12 Manufacturing Tips for a Brilliant 2017 (Part 3)

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12 Manufacturing Tips for a Brilliant 2017 (Part 3)

If you're looking at digital solutions, you might be surprised where you can find efficiency. Data needs to flow freely from person to person for the best results.

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We're picking up where we left off from parts one and two. As we look at how connectivity is changing the landscape of manufacturing and industry, let's see how data availability will play a role.

Tip 6: Trading Clipboards for Digital

In 2017, one critical resolution to make is the ability to see everything in your production facility. Many times, supervisors have wished they didn't have to maintain so much paperwork to do their jobs and could spend more time solving problems. Manufacturing plants are littered with clipboards and spreadsheets. But there is a better way.

Take GE Healthcare, for example. One of its business units makes ultrasound probes for ultrasound systems used by clinicians around the world, with many intricate operations including gluing, precision cutting, and laminating components together to produce a sophisticated medical device. Ultimately, in a clinician’s hands, these systems can help save lives. 

GE Healthcare had an MES solution in place to help direct work and record quality and performance for reporting purposes. It also involved a supervisor to collect production results at each shift and then transfer those to paper on the plant area board for use during the morning walk when all the supervisors got together to tell each other what they were going to be doing that shift.

As part of the digitization initiative, GE Healthcare installed a manufacturing operational intelligence (MOI) solution from GE Digital. This helped shave off time per shift in gathering inventory data for supervisors. The plant leveraged this time to solve problems and instituted leaner manufacturing process improvements. This was a great savings. 

But here is the real part of the story that's so amazing. Anybody who works in a factory understands the total chaos that comes from a fire drill where all hands are on deck to solve a quality problem or track down a customer order or an inventory issue that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. So, instead of spending all their time on gathering information manually, which involves talking to many people, sifting through mounds of paper and correlating data, GE Healthcare now uses PPO to get an instant report and scorecard to drill down to see more details and solve the problem at hand. This initiative was led by Lane Konkel, who was recognized by Forbes in its 2017 30 under 30 report for the value that PPO delivered to GE Healthcare. Read more here.

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