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Becoming More Competitive

Aug 7th, 2018

The Fabricator magazine, in partnership with Amada, recently published an Industry Research Project entitled “Building a Competitive Advantage”. This project featured a survey where dozens of metal fabricators were asked a series of questions about their business, customers, processes, and the industry in general.

One of the most important questions asked was, “What problem do you feel has hurt your competitiveness the most in recent years?” These are the results:

Competitveness

Almost three-quarters of responders (72%) indicated one of the top three problems as the most significant hurdle in their quest for competitiveness. In each case ShopFloorConnect represents the all-important first step in overcoming each of these obstacles: Understanding the exact nature of the problem.

Capacity Issues

By measuring Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), ShopFloorConnect can unlock hidden capacity by identifying which machines are underperforming, and why. When under-performance is not an issue, ShopFloorConnect makes it obvious when additional equipment purchases become necessary. In addition, ShopFloorConnect’s ability to separately track setup time enables you to streamline the job changeover process, giving you the agility needed to smooth out demand spikes when product mix unexpectedly changes.

Miscommunication of Job Details

ShopFloorConnect’s Application Program Interface (API) allows it to retrieve job information directly from your business software and automatically display it at your machines in real time. In addition, the API updates your ERP software when a job finishes and a new one starts.

Also, whenever something goes wrong, ShopFloorConnect can immediately summon the appropriate personnel to the machine that requires attention using the built-in alert feature.

Personnel Problems

In addition to tracking underperforming machines, ShopFloorConnect tracks downtime and efficiency by operator, allowing you to direct additional training where it is necessary.