The benefits of real time reporting in smart factories

The benefits of real time reporting in smart factories

One of the benefits of an integrated factory floor is the real time reporting capabilities it brings. For decision makers having data available in a timely manner can produce significant benefits. It helps make more informed and confident decisions. Read below to see a few examples of where real-time reporting can be a game changer in a production facility.

In 1815, the combined forces of Britain and Prussia defeated Napoleon’s army at the Battle of Waterloo. The first people in London to be informed of this, even before the royal family, were the House of Rothschild. Having advanced notice of the situation, the Rothschilds made a killing by buying British government bonds.

Although not as spectacular as it was for the Rothschilds, the speed with which you receive information has an impact on your financial outcomes.

In this article we’ll be focusing on how the better reports can improve the effectiveness of the production line. In the real world though, the need for live reporting goes far beyond the factory floor. Valuable insights can be gleaned from analyzing aggregated data from sales, procurement, production and other areas of the business.

real time reporting and you

There are countless scenarios where real time reporting might help you. Let’s look at 3 main areas that are important to any production facility.

production line throughput optimization

With the help of real time reporting of what’s happening on the production line you can identify and eliminate bottlenecks. A bottleneck of a production line is the slowest machine, because the whole production line can only move as fast as its slowest component.

By having live reporting of the load on each machine or section of the production line you would get clarity on where you have to act. Instead of dealing with a black box, you would have a clear understanding of which machines are delaying production and which machines are underutilized.

With this level of detail you can easily see what needs to be done to improve productivity. And having the data, means you’re not doing guess work, but making informed decisions.

reduce labor and material waste

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a good report is priceless. With live reporting you will be able to optimize the production lines in terms or reducing down times for people and equipment. Why run two forklifts when, with good scheduling, you can get everything done with one?

quality assurance

The manual checks at the end of the assembly line are not going away anytime soon. They are the last line of defense against releasing a faulty product. But you don’t have to wait until the product comes off the assembly line.

The promise of smart factories is that now we can run many more automated checks on each product. Now it’s easy to see where on the production line most defects occur. You can even correlate different metrics like temperature, humidity, etc with the rate of defects and gain valuable insights from it.

In all areas of production, live reporting comes with undeniable benefits, because what’s actually happening is that you have access to information sooner, rather than later. And that can only mean good things.

In this article we went over a few use cases where live reporting can help any production facility. As mentioned previously, there are countless other scenarios that are suited for real time monitoring. If you want to figure out where to focus on improving your reporting consider the following questions:

  1. What goal are you trying to achieve? (needs to be measurable)
  2. What data would you need to be able to make the right decisions?

Data has become cheaper and more present than ever before. Businesses can monitor now virtually every aspect of their daily operations. It is the companies that will adopt the new capabilities and use data in a smart way that will thrive.

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