Over the years AspectPT customers have shared insights into unexpected advantages or uses they have discovered after implementing AspectPL in their manufacturing plants. Here we detail some of those examples our clever customers use to make their manufacturing lives easier.

Individual machine maintenance

Luke Sutherland, Operations Manager at Cromford Pipe in NSW expected managing machine maintenance to be easier using the AspectPL module. Luke didn’t realise just how individualised it would be to each machine.

“Automating machine maintenance has saved me a lot of time – no more reviewing spreadsheets. It almost self manages. AspectPL generates an action and informs the staff member who needs to perform it.”

Another advantage was that in the Cromford Pipe factory, different machines work a lot harder than others. Some machines never stop, some machines work 2 weeks out of the month. This created a real imbalance in service schedules. Previously, machines that work a lot were prone to getting under serviced and the machines that didn’t work so hard were getting over serviced. Now they can track off the machine cycle times, see exactly how much a machine has worked and can design a specific maintenance schedule accordingly.

 Team talking

Kenneth Tohovaka, Operations Manager, Extrusion at PACT in Auckland explains how his team uses AspectPL to communicate between shifts.

“AspectPL contributes to creating a culture of operational excellence within my team.

We use the comments report to relay messages to other shifts or to engineering. Our team starts their shift in a good position because they know what happened on the shift before them. For example, if a machine has broken down, these comments help teams to understand why and easily trouble shoot the problem.”

The data AspectPL provides creates standard working practices and processes and this communication link allows teams to trouble shoot tricky situations. It’s another tool for manufacturing teams to use besides being heavily reliant on numbers.

Die Setters share and gain knowledge

Jon Kirby from Hansen products in Whangarei explains how the AspectPL data highlighted some anomalies between production planning and their die setters.

“AspectPL has increased the transparency of our manufacturing processes. Once you understand your constraints you can find ways to solve, eliminate or plan around them.

The AspectPL data highlighted there was a lot of general knowledge amongst the setters that was not known or shared with the planning team. For example, we identified some tools that if we set it up a certain way it could take 2 hours longer than the prescribed set up time.

AspectPL has also given the setters a greater understanding of what we require – it’s visual, there is nowhere to hide. Now our setters know what tool change they have to do in what order for us to achieve the plan.”

Another anomaly AspectPL revealed was the plan was not taking into account that a setter needs 30 minutes post tool change to complete admin and do machine checks. Now these 30 minutes blocks are scheduled into the plan. Hansen Products even uses AspectPL to schedule product trials and machine maintenance into production.

Manufacturing Execution System software (MES) is expected to offer visibility of manufacturing for productivity gains. But as our AspectPL customers continue to show us, they discover many other ways to leverage the most out of their investment.