Automating Data Collection at the Plant Level

Data is everywhere. When collected properly, it can be used to make production on the plant floor more efficient, accurate, and hassle-free – ultimately improving productivity and profitability. The key is to collect data properly. Astonishingly, a recent survey conducted by InfinityQS found that out of 260 manufacturers, including some of the world’s largest organizations, 75% of respondents are still manually collecting data. What’s worse is the fact that 47% of those are still using pencil and paper!
Automating Data Collection at the Plant LevelIf data on the plant floor is vital to tracking stock levels, keeping tabs on possible quality issues, and ensuring overall smooth production, then why are manufacturers insisting on using manual data collection when other methods are readily available?
Any time data is collected manually there are increased risks for error. Not only can information be keyed in incorrectly, but it can also be completely overlooked. When out-of-specification data is missed, manufacturers lose the ability to immediately flag quality issues and stop production lines before the problem impacts business operations. Further, manual data collection restricts manufacturers from obtaining insights beyond the plant floor that can drive continuous business advantages throughout the enterprise.
By implementing an automated data collection and integration solution, actionable operational insights can be attained, enabling organizations to achieve significant improvements in productivity and higher levels of customer satisfaction. Manufacturing companies that have turned to automated data collection are reaping the benefits throughout every level of production—improved product quality and compliance, decreased costs and risk, and more strategic, data-driven business decisions.
SanDisk Case Study
As an innovator in product design, manufacturing, branding, and distribution, SanDisk has made quality the cornerstone of its operations. As its product offerings evolved over the years, the company realized it needed a system that could analyze real-time process data and predict potential quality issues. SanDisk turned to InfinityQS for a Statistical Process Control (SPC) platform that would collect process data and deliver real-time analysis to quality engineers, process engineers, and management.
As an integral part of SanDisk’s comprehensive quality solution, InfinityQS’s quality management software uses a Data Management System (DMS) to consolidate and standardize process data and a Remote Alarm Monitoring Service (RAMS) to automate alarms, holds, notifications, and reporting for timely responses to quality events.
With all quality data unified in a single database, SanDisk’s quality and process control team has visibility across operations and can conduct analysis to identify opportunities to save valuable time, money, and resources. The automated alarms enable the teams to react to every potential incident and control processes before a defective product is manufactured.
While automating data collection is very appealing, it’s clear that most manufacturers are hesitant to put down their clipboards and pencils. Whether the concern is a large upfront cost or a perceived lack of internal expertise, the reluctance to automate data collection is holding these manufacturers back. With hidden opportunities that can only be uncovered through real-time, unified data, manufacturers can quickly see incredible returns on their initial investment. But, in the end, manufacturers will be the ones to make the choice between the status quo and real-time accumulation of data that can tap into profit centers that existing systems have failed to reach. Will your organization take the next step to improve its bottom line?
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