June 14, 2016 at 8:53 AM

The Importance of an MES to Optimizing Manufacturing Quality

Procedures and checks can only take your quality improvements so far.
To maximize your quality, you need to design quality feedback loops.


Manufacturing companies are continually pursuing quality improvements, and with good reason. Improved quality not only increases productivity and profit as non-conformances and scrap are reduced, ensuring the shop floor is focused on product that ships, but also aids in sales. Consumers buying a product don’t care about productivity and efficiency; they care about value and quality - manufacturing quality.

Read More
June 7, 2016 at 11:57 AM

How Much Can You Trust Your KPIs and Data Collection?

There is more to effective manufacturing analytics than reports. You need an effective and efficient process for collecting data.

Manufacturing is changing.

In the past, it was enough to write a few notes on the traveler, type them into a spreadsheet at the end of the day and print up a report. As long as work was completed and product moved, a shop floor could get by.

With the advent of new technology, smart manufacturing, and a digital foundation for production, paper-based data collection is no longer sufficient to support the shop floor.

Read More
April 5, 2016 at 9:59 AM

Delivering Solutions with a Data Migration Engine

Quantum's Data Migration Engine gives companies a reliable and safe tool to transfer their critical data and content from one system to another.

Our goal with the CIMx Data Migration Engine is to give companies a reliable, safe, and cost-effective way to move their data and content. Fear of lost data shouldn’t be a reason why a business clings to outdated, unreliable and inefficient software systems.

Unfortunately, moving data is a burden for many companies updating their internal software systems – a very expensive burden that can lead to future problems if it’s not done right.

Read More
January 6, 2016 at 3:14 AM

5 Steps to Assessing Your Digital Manufacturing Strategy for 2016

Experts agree a digital manufacturing strategy is a critical component to success moving forward. We offer tips on crafting a successful strategy for your shop floor in 2016.

Experts agree 2016 will be a year of change for manufacturers. The actions companies take now will have a dramatic impact on the success, or failure, of their business in the future.

Manufacturing thrives on data and information. Digital Manufacturing uses data and technology to empower and improve production outcomes through seamless communication across the organization, and workflows supported by timely and accurate digital information. IDC (International Data Corporation), an intelligence and analysis firm for the IT and consumer technology market, predicts 20% of manufacturing companies will import IT resources in 2016 for a digital manufacturing strategy.

Read More
October 7, 2015 at 4:48 AM

5 Reasons You Need Real-Time Shop Floor Data Collection

A company relying on paper-based data collection isn’t giving their shop floor the tools they need to compete in the modern manufacturing market.

Consider this – operating a manufacturing company with paper-based build books and data collection is like trying to drive a car by looking backward, in the rear view mirror, instead of forwards.

We look forward, and not back when we drive because it lets us react to changing conditions on the road. Looking backward will cause wrong turns and problems. You’ll hit a few things, get confused, end up driving much slower to avoid critical mistakes, and won’t see disaster until it happens. Along the way, you’ll miss opportunities and introduce more problems. You’ll reach your destination, but it won’t be the most relaxing or efficient journey …

Read More
September 29, 2015 at 4:52 AM

Improve Production with Smart Data Using the Quantum Archive

Don’t waste your manufacturing records. By converting them to Smart Data, you can improve communication and access to information, and enable data-driven manufacturing.

 

Many manufacturers are facing an imminent (and potentially dangerous) records problem – a “data-geddon” you might call it. They have years (even decades) of manufacturing data and records sitting in outdated systems, or on servers or databases slowly falling apart or becoming completely unusable.

They keep these decrepit servers on life support through IT wizardry because they NEED the data for some reason, even though they can’t really use it.

Read More
August 26, 2015 at 5:18 AM

What Will Shop Floor Control and Visibility Mean for You?

Many manufacturing software companies claim they offer visibility and control, but gaps in their functionality can leave an unsuspecting customer scrambling to fill the holes.

MES vendors love to claim their software offers, “manufacturing visibility and control.” It sounds good, and it’s an easy claim to make because any manufacturing manager with a bullhorn could stand on a catwalk above the shop floor and have visibility and control. He can see people working, and if he blows that horn people will stop working. A catwalk and a bullhorn is not the visibility and control manufacturers need when purchasing an MES.

Read More
March 17, 2015 at 4:29 AM

5 Keys to Effective Shop Floor Data Collection

Want to Increase quality, improve production and increase profitability? An effective shop floor data collection will do all this and more, and is much easier to implement than you think.

How important is quality to manufacturing? According to a recent study, it may be the most critical factor in manufacturing profitability. A 1% to 2% increase in productivity may represent more product, but a 1% to 2% increase in quality represents less waste, less scrap, more product, more productivity, more efficiency, and happier customers.

Data collection provides the foundation for quality improvement in manufacturing, and every manufacturer has a quality team or processes in place, yet many companies never realize the full benefit of quality improvement due to ineffective data collection. They struggle to turn the data they collect into real benefit or measurable improvement.

Read More
January 27, 2015 at 4:32 AM

5 Easy Shop Floor Quality Improvements You Can Make with Paperless Manufacturing

Sustainable quality improvements aren’t made with a committee or additional processes, but by giving your team the tools they need to succeed.

Quality is a critical component in manufacturing success. Poor quality leads to lost customers, rework, scrap, and vanished production – its wasted money and opportunity, and a clear sign of a shop floor with serious problems.  According to a study by Gerald Lee of ABB, poor quality can lead to significant losses, known as COPQ (Cost of Poor Quality). Even the “hidden” costs of poor quality – additional paperwork, large lot sizes, and excessive auditing – lead to losses as large of 15% of total revenue.

Improving quality is a critical goal for manufacturing. Many see improved quality as the metric that has the greatest impact on profitability, even more than productivity – which is why companies contort themselves, their shop floor, and the workflow to eke out every last bit of quality improvement.

Read More
October 2, 2014 at 6:42 AM

Are You Letting Your Most Valuable Manufacturing Resource Slip Away?

As one generation of employees retires, companies struggle to capture their knowledge and pass it on to the new generation.  We offer simple solutions to ensure a smooth transition and improve production.

By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software

Here’s the situation: Manufacturers are losing valuable experience and essential best practices as a generation of shop floor employees retire.  Companies that seek to replace the retirees struggle with a lack of skilled labor in the job market.  New hires simply don’t have the same skills as the workers they are replacing.  Manufacturers struggle to overcome these challenges just as manufacturing market rebounds – orders are coming in, but companies don’t have the right experience or workers in place to meet the demand with the same quality.

Many companies are turning to MES and paperless manufacturing to solve the steady bleeding of experience and best practices, and it is working.
 
An effective solution to this problem must capture best practices and shop floor processes.  It must have process enforcement and revision controls to ensure new employees utilize best practices and don’t create inefficient habits.  The solution needs data collection, preferably real-time data collection, to measure success.  Paperless manufacturing does all this, and more.  Consider this:

Read More
September 18, 2014 at 6:46 AM

The Secret to a Successful Manufacturing Strategy

Manufacturing is changing, as disruptive technology force companies to adapt.  Learn how to manage disruption and build a successful business strategy with a few simple tips.

By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software

I was re-reading Garntner Predicts 2014 and found a quote that really brought focus to troubling trends I’d seen in manufacturing recently:

"With digital business, IT leaders must come to terms with what digital really means in the context of their work. It is bigger in scope than the typical company definition of IT, because it includes technology outside a company's control: smart mobile devices (in the hands of customers, citizens and employees), social media, technology embedded in products (such as cars), the integration of IT and operational technologies (such as telecom networks, factory networks and energy grids), and the Internet of Things (physical objects becoming electronically tractable)." Note: Bold is my addition.

Read More
September 10, 2014 at 6:55 AM

4 Reasons Manufacturers Are Investing in Technology

With manufacturing on the rise in North America, and investment up, many companies are turning to new software and computer systems.

By Anthony Cuilwik, CEO of CIMx Software

In a recent Wall Street Journal article on recent trends in small business spending, the author wrote, “There is a point in every recovery when small businesses move from slashing costs to spending more on new plants and industrial machinery, trucks, computers, office equipment and furniture.”  According to the authors, we are just entering that period, when business owners start believing that purchases and expansions will be rewarded with new business and expanded profits.

We’re seeing evidence of this investment – 51% of all companies surveyed plan to increase capital spending in the next 12 months.   In another survey, 55% of the companies reported capital investment in the previous six months.  It’s exciting news, and another sign the economy has improved.

But, I couldn’t help but wonder what those companies were investing in…

Read More
July 23, 2014 at 4:38 AM

6 Ways Paperless Manufacturing Can Help Your Shop Floor

Paperless Manufacturing Systems can Quickly and Easily Deliver Even More Benefits Than You May Think

By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software


Many companies begin researching Paperless Manufacturing to solve a single problem. Depending on the problem, Paperless Manufacturing likely holds the solution. No other shop floor investment addresses so many of the challenges manufacturing faces.  Which is why manufacturing firms spent more than $5 Billion on MES and paperless manufacturing solutions in 2013, and estimates predict the MES market will expand more than 20% annually.

But, a powerful and capable Paperless Manufacturing system offers more than just a single solution or capability.  With the right system, you have workflow control and complete shop floor visibility.  As you consider a system for your shop floor, take a look at the six capabilities that provide the foundation of any paperless system.

Read More
July 1, 2014 at 8:19 AM

The Land of Paperless Manufacturing

The beginning adventures of a stranger discovering the world of paperless manufacturing.

By Lisa Kessler, Product Support with CIMx Software

The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies. The mystifying, bewildering, moment when Dorothy lands in Oz fascinates me – discovering the world is much larger, more amazing and more magical than you thought. I find myself relating to that moment – not only because my short frame makes me feel like a munchkin, but because I’ve landed in the magical land of paperless manufacturing.

Read More
June 11, 2014 at 8:02 AM

A Simple Solution to the FDA’s UDI Requirement

New FDA regulations regarding UDI (Unique Device Identification) are causing worry among medical device manufacturers.  We show how you can fulfill the new requirements in a few simple steps.

By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software

There are times when a potential solution may cause more trouble than the problem itself.  A good example… the day I decided to use a hammer to open a jar of peanut butter.  It was a disaster we still call the “great peanut butter explosion.”  Another example – my neighbor tried to use a chainsaw to tear out weeds on his back fence.  The only thing left standing among the carnage was the weed.

The problem is the solution isn’t scaled to the problem.  In the end, you aren’t even solving the original problem, just creating a new problem.

Manufacturers working to meet the imminent deadline for UDI regulations set by the FDA are running into the same struggle – they are offered solutions that aren’t scaled to the problem.

Read More