In the quest for improved productivity, profitability, and quality, shop-floors continue to look at innovative ways to measure overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Merely knowing whether or not the machines are in-cycle is not enough; companies need to develop a culture of data-driven improvement by digitalizing shop-floor operations to drive productivity. Business Engineering America (BENG), a leading global IT and IoT solution provider, is well-equipped to address this need. The company digitalizes shop-floor operations with Kaizen-based IT and IoT solutions, which boost factory productivity significantly. The Kaizen-based approach to IoT implementations, inspired by the Kaizen philosophy of major players in the manufacturing industry such as Toyota, allows companiesto focus on continuous improvement by measuring hidden factors on the shop-floor. With digital technology, bringing factors that were previously unmeasurable in the analog era to light, BENG helps manufacturers stay a step ahead of the digital game. In essence, they provide their clients with the technology to measure the key performance indicators (KPIs) that were previously not easily nor automatically measured, such as OEE. “Measuring is one of the key requirements for continuous improvement, and we help our clients measure important KPIs through IoT technology. BENG understands that if you cannot measure it, you cannot improve your productivity,” mentions Koji Tateoka, President of the company.
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Headquartered in Japan, BENG brings extensive experience working in the manufacturing industry. The company was the first SAP partner in Japan and is well known as a development leader for manufacturing production management systems. BENG developed manufacturing ERP software called mcframe to meet the “Monozukuri” manufacturing methods and styles of Japan. mcframe eventually expanded its functionalities to include SCM, PLM, and IoT technology. With the company’s mcframe IoT series, manufacturers can boost factory productivity by measuring hidden KPIs across the facility.
mcframe SIGNAL CHAIN, a solution in the mcframe IoT series, enables companies to measure machine utilization easily, quickly, and inexpensively. This machine utilization/ OEE monitoring system automatically collects utilization information from equipment using IoT devices attached to signal towers. The IoT devices wirelessly transmit the signal towers’ light status in real-time, displaying machine operation data on a digital ANDON screen, along with analytical tools such as Gantt charts and graphical dashboards.
Measuring is one of the key requirements for continuous improvement, and we help our clients measure the KPIs through IoT. BENG understands that if you cannot measure it, you cannot improve your productivity
BENG IoT solutions offer multiple benefits to clients by transforming analog factors into data. One of those hidden factors is the numerous handwritten paper reports on the shop-floor. Such reporting is time-consuming and often contains incorrect information. BENG’s solution digitalizes the task, transforming paper forms into a template for tablet use. The tablet input screens can easily be created using existing paper forms. This solution provides real-time data analysis on the shop-floor. Other hidden factors are the skills of expert workers that are difficult to successfully transfer to newer employees. BENG provides an advanced learning system using VR technology to help transfer expert know-how. Although VR is a recent technology, it is easy for users to create educational materials on their own.
With BENG’s IoT solutions, companies can implement IoT solutions quickly and get started with the software without extensive training. More importantly, mcframe’s low-cost packaged software model allows manufacturers to minimally invest while focusing on key production factors to attain an efficient ROI.
The company leverages crawl-walk-run approach withIoT implementations to increase the chances of successful system adoption. BENG achieves this by taking a customer-centric angle, which allows them to understand the clients’ unique challenges and goals upon onboarding. With lower costs and shorter implementation periods, customers can quickly realize the benefits of BENG’s IoT systems. More than 90% of the customers who have implemented mcframe IoT have placed additional orders to expand their coverage and capabilities.
In one instance, Daido Metal Mexico SA de CV, a manufacturer headquartered in Japan, approached BENG with a vital task. The client wanted to limit their machine stoppages and increase productivity along their production lines. BENG understood that the only way to accomplish this was by putting a system in place that facilitated measuring machine operation status continuously, while visualizing on a monitor located on the shop-floor for everybody to see. After understanding the client’s challenges, BENG implemented mcframe SIGNAL CHAIN, which helped the client improve productivity with minimal investment. The solution enabled Daido Metal to automate data collection, which eliminated the need to observe the equipment on-site. As the solution helped the client visualize short and long stoppages, the client’s engineers could easily investigate the causes of the stoppages and implement countermeasures.