Production planning and control software allow you to obtain complete visibility into production processes, track work orders in real-time, identify bottlenecks, and monitor and understand the progress of production, from the use of resources to the final delivery of the product.

Collecting data on production activities and analyzing them in real-time and structurally in functional reports allow identifying any inefficiencies or problems in the production process is essential to prevent them from negatively impacting production times and, therefore, the effectiveness of the entire production process.

Visibility on production processes means obtaining a complete and detailed view of what happens during production in order to identify any critical issues and bottlenecks in time and then effectively implement corrective actions both in the short and long term.

This process of verification and implementation of improvement plans is essential for the competitiveness of companies forced today to make informed decisions on how to optimize production processes, reduce costs, increase productivity, and provide, in a proactive way, to adapt the production process to the dynamism of the context and of the market in which it operates.

How to use IoT technologies to get complete visibility, and how to track orders? Can they be used as software integration for production planning and control software?

Needs and requirements of Italian SMEs

Italian manufacturing companies that decide to embark on a digitalization process find themselves facing some main challenges:

  • Complete digitization of processes or integration of machinery of different types
  • Production efficiency for the optimization of production processes
  • Production efficiency: track production orders and have visibility over the entire factory

Most manufacturing companies need more visibility into machine operation and status and reference data on process performance, making it even more difficult to analyze historical data and create suitable optimization strategies. The more advanced ones already use Production planning and control software to control the progress of production, while the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises still need to catch up to their complete adoption.

Companies often have heterogeneous shop floors with different types of machinery (legacy or modern). The main challenge of IoT technologies in this context concerns, above all, the extraction of data for analysis and monitoring of productivity parameters (OEE, quality, and performance) to reduce maintenance costs, minimize machine downtime and reduce waste.

The lack of visibility into the whole process and a heterogeneous holistic view does not allow for analyzing the data and predicting failures and causes effectively, causing a slow reaction time and enormous effort to understand the process data manually.

Tracking production orders also allows companies to improve the planning of delivery times, identify any bottlenecks, and manage changes and any problems in the shortest possible time, improving the reaction time based on estimated costs and production orders monitored. In this context, using IoT technologies such as production planning and control software would make it possible to track orders and obtain visibility on processes or, if already present in the company, integrate with the platforms already in use.

MES/ERP and IoT as production planning and control software

Complex manufacturing processes with specialized line operators and internal and external skills characterize companies needing to track orders and processes. Often, but not always, they already use structures and production planning and control software such as MES/ERP/AMS. IoT technologies can therefore be used autonomously for tracking processes or integrated with the systems used.

The use of IoT technologies integrated into these systems allows to:

  • Add more advanced features
  • Monitor production energy consumption
  • Automate normally manual functions
  • Allow real-time monitoring of production order tracking, generally simplifying company management by operators.

The main problem mainly concerns the processes and orders that are available but difficult to extract. Standardize the production process and be able to use the same model for efficiency.

The biggest challenges, in fact, concern above all:

  • lack of reliable delivery times
  • difficult data aggregation and extraction
  • difficulties in estimating time and costs
  • slow reaction time compared to the many expected changes.

The real-time analysis of the data extracted from the machinery, possibly combined with the data present in the various management software, ERP and MES (if present), allows the devising of effective strategies for production management and process efficiency through the extraction of precise and accurate data.

Track production orders

An updated data report with all the information regarding machine status, setup, production cycle, work history, etc., allows you to include and track all the necessary tools to reduce installation times and obtain an accurate baseline.

Production planning and control software allows you to document and standardize all aspects of the procedures, making the process accessible to all interested parties.

Implementing a production order tracking system allows companies to improve production efficiency and quality.

Production order tracking helps companies identify and resolve any inefficiencies or problems in the production process.

For example, it can be used for:

  • identify areas where delays or wastage of raw materials occur
  • identify the causes of any defects in the final product
  • improve the efficiency and quality of the production process.

Using various tools and technologies, such as production planning and control software, barcodes, RFID, and quality control systems, can help to streamline the production process.

Production order tracking allows you to identify any problems or inefficiencies in the production process, such as delays or waste of raw materials, or defects in the final product. This gives companies greater control over production processes and reduces overall production costs.

The Zerynth Platform solution

Through the combination of Industrial IoT and AI technology, the Zerynth Platform allows you to monitor the operation of machinery remotely, increase productivity, reduce energy costs, decrease machinery downtime, and reduce maintenance costs – quickly, flexibly, and securely.

Connecting any type of machinery present in the plant (legacy or modern machinery, service, or electrical panels) and integrating other company tools, such as ERP or BI systems, is now essential for any company to be able to obtain a holistic view of the entire plant. Furthermore, to get full control over the progress of each product/order’s production and make decisions based on clear and precise data.

Join the webinar on April 27th to find out how the Zerynth Industrial IoT & AI Platform allows you to optimize processes and gain full visibility on work orders!

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About the Author: Emanuele Figliolia

Emanuele is Zerynth’s Product Manager. He deals with the management of products and the development of Industrial IoT solutions for the Zerynth IoT AI Platform. A graduate in telecommunications engineering, in his spare time he likes to devote himself to photography and playing the guitar.

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