The majority of the attendees at our Demystifying Industry 4.0 webinar agreed the world isn’t slowing down and won’t stop changing. A major factor in that change is the speed at which technology evolves. Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are major parts of the ongoing shifts happening in manufacturing and production.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first reached the U.S. in the spring of 2020, it disrupted businesses, forcing many people out of employment. While some employees could work remotely, many roles didn’t accommodate work-from-home arrangements. To cushion its citizens from the hardships of being out of work, the U.S. government established the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security (CARES) Act. This move played a role in shaping the future of work—for many people, the financial benefits extended well into 2021. Stimulus checks and additional unemployment assistance helped many families and individuals in need during shutdowns, but many employers faced labor shortages even after businesses were back up and running.
Many organizations understand the “improvement” part of Continuous Improvement but struggle with the “continuous” aspect. A company might improve a process once but then assume they have solved the problem and there is no further need for improvement. Other companies know that continuous improvement can help but are unsure which strategy is appropriate. Learning about key continuous improvement methods can ensure companies know which strategies will yield the results they seek. Many companies find themselves considering many different options, and lose sight of the most important thing which is to start somewhere.
Food quality metrics tell a compelling story of how well your company is performing. The cost of quality can significantly impact your bottom line, but tracking quality metrics allows you to address issues proactively. Through robust automated solutions, today’s food and beverage companies are taking control of their quality by identifying and eliminating variability and reducing costs related to rework and returns.
Supply chains pose inherent risks for the food and beverage industry. While supply chain management has always been a complex endeavor, supplier compliance has become increasingly challenging in light of regulatory changes in recent years. Process manufacturers are reexamining their supplier management strategies (like The 6 Pillars to Effective Supplier Management) to ensure safety, quality, and compliance. This is especially true for companies governed by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Recognizing the supply chain has triggered many recalls, the FDA introduced the FSMA, signed into law in 2011. Since then, the FDA has released guidance documents to help facilities under FSMA navigate supply chain program requirements. Let’s break down some of the best practices for process manufacturers for maintaining a defensible and proactive approach against minimizing risks in the supply chain.
Managing suppliers effectively reduces risk, drives quality, and creates trusted relationships with customers. However, tracking data, compliance records, onboarding, audits, and more on paper can lead to inefficient decision-making and poor quality outcomes. Businesses that utilize paper and follow-up with emails are wasting valuable time and resources managing suppliers that they could redirect in other, more productive ways. Developing a secure supplier portal can help organizations create opportunities for improving accuracy, strengthening supplier relationships, and making real-time decisions all while ensuring that their supplier information remains uncompromised.
Since the 1970s, an increasing number of manufacturers have used the three components of availability, performance, and quality to calculate the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) for determining how well a process is running. OEE is also used to identify areas of improvement. Understandably, most manufacturers target the more prominent areas of concern, which will generate a more dramatic or marked improvement.
Although many manufacturers have implemented overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) over the last few decades, not every facility has embraced it effectively. Often facilities either knowingly or unknowingly neglect or overemphasize one of the three essential components of OEE. Manufacturers apply OEE inconsistently, include too much, or exclude unpleasant data. When used correctly, OEE is an excellent resource for driving continuous improvement in manufacturing facilities. Facilities that are struggling to meet goals or seeking to move up a few extra percentage points can gain the edge they need by returning to basics and evaluating processes honestly.
Translating Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) into financial terms allows everyone from the plant floor operators to executives, measure continuous improvement and understand the business value of OEE. The challenge is making this a reality. This blog will dive into what it means to measure OEE, why you should translate that into financial terms, why OEE is important, and finally what role software plays.
Environmental health and safety regulations affect all manufacturing plants whether they utilize a software platform or not. More and more facilities are looking for cloud-based solutions and ways to optimize resources to remain competitive in the industry. Managing environmental health and safety manually is prone to human error, and can consume a significant amount of work hours that could instead be directed toward other, more productive tasks. Cloud-based solutions free up the hours workers and operators spent searching for documents or compiling data into reports. Your facility may already have a system in place for monitoring environmental health and safety issues but may be looking for a genuinely cloud-based, integrative solution. You may not have a digital process, or software program at all. However, as EHS regulations tighten and fines are increasing, the cost of not taking EHS seriously is on the rise. Attempting to monitor EHS manually is an impediment to continuous improvement. The average manufacturer pays nearly $20,000 per employee per year to comply with federal regulations. Knowing how expensive noncompliance can be, is environmental health and safety software that important? Let’s look at what it is and what it can do for your facility.