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Advanced Engineering 2021

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Production line efficiency boost

Production line efficiency boost

Production monitoring can bring major advantages to UK manufacturing companies, argues Derek Marsh of Granta Pneumatics and Automation.

Production monitoring is a very interesting study and the advantages go way beyond the obvious, especially where human input is required in some way to keep the production process running. Time and time again after installing a live production monitoring system the production output increases.

It can increase by more than 25%, even up to double the previous output. Why is this? It mostly has to do with the way our minds work. Some point a 'Big Brother' aspect, but perhaps more important is that production staff and operators begin to 'take ownership' of their lines, suggesting ways to improve efficiency and flagging up problems that are slowing production. Of course there is also the drive of some inside motivational force that they don't want to be shown up as inefficient - especially if you put up big screens round the production areas showing performance and efficiency figures, motivation and results can be unbelievable.

As part of the Made in Britain drive for increased UK manufacturing this is a very simple and low cost starting point. Simply install a production monitoring and data logging system on your production process to give operator and management feedback. Monitor human and/or sensor inputs from all around the production process or factory environment and have the results displayed in customised graphical form on screens in the production area or in remote locations (for example in managers' offices). This means you can track trends and accurately monitor almost any feature of your production process. Data logging is also a very useful part of a production monitoring system for subsequent analysis to help identify bottlenecks or trends in the production process.

Once installed, production monitoring and data logging give a huge portfolio of advantages to all production staff and managers including instant fault reporting and diagnostics, and accurate production efficiency monitoring. Efficiency figures and data logged from the system can be used for staff bonuses which will again improve production due to the way our minds work. For the best results and most effective monitoring systems it is advisable to get a professional company in, but you may feel you have the technical knowledge in house to do it yourselves. One company that is very experienced with production monitoring and data logging systems is Granta Pneumatics and Automation who have done many successful projects and are happy to come and do a free project appraisal.

To summarise, production monitoring and data logging is really the best way to start if you are wanting to increase production efficiencies, it gives you analysis as to where your production process may be failing and it also gives an excellent platform for incentivising and boosting output from your production staff.
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