Three Unexpected Machine Monitoring Benefits

If you aren’t monitoring your machines to boost productivity, here are some additional reasons why you might want to start.

 

Last week I received a press release from Shop Floor Automations, Inc. that reads almost more like an email or letter describing some “unexpected” benefits of monitoring machines in the shop. In the age of Industry 4.0, which some consider to be the next industrial revolution, having a software program in place that helps track productivity in the workplace is becoming a necessity versus a preference.

In the release, Greg Mercurio, president of Shop Floor Automations, says, “If you are a decision maker, you have likely heard over and over about how monitoring machine utilizations will help improve productivity. Truth is, there are three other benefits to machine monitoring you aren’t hearing about.”

Number one is that machine monitoring is not meant just for tracking your CNC operations. Mercurio says it’s not even limited just to the shop floor. Manual machines, autoclaves, paint lines, PLC-driven machines, and more can also be monitored for productivity. “Also, the mobility of machine monitoring is crucial to mention. Monitor machines away from the shop floor with notifications being sent to you via email or text. You can also monitor from a mobile device, such as a smart phone or a tablet,” he says. In fact, I wrote about a company that is adopting this practice by embracing Industry 4.0 principles to help drive more efficient management of their moldmaking and molding operations. You can read “An Industry 4.0 Proving Ground” here.

Benefit two is that machine monitoring software can be integrated with a shop’s CMMS system, providing a way to more accurately manage preventive maintenance of the machines you use.

Benefit three is that monitoring machines gives your machinists a voice. “The men and women running the machines have valuable feedback that is not easily communicated to upper management. They are the ones in the trenches and they usually know why a machine is not running,” Mercurio says. “Data entry screens and tablets on the shop floor will give machinists the ability to add notes and let those in the back office know the reasons why machines are down. This will allow for trends to be seen and corrections to be made.”

If Industry 4.0 is something of a mystery, or if you are intrigued by the possibilities of it for a mold manufacturing company, check out my article titled “IIoT: The Next Step in Mold-Building Efficiency.” This feature provides a solid overview of what Industry 4.0 means, how it works and why mold builders need to be moving in that direction.

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