Machine data collection reduced 3 shifts working to 2 – case study

Machine data collection system - night shift suspension

How LEANworx machine data collection system enabled a firm to make the same number of parts in 2 shifts, that they were making in 3 shifts earlier. This happened in 7 months.

About the LEANworx user
Aerospace parts manufacturer with 40 machines connected to LEANworx. Machines are CNC lathes and machining centers.

Before LEANworx
Machines ran 24 hours, with 3 shifts of 8 hours each.

After LEANworx
After LEANworx data collection system was installed, machines ran 16 hours, with 2 shifts of 8 hours each, producing the same number of parts as before.
Result: lower power bills; fewer operators, supervisors, inspection personnel, logistics personnel, canteen personnel; lower wage bills; no canteen expenditure in night shift.

How did the transformation happen ?
In aerospace and tooling parts, part batches are very small or one-off. Standard cycles times and load/unload times are unknown or have no meaning. For such firms, we suggest tracking the spindle utilization % instead of OEE, as a measure of productivity.

LEANworx tracks spindle utilization, the % of time that the spindle is working in the total time available. It shows this as dashboards, reports and large screen Andon boards on the shop floor. It also shows downtime durations and reasons.

When machine data collection was started with LEANworx, it showed that the spindle was running only 30% of the time. Which meant that machines were cutting only 1/3 of the total time, and idle 2/3 of the time. 

The MD of the firm announced that if the spindle utilization went up to 50 %, all personnel would get a salary hike. In just 4 months, the spindle utilization went up to 55 %. It then went further to 64 % in 7 months, 70 % in 8 months. Machines were cutting 2/3 of the time, idle 1/3 of the time.

The reasons for the downtime were partly systemic and partly because of poor work ethics: high setup times, no raw material, high periodic inspection times, late start at the beginning of shifts, early stoppage at the end of shifts, long meal breaks, etc. The incentive of higher pay motivated the shop teams to work together and reduce all these.

LEANworx machine data collection system highlighted the downtimes and their reasons, through a variety of reports including Pareto charts. This enabled the firm to focus on top downtime reasons continously and reduce them.

Here are some of the reports from machine data collection system that the firm used to achieve the transformation.

Firm and machine names have been changed to protect the identity of the firm.

Spindle utlization trend in LEANworx machine data collection system
Spindle utlization dashboard in LEANworx machine data collection system
Spindle utlization report in LEANworx machine data collection system