Increase equipment productivity through shop floor workflows

Productivity improvements are a perennial favorite in the manufacturing industry. Whether costs should be lowered to increase competitiveness, the required labor simply is not available or an equipment has become a bottleneck and has to produce more – the reasons are many. And as diverse as the reasons for the need to increase productivity, so many are the obstacles to realizing it. In this article we look at an Industry 4.0 approach that is very successful and technologically easy to implement: Shopfloor Workflows with Start-Up Technology.

Workflows on the Shopfloor

A workflow is generally the coordination of tasks within a process. This has taken hold in the administration: whether invoice clearances or travel expense reports – the individual steps are passed on from person to person via an IT-based workflow. In this way, the process is adhered to and the right employee is immediately informed about the next necessary process step: The process is carried out quickly and efficiently.

Transferring this procedure to industrial production is about informing the right employee as soon as possible about an equipment problem and informing them about the opportunity to pass the problem on to other experts, if necessary, until it is resolved. Targeted and fast processing can significantly increase equipment productivity.

Real-time productivity data of equipment

With, the required base data and in particular the deviations from the nominal state are recorded without any intervention in the PLC. In an anomaly cockpit, deviations, e.g. system speeds below the setpoint speed or unexpectedly long standstills are detected. At this point, moreover, artificial intelligence will increasingly find its way into the future. Algorithms identify the anomaly without human specification and generate an exception message. These data are available in real-time and can be displayed on a live Andon to the employees – or they can also be targeted to a workflow.

Real-time shopfloor workflows between people

Modern Industry 4.0 technology makes it possible for the responsible employee, e.g. an operator or team leader who receives real-time productivity loss information on an industrial smartwatch. He is informed without delay that production volume is being lost right now. The employee can use this information to become active: By assessing the situation and initiating counter measures, such as the information of maintenance or a quality expert, by forwarding the event within the Shopfloor workflow from one smartwatch to another.

Image: Alert on an industrial smartwatch

In this procedure, the individual communication steps for problem solving are executed in real time and with certainty that the message was received. This avoids misunderstandings or communication gaps. The solution chain can also be analyzed later and any measures for improvement can be derived.

The provider of an industrial smartwatch in combination with workflow software is, for example, aucobo from Stuttgart.

Fast implementation speed

Both and aucobo are available as hardware and software as a service. The installation and configuration of the two solutions does not take more than a day for a pilot.

If we made you curious, contact either us or aucobo – you will receive a proven Industry 4.0 solution in no time at all without Invest and without an IT project – to increase your equipment and plant productivity.