When Metrics Matter and When They Don’t…

We live in a data-driven world.  Volumes of information are accessible with the push of a button or the touch of a screen. Supercomputers exponentially more powerful than those used to put man on the moon sit casually in our pockets.  We are incredibly lucky to live in an era where the concept of advanced statistics isn't walled behind the ivory towers of institution but can be readily digested and interpreted by anyone who's willing to look hard enough.

With the amount of data available to digest and the abundance of user-friendly tools that can be used to quickly process that data, a business can generate metrics for nearly every potential process output.  On the surface, this is an enormous boon for managers, as they should be able to tell exactly what their teams are doing and how efficiently it's being done.

But that data doesn't always tell the whole story, or even the right story at all. What if all that data is doing us a disservice? What if the data we've come to rely on and, in some cases, take for granted, is harming our decision-making abilities. When do metrics matter?  And, more importantly, when don't they?

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Strategies for Upgrading PLC Hardware

The programmable logic controller (PLC) first came out in the late 1960s. It's important to know when to update old hardware and controllers with new technology updates and to ensure replacement parts are available in the event of an emergency. 

Key reasons why an upgrade might be necessary include:

 

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Five Reasons to Use Modular Design Enclosures

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When choosing a cabinet to house controls or other equipment, users have two fundamental choices: a unibody (unitary) design, which is formed by folding and welding sheet metal into a suitable shape; and a modular design, where the basic structure is created by an internal frame with an external skin attached to it. While there might not be a major difference on the surface, differences may favor modular enclosures for plant-floor operations. Five benefits are highlighted.

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Three Ways Remote Technology Is Transforming Maintenance

Remote technology is a growing industry. According to the New York Times, 43 percent of Americans reported in 2016 that they worked remotely for at least part of their workweek. AfterCollege also reported that 68 percent of college graduates surveyed in 2015 said that remote work is one of the most attractive perks that a company could offer. But remote work is not just for people; the concept is changing how maintenance operates, as well. Remote technology can keep workers safer while also saving companies money.

Here are three ways that remote technology is changing the landscape of maintenance operations.

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Five Tips for Improving Warehouse Productivity

Improving warehouse productivity can feel like a daunting task. There are so many moving parts within a warehouse operation that it may seem impossible to align everyone’s priorities for the good of the operation. But making improvements can provide big returns. We’ve chosen five basic tips to help streamline and improve your warehouse’s productivity. 

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Wandering Around Can Make You A Better Manager

Yes, you read that right.  Wandering around can make you a better manager.  In today's fast-paced, corporate environment, it can be difficult to peel ourselves away from the daily grind of emails, problems, and reports that keep us chained to our desks and out of sight.  We can become so bogged down with the responsibilities that come with being a manager, that it’s easy to forget our biggest responsibility:  Managing.

Managing doesn’t just stop at enforcing company policies and procedures or driving production.  Managing is spending time with your employees.  It’s embedding yourself with your teams, asking questions, and ultimately driving change through their feedback.  No manager knows everything. They can’t.  

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Five Things to Consider When Choosing An Electronics Repair Company

There are many important things to consider when choosing an electronics repair company to work with. The right repair company for your business can ensure that your repair process is efficient and seamless. Keeping your business up and running can be a matter of choosing the right company to handle your repairs.  There’s a few key points to consider when deciding which company to choose as your repair provider.

 

 

 

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How to Prevent Costly CNC Machinery Repairs

CNC machinery is a vital component of many manufacturing plant floors. While quite popular, owners don’t often fully understand how to care for this equipment. There are many steps that can be taken for optimal CNC maintenance.

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Improving Maintenance Reliability and Sustainability

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When looking at all that goes into a reliable process, one must be able to see maintenance is only a portion of the process. There are so many different inputs to not only the process, but also the assets themselves. Consider raw material variations, how the equipment is operated, quality specifications, and demand for the assets.

 

Maintenance is not the silver bullet to success. Success comes from the entire organization working together. However, in my experience, one of the things the team I was part of did to highlight this was to eliminate 90% of the maintenance-related issues. The result was moving from 58% original equipment efficiency (OEE) to 65% OEE. Upon deep diving the production loss data, numerous issues came to light:

 

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Best Practices for Compressor Storage

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Understanding best practices for compressor storage for a lubricated trim compressor with load/unload controls is critical for optimized performance.

Air receivers store compressed air and are used to temporarily satisfy fluctuations in plant air demand. There are other benefits of a wet receiver such as cooling  and cleaning the air before it enters the air treatment equipment. Storage benefits highlighted below apply to all compressor control types:
 
                                                           Figure 1
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