Think small – and give your shop floor wings.
In other words: Don't dilly-dally, just get on with it!
It is all well and good saying that the more areas that are digitally mapped, the greater the digitalization gains for a manufacturing company. Process data, machine data, personnel data, and tool data. Not to mention the data from related areas such as quality, purchasing, logistics, through to sales and marketing. HOWEVER – and this is where Pareto sends his regards (you are certainly familiar with his famous 80/20 rule … 80% of the benefit can be achieved by 20% of the effort) – the greatest gain of shop floor digitalization comes from making a START.
Certainly, it's phenomenal when you create your digitalization project in minute detail and everything is perfectly on track. But how often is it postponed for that very reason? Because – if you are doing it, you want to do it right the first time. But day-to-day life keeps getting in the way. Too many considerations. Too many steps. Too many perspectives. Too many options. Too many opinions. Too little time.
One thing that is given too little thought is this: there is one fairly small digitalization step that makes a big difference. It is also quick and easy to implement. We just have to bear one thing in mind: machines are strange objects. They (mostly) do what we ask them to do. But: They don't know that they did it, or if they did it, or what they did. Or why they didn't do it. As the shift supervisor, however, these are exactly the things you need to know – you need an overview. Not just of a machine, but of your entire shop floor. This is where the small, but feasible step comes in. Because ...
All this information actually exists in the "belly" of the machine. It has just not reached its head, so to speak. The machine does not know what it knows. Nor does it communicate with you. But that is precisely what you can change with relatively little (digitalization) effort, without a big hoo-ha. You read the data out of your machines. The minimal digitalization step with maximum effect.
The most energy-intensive part of a flight is the takeoff. Once the aircraft has reached its flight altitude, it flies using comparatively little energy. The greatest energy consumption of digitalization projects lies in project planning (here you can find a Roadmap for your project planning). This makes perfect sense. The better you set up your project, the better it will be – and the more it will cost. The flawed thinking here, however, is to ignore the quick wins for the time being.
These quick wins can be found when reading out machine data. Specifically, THE machine data that helps you to instantly keep track of three, four, or five machines – their output, their maintenance needs, and whatever else is important to you.
That does not mean you have converted your shop floor into a smart factory. But you have gathered smart information that you can use immediately to noticeably improve your output. And while this small plane is in the air, you (... or others) can plan the launch of the jumbo jet. Then, when the ambitious and well-conceived project is on track, you can simply upgrade your basic solution. After all, what you do with the data you read out – process it in an MDA solution, use it in a PDA system, etc. – is of no consequence whatsoever. The first step is to read it out. You have already anticipated this valuable step and turned it into a fruitful quick win. As mentioned earlier, Pareto sends his regards – in other words, it's the small things that give you the biggest results.
How we approach this issue: We make sure that your machines and equipment communicate with each other – and with you, regardless of generation, manufacturer, standards, and protocols. Enabling you to get the KPIs that drive you forward. In short: We solve connectivity problems on the shop floor: As small-scale or large-scale solutions – whatever suits you best. If you need us, we are here for you!