Machine downtime tracking software, and work ethics

Machine downtime tracking software – reduce downtime caused by work ethics issues

Machine downtime tracking software is a quick way of reducing downtime caused by work ethics issues , can account for a surprisingly large amount of downtime. It is low hanging fruit that requires very little time to pluck, and no extra investment in equipment and processes.

machine downtime due to work ethics issues
Sleeping on the job – a big cause of machine downtime

Here are some real life case studies, benefits that users saw in just 1 to 2 weeks after installing our LEANworx machine downtime tracking software:

Reduced downtime at shift changes
An automobile parts manufacturer had a big issue with downtime during shift change, particularly at the start of the first and third shifts. Machines were stopping up to half an hour before the end of the second shift, and starting late at the beginning of the the third shift. The same problem existed at the end of the third shift and the beginning of the first shift. This accounted for about 8 % of total downtime. In just 2 weeks after LEANworx was deployed, this downtime reduced to almost zero.

Reduced misuse of breaks
A firm making hydraulic parts on CNC machines did a quiet installation of LEANworx and started machine monitoring. They noticed that their breaks totaling 45 minutes per shift typically extended by 30 minutes in every shift, which meant a 6 % loss in a day. LEANworx was made public after a week, and the 6 % loss reduced to almost 0 % in just a week after this, when people knew that they were being observed.

Reduced downtime in night shift
In a firm making aerospace parts, about one-third of the machines (CNCs and SPMs) were found to be producing NO parts in the second half of the night shift. The operators were presumably sleeping, because there were no supervisors in the night shift. This means the machines were idle 18 % of the time out of a possible 22 working hours. That is an enormous loss of available time. After a week of observation, the shop Manager started printing the hourly production report every day, for all machines, and putting the reports up on the shop notice board. The night shift production rose to almost the same as the 1st and 2nd shifts immediately.

Misuse of Feedrate Override stopped
In a job shop making parts for off-road vehicles, LEANworx showed misuse of the FRO on CNC machine in the night shift. The FRO was set to more than 100 %, the scheduled quantity was done in less time, and the machine was idle for the last hour or two. Although the schedule was met, the surface finish was poor and tool life was reduced. Again, on our advice the shop Manager just pinned the daily print outs of hourly production on the notice board. The problem vanished on its own in a couple of days.

In a lot of shops, just downtimes at shift changes and extended break times can account for 1 hour in each 8-hour shift, which is an astounding 12 % of available time. If you also have night time sleeping, you can easily hit 30 % downtime because of poor work ethics. OEE drops as a result of lower Availability. Machine monitoring with an Industry 4.0 based machine downtime tracking software can easily put a stop to this. All these downtimes reduce to almost zero in just 2 weeks after installing the system.


Monkey business

Rhesus macaques are frequents visitors to our home. There’s a big colony of them living nearby (as in a km. away), and my home is at the beginning of their flight path into our locality in search of food and entertainment. We have mango, jack fruit and litchi trees in our yard, and when these trees are fruiting the monkeys are here almost every day. A whole big family turns up some mornings, 10 or 15 of them – grandparents, parents, babies clinging to their mothers – and they are a big source of entertainment for us.

A few of the more intrepid ones actually come into our home to check if there’s any interesting food, like this one in the pictures.

The Rh factor in our blood type is actually short for Rhesus type, named after exactly these monkeys. In 1937, Karl Landsteiner and Alexander Weiner discovered a new blood type that they named the Rhesus blood type, or Rh. Blood types can be either Rh positive or Rh negative, doubling the commonly known blood types from the then four (A, B, AB, and O), to the eight we know today. The name originates from the use of the blood of rhesus monkeys in the basic test for determining the presence of the Rh antigen in human blood.

Who’d have thought these funny little monkeys are the inspiration behind the name of such an important thing ?

About his blog from LEANworx: Plug-and-play Industry 4.0 system for MSMEs.

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