intelligence for data collection. Like many Smart Machines, however, while the equipment can collect the data, it’s the management of data that is going to make a difference for manufacturers. Up until now, some small to medium-

sized manufacturers who want to automate data collection and do something meaningful with it are finding it difficult to source an affordable, scalable and easy-to-implement solution. When assessing potential solutions,

Bob Neagle, commercial director Productivity Solutions, Videojet Technologies, says finding the right-sized productivity solution for collecting and managing data is key to improving OEE


o succeed and stay competitive in today’s global marketplace,

manufacturing companies must find ways to continuously improve their productivity. Towards this goal, most manufacturers implement Lean Manufacturing practices and associated Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) programmess. Key to the success of these initiatives is standardising data measurement as well as establishing a means of evaluating improvements made and tracking their progress over time. The most commonly used metric for

measuring Lean Manufacturing is Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). The three individual components of OEE – Availability, Performance and Quality – have a direct correlation to the TPM Six Big Losses (unplanned and planned downtime, slow cycles and micro-stops, production, and start-up losses) making it a useful framework to identify root causes of inefficiency and to help users prioritise and validate productivity improvement efforts. While these frameworks for

measurement are vital to driving operational improvement, they are only as good as the data supporting them. And this is the stumbling block, because accurate, consistent and insightful data is often difficult and expensive to gather, streamline and manage. With the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), however, this is changing. Emerging technology brings with it new possibilities for the automation, standardisation and organisation of data collection and storage, helping empower OEE measurement and improvement. When first getting started with OEE,

manufacturers need to choose between a manual data collection method or an automated data collection method. To

best make this decision, it is important to consider what data is required, who intends to use it, and how it will be used. These determinations should then be balanced against what data is readily available versus what data is challenging to obtain. When measuring OEE, you’ll need data-related equipment downtime, production throughput, and quality rejects. Moreover, you will also need to determine at what level you want to collect and view that data. Manual data capture can be a good way

to get started, but this approach is often inaccurate, difficult to standardise, and poorly suited to the purpose if you intend to use the data for any real-time decision making. Automated data collection is a beneficial alternative. As the adage goes, you can only improve

what you can measure, and with advances in the IIoT, it is possible for data collection to be automated using equipment already on the line. With the development and integration of equipment sensors and OEE/productivity software technology, data collection can be streamlined, improving data accuracy and consistency. And in time, collected data can generate a storehouse of trusted and meaningful information that can be used across the organisation. However, there can be a disconnect between intelligent machines that can collect data and the availability of data management tools. With the expansion of Industry 4.0 and

Smart Machines, it would seem easier than ever to drive efficiency in your production. However, the change to intelligent machinery and data automation takes time and capital investment, that is unless you can tap into smart equipment already on your line. Videojet coding and marking equipment, for example, offers built-in


With the expansion of Industry 4.0, many smart machines can now collect data, it’s the management of this data that can make a difference for manufacturers

scalability and complexity are big things to consider. Some offerings may be complex to implement and are more robust in functionality than needed, while other offerings may be highly-specialised and geared toward a specific user, perpetuating a data-silo issue. Also, other solutions may be overly simplistic, giving you high-level data that leaves you multiple steps away from a root cause of a problem. Finding a software solution that can you can get up and operating quickly, and that fits your budget, can be tricky, so its important to seek a trusted partner with knowledge of your production and processes. While some OEE/productivity software

solutions may be out of reach for operations without the resources to manage them, there is now a newer option that provides a lower cost and ease of setup option. Videojet now offers an IIoT-enabled

productivity solution that gives manufacturers visibility across their packaging lines. This visibility enables users to maximise production throughput, reduce operating costs, and drive process improvements. The VideojetConnect Productivity Suite, when partnered with select Videojet equipment, provides users with a dashboard overview of how their entire operation is running overall, and can also show productivity in real time where and when work is being done. This instant insight means users can make quick adjustments on the line in order to hit shift/daily production targets. This visibility can provide a much-appreciated warning when production is falling short of its goal. And with data gathered and analysed over time, measurement for OEE can easily be gathered, synthesised and turned into corrective actions for productivity improvements. The VideojetConnect Productivity Suite

is easy to implement, because it is already built-in to select Videojet equipment. And unlike other solutions that can prove too robust for many applications, the cost is affordable, and does not require large capital investment or a long-term commitment to get started.

Videojet Technologies


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