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User Spotlight

"PlantRun is now central to how we performance manage our key kit, it is reliable, accurate and most of all meaningful”
Keith Nicholl - Commercial Director, KMF
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The efficiency of machine operators can often be the most significant factor in improving manufacturing performance. Being able to track and analyse operator efficiency is crucial to this improvement.

A manufacturing traceability system is enabling 3M to track critical input materials and components used in the production of respirators and particulate filters.

When manufacturing respirators a number of materials are fed into the process. To ensure compliance with the relevant standards it is necessary to have a process where input material batch numbers can be linked with output product.

The system replaces manual collection of input material batch numbers on to paper records. The requirement for paperless data capture was highlighted during the introduction of SAP on site.

manufacturing traceabilityIntermec CK3R mobile computers provide a convenient operator interface with touch screen for simple interaction allowing users to scan barcodes for the following:
  • Station ID
  • Operator ID (from their employee card)
  • Stock number (from the raw material ID ticket)
  • Batch number (from the raw material ID ticket)
Data is recorded to database making it available in virtual real time across the organisation on PC’s, tablets, smart phones, large screen displays in production and meeting areas etc.

As well as inputting data from barcodes, data is also captured automatically from PLC’s, including critical machine operations, pallet number, product count and product ID etc. Links to Zebra GK420 label printers enable printing of labels for pallets and boxes.

The system has been developed to work across all production areas on site including an area that is validated to FDA 21CFR Part 11 standard for electronic records and electronic signatures.

3M is a multi national corporation with global sales of over $31 billion (2017)

Having easy access to accurate manufacturing key performance indicators is vital to effective management and production efficiency.  Manufacturing KPI reporting is a major benefit of a PlantRun real-time manufacturing information system. The KPI data that is collected and stored by PlantRun can generate management reports or be displayed on manufacturing dashboards.

Reducing equipment or machine down time has an instant beneficial effect on manufacturing operational availability and output. However, without accurate information on the true amount and causes of unplanned downtime it can be difficult to identify how it can be reduced.

OEE highlights the “major losses” in the manufacturing process for focused improvement. It can then be used to measure the effect of efforts or initiatives introduced to reduce the major losses and thereby tap “hidden capacity”.

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