Every organization wants to maximize equipment reliability. The longer your equipment lasts and the more consistently it performs, the more return you’re getting on a single investment, which has a direct impact on the company’s bottom line. There are several ways to extend the usable life and reliability of your assets, one of the most important and effective being statistical process control.
Statistical process control isn’t just for quality
A ReliabilityWeb.com article describes statistical process control as, “learning when to make adjustments based on operating and product parameters.” Statistical process control is generally used in quality control, but it’s also a valuable tactic for operations. Equipment operators armed with data, and subsequently, knowledge, about the conditions in which their machines operate most efficiently, is a powerful combination for productivity and reduced accidents and malfunctions.
In quality control, statistical process control ensures that the final product meets the pre-determined guidelines for safety, functionality and overall customer expectations. When this same process is applied during operations, not only are quality guidelines maintained, but waste of both materials and time can also be reduced.
RCM and TPM participation enhances knowledge
Along the same lines, ReliabilityWeb.com suggests getting involved with reliability centered maintenance (RCM) or total productive maintenance (TPM) teams. Participating in these teams provides operators with a more in-depth understanding of how the equipment they work with was designed and how it’s meant to perform. This facilitates understanding of the importance of inspecting equipment and measuring key data points such as pressure, temperature and flows.
By gathering critical data about equipment, operators are better equipped to present operations issues to management. Process complaints backed by data are attention-grabbing and more likely to garner change.
Data collection is the first step
All of this data is readily available, but it’s not always being collected or used to its fullest capacity. Asset tracking programs streamline accurate data collection, assigning each bit of information to a unique asset, which enables sophisticated analysis that can be directly applied to process control.
For instance, recognizing that a specific asset suffers in performance under a specific set of conditions can inform decisions such as assigning certain production tasks to top-performing equipment, while reserving others for tasks that can be handled with more efficiency. The net result is maximized production, which again ultimately has a positive impact on the bottom line.
Data shifts the approach from reactive to proactive
Likewise, asset tracking enables the continuous monitoring of performance and rapid detection of changes in production, which can be used for proactive maintenance and repair. Asset tracking solutions are a highly effective tool for ensuring regular maintenance schedules, which can extend the usable life of assets and reduce the likelihood of performance issues.
Incorporating cause-and-effect analysis, Pareto charts and other diagnostic tools, software can be configured to trigger alerts for operators and quality control managers when specific variables or factors known to result in performance issues are detected. Essentially, this enables rapid response to minimize impacts that could ordinarily create substantial delays in production.
There are many compelling reasons to implement an asset tracking solution, but many companies don’t realize how cost-efficient implementation can be. With customized solutions designed to suit application-specific requirements, asset tracking is not only cost-effective to implement, but is the catalyst for data-driven decision-making, resulting in dramatic ROI both from your assets and your investment in an asset tracking solution.