Embrace the future of Lean Manufacturing with 4Industry

Luc Raeskin

Luc Raeskin

Managing director

Production facilities in a wide range of industries can benefit greatly from removing ‘waste’ and improving Overall Equipment Effectiveness. How? By applying and optimizing the Total Productive Maintenance method with data and digital technology.

Embrace the future of Lean Manufacturing with 4Industry

The key metric for reducing waste in a production environment is Overall Equipment Effectiveness, in short OEE. This concept is used to measure relative performance compared to optimal performance of a certain piece of equipment. It is part of the total productive maintenance philosophy, which has resulted in countless practices to continuously improve (production) processes. Many managers believe they have accurate insight in OEE. But they rarely stop to think about the sources of these metrics and the accuracy of the data they use to make decisions.

Collecting and leveraging data in an industrial environment is difficult. Wireless connectivity is often unavailable due to machinery interfering with wireless signals, especially WiFi. Besides, it is almost impossible to consistently register deviations manually and put this data to good use. The result is that OEE percentages often are flawed, resulting in suboptimal performance of machinery.

Continuous improvement

We believe any production environment should benefit from continuous improvement of critical processes made possible by digital technology. We acknowledge it is not easy to do this without the right tools. That is why we have developed a suite of innovative apps that draw on the possibilities of the ServiceNow platform called 4Industry.

4Industry enable operators and maintenance engineers to consistently log deviations with the help of mobile devices. For these devices, we have developed an app that is fully capable to operate offline, uploading collected data onto the ServiceNow platform as soon as a WiFi signal is available. With the app, employees are able to report and solve deviations in a fast and easy way. The app helps them to create, use and enhance available knowledge about deviations. The knowledge database is consulted each time a deviation is reported, and automatically provides operators and engineers with a step-by-step approach to solve the deviation, or helps them to create new knowledge based on the deviation.

For deviations that keep occuring, a root cause analysis (RCA) can be started in ServiceNow to determine and eliminate the (root) causes of the deviation. Based on the findings of this analysis, a maintenance schedule can be drawn up to ensure the machinery receives timely maintenance so the deviation doesn’t occur anymore, thereby improving the OEE.

The RCA can also result in the identification of a knowledge gap for a given recurring deviation. In that case, the knowledge base can be updated, again improving OEE. Last but not least, solutions for deviations can be assessed with the app to determine if they’re effective.

Optimizing OEE made easy

When done consistently, the 4Industry approach helps to enhance Lean Manufacturing processes such as Deviation Management, Root Cause Analysis Management, Management of Change and Knowledge Management while making application as easy as possible for operators, engineers and factory managers.

With industry 4.0 knocking at the door, the time has finally arrived to revolutionize the industrial workplace. Want to know more about how 4Industry can help you do this? Feel free to contact us at info@app4mation.com.