The importance of real-time dashboards + 7 reasons why you need them

real-time dashboards

How is your production line doing right now? Do you know how efficient it is? Is there any downtime? Where are the bottlenecks?

Manufacturing businesses are complex operations. Even the smallest manufacturers can struggle to keep an eye on what’s going on, let alone if you have multiple production lines and multiple sites. 

Imagine if there was a way to gain a real-time view of your entire manufacturing operation, the efficiency of each production line, and do so from a single screen. 

Dashboards can help you do precisely that.

Speaking of 7: here are 7 valuable lessons in labelling and coding from Australian food & beverage manufacturers. Download Now

What is a dashboard?

A dashboard is an intelligent software solution designed to bring together multiple sources of data and display them in an engaging, easy-view format. The dashboard’s real value lies in the way it presents a range of information in a single location, which is immediately easy to understand and use for proactive, informed day-to-day decision-making.

What kind of data are we talking about? 

It depends on the business. When we’re talking about manufacturing environments, it can be:

For example, iDSnet – powered by OFS shows real-time charts and graphs that highlight production efficiency, downtime, quality metrics and more. 

What are the top metrics every Australian manufacturer should measure? Find out in our article.

How your manufacturing business can benefit from a dashboard:

You gain complete visibility of production lines. 

Real-time line visibility is critical for efficient operation. Dashboards enable you to see exactly what’s going on with production lines at any given time. You can see what’s working, and what’s not, where the bottlenecks are, and much more. 

Use data to make informed decisions.

Aberdeen research shows the use of real-time dashboards facilitates better decision-making. Over the last two years, real-time dashboard users have improved their time-to-decision at a rate 2.5 times greater than those who don’t use dashboards. For example, you can know when to adjust equipment or open new lines to increase throughput. Production meetings are more effective when you have the right information to hand!

Manage real-time efficiency. 

Do you know your line efficiency at any given time? You can’t manage what you can’t measure. A dashboard can provide you with access to the accurate real-time data you need for a true OEE. By integrating your systems into one software system, you can see OEE metrics from across the production line. (Learn the advantages of implementing OEE here.)

Identify problems before they happen. 

There might be problems with your production line, taking place right under your nose. But without visibility of critical data, you can miss the warning signs. A dashboard will help you proactively recognise and analyse problematic trends before they become big, expensive problems. 

real-time efficiency
Dashboards give a real-time view of your entire manufacturing operation, including real-time efficiency.  

Resolve equipment downtime and issues promptly. 

Not only can you proactively identify problems before they happen, but you can also quickly react when they do occur. A dashboard lets you see problems with equipment in real time, so your production team can quickly prioritise and resolve any issues quickly. Think about how much it costs for every minute of downtime. Now imagine how much the business could save by reacting to problems more quickly. 

Eliminate manual QA and downtime sheets. 

Think about the amount of manual data entry and analysis that takes place in your facility, and the number of collective hours spent gathering the data manually. The right dashboard software can create a truly paperless workflow system for production lines. Not only does this save time collecting information, but it’s also less error-prone than manual processes. Best of all, it’s far quicker and easier to spot trends and patterns on a dashboard than through manual spreadsheets and reports.

Engage staff and improve productivity. 

Teams are much more engaged when they can see information, such as quality metrics and scheduled processing times, against defined targets. With a dashboard, operators and managers can understand at a glance what is happening on each line. 

Operators will work harder to ensure their line doesn’t fall behind quality and production targets, while supervisors can use the dashboard to quickly identify issues or opportunities for better resourcing. What’s more, employees will share information and are more likely to proactively suggest changes to improve performance. (Here are some more reasons you should empower your people.) 

Over to you

Ready to get a real-time view of your production lines? Contact Matthews Australasia to see how iDSnet – powered by OFS can give you real-time production visibility while eliminating errors and manufacturing problems.

You can also check out our resource library, which is filled with free-to-download information for Australian manufacturers and suppliers. 

Want to learn more about OEE? This whitepaper will interest those who want to improve plant efficiency cost effectively and increase their output. Download Now

Image credits: iStock/ bennymarty (main); iStock/ Dmi+T (middle)

Mark Dingley
Mark Dingley is Chairman of the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) and is the CEO at Matthews Australasia. With 25 years of experience in the product identification industry and the wealth of knowledge gained from working closely with industry associations in developing and implementing standards & best practice, Mark is able to assist manufacturers with a range of issues from getting real-time visibility of their production line, improving automation, establishing quality assurance using machine vision to selecting the best fit technology for coding and labelling applications. Mark Dingley's LinkedIn Profile
Mark Dingley

by Mark Dingley

Mark Dingley is Chairman of the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) and is the CEO at Matthews Australasia. With 25 years of experience in the product identification industry and the wealth of knowledge gained from working closely with industry associations in developing and implementing standards & best practice, Mark is able to assist manufacturers with a range of issues from getting real-time visibility of their production line, improving automation, establishing quality assurance using machine vision to selecting the best fit technology for coding and labelling applications. Mark Dingley's LinkedIn Profile

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