Production Managers in manufacturing are in the business of people, machines, and short-term results management. In this article, we explore how this position can benefit from the real-time production monitoring and live OEE tracking of Evocon.
Evocon Gives Production Managers Real-Time Visibility of Line Performance
Production Managers are typically responsible for a part of the production process, sometimes called a cell or workgroup. The responsibility of a Production Manager will include managing machine operators and assets used in the manufacturing process.
As we will see, Evocon’s OEE software can make many of the day-to-day tasks easier through the automation of data collection on the line. Moreover, with real-time visibility of line performance, you can understand where losses due to downtime, speed, and quality are occurring and still have time to alter the results.
Note: Depending on your industry and company size, Production Managers are also known as Production Supervisors, Line Supervisors, Production Team Leaders, or Manufacturing Cell Leaders.
Why Production Managers Matter
Whether you monitor production operators to ensure they meet performance targets or search for ways to reduce downtime or improve efficiency, the tactical decisions you make significantly impact the short-term results of the production line.
In order to be effective in the position, you need a deep understanding of the production process. Specifically, you need to know the process, how the machines work, and how to work closely with the operators of those machines. Moreover, at any given moment, you need to know the moment-to-moment performance of operators, machines, and the overall line. But because you can’t be everywhere at once, it is critical to leverage technology that can improve your visibility of production performance at every opportunity.
3 Critical Challenges of Production Managers
- How can I objectively measure the effectiveness of line and machine operators?
- Who are my top performers and who could use more training?
- How can I reduce tool, equipment, and machine downtime?
These are just a sample of the typical questions that you are concerned with on a day-to-day basis. This means that a large part of your job is measuring, monitoring, and reporting on how the production process is performing.
Production Managers need to know in real-time when the shop floor isn’t performing well
While it might have been acceptable to wait until tomorrow’s management meeting to review how the line performed today, this is rapidly changing. The two driving factors for this are:
- Increased competition from globalization.
- The rise of the IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things).
Regardless of the cause, the result is the same. To be competitive in today’s marketplace, you need to know how the line is performing in real-time. Having visibility of how production is running right now is the only way to have an opportunity to respond and alter the outcome before it is too late.
Production Managers need accurate and unbiased data
To understand where production downtime and scrap occur or to see process pain points, you need accurate and unbiased data. Furthermore, you can not be everywhere at once. So, you will need to enlist others on your team to gather data about line performance. This will usually take the form of a paper or Excel-based system to track efficiency or OEE. This task involves a significant degree of manual labor from your team members as well as your time and attention.
Production Managers need an engaged team of Operators
As a Production Manager, you know that engaged operators are more invested in their roles and are more productive than those who aren’t. Moreover, you have likely seen that engaged operators are the ones who discover opportunities for improvements. This means an important part of your job will be to ensure that you have an engaged team of machine operators.
As we recommend in our article on how to engage operators and improve OEE, a powerful way to drive operator engagement is to monitor production machines and OEE in real-time. Until fairly recently, real-time production monitoring solutions were out of reach of most companies due to their high cost.
3 Ways Production Managers Benefit from Evocon
Automated Data Collection
Less than a decade ago, the possibility for automated collection of production data was quite limited. One of the few things automated was, for example, ERP system transactions, such as the start or end time of a production order. For more detailed and useful metrics, such as OEE, collection of data was manual. Either using pen and paper or Excel.
Unfortunately, in many companies, collecting production data with pen and paper is still the preferred way. But this requires you, the Production Manager, to manage and administer the process, which is time-consuming for both you and the team of operators you manage. What is more, the process is also prone to errors, making the data unreliable in many ways.
With Evocon, you can quickly pull up data on your workgroup or cell, or even the whole shop-floor and drill down into shift or product performance. And because the collection is automatic, your production data is substantially more accurate and reliable. This saves you and your team countless manhours that you can now spend more productively.
Real-time visibility of line performance
With Evocon’s live view into your production, you have a moment-to-moment visual indication of how your production process is performing. Now, you no longer have to wait until the end of the shift or tomorrow’s meeting to understand today’s performance. Instead, Evocon gives you the opportunity to monitor and react to changing line conditions. This way, you can prevent losses and improve performance before it’s too late.
Improved Operator Engagement
As noted, once you are capturing accurate and unbiased production data in real-time, a natural first step is to take action in the moment to improve performance. This will engage you with your operators as you work together. However, there are still other ways to improve operator engagement.
First among these will be to use Evocon’s Shift View and built-in data visualization. This will provide line and machine operators with real-time feedback into how they are performing at any given moment. But don’t stop there. Our clients find that having meaningful discussions based on the collected data will also drive operator engagement. A great place for these discussions is in daily and weekly production meetings with your team.
The Bottom Line
As a Production Manager, you have a significant and challenging position in today’s manufacturing environment. You are responsible for making tactical decisions with considerable impact on the day-to-day performance of workgroup or cell. Until now, you made decisions from what data was available and your personal judgment.
Evocon’s production monitoring and OEE software can help fundamentally change this situation. We enable you to make data-driven decisions without having to dedicate significant resources to the task of data collection.
Why Start With Evocon Today?
Having user-friendly access to reliable production data leads to better business decisions and outcomes. This is what Evocon is all about: empowering your decision-making process with real insights and information from your shop floor.
You can get started today with our free trial and begin to save time on automated data collection immediately. From there, the benefits of making faster, better decisions that are data-driven can begin. Over the next 60 to 90 days, you can begin to transform performance on a wide variety of KPIs.