Your Manufacturing Transformation Starts With Machine Monitoring

As an increasingly global industry, manufacturing continues to become more competitive year after year, which means shops have to continuously improve just to keep up. In many cases, this has included a move to high-mix/low-volume (HMLV) production strategies, which give manufacturers the agility they need to quickly respond to customer needs. To achieve the quick delivery times, customized products and collaborative design process required for cost-effective HMLV production, these shops often turn to partners that can help them integrate the techniques they need for success – partners like Seco Tools.

Seco’s Manufacturing Transformation is a 360° process that seeks to address every part of production, from operator training and programming assistance to inventory management and tool identification. While different shops have different needs, however, one thing remains constant: To overcome the challenges your shop faces, you have to begin by gathering the data necessary for truly understanding your shop’s performance. And this typically begins with measuring Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

The gold standard for measuring manufacturing productivity, OEE is a simple formula involving the multiplication of three variables that establishes the percentage of productive manufacturing time: machine availability, the speed of production and final part quality. An OEE score of 100% would mean that a shop is manufacturing only good parts, as fast as possible, without any downtime. However, despite the simplicity of the formula, gathering all of the data necessary for an accurate evaluation can be difficult to do manually, which is why many shops begin by integrating machine monitoring technology. This does more than help measure OEE – in many cases, machine monitoring can create significant productivity improvements on its own.

Shops that already have a machine monitoring solution can work with Seco no matter the source of their monitoring equipment. This brand-neutral approach includes assistance with leveraging that data for better results, whether it’s deploying new third-party applications to crunch data or adding edge computing capacity for easier real-time analysis. Many shops have not pursued IoT technology however, and for these shops, Seco can offer a turnkey monitoring solution thanks to its partnership with MachineMetrics.

By working with MachineMetrics, Seco can provide a comprehensive monitoring system that we use in our own production facilities. This includes everything from an edge computing system for quick analytics to a robust scripting language that allows shops to connect legacy equipment to the network. For real-time feedback, large-screen dashboards and operator tablets display user-configured key performance indicators (KPIs), while a complete suite of analytical tools makes it easy to track OEE as well as the performance of machines and operators across entire production facilities.

Of course, machine monitoring goes much further than performance evaluation – with machine health monitoring, shops can manage their equipment with real-time status and condition updates. AI-driven predictive notifications or rules-based alerts make it possible to diagnose problems remotely, while preventive maintenance tracking makes it simple to keep up with OEM’s recommendations. And by tracking utilization over time, shops can fully understand where bottlenecks tend to originate so they can solve problems before they happen.

Despite the robustness of this solution, Seco often requires little more than a few days of planned downtime for complete integration. After all, most machine tools require no retrofitting to be compatible with the MachineMetrics solution – open source communications protocols and compatibility with a wide range of proprietary controls, along with increasingly common sensor technology, makes for plug-and-play integration. Find out how quickly your shop can start understanding its true efficiency today – visit our Machine Monitoring pages to learn more.