Production Cockpit 4.0 is the Shop Floor Management System of the Future at Medic AG
Business Intelligence: Production Cockpit 4.0 is the shop floor management system of the future
In many companies, large amounts of data go unused. This is especially true when information is collected from the shop floor by operational managers according to the “go and see” method. However, they could easily help generate business intelligence of immediate relevance, thus contributing toward optimization of production and logistics. In a project at Medic AG, Ingenics demonstrated how such potential can be harnessed using a cockpit solution.
- IT structure analysis
- Work structure analysis of shop floor management system
- Analysis and documentation of order processing
- Conception and realization planning for Production Cockpit 4.0
The knowledge of an experienced technical manager familiar with routines of an industrial foreman and expertise of an IT specialist was a winning combination in this project to design a production cockpit for Medic AG in Bülach (Canton of Zurich, Switzerland), which focused on opportunities presented by optimized data use. An analysis of the order process was the starting point for determining potential quality optimization at all levels.
Conditions of this project proved to be ideal for pioneering work using Production Cockpit 4.0. An exchange between experts in IT and production experts was specifically initiated to examine how such a solution could bring together perspectives of operational managers with respect to the shop floor management system and the approach of IT in the era of Industry 4.0.
The SME client of Ingenics appreciated first and foremost the fact that consultants were quickly able to outline what they considered to be the focus of a Production Cockpit 4.0 solution:
- Relieving operational managers of time-consuming activities such as researching, locating, and compiling various information and data.
- Making existing data easy to access from ERP and MDE systems without using Excel or other systems.
- Transparency and a constant view of current data to support the planning process.
- Making new data available with the aim of increasing quality and speed of decisions.
The client’s management team was pleased to be convinced by sound arguments and good results. It seemed ambitious to run a workshop lasting only three days to analyze the status quo, to identify areas for action, and to determination potential – but the first results came quickly and were very good in terms of content. The COO saw to it that employees were able to develop some of the proposed measures themselves, asking Ingenics to provide offers for support needed elsewhere.
An essential element of the approach to optimizing data integration in the context of digital factories was to involve one of the established IT service providers at Medic whose tools make it possible to use data from different systems. Production Cockpit 4.0 also uses historical data such as near real-time (15 minutes old) and real-time data. It presents a selection of this information to managers using tablet devices, smartphones, and shop floor management boards, meeting their specific needs.
Sudden improvements made it clear to what extent a substantial effect could be achieved. Managers had previously invested so much time in searching for information that they constantly had to work more than eight hours a day, yet they still had no time for tasks such as systematically dealing with deviations from target values. This was no longer the case following the introduction of IT-based elements of Industry 4.0.
Following the first workshop series, several areas for action with promising potential had been identified. Results were described in a business intelligence target. By presenting real-time information concerning key figures directly on tablet devices where machines are stationed throughout the production area, productivity has increased by up to 15 percent. Additional time windows are being used for systematic problem solving and process optimization.
Any weaknesses identified can now be worked on without delay. This begins with conceptual modules that significantly increase the efficiency of managers and machines, that are very quick to implement with clear cost calculations. These modules also contribute to the usefulness of existing data as well as process reliability and speed.