Profit and productivity are the backbones of any business. Without these two ingredients, there is no incentive to run a business. However, achieving both of these is no child’s play. Several factors like unplanned downtimes, productivity stops, and operational glitches lead to loss of production. Productivity principles like Lean Manufacturing were designed to overcome these productivity killers. Manufacturing plants use OEE as a tool to measure the effectiveness of their plant and processes.
Higher availability of plant and machinery means better output. Efficiency can be further improved by eliminating waste from the process. But, this is easier said than done. Murphy’s law ‘Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong’, clearly defines how things work in manufacturing plants. Things go wrong all of a sudden and managers are bound to get unpleasant surprises. Such breakdowns not only waste time but also increase the overall costs. Delay in production, labor idling, and emergency repairs bring a lot of negative impression on the balance sheets. To Reduce Manufacturing Costs plant managers aggressively use tools for monitoring Manufacturing Downtime.
Downtime Software programs work as 24/7 monitors of the whole manufacturing process. They monitor the progress of your machinery and report all kinds of problem or maintenance updates in a prompt manner. They work as a preventive mechanism which keeps you alert towards the need for maintenance and upkeep of the machines. It keeps the managers as well as the operators in the loop and shows easy to understand color-coded alerts. You can see the performance of machines or reasons for unplanned stops in real time anywhere even on your smartphone.
This trend has made Downtime Software programs quite important for manufacturing plants. There are lots of programs in the market with a variety of features and advantages and all are not the same. However, this may also create a problem of choice in front of the managers. While most of the programs offer all the standard features, yet it is important to know the important things to look for while choosing the best Downtime Software for easy and effective monitoring of Manufacturing Downtime.
Key Features of Downtime Software
- Easy Access Everywhere
The only thing worse than not having a Downtime Software is not having access to it on the go. The times have changed and they have drastically changed the way business is done these days. You can’t stick to the plant all the time but not knowing the problems as and when they occur can be a problem. Go for a software to track Manufacturing Downtime that shows you the real-time data on your smartphone too.
- Better Data Representation
Confusing or complex data doesn’t solve any part of the problem. It may be good for scholarly work but when it comes to real problem solving it just increases the problems. Choosing a Downtime Software that shows problems and alerts in color-coded easy to understand way is the best.
- Historical Representation of Data
To judge the performance of any machine or calculate the efficiency of any process it is always important to have a broader picture. Historical data helps you in analyzing the performance of your machines and processes in the correct way. This should be a thing to look for in your Downtime Software.
- Identification of the Main Sources of Downtime
Managing a manufacturing unit is a tough and demanding job. There are too many components and things easily lead to a butterfly effect. In such places, correct assessment of the main sources of the downtime is very important. This helps in faster resolution and shorter downtime. Always look for a Downtime Software that helps you in precise identification of the main sources of downtime.
- Knowledge of Main Productivity Killers
Every manufacturing plant develops its own productivity killers over a period of time. They slow down your system and remain inconspicuous. Your Downtime Software must be capable of finding out the productivity killers. It must have a way to scale productivity on various parameters to get accurate information.
- Separate Computation of Planned Downtime
Stats are a source of knowledge but incorrect stats can be very dangerous. They may make you look for problems in the areas where there is none and you may end up wasting a lot of time and energy. Planned and unplanned downtimes are two separate things. Planned downtimes are necessary and they do not disrupt your production. But, if your Downtime Software is computing this time too in Manufacturing Downtime, then you may have misleading facts in your hand. Your software must have provisions to calculate both separately.
Choose a program that solves the purpose and helps you in achieving your production goals easily. Programs that offer a dozen of features that don’t solve a real problem but work as an eyewash are of no use.