Managing manufacturing operations is never an easy task across all major industries. Lack of visibility into the status of production orders is one of the many struggles that production managers have to deal with. Without an automated floor control system, production managers have to rely on manual processes to schedule and monitor various independent operations being performed on manufacturing sites. This ultimately leads to a lack of connectivity on the part of production managers, which results in inefficient processes and an increase in production costs.
What is Shop floor control (SFC)?
Shop floor control refers to an automated system that can track, schedule, and report the production status for any manufacturing facility. Shop floor management software is used to automate the tracking of the all-independent processes being run inside a manufacturing facility. These shop floor management software enable production managers to have consistent and transparent visibility and analysis of the entire operations undertaken in the facility through smartphones, emails, or any other connected digital medium.
Shop floor management software enables business leaders, production managers, and employees to have detailed insights into the operations and keep close track of various production stages. This ensures that the entire team remains updated on the performance and status of production and takes any necessary measures to overcome issues that may halt production operations.
Order progress information is another crucial component of shop floor control. The order progress information enables production managers to access real-time data for the production status. By accessing real-time data, production managers can stay vigilant towards any impending issues and improve production efficiency.
The implementation of shop floor control software has greatly simplified the process of manufacturing. With the right shop floor control software, manufacturers can take back control of the production operations, achieve greater efficiency in manufacturing operations, and reduce production costs.
What Is Shop Floor Control Software?
Manufacturing Shop control floor software are dedicated systems that enable production managers and business leaders to collect, track, access, and process relevant production data from the factory’s operations. Modern-day shop floor control software is able to collect real-time data from human and digital sources, enabling production managers to get an accurate picture of production operations.
With shop floor control software in place, productions managers are in better positions to keep track of all the operations and processes in the facility simultaneously. They can pull interactive and detailed reports to monitor production performance and various other parameters that may affect the manufacturing process, including; the amount of material used, the amount of time machines have been running, the production status of individual projects, and other crucial statistics.
Modern-day shop floor control practice doesn’t just help business leaders and production managers to keep track of processes and operations of a single factory. Instead, today’s robust systems like shop floor control dynamics ax enable production managers to collect and store relevant data from multiple manufacturing facilities at one unified data repository. This allows them to access all the relevant data anytime and from anywhere easily. Subsequently, systems like shop floor control ax enable manufacturing industries to keep track of KPIs, improve the overall efficiency of systems and processes, lower the production costs, and increase the total manufacturing output of the factory.
Shop floor control software enables managers to set accessibility levels and permissions for different team members, including; executives, managers, administrative personnel, supervisors, workers, and any other team member involved in the operations. The shop control software are ideal for all major manufacturing industries, including;
- Plastics and rubbers
- Paper and printing
- Textiles, and
The Difference Data Makes
Shop floor control brings much value to the manufacturing businesses through the data and digital infrastructure. As mentioned above, with suitable shop floor control systems, manufacturing facilities are able to collect, track, and analyze operational data consistently.
By tracking the complete set of data encompassing multiple days, business leaders are in a better position to evaluate the performance of various processes and systems and identify any performance falters and take necessary measures to avoid production halts. With the timely insights provided by the shop floor control system, production managers can also identify potential issues (like falling stock of raw materials, low-quality standards) beforehand and take appropriate measures. The integrated alert systems further reinforce problem identification in the shop floor control systems, which send timely notifications to users for valuable insights from the stored data. Any adjustments you make in response to these alerts directly influence the overall efficiency of your production facility.
Also, since the data from shop floor control systems can be viewed by all team members (even the low-level workers), it can act as a motivation tool for weaker workers. By looking into the real-time data generated by their machines, workers can self-assess their performances and make necessary performance adjustments before being notified by higher authorities. The data also enables workers to evaluate various production performance parameters and compare their project performance with other projects. This allows them to make required adjustments to achieve desired outcomes.
Shop floor control software also enables manufacturing facilities to digitalize the entire information management system. Unlike manual paperwork, which is vulnerable to damage, and loss, digital data is easy to manage, can be stored for decades, and is more easily accessible to all team members. With the digital management system, business leaders and production managers will be better positioned to access and analyze historical data and pull out any relevant information they need.
Advantages of Shop Floor Control in Manufacturing
As we have already discussed, shop floor control comes with various advantages for manufacturing industries. Some of the worth mentioning advantages of shop floor control in manufacturing are listed below;
- Up-To-Minute Information
With the shop floor control system implemented, production managers no longer have to wait until the end to evaluate the system’s performance and processes. Contrarily, shop floor controllers offer real-time and up-to-minute data and analysis to production managers. This effectively enables managers to have better visibility into the entire process and take appropriate actions where improvements are required. With automated data collection tools, production managers can readily be well-informed of the production status from multiple manufacturing facilities across different physical locations. The data and insights from the shop floor control systems can be gathered and accessed through dedicated workstation terminals or from any digital device. The information collected by the system can also be relayed to all concerned departments and team members involved in the project.
By offering complete data, project insights, and other relevant information about the production processes and system performances, the shop floor control system brings the entire project team on a single page. This helps keep the team motivated towards the shared goal of achieving greater efficiency and timely completion of the project. That’s one reason by bringing transparency and data accuracy are crucial for all manufacturing businesses. Also, with shop floor control, production managers can access more transparent data to understand the precise status of projects and identify what’s happening on the shop floor. Accessibility to transparent data also ensures that production managers are able to recognize impeding issues in the production processes and take appropriate actions to keep up the manufacturing efficiency. Finally, with real-time and accurate data access, production managers can also ensure timely completion and delivery of projects to the clients.
- Cost Reduction
Shop floor control not only helps improve the efficiency of production processes but rather it also helps to lower the cost of operations significantly. Traditional systems relied on manual data entry procedures, which required dedicated full-time employees to manage unstructured paperwork. This wasn’t just a highly inefficient way to manage data but also adds overhead costs for manufacturing businesses. With the automated shop floor control systems, manufacturing facilities can rely on digital systems to collect and store all relevant information and relay it directly to the concerned individual teams. Shop floor control also helps identify impending issues in the production process that may be affecting the time and cost of manufacturing. Thus, this enables managers to take timely actions to avoid production halts which may cost massive money to the industry. Also, by optimizing the production efficiency, shop floor control helps further lower the production costs by eliminating inventory overheads, avoiding delayed shipment, reducing lead time, and cutting on waste.
Teamwork is always the better approach to improve the efficiency and outcome of any project. Also, teamwork help in faster and better response to problems. With shop floor control, manufacturing businesses are able to bring together various departments involved in the project. With faster and effective communication between departments, manufacturing industries can avoid any impending issues before it halts the production system.
Often, the supervisors and managers are the last persons to know about any issues affecting the operations on the shop floor. However, with the shop floor control system in place, supervisors and managers have access to real-time data of all production processes; thereby, they can collaborate more effectively to solve any issues faster to save time and costs.
- Process Improvement
One of the most significant benefits of shop floor control systems is that they help business leaders and managers identify inefficient systems or processes in the production facility. This, in turn, allows them to take appropriate actions like training workers for better productivity or designing new processes to lower the production costs. Without a robust shop floor control system, implementing process improvement can be tricky since workers are always ready to revert to their familiar and inefficient processes without adequate supervision. With modern shop floor management software, it’s easier for production managers to design, implement and track process improvement. Also, since workers would know that their performance is being monitored in real-time, they will be more reluctant to revert to inefficient processes.
The key to success for manufacturing businesses is to improve the visibility of the production process. Manufacturing industries need to consistently access and analyze data from various production processes to ensure the implementation of the best and most efficient processes. With advanced shop floor control software, manufacturing industries are able to plan, schedule, track and analyze data in real-time. Shop floor control also enables production facilities to identify impending issues that may jeopardize the operations and take necessary measures to achieve higher performance standards, lower production costs, and improve production efficiencies.