When you work in discrete manufacturing, having bad data (or no data) on machine performance can lead to bad decisions with sometimes serious consequences. It may lead a production manager to decide (or "guess") that a part production run should take two weeks when, if that manager had access to good, accurate machine performance data, he or she could easily see that the run as specified could not realistically be done in less than four. Whether estimating labor, materials, scheduling, or production cost, having inaccurate or non-existent machine performance data can make production resource planning in discrete manufacturing largely a matter of guesswork and luck.
This article explains how you can use the MachineMetrics Production Report to analyze and evaluate the accuracy of the MachineMetrics Operation standards you are using, and provides guidance in how to refine and optimize those standards to get the most accurate picture of your machine performance, so that your production estimates can be much more realistic.
Topics covered in this article
This article contains the following topics:
- MachineMetrics Operation Standards
- Creating the Operation Standard Optimization Report
- Analyzing and Optimizing Operation Standards
- Analyzing Operation Standards
- Developing a Operation Standard Optimization Process
MachineMetrics Operation Standards
A manufacturing "Operation" can be defined in many ways. In MachineMetrics, a Operation represents the production standards used in a discrete manufacturing environment for machine operations. MachineMetrics "Operation standards" are created for each machine operation used in the manufacturing process for a particular part. For example, if a part takes 10 separate operations on 10 separate machines (lathe turning, milling, and so on), one Operation in MachineMetrics will be used to represent each of the 10 separate machine operations. See the Operations article for complete information on how Operations are created and used in MachineMetrics.
Key Metrics for Operation Standard Optimization
The MachineMetrics Production Report can return data on a wide variety of metrics based on machine Operation performance. However, when you want to optimize the accuracy of your Operation standards, the following Production report metrics are the most relevant:
- Expected Part Time: The amount of time that the Operation operation is expected to take to process one part, including activities such as part loading and unloading ("button-to-button" part processing).
- Note: This value may be the Expected Part Time value set in the Operation dialog or Operation Import CSV file, or the calculated value converted to expected part time from the settings for Expected Part Rate or Expected Cycle Time. See the Operations article for more information on these Operation settings.
- Actual Part Time: The time that the Operation operation actually took to process each part, including activities such as part loading and unloading ("button-to-button" part processing). This is the median time value of all parts produced.
- Note: The median is the middle point in any data set, where half of the data points are smaller than the median and half of the data points are larger. One reason the median time is used for this metric instead of the mean (average) time is to prevent a single outlying data point (large or small) from distorting the overall metric value.
- Total Parts: The total number of parts processed by the Operation operation at the time the report was run.
- Performance: The expected part processing time for the Operation compared to the actual part processing time reported by MachineMetrics when the Operation is run, expressed as a percentage:
Note the following about this metric:
- Performance = 100%: A Performance value of 100% means that the actual processing time is the same as the expected processing time.
- Performance > 100%: A performance value greater than 100% means that the actual processing time is shorter (faster) than the expected processing time.
- Performance < 100%: A performance value less than 100% means that the actual processing time is longer (slower) than than the expected processing time.
Choosing the Operation Standard Optimization Goal
MachineMetrics believes that an optimized Operation standard should not deviate more than 15% from the expected part processing time. In practice, that means the following:
- Performance <85%: Actual processing is significantly slower than expected. Operation standards run on machines that cannot achieve at least 85% performance should be evaluated to determine whether the Operation standard for the machine/Operation is too high (fast).
- Performance >115%: Actual processing is significantly faster than expected. Operations that machines perform at more than 115% of the performance goal should be evaluated to determine whether the Operation standard for the machine/Operation is too low (slow).
This Operation standard optimization goal is a "rule of thumb" best practice based on MachineMetrics experience and expertise, but may not be applicable to every environment. Companies can and should choose their Operation standard optimization goal based on the performance tolerances considered acceptable in their environment.
The remainder of this article explains how to create a Production report in MachineMetrics that contains the Operation standard optimization metrics, and guidance for how to use the report data to analyze and optimize your Operation standards.
Creating the Operations Standard Optimization Report
By default, the MachineMetrics Production Report contains the data for all the metrics collected by MachineMetrics. To create a report you can efficiently use to help you in the Operation standard optimization process, you can exclude from the report all metrics except those key metrics described in the preceding section.
To create a production report to use in Operation standard optimization, do the following:
- Hover over Reports in the main navigation, and select Production in the drop-down menu, as pictured below:
- Click the Select Columns button in the top right corner of the Production report (beneath the Apply button):
- In the Select Columns dialog, click the red "minus" icon associated with all metrics in the Included section except for the key performance metrics. This will move the unneeded metrics to the Excluded section of the dialog.
- Put the Included key metric columns in the desired order for the report. To do this, click on a column name and drag it to the desired position in the column order. When complete, the Select Columns dialog should look similar to the following:
- To apply the new Production Report layout, click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the dialog:
- The Production Report page will display with only the key Operation standard optimization metrics, similar to the following:
Customizing the Production Report Results View
The following figure highlights the capabilities that the Production Report page offers which allow you to choose how you want to view the report results.
The following sections describe the purpose and function of each of these capabilities.
Filtering Report Results By Shift
Clicking on the Filter Shifts menu, you can filter the Production Report results so that it only shows the production results for selected shifts and/or selected Workcenter Groups.
Filtering Report Results by Machine Group
By default, the Production Report shows data for all machine groups. Clicking on the All Machine Groups pull-down menu, you can filter the Production Report results so that it only shows the production results for selected Machine Groups.
Grouping Report Results
Clicking on the Group By/Then links, you can select how the Production Report results are grouped and the order in which they are grouped. You can choose to group results by two of three criteria: Operation, Workcenter, and Operator (if the Operator Insight feature is enabled).
Setting the Report Date Range
Clicking on either of the "from" or "to" date fields allows you to set the date range for which you want to see report data. As part of the Operation standard optimization process, the MachineMetrics recommended best practice is that the Production Report be reviewed each day for the preceding day. This can be done by selecting the Yesterday option highlighted in the figure below.
Applying Filter/Group By/Date Range Changes
To apply any changes made to the Filter, Group By, and date range settings, click the Apply button. The Apply button is blue if all changes have been saved and orange if there are unsaved changes to these settings.
Sorting Report Data by Metric
Clicking on any metric column heading will immediately sort the report data by ascending/descending order for the selected metric. For evaluating Operationstandards, it is most useful to sort the report data by the ascending/descending values for the Performance metric to view those Operations that are performing much faster or much slower than the parts goal. See Analyzing and Optimizing Operation Standards.
Viewing Detailed Operation Data
Clicking on any Operation name in the report will display the page with the detailed performance report for the Operation. See Analyzing and Optimizing Operation Standards.
Analyzing and Optimizing Operations Standards
This section provides guidelines for analyzing Operation standards and recommendations for developing and implementing a Operation standard optimization program and plan.
Analyzing Operation Standards
To analyze a Operations standard, do the following:
- Click on the Performance metric to sort the Production report by the Performance metric in ascending order.
- Look for Operations with Performance less than 85% or greater than 115%, (or whatever percentages represent your under/over-performing thresholds) and check the Total Parts value. Consider this example:
Note the following about this example:
- Operations QIR236: The CNC 119 machine is significantly under-performing at 62.7% of the Operations goal and has processed over ten thousand parts. More than likely, this machine is not capable of meeting the current Operations standard. Further investigation would be required to determine an achievable Operations standard for this machine.
- Operations SR438: The CNC 115 machine is significantly under-performing at 64.8% of the Operations goal and has processed 319 parts. It is likely that this Operations standard needs to be adjusted, but further investigation would be required to determine whether the Operations standard for this machine needs to be adjusted and what the new Operations standard should be.
- Operations ABU448: The CNC 163 machine is performing at 80.2% of the Operations goal and has processed 682 parts. With the number of parts processed, it is likely that this Operations standard may need to be slightly adjusted, but this may not be a priority since it is close to optimal performance. Further investigation would be required to determine whether the Operations standard for this machine needs to be adjusted and what the new Operations standard should be.
- Operations REU824: The CNC 118 machine is performing at 82% of the Operations goal, which is just slightly below the optimal 85% threshold, and it has only processed 98 parts. It is possible that when more parts are processed that this machine will meet the optimal Operations performance standard. Further investigation could be done or it could wait until a larger number of parts have been processed.
- To investigate a Operations standard, click on the name of the Operations to open the detailed Operations production report. Consider the following production report example for Operations QIR236:
The detailed Operations production report can be used to analyze many different aspects of a Operations . For example, the report above shows that Operations QIR236 has a significant downtime issue that should be investigated. But, when looking to optimize a Operations standard, we are concerned with the Performance percentage (a very low 62.6% in this example) and investigating the machine cycle performance that underlies that percentage.
The remaining steps of this procedure use the above example Operations QIR236, an under-performing Operations . The same steps could be followed for an over-performing Operations (>115% of goal).
- To begin inspecting cycle data, click anywhere in the machine production data row of the Operations production table:
- A "Go to" menu will become available on the right end of the Operations production table row:
- Click the Go To menu icon and select Go To Cycles:
- The Cycles report page will display for the machine. The Cycles page contains a Cycles Histogram, a Cycles table with the performance data for each individual machine cycle, and a Statistics table with the summary statistics for the machine.
- In the Cycles table, click on the Duration column heading until the table values are sorted by ascending duration (shortest to longest). Note that in an over-performing Operations , you would want to change this step to sort by descending duration (longest to shortest) to see how many under-performed the standard.
- Analyze the data in the Cycles table, comparing the data in the Duration and Expected columns. The value in the Duration column represents the actual time the machine cycle took, while the Expected column value represents the expected cycle time, based on the "Expected" performance settings configured for the Operations /machine. If the machine processes one part per cycle, these values will be equal to the Actual and Expected Part Time values for the Operations/machine.
Consider the following example of Operations QIR236 on a machine that processes one part per cycle:
- In the above example, which is sorted by ascending cycle time duration, only the first/shortest cycle out of 7144 cycles (at one part per cycle) was shorter than the expected cycle time duration, and that one was significantly off of the expected value as well.
- The remaining 7,000+ cycles were all significantly slower than the Expected cycle time value of 23 seconds.
- Review the summary statistics below the Cycle table. Consider the values in the following Statistics table taken from the same Operations QIR236 example in the preceding step:
- The value for Median Cycle Time tracks very closely with the Actual Part Time value:
- The Standard Deviation of 24:10.0 is large compared to the median and with only one "fast" cycle, this indicates that there are some very slow cycles in the run. These can be seen by clicking on the Duration column heading until it is sorted by descending values:
- The value for Median Cycle Time tracks very closely with the Actual Part Time value:
- Determine the next course of action according to your Operations Standard Optimization Process.
Developing a Operations Standard Optimization Process
Operations standard optimization is a continual improvement process that never truly ends. Like any such business process, to be successful it requires:
- Resources assigned to complete the process actions, in this case the actions of Operations standard analysis and optimization
- A defined program and plan to manage process activities and execute process actions
Operations Standard Analysis Resource Requirements
A Operations standard optimization process must first include someone (perhaps more than one in larger environments) who can review and analyze the Operations standards in the Production report as defined in this article. This review and analysis should be done at a defined and regularly scheduled interval, which could be daily, weekly, or another time interval depending on the characteristics of your production environment.
Operation Standard Optimization Resource Requirements
When issues with a Operation standard are found, there should be qualified resources assigned to complete the following actions:
- Analyze non-machine tasks and activities such as operator part loading/unloading to identify and reduce inefficiencies as much as practical.
- Analyze and identify mechanical/technical deficiencies in machine processing that may be improved.
- Determine whether new Expected values are required for the Operation standard and what those values should be.
The actual processes and procedure steps required for those processes will be specific to your environment and should be defined in your Operations standard optimization plan described in the following section.
Operations Standard Optimization Program/Plan Requirements and Best Practices
To be successful, a Operations standard optimization program should include a defined plan that contains:
- An explanation of the purpose of the program and a description of its activities
- Specific goals of the program, including the chosen Operations Standard Optimization Goal
- A description of the process tasks for analyzing and optimizing Operation standards
- Identification of the resources assigned and responsible for the completion of each program task
- Clearly documented procedures for completing each process task
Questions? Contact Your Customer Success Manager
This article is meant to provide guidance and the best practices as they are known to MachineMetrics for analyzing and optimizing Operation standards. If you have any questions on developing a Operation standard optimization program or on anything in this article, please reach out to your MachineMetrics Customer Success Manager.