thumbnail post
Maximizing Profits With Downtime Tracking in Manufacturing  

One of the most important things to understand about downtime tracking is that you’re ultimately examining so much more than just whether a piece of equipment is running or whether it isn’t. Really, you don’t need technology to tell you when a machine goes offline – you have your eyes to take care of that for you.

Rather, downtime tracking is all about generating an almost unprecedented level of visibility into your enterprise – one that unlocks the type of insight that helps you maximize productivity AND profits in one fell swoop.

Maximize Downtime Tracking, Maximize Profits

By far, the biggest way that downtime tracking can help maximize profits involves giving you an opportunity to optimize not only the overall performance of your production lines, but their uptime as well.

It’s rare that you’ll find any manufacturing environment that operates at 100% uptime all day long. Things happen and unexpected downtime is sometimes a way of life. But even beyond that, equipment needs to go offline for planned maintenance. Shifts need to change. These are all things that you’re not really going to be able to avoid.

But with downtime tracking, you have an opportunity to maximize your uptime in a way that guarantees you produce the products you need at a cost that falls in line with your forecasts and projections as well.

If you don’t know exactly when certain machines are running and when they’re not, you’ll have a difficult time in terms of how you plan out your operations. Once you’re able to see when your machines are online and off in real-time, you can have a better understanding of the types of choices you need to make in terms of operations, logistics and similar factors.

You can also prioritize where employees are and what they’re doing when armed with this information. If any critical performance issues are discovered, you can put a stop to them before it’s too late to fix them. But most importantly, you’ll be able to gain a better understanding of the types of issues that are preventable and which ones aren’t. This level of understanding will allow you to run a smarter business, which will invariably allow it to become a more profitable one as well.

This level of downtime tracking can also help in terms of making sure that your equipment is optimized in a way that allows you to meet your delivery dates, for example. By its nature, downtime tracking is also a great way to gain insight into any loss or waste you might be experiencing – thus letting you remove as much as possible in a way that increases your profit margins as well.

If you’d like to find out more information about how you can maximize profits with downtime tracking, or if you’d just like to discuss the way our innovative solution might be able to help empower your efforts in a bit more detail, please don’t delay – contact Thrive today.

 

 

thumbnail post
How Downtime Tracking Can Help Meet Key Challenges in the Pharmaceutical Industry  

A lot of people out there just don’t realize how heavily the pharmaceutical industry, in particular, depends upon factories and shop floors across the world to keep us all as healthy as possible. Vaccines (a topic that is particularly relevant given everything going on in the world right now), medical devices, drugs, you name it – all of it passes across an assembly line at some point in its lifecycle.

But at the same time, the pharmaceutical industry must face its own unique share of challenges – with safety being one of the most important of them all. When a product in another industry makes its way into the hands of a customer and it doesn’t perform in the way it was expected to, it could cause damage to your reputation. When that same issue happens with a pharmaceutical product, people could get sick… or worse.

So when the stakes are this high, obviously you need to capitalize on any opportunity you have to tackle these key challenges in the pharmaceutical industry – and more and more organizations are turning to downtime tracking to help accomplish precisely that.

Downtime Tracking and the Pharmaceutical Industry: An Overview

According to the Food and Drug Administration, a “recall” is officially defined as “an action executed by a manufacturer at any time to remove a defective or harmful drug product from the market.” This happens not only when the drug in question is found to potentially make people sick, but also when it is found to be in violation of laws and regulations administered directly from the FDA itself.

Why does this matter? Because the average recall tends to cost pharmaceutical companies approximately $10 million in direct costs – to say nothing of the irreparable damage you could be doing to your reputation that is difficult to put a price on.

So how does downtime tracking help meet this and other key challenges in the pharmaceutical industry? By allowing you more visibility into performance, downtime and – most critically – quality than ever before.

At a moment’s notice, you can visualize the entirety of your operations in a way that finally shows you just how effective (or not) you truly are. In addition to being able to instantly see what is working, you’ll be able to identify that which ISN’T performing the way it should or that could be negatively impacting quality – thus putting actionable steps in place to avoid these types of problems altogether.

But more than that, you’ll have everything you need to guarantee these types of high quality, predictable results every single time – making sure that recalls and other safety-related issues simply aren’t things you need to fear any longer.

If you’re interested in continuing this discussion about how downtime tracking can help meet some of the key challenges you’re facing on a regular basis in the pharmaceutical industry, or if you’d just like to learn more about what our innovative downtime tracking solution can do, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact Thrive today.

 

thumbnail post
Eliminate Those Hidden Costs With Downtime Tracking  

Obviously, there are certain types of costs that are associated with equipment downtime that you’ll want to do everything in your power to avoid. If a mission critical piece of equipment is supposed to be able to produce 100 parts an hour and it was offline for 30 minutes, that’s roughly 50 parts (give or take that never got made). Meaning, of course, that this is 50 parts don’t exist and as a result can’t be sold to customers – representing a not-insignificant amount of revenue left on the table.

But at the same time, there are also hidden costs that can also add up quickly. To continue with the above example, that’s also 30 minutes where employees were being paid to essentially sit around and wait. That’s money that needed to be spent on replacement parts or to call in maintenance crews to get things back up and running again.

Save Money (and Your Sanity) With Downtime Tracking

If those hidden costs add up to a significant amount of money over just 30 minutes… think about how bad things can become if the situation is left unchecked for three hours. Or an entire eight-hour shift. Or a day or two… only to have it happen AGAIN next month for reasons you haven’t figured out yet.

This, in essence, is how downtime tracking helps to eliminate a lot of these hidden costs – the type of detailed reporting and analysis the right solution can offer will give you every piece of insight you need to make better and more informed decisions whenever possible.

Only downtime tracking solutions like Thrive let you analyze stops by factors like which particular process was running, which machine was being used, what line you’re talking about, etc. You can break things down (no pun intended) based on department, shift, crew, you name it – all to uncover trends and patterns that likely would have otherwise gone undiscovered.

But what this really means is that you’re never more than a few quick mouse clicks away from identifying ALL of your top downtime losses, which in turn allows you to drill right down into the causes in a way that eliminates guesswork from the conversation. So not only are you getting back up and running after downtime instances even faster, but you’re also figuring out what you need to do to prevent those reoccurring (not to mention costly) issues from rearing their ugly head again.

Plus, the best part of all is that you can make these types of reports a regular part of your monthly review process – thus making sure that these hidden costs aren’t the types of things you need to worry about ever again.

If you’re interested in learning about even more ways in which downtime tracking can help eliminate a lot of those hidden costs that your organization shouldn’t have to deal with any longer, or if you just have any additional questions that you’d like to go over in a bit more detail, please don’t delay – contact Thrive today.

 

thumbnail post
How Automated Production Reporting Saves You an Incredible Amount of Time Every Day

With regards to your production lines, one of the most important things for you to understand is that you can’t improve what you’re not tracking. Yes, it’s incredibly difficult to get an entire factory operating at 100% peak efficiency at all times – but you’re not going to get anywhere even close to that point if you don’t understand what’s currently working and, more importantly, what isn’t.

To help unlock this level of insight, many organizations turn to comprehensive downtime reporting. But rather than assigning this task to your human employees (and thus taking them away from those matters that absolutely need their attention), it’s crucial to buy into the fact that automated production reporting can save you an incredible amount of time every day for reasons that are beyond worth exploring.

The Power of Automated Production Reporting: Breaking Things Down

To get a better understanding of just how much time can be saved by embracing automated production reporting, all you have to do is look at the sheer volume of information you’ll be able to access.

Not only will you be able to automatically record downtime events (and their associated fault codes), but you’ll also have the ability to analyze those events based on factors like which process was running, what machine was involved, which line was doing the work, and more. You can even take a look at the department in question, which shift the downtime event occurred during and even which crew was operating it at the moment.

Could you get this level of insight if you were still operating in an old school era of pen and paper? Sure – it’s just that collecting this all manually will essentially turn into a full-time job in and of itself. Or, you could let the automated reporting offered by downtime tracking do it and have access to this level of detailed analysis in just a few quick mouse clicks.

But even more than that, this type of automated reporting can run on-demand or on a schedule of your own choosing. It can even be used to generate instant alerts whenever something deviates from “normal” working conditions so that someone who might be in a position to address an issue can be informed of it right away.

The best part of all is that this type of automated reporting only becomes more valuable over time, as you can use the historical data that you’re creating to take a look at production downtime trends over any period of time that you’d like. You can classify all stops by a system that makes the most sense to you like operational issues, planned stops vs. unplanned stops, breakdowns and more – all so that you can see what your most common issues are and put a stop to them as fast as you can.

To get additional insight into how automated production reporting can help save you a significant amount of time on a daily basis, or to speak to an expert about your own unique needs in a bit more detail, please don’t delay – contact Thrive today.

 

thumbnail post
The Impact That OEE Can Have on the Food and Beverage Industry  

If you had to make a list of all the things you need to worry about as an official in the food and beverage industry, public health and safety would undoubtedly be right at the top.

In another industry if you have a quality control issues on your hands, probably the biggest thing you need to worry about is damaging a relationship with a client. In the food and beverage industry, you have not only that, but the fact that you could easily make people sick.

That’s one of the major reasons why OEE or “overall equipment effectiveness” is something you should absolutely be tracking on an ongoing basis. Not only will it help avoid the types of quality issues that could easily lead to a recall, but it can also help optimize your organization so that it’s performing at peak efficiency across the board.

Why OEE Matters in the Food and Beverage Industry

At its core, overall equipment effectiveness is the nexus where quality, performance and availability meet – meaning that the closer you can get your score to 100%, the closer you are to manufacturing A) only the highest quality items, at B) the best possible quality, and C) as quickly as you can.

Why is this important in the food and beverage industry? Because if you run into an issue in any one of these three core areas, your productivity will grind to a stop in more ways than one. Obviously, you can’t let poor quality items go out the door – just like you can’t afford to deal with unexpected bouts of downtime or production schedules that are taking far longer than they should.

By measuring OEE, what you’re really doing is identifying your losses, benchmarking your progress and doing so in a way that unlocks more valuable analytical information than ever before. At that point, you can understand WHY certain issues related to quality and other areas are occurring so that you can not only address them now, but so that you can also stop them from happening again in the future.

At Thrive, we find that roughly 20% of the downtime-related issues that most food and beverage businesses experience directly contribute to about 80% of the problems that they face on a daily basis. Wouldn’t you value the opportunity to make a single move that suddenly solves 80% of your issues, all so that you can get back to focusing on the most important matters that actually require your attention? Of course you would – and that’s exactly the type of impact that OEE can have on the food and beverage industry, and it’s why you need to be paying far more attention to it moving forward.

If you’d like to get answers to any other specific questions that you may have, or if you’re just interested in continuing this discussion about the impact that OEE can have on the food and beverage industry in a little more detail, please don’t delay – contact Thrive today.

thumbnail post
The Real Cost of Poor Performing Equipment  

By far, the biggest contributing factor to the overall costs of poor performing equipment has to do with the downtime itself. Regardless of the type of business you’re running or even the industry that you’re operating in, the “real” cost of a machine stoppage has been estimated to fall somewhere between four to 15 times the costs of ongoing maintenance. This obviously takes into consideration some of the financial issues that may crop up from that downtime including missed deadlines, loss of reputation, etc.

Poor Performing Equipment Creates a Poor Performing Business

Of course, the next most immediate cost is also, for many organizations, the most immediate: the excess maintenance that you now suddenly have to pay for that you really weren’t planning on at all.

If you’re dealing with poor performing equipment, you’re naturally going to pay more to maintain it than you would with reliable machines – even if you don’t necessarily realize it. Fragile parts are going to have to be changed out more often. This means more money to materials as well as labor. This means taking the time of valuable employees away from matters that need their attention. All this, and you’re still likely going to have to deal with unexpected downtime due to the nature of the situation.

But more than anything, the biggest long-term cost of poor performing equipment has to do with what you’re actually sacrificing: quality.

When equipment is failing, the chances of sub-par products coming off of your assembly line increase exponentially. Not only can that go a long way towards damaging your reputation with your customers, but it also means that you’ll have to spend even more money to rework those faulty parts to meet whatever orders you have outstanding.

Or you could take one meaningful step to avoid these types of costs altogether – which is exactly what downtime tracking is all about.

Yes, downtime tracking is all about figuring out why unexpected stops are happening – but it’s easy to see how this also fits in within the bigger picture of your business. By understanding why ALL stops are happening, you can identify which ones are happening most frequently – and which machines are most commonly impacted. Once you have that level of insight, you have everything you need to recognize when a piece of equipment is failing long before it ever gets to the point where it can do some real damage. Likewise, you can use this insight to prioritize maintenance across the board to help extend the operational life of every last machine on your factory floor – thus getting as much value as you can out of your investments and avoiding these types of costly situations altogether.

To find out more about what you’re really paying by continuing to deal with that poor performing equipment, or to get answers to any other specific questions that you may have, please feel free to reach out to your friends at Thrive today.

 

thumbnail post
Why Accurate Downtime Tracking Matters: Find Out What You Data is REALLY Trying to Tell You  

Obviously, downtime is a major concern for nearly all manufacturers out there because lost capacity is exactly that – lost forever. Regardless of how hard you try to make up for those losses tomorrow, you can’t fight the fact that they existed today – and you can’t hide the amount of money you left on the table because of them.

In an effort to try to mitigate risk from this as much as possible, many manufacturers turn to downtime tracking – albeit in the wrong way. Far too often, people are still recording machine downtime the old-fashioned way: via pen and paper or, at best, an Excel spreadsheet. The issue is that while this may record downtime “data” in a literal sense, it does little to help you uncover the true story hidden INSIDE that data.

Therefore, if you really want to find out what your data is trying to tell you, you need an innovative, accurate downtime tracking solution and you need one sooner rather than later.

Dive Right to the Heart of the Matter With Downtime Tracking Software

One of the most important reasons why accurate downtime tracking matters so much is because it does a whole lot more than just tell you WHEN a critical asset went offline. Not only will the right solution automatically capture start and stop events, but it will also provide you with downtime reason codes thanks to a direct connection with the machine itself.

What this means is that you’ll have the critical context of WHY something went down, all so that you can see if it was a one-off issue or a symptom of something larger than needs to be addressed as quickly as you can.

But more than that, if you can increase the visibility of your stops, you also put yourself in a position to react faster to them than ever before – thus creating meaningful improvements to your shop floor based not on “instinct” or “intuition,” but on an accurate analysis of both your equipment downtime AND the losses that you accrued because of them.

When you have the right solution at the heart of your downtime tracking efforts like Thrive, you’ll also have access to the insight from literally any computer or device on Earth with an active Internet connection. What you’re left with is a perfect storm in the best possible way – an opportunity to dive deep into what is really going on with your shop floor regardless of where you’re located, and a chance to drive positive, forward progress across your enterprise on a daily basis. In a world where continuous improvement is one of the cornerstones of lean manufacturing, this is clearly a powerful weapon to have on your side.

If you’re interested in learning more about why ACCURATE downtime tracking matters most of all, or if you’re just eager to get a closer look at what our innovative solution can do for your organization, please don’t delay – contact Thrive today.

 

thumbnail post
The Thrive Approach: How We Differ From Every Other Downtime Tracking Solutions Provider Out There   
There are a lot of downtime tracking solutions providers out there and, to be totally fair, a lot of us are all operating with the same basic goals in mind. Like many other of our esteemed colleagues, we at Thrive want to help you realize your peak efficiency as a manufacturer and we want to use data to help do it. We want to allow you to begin tracking machine downtime and define a reason from nearly any device on the shop floor. We want to use our cloud-based, automated downtime tracking and analysis software to allow you and your people to work smarter, not harder – probably for the first time. There are a lot of other companies in this industry working towards these same goals, and honestly, we say “the more the merrier.”
Having said that, there IS something that separates Thrive from literally every downtime tracking solutions provider out there. A factor that we consider to be so important that we believe it’s been a major contributing factor to the level of success we’ve enjoyed up to this point.

It all comes down to our point of view on not just what we offer, but where this industry is going at the same time.

A Matter of Perspective, or: The Thrive Approach 

In our opinion, so many other downtime tracking solution providers are in a race to be seen as the “biggest and most advanced” piece of technology to come down the pike. They’re falling all over themselves to “out innovate” or “out advance” one another that they’re sort of missing the forest for the trees, so to speak.

If you add a feature to your software that looks great on paper that none of your customers are actually going to use, at a certain point you stop being valuable. You’re no longer a solution and instead you’re a “solution in search of a problem,” which isn’t really how you help people.

At Thrive, this is how we do things differently and it’s something we’re incredibly proud of. We only build things because our customers ask for it, not because we think the market needs it.

Period, end of story.

Everyone in the industry is going in the same direction these days – more features, more functionality, more automation. We’ve made a conscious decision to go in the totally opposite direction. This is because we understand that our software will never replace your human workforce – nor do we actually want it to.

You’re always going to need humans, because you are and will remain a team. Rather than replace your team, we want our software to help you build a better one – and we can’t do that unless we stop telling you what we think you want and start listening to what you actually need.

If you’d like to find out about what makes Thrive different from every other downtime tracking solutions provider out there, or if you’d just like to see our solution up close and personal to really get a feel for what it might be able to do for your organization, please don’t delay – contact us today.