of Priority
Despite the fact that manufacturers should also monitor general key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales revenue, net profit margin, and so on, the manufacturing business demands the tracking of specific manufacturing metrics. Below are some of the most important manufacturing key performance indicators (KPIs).
Using this manufacturing KPI metric, you can see how much value there is in products still in progress. It assists manufacturing organizations in determining how much of their working capital is locked up in incomplete products and can aid in identifying supply chain managementdifficulties.
You can compute the Work-In-Progress (WIP) by using the formula provided below.
Return on Assets
This manufacturing KPIseems to be more about financing than manufacturing. Yes, it does. However, financial measurements are just as vital as production ones. A firm cannot exist unless it generates revenue, and this indicator measures how efficiently your company uses its assets and generates revenues.
The Return on Assets (ROA) of your company can be calculated using the formula below.
Cost Per Unit
It is critical to understand the overall manufacturing cost per unit. You can't appropriately price a product without it. This manufacturing KPIdivides total manufacturing costs by the number of units produced. Materials, overhead, depreciation, and labor are standard costs.
Companies utilize this manufacturing statisticto forecast future raw material needs to satisfy client demand. Unfortunately, this statistic is more challenging to employ because it is mainly dependent on unpredictable external circumstances. The basic formula is:
The seasonal factors are distinct
Average demand is calculated as:
A company's lead time, also known as order cycle time, is an important KPI. It shows how swiftly your organization processes orders and meets client requests. It is time it takes to complete an order from confirmation to delivery.
Long lead times can imply process inefficiencies that produce bottlenecks and excessive expenses. Conversely, short lead times are important since they allow you to respond to consumer needs swiftly and efficiently.
The total lead time can be divided into smaller segments as follows:
The time it takes to manufacture a product from start to finish
The time it takes to deliver a product from stockto a client
The time it takes suppliers to deliver products to manufacturers
By segmenting the lead time, you may more precisely identify the areas where inefficiencies in the process occur.
Toyota’s Four Key Performance Metrics
As a company, Toyota places a high focus on environmental protection. Toyota's vehicles are designed to use less fuel and produce less waste.
Regardless of the company's size, Toyota is committed to protecting the environment. Toyota's 'Earth Charter' was created in 1992 as part of the company's Global Policy initiative. It was Toyota's first overseas facility and the UK's first ISO14001-certified car manufacturer. Waterborne paints were utilized for the first time and zero waste was sent to landfills. In 2009, Toyota Manufacturing UK did not use any incinerators.
Toyota has developed a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) for each of its major production areas. There are four key performance metrics: energy, water, waste, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Since its start in 1992, Toyota Manufacturing UK has attempted to mitigate its environmental impact. The figure below illustrates the environmental KPIsfor the Burnaston plant. Each year, Toyota sets new goals to improve its results.
79% reduction in vehicle energy consumption
62% reduction in waste per car
76% reduction in VOC emissions per car
79% reduction in water consumption per vehicle
You can use the aforementioned manufacturing KPIsto construct your manufacturing KPI template, but keep in mind that the manufacturing metricsyou need to track may differ from those listed here. The first prudent move any business can make while examining its operation is to identify and track the relevant KPIs. Also, in manufacturing, there are several different KPIs, phrases, and abbreviations need to be understood and used where it makes the most sense.
What is manufacturing KPI?
A manufacturing Key Performance Indicator (KPI) or metric is a well-defined and measurable indicator that the manufacturing sector uses to evaluate its performance over time and compare it to that of other industries.
What are the key KPIs for manufacturers?
On-Time Delivery, Production Schedule Attainment, Total Cycle Time, Throughput, Capacity Utilization, and Changeover Time are some of the key manufacturing KPIs.
Article | November 20, 2021
Modern manufacturing methods are pioneering and adopting manufacturing industry advancements. To remain competitive in the present era and provide the most excellent industry solutions to your organization and target customer group in 2022, you must employ new manufacturing technologies in your manufacturing processes.
Additionally, embracing current technologies is the ideal approach to tackle the industry's current challenges such as workplace safety, digitalization of operations, and a lack of skilled workers.
This article will discuss some of the leading manufacturing technologies that transform traditional manufacturing facilities into smart manufacturing factories. So, let us begin.
Manufacturing Technology & Innovations for 2022
To better understand industry 4.0, let's look at some of the manufacturing technologies that will dominate the manufacturing industry in 2022.
Numerous industries, including aerospace, healthcare, electronics, and architecture, utilize 3D printing in manufacturing. It is the most widely used technology across industries and will remain so in 2022 and in the years to come.
We may also anticipate more advancements in this technology to help overcome current barriers to 3D printing adoption, including equipment costs, material constraints, lengthier manufacturing times, a lack of knowledge, and legal issues.
Additionally, it would assist manufacturers in overcoming current manufacturing challenges such as increasing product demand, increasing automation, and locating and retaining the workforce in manufacturing plants. It is vital to incorporate 3D technology into production processes to achieve greater precision and accuracy in manufacturing.
The Internet of Things is a critical component of the industry 4.0 revolution. It has altered the environment of data collection and analysis across sectors. For example, the Internet of Things is assisting manufacturers in better understanding manufacturing and supply chain operations, forecasting product demand, and boosting customer experiences.
Implementing IoT in your manufacturing plant will also help you avoid production delays and increase the performance of your production lines. Additionally, it will decrease equipment downtime and improve process efficiency. It also enhances worker safety and enables more effective labor management.
To begin implementing IoT in your manufacturing plant, you must first examine your manufacturing processes and research how other organizations have implemented IoT in their manufacturing processes or products. This method will assist you in determining the optimal location to begin integrating the IoT in your manufacturing plants and transforming them into smart ones.
“Once you start to look at yourself in the right way and realize that projects are at the core of your business, it is easy to see how you should use technology to support your business.”
– Matt Mong, VP of Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca.
GD & T
The model created in the CAD program for any product is not exactly replicated with the exact dimensions during the production procedures. Thus, manufacturers or engineers utilize GD&T (Geometric Dimension &Tolerancing) to manage and communicate the permissible variation within a product assembly to manufacturing partners and inspectors.
GD&T is a programming language that enables developers and inspectors to optimize functionality without incurring additional costs. The primary advantage of GD&T is that it expresses the design intent rather than the final geometry. However, as with a vector or formula, it is a representation of the actual item.
AR & VR
The two primary transformation aspects in the industry 4.0notion are augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). AR technology in manufacturing enables firms to operate more efficiently by reducing production time. Additionally, it discovers and resolves manufacturing process difficulties.
Virtual reality technology benefits the industrial business in a variety of ways. It enables product designers to mimic their prototypes or models using powerful virtual reality software. This enables them to correct faults at the first stage of production and minimize production time and cost. Additionally, the technology provides additional benefits, such as increased workplace productivity and safety.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) refers to a comprehensive end-to-end software solution that is used across sectors. It assists the manufacturing business in successfully maintaining production processes and other operational data by avoiding numerous roadblocks along the way. ERP technology enables enterprises to improve process efficiency and product quality by tackling industry-specific difficulties such as insufficient data, operation integration, inventory control, supply chain management, and on-time delivery.
Discover How John Deere Manufactured Their Tractors Using Cutting-edge Technologies
John Deere is a significant firm that embraces innovation and the Internet of Things. The company integrates Internet of Things sensors, wireless communication, and intelligent land management systems. It further integrates IoT tools into its manufacturing process, bridging the gap between technologies. Additionally, the company is a pioneer in GPS technology. Its most modern technology, which it incorporates into tractors, is accurate to within two centimeters. Additionally, the organization has implemented telemetry technology for predictive maintenance.
Manufacturing innovations are assisting manufacturers in modernizing their traditional manufacturing processes. Modern manufacturing is equipped with modern technologies that aim to improve the processes and goods, increasing the manufacturers' commercial revenues. So, to remain competitive in this age of technological innovation, manufacturers must update their manufacturing processes to remain relevant in today's manufacturing world.
What is manufacturing innovation?
Manufacturing innovation includes new technology, supply chain modifications, and product and process improvements. As a result, businesses can benefit significantly from innovation and typically surpass their competitors.
Which technologies are considered to be a component of advanced manufacturing?
3–D printing, robotics, IoT, nanotechnology, cloud computing, robotics, and big data are the significant components of advanced manufacturing.
How are cutting-edge technologies assisting the manufacturing sector?
The cutting-edge technology can precisely estimate demand to set production objectives, analyze machine data to predict when parts will break before a human operator can detect, and more.
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"text": "Manufacturing innovation includes new technology, supply chain modifications, and product and process improvements. As a result, businesses can benefit significantly from innovation and typically surpass their competitors."
"name": "Which technologies are considered to be a component of advanced manufacturing?",
"text": "3–D printing, robotics, IoT, nanotechnology, cloud computing, robotics, and big data are the significant components of advanced manufacturing."
"name": "How are cutting-edge technologies assisting the manufacturing sector?",
"text": "The cutting-edge technology can precisely estimate demand to set production objectives, analyze machine data to predict when parts will break before a human operator can detect, and more."
Article | December 8, 2021
The manufacturing production schedule is a critical aspect that enables the manufacturing business to complete each production activity precisely and on time. Allocating different raw materials, resources, or processes to distinct project phases is called a production schedule. Its goal is to make your manufacturing process as efficient and cost-effective as possible in terms of resources and labor — all while delivering products on schedule.
As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity."
– Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca
So, how is the overall production schedule managed?
According to businesswire, the global APS (Advanced Production Planning and Scheduling) software market was valued at $1,491.22 million in 2020 and is anticipated to raise $2,941.27 million by 2028 expanding at an 8.86 percent CAGR from 2020 to 2028.
Some software and tools are available to assist manufacturing organizations in properly scheduling production planning, including MaxScheduler, TACTIC, MRPeasy, and Gantt charts. Though there are numerous software programs available on the market for production scheduling, the most crucial aspect is determining which elements to consider when planning production.
This blog will look at the five most important factors to consider while planning the production schedule.
Five Elements to Consider When Scheduling Production
As we saw in the introduction, production scheduling is used in the manufacturing process to assign plant and machinery resources, schedule human resources, plan production processes, and purchase materials.
So, what are the primary components or stages of this production scheduling process? Let's take a quick look at each of them.
Planning to Make the Best Use of the Company's Resources
The role of planning in production scheduling is to use the company's resources to maintain a regular production flow. As a result, downtime is decreased, and bottlenecks are minimized, allowing production to be optimized. For production scheduling, two forms of planning can be used:
Dynamic Planning: Dynamic planning is carried out under the idea that process stages will alter. So, materials must be ready, but production cannot begin until demand is decided.
Static Planning: Static planning is done keeping in mind that all process steps will be completed on schedule and without adjustments.
Routing to Determine the Order of Actions
A “bill of materials” is used in discrete manufacturing to specify what things are needed and in what quantities.
Routing determines the path and sequence of required phases of the process. It may involve in-house operations, but it may also comprise sub-contracted components that must be returned to the production flow for final assembly.
Scheduling to Make Use of Predetermined Planning Levels
To manufacture products from components or raw materials, scheduling makes use of the previously set planning level. As a result, it is time-dependent and must meet the demand outlined at the planning level.
Each department, product, and procedure can have their own unique set of timetables. Sub-schedules for sub-assemblies or mixes and blends may be defined by department-specific master production schedules, utilized at the highest level to define product timeframes.
Dispatching to Decide on Immediate Actions
Dispatching assigns the following jobs to be done from a subset of the production queue. Dispatching is utilized to make quick decisions. This is in contrast to planning, which involves the planning of future actions. Dispatching is utilized in both pull and push production systems.
Execution to Ensure that all Processes are Carried out Correctly
Production scheduling must rely on proper execution to ensure that all processes are completed appropriately and in the sequence planned.
It requires everyone to know what they are expected to do and when they are expected to do it. Execution requires knowledgeable management decisions, well-trained employees, correct data in the manufacturing plan and schedule, and consistent sales statistics and forecast numbers. All must be present for the organization to carry out its production plan and fulfill orders.
How MRPeasy – A Production Scheduling Software Assist Manufacturing Companies in Scheduling Their Production?
MRPeasy is a cloud-based material requirements planning (MRP) application explicitly designed for small manufacturing units. Its primary functions are purchase order management, forecasting, and inventory management.
This software simplifies the process of scheduling production. It enables you to evaluate all of your anticipated manufacturing orders (MO). The bill of materials (BOM), purchasing, and stocking are all maintained in one location, allowing you to quickly book inventory and increase purchase orders (PO) for acquired parts.
MRPeasy enables you to:
Obtain all of the detailed information on all of your MOs
Consider MOs as a single block or as distinct operations.
Drag-and-drop operations and operations to reschedule
Calendar or Gantt chart views are available for monitoring scheduled orders.
Additionally, you can manage MOs smoothly. With the production planning component, you may create, amend, and update MOs. This app compiles an exhaustive list of all your MOs. You can track their progress based on the status of an order or a part's availability. Additionally, you can search for, filter, and export your MOs.
How to schedule production for your organization requires extensive research, planning, and analysis of overall product demand as well as a grasp of the time required to meet the demand. Production scheduling techniques such as job-based planning, batch method, flow method, and others help develop a productive manufacturing production schedule. Include the elements mentioned above in your manufacturing scheduling to get the best possible benefits, such as better production efficiency, lower production costs, and on-time product delivery for your manufacturing in 2022.
How production planning differ from production scheduler?
Production planning and scheduling are often mixed. But there is a difference. Planning decides what and how much work must be done, whereas scheduling specifies who and when the work will be done.
What is real-time manufacturing scheduling?
Real-Time Scheduling is a production planning, scheduling, and tracking tool that enables manufacturing organizations to improve customer satisfaction and achieve optimal operational performance cost-effectively.
How can scheduling be improved?
Communication with staff is a great way to improve scheduling. This is true for all businesses, software or otherwise. However, management should not burden employees with ambiguous or unclear communication, and vice versa.
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"text": "Production planning and scheduling are often mixed. But there is a difference. Planning decides what and how much work must be done, whereas scheduling specifies who and when the work will be done."
"name": "What is real-time manufacturing scheduling?",
"text": "Real-Time Scheduling is a production planning, scheduling, and tracking tool that enables manufacturing organizations to improve customer satisfaction and achieve optimal operational performance cost-effectively."
"name": "How can scheduling be improved?",
"text": "Communication with staff is a great way to improve scheduling. This is true for all businesses, software or otherwise. However, management should not burden employees with ambiguous or unclear communication, and vice versa."