Here you can read the article (magazine “Tööstus & Tootmine”), where Indrek Jaal shared his thoughts and suggestions on how
to handle in difficult periods and increase the efficiency of your production!

 

REAL-TIME MONITORING SOLUTIONS WILL HELP

A real-time monitoring solution is a very good complementation to the classic Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) which is already used by numerous manufacturing companies in Estonia. While ERP is mostly designed for integration of fields of activity such as sales, marketing and finances which involve the company’s office, the aim of real-time monitoring solutions is to increase the efficiency of manufacturing. Real-time monitoring provides an instant overview of how the production machinery is operating at any given point in time. For example, the production manager is immediately notified if the configuration time of a certain machine is too long, if there is an unscheduled stoppage, or if another unexpected issue arises which prevents working. The real-time system enables to decide immediately how to proceed in such cases. Real-time reaction and decision-making will help to save the company’s time and money.

Thus, real-time monitoring of equipment is of a critical importance. “Today’s economic situation forces heads of companies to think about the efficiency and profitability of production even more than a few weeks ago,” finds Jaal, who believes that it is extremely important today to do the right things, in the right extent, and at the right time. Implementation of real-time monitoring will provide a great advantage to an undertaking in the long-term perspective, as it enables to nearly maximise the efficiency of production and eliminate potential risks of production stoppages. Jaal explains: “If 20% of stoppages take up 80% of the time, a lot of new resources can be gained from the machines if the 20% of stoppages are addressed. This also facilitates assessment of the company’s actual need for human resources. Reduced volumes of work very often result in ‘saving’ of work – machines work slower, switching of products is delayed, fixing of any issues with the machines is delayed. The efficiency of the machinery is, however, eventually reflected in money.”

Thus, it is important to stay in charge of the situation in the current circumstances and have a full overview of the efficiency of the machinery as well as the employees. Real-time monitoring is the tool for managers which will help to collect as much time-critical and comprehensive information as possible. For example, should the work volumes decrease, real-time monitoring will enable to reorganise the manufacturing immediately and do the same work in a fewer number of days. It is also clear right away whether or not a certain change has helped and the production can be reorganised again, if necessary. Here Jaal cites Rolf Relander, Head of Bellus Furniture: “If you have too much manpower and too little work at a certain point of time, the internal processes of the company will falter. If this is followed by an increase in the work volumes, the question of how to make the processes functional again will arise. This is very, very difficult.” Jaal is convinced that the right amount of resources and the right amount of information will help the head of a company to keep the manufacturing efficient, which will in turn help to overcome the current unstable times.

One of the main indicators which GlobalReader is based on is the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), which combines three different metrics: the percentage of the use of working time, the percentage of the maximum speed of the machine, and the percentage of quality. All manufacturing companies must aim to make their factories work as efficiently as possible. OEE is a good metric for this as maximising the three different aspects of the metric also means that the machinery will work at the maximum speed and as productively as possible for the longest possible working time. Thanks to the real-time monitoring solutions developed by GlobalReader, it is possible to immediately assess if a machine is working too slowly or the production time could be used more efficiently.

REMOTE INSTALLATION AND OVERVIEW

Since the movement and communication of people is currently restricted due to the emergency situation, GlobalReader has developed a solution which enables managers and local technicians to install the monitoring equipment on their machinery independently. “We will dispatch the equipment to the client and will then create a video bridge at an agreed time to help us assist the client in the case of first-time installation,” Jaal describes the novel approach. The company also offers its clients an opportunity to use the competent experts of GlobalReader, Jason G. Clark and Rain Kaarma, as consultants.

This solution is not only designed for overcoming the crisis period but will remain a direction of GlobalReader in the longer perspective as well. “Thanks to the plug and play solution, installation of the equipment of GlobalReader does not take more than 20 minutes, after which we can turn our client’s daily production information into a valuable business database which can be immediately used to make efficient and profitable decisions. We can also offer our competence in taking the data collected into use in the best possible manner. This enables us to serve as a strategic partner for manufacturing companies that may have factories anywhere in the world,” Jaal describes the company’s new development directions. Furthermore, the new solutions of GlobalReader help the head of a manufacturing company, who is forced to work from home, get a good overview of the functioning of the machinery of the factory in real time via a respective mobile application.

Even though the times are confusing, Jaal finds that there is a silver lining on every cloud. He believes that the companies that are prepared to make changes will survive. “In general, Estonians are very flexible and quick decision-makers. Once the situation stabilizes in three, six, or twelve months, the companies which work on increasing their efficiency (profitability) even in complicated times and make decisions based on data, not hunches, will have an advantage,” Jaal states optimistically.