Production tracking software – fix work ethics issues

How production tracking software reduces downtime caused by work ethics issues

Downtime due to work ethics issues can account for a surprisingly large amount of downtime. This is low hanging fruit that requires very little time to pluck, and no extra investment in equipment and processes. It can be easily eliminated through the use of production tracking software.

Production tracking software and downtime due to poor wotk ethics

Here are some real life case studies, benefits that users saw in just 1 to 2 weeks after installing our LEANworx production 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 production tracking. 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 turning centers and machining centers 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. Production tracking with an Industry 4.0 based system can easily put a stop to this. All these downtimes reduce to almost zero in just 2 weeks after installing the system.

Production tracking software – how it fixes downtime at shift changes

A machine monitoring system can detect and report downtimes at the start and end of the shift. These are caused by the operator arriving late at the machine at the start of the shift, or leaving the machine early at the end of the shift.

Production tracking software - how it can fix downtimes at shift change

Here is an example, a real report from an actual shop floor. This screen shot from LEANworx Cloud production tracking software shows the downtimes at the start and end of the 1st and 2nd shifts, over a week. This is from a machine that runs 2 shifts, with supervisors present only during the general shift from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Screen shot from production tracking software software showing downtimes at shift change.

On Day 1, in the second shift (row 2 in the table), the number in the ‘Downtime at end’ column shows that the operator left 47 minutes earlier than the shift end (which is 10 PM).
On day 2 he left 41 minutes earlier than he should have.
The numbers highlighted by arrows show the bigger downtimes.
You’ll notice that in the 1st shift the operator started the machine quite late on a couple of days, and the 2nd shift operator stopped the machine early almost every day.

The total at the bottom shows that starting late and stopping early accounted for almost 5.5 hours over the week. The machine in this report is a CNC VMC that costs Rs. 900 per day, meaning the cost of this downtime was Rs. 5000 in one week. You can easily fix this with a production tracking software. Just display everybody’s data to everbody else, on a common large screen monitor. There’s no need to talk to any operators, point out the issue, or do anything else.

Feed rate override misuse on CNC machines – easy fix through production tracking software

Feed rate override misuse is a common problem on CNC turning centers and machining centers. The operator runs the machine at a feed rate override greater than 100 % to produce parts at a faster rate than has been designed or planned. This results in high tool wear and poor surface finish on the part.
Feed rate override misuse causes a lot of problems, but is fixed easily by production tracking.

Production tracking software and feed rate override

Here are a couple of examples of misuse of feed rate override.

1. In the first half of the night shift, the operator runs cycles at a feedrate override of 150 % to increase production. He then sleeps in the second half of the shift.

2. In all the shifts operators run at a feed rate override of 150 %. In the night shift the operator sleeps right through the shift, but the shortfall in production has been taken care of by overproducing in the first and second shifts. This misuse is easily detected with a production tracking software. For example, see this report from LEANworx Industry 4.0 based production tracking software. The green bars are cycles, and the red ones are the downtimes for part unloading and loading, between cycles. After the first 3 cycles, the cycle time has dropped from 2 minutes 8 seconds to 1 minute 46 seconds. This shows that the feed rate override has increased by 20 %.

Production tracking software showing cycle details

To fix this issue, there is only one thing you need to do. Make this report from the production tracking software visible to all the operators. Everybody’s data is visible to everybody else. There is no need to talk to anyone or make a big noise about it. The problem will go away on its own, when the operators doing this realize that their poor work ethic is visible to everybody else. Want to know more about how LEANworx can help you implement production tracking on Industry 4.0 rapidly and economically ? Click here.


Jalebi and Imarti (alias Jangiri) – what’s the difference ?

There is a cousin of the Jalebi, called Imarti in the North, and Jangiri in the South. It looks similar, but actually has a bunch of differences. The jalebi is made of maida, while the jangiri is made of Urad dal. The jalebi is flat, while the Jangiri is about twice as tall. The jalebi is crunchy, while the jangri is soft. The jalebi originated in Persia, while the jangiri originated in North India. The Jalebi is fermented with yoghurt overnight, while the jangri requires no fermentation. Imarat means ‘building’ in Urdu. The imarti is built in layers, and I wonder if it got its name because of this ?

The Jangiri is thought to have got its name from the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1569 – 1627), because it was his favourite sweet. Jahangir’s father was Akbar, and his son was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal. Jahangir is also the Salim of the famous love story Salim-Anarkali (on which the movie Mughal-e-Azam was based). As a prince his name was Salim, and Anarkali was a court dancer that he fell in love with. His Dad of course forbade the relationship because Anarkali was not of royal blood and a courtesan to boot. This actually led to a war between the two, which the son lost, etc., and Salim finally had to quit Anarkali. Being a ‘never give up’ guy, he went on to marry 20 women after he became king. If you think 20 wives is a bit much, his Dad Akbar had 35 !

Emperor Jahangir
Salim and Anarkali

Salim was renamed Jahangir when he ascended the throne. In Persian and Urdu, Jahangir means ‘conqueror of the world’. Jahan means World, and ‘gir’ is the the root of the Persian verb gereftan, which means to seize, or grab. I guess it is also the root of the Urdu words giraftaar (to seize, or imprison) and girebaan (the neck of a shirt).

Jahangir was the father of Shah Jahan (which means ‘king of the world’), who built the Taj Mahal in memory of his (favourite, he had 5) wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

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

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