Month: March 2022

Downtime Tracking and Data Bias

Data Presentation Bias

You’ve implemented your new ERP with your state-of-the-art MES, and now you’re tracking problems on the shop floor!  The MES has some cool reporting features, like built-in Pareto charts and drill-down capability.

After a few months, you check in with the Plant Manager.  Are they using the new systems to get a better handle on issues?  Well…it turns out the reports aren’t that helpful.  Operators don’t like the system.  The reports are full of charts and numbers, but the data isn’t meaningful to what’s happening day-to-day.

You know other companies use this system, and the word in the industry is that it’s really powerful.  Trusted associates swear by the functionality.  What could have gone wrong?  I’ll tell you the three major areas where manufacturing companies fall down. Continue reading “Downtime Tracking and Data Bias”

The Cost of Poor Quality

Unacceptable Part Length Quality

The title of this post comes from a concept within Lean Six Sigma.  It is a reflection of costs associated with scrap parts, wasted production time, and all the time, materials, and labor required to reproduce scrap in order to make enough good parts to satisfy a customer order, as well as the lost opportunities that come from the inefficiency and re-work.  It encompasses all of the business processes that touch the manufacturing process, as well.  From the order-taking and scheduling systems, to the method by which you bill your customers. Continue reading “The Cost of Poor Quality”

Closed Loop vs Open Loop

Closed Loop Flying Die


Open Loop Flying Die


In the world of Roll forming, length control discussions usually come down to, “Do we run an open loop or a closed loop system?”  In some cases, both types of length control might be used on the same production line.  Above, you can see two animated versions of the concepts depicted in examples of a flying die application, but both types are also available for feed-to-stop applications, as well.

Open or Closed?

For the most part, when someone talks about Open or Closed Loop, they are specifically denoting the presence of a servo system.  The servo system is looking for a command to tell it what speed, direction, and position go to on a millisecond-by-millisecond basis.  In this context, the controller tells the servo go here and the servo responds with feedback I’m there. Continue reading “Closed Loop vs Open Loop”