According to the customer:
“On average, once a month the production setup changes and that’s when we are clocking! 2 man-days are spent just measuring the production by clocking! And this happens once a month. And the amount of work is not limited to just clocking, this hustle takes up a significant part of productive working time in a year. And honestly, no educated person would really want to do that job.” – Process manager of a large manufacturing industry company
Positioning is an alternative to clocking in the manufacturing industry
In a smart factory, with the help of positioning, the flow of production, the duration of work phases and the functionality of the layout of the production facilities can be automatically monitored, instead of short-term manual research, so-called clocking.
In a good layout, the available space is used efficiently, employee movements are minimized and material flow is smooth.
If the layout has to be changed (e.g. due to a new product), positioning makes measurement easy and the effects of the changes can be seen quickly, thus optimizing the layout takes place faster. The new layout implemented with the help of positioning enables smoother material flows, clearer work areas and short movement distances at workstations.
Working time measurements aim at transparency about the “normal” duration of the production phases, in order to obtain information, e.g. to support pricing. Even behind the detailed use cases, there is a need for comprehensive production efficiency, the different areas of which – from product lead time to the bonus reward system or the recording of work steps – can be effectively monitored with the help of positioning.
The most important thing in all of these is to make the invisible visible. Location data helps to find invisible process problems or production bottlenecks. When you have unanswerable data, you can really make smart decisions, lead with data.
From clocking to overall production efficiency
Positioning can be used to make production more efficient, shorten product lead times and improve competitiveness.
The pursuit of improving productivity is not based on increasing the work pace, but on eliminating a different kind of useless work. There are many types of useless or wasted work, but with the help of positioning, at least four of them can be improved;
- unnecessary transportation
- unnecessary storage
- overprocessing (=unnecessary work steps)
- unnecessary movement
Unnecessary transfer of components between processes should be avoided. Unnecessary transportation can be verified with location data when the production space is divided into zones (workstations) and the real-time location of machines, components and employees is known.
Unnecessary storage can be avoided when the entire production process is smooth and transparent. Unnecessary work steps, such as unnecessary waiting and searching for goods, can also be minimized when the location of all goods and people and the steps of the processes are known.
Unnecessary movement, such as moving materials and looking for tools, is one that does not add value to the customer, on the contrary, it increases costs using time. All unnecessary movements should be minimized in the process.
Transportation and movements related to processes and flows have been visualized using the so-called spaghetti diagrams. The problem with the spaghetti diagram is its imprecision and guesswork. With the help of positioning, the correct material flows and the actual journeys taken by people at workplaces can be accurately visualized. With the help of the data obtained from the positioning, we find out how much waste time is created in the process due to a bad layout. Optimum placement of supplies and components and tracking the movement of employees is easily achieved with the help of positioning.
Positioning as the basis of the bonus reward system
It is also possible to use the working times measured with the help of positioning as the basis of a contract-based bonus reward system. As productivity increases, the cost of manufacturing a single product decreases. An efficient production method can save a large part of the manufacturing costs, even if the employee is paid a bonus for the efficiency.
It should be noted, however, that just as in working time measurements performed by clocking, also when measuring with positioning, the different work phases must be taken into account. The total production time alone is not enough, e.g. due to pricing based on the production structure. (The price often consists of the prices of the components in the structure, the number of working hours, and the given margin percentage.)
Automatic recording of work steps using positioning
Sellers must be able to monitor how well the previously calculated and sold working hours are correct. There is no need to manually mark the employee for the work phase, when the employee’s location information combined with the proximity of a certain work phase zone is automatically logged into the system. The positioning is accurate, and in addition, the conditions for recording can be defined so that there is no fear of incorrect entry. Depending on the work, components/work in different stages of production moving from one zone to another can also have a tracking tag, so the production manager can easily track the actual hours, who is doing which work/work stage, and which work stages are ready for which work.
In this way, positioning can be used to make production more efficient, shorten product lead times and improve competitiveness.
We help you understand what location is used for and how it could improve your facility and processes.
We offer access to indoor positioning, from a free demonstration to a thorough expert assessment of the suitability of the positioning for your company.
- Get to know the possibilities of RTLS analytics
- See the positioning accuracy yourself – Book a virtual 20 min demo for free.
- Test the functionality of positioning with Iiwari Development Kit.
- Learn from our experts how you can improve efficiency with location information.