Last time, I looked at what ‘lean’ is, and what it isn’t and how the packaging hall is usually a ‘black hole’ of data. Naturally if you can’t see something, you can’t measure it, which makes it pretty tricky to fix. Now I’ll cover exactly how you can shine some light on that black hole with integrating and networking software.
Software to ‘see’
Integrating and networking your coding and labelling equipment (using software such as iDSnet Manager) is an excellent way to give you real-time visibility in the packaging area.
- It networks all your coding, labelling and other peripheral devices (like barcode scanners, vision systems and so on) on a single line or across multiple lines to a central PC.
- This gives you three things: two-way information flow, data captured in real time and increased automation. iDSnet Manager (the reporting tool) processes and displays all the data captured by iDSnet as reports, dashboards and scoreboards.
- iDSnet Manager’s reports and dashboards have real-time information about active production, planned downtime, unplanned downtime and no-run time.
- Charts show you the efficiency per time-block percentages, while graphs show the cumulative production count — even details such as product, run start time and the operator’s name. You can then integrate a split into “good count” and “reject count” via a vision system, capturing reject numbers and, importantly, the reason.
All these dashboards and reports help your managers to see product waste and unplanned downtime (so they can reduce or eliminate it); visualise it; and implement continuous improvement (easily find the source of issues and analyse the root cause).
On top of all that, iDSnet improves automation, eliminates coding and labelling errors, and allows you to “right-size” equipment and tooling (and let it be made readily movable and re-configurable). It also essentially eliminates set-up times and defects.
And all of this continuous improvement adds up to being leaner.