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Data Management, Part 2

By Tom Weber

July 9, 2021

The following is a recap of the second session in a four-part series surrounding data management, this time covering machinery, that was hosted by your AICC education team and moderated by me.

The two remaining sessions, regarding methods and materials, respectively, will be recapped in my next two BoxScore articles. I encourage you to read ahead by obtaining all four of the recorded versions, available through your outstanding AICC education contacts, Chelsea May and Taryn Pyle.

The machinery session aimed to answer the following question: How do we enable a “connected factory” to be available 24/7 for operational teams? The top three explorations we utilized were:

  • Taking a holistic view of operations.
  • Exploring barriers created within operating systems in order to gain full visibility into what’s happening on the shop floor and out in the field.
  • Uncovering meaningful ways to integrate structured and unstructured data from all shop floor sources.

The major machinery opportunities for improvement that were identified during the session (and that follow here) were explored by our AICC Associate member panelists from Amtech, Advantzware, EFI, Kiwiplan, and OMP.

Maximize Your High-Capital Machinery Assets

Keep high-capital machinery assets running at maximum efficiency to meet production goals and boost profitability, without increasing costs or risking failure.

Predict problems in advance with machine sensor data that feeds into analytical models. When there is an issue, diagnose it with root-cause analysis tools so you can efficiently correct it.

Don’t expect your machines to deliver top performance without the aid of advanced analytics. For instance, with artificial intelligence and analytics doing the heavy data lifting, a company might analyze profit per hour, factoring in as many as 1,000 variables and 10,000 constraints to help manufacturers figure out what to buy, what to make, and how they should make it to yield the most profit in each period.

Enable Full Machine Sensor Visibility on the Shop Floor

When a manufacturing firm adds more machine sensor technology, it can reliably find patterns hidden in the data that may indicate an impending failure or performance degradation.

By showing employees how to test and measure data and helping them to understand its importance, you help get them invested in the data-driven culture. A self-service culture of data visualization along with key performance indicator (KPI) dashboards will present the information necessary to manage the entire process.

Asset Replacement and Decision Support

Support your repair or replacement strategy with a machine-generated, data-driven trade-off analysis. Downtimes, production losses, future probability of occurrences, etc. are all considered and can be optimized to determine the most profitable course of action for management to take.

Maximize Output

Data analysis should be directed at problem-solving, process improvement, and profit generation. You may get a fresh perspective on a variety of machine processes or business challenges. Status dashboards and automatic alerts can notify operations staff of impending failures, so you have time to correct in advance.

Establishing a data-driven culture as a priority can improve buy-in to the initiative while leading to improved production rates, lower costs, reduced downtime, and greater employee satisfaction.

Optimize Maintenance Cycles

The use of KPIs and dashboards can move a company toward using predictive and preventative maintenance strategies to address known sources of failure without driving up costs. Avoid costly just-in-case PM strategies by using leading indicators that tell the entire story.

Improve Root-Cause Analysis Using Machine Data Generation

Quickly and accurately identify root causes using your machine-generated data to mine, drill down, and ultimately detect hidden patterns to facilitate swifter and more data-focused, permanent corrective actions.

Reduce Downtime

Avoid major defects and prevent extended downtimes. Address potential performance before they escalate, using your newly added automated data monitoring and predictive alerts.

This machinery session recap was intended to create the thought that perhaps there is a better, faster, and smarter way to do tomorrow. If I have piqued your interest, please request the session recording from your AICC education team or me. It may well trigger one novel useful thought for you and your team in the second half of 2021!

width=100Tom Weber is president of WeberSource LLC and is AICC’s folding carton and rigid box technical advisor. Contact Tom directly at