Topic: Plant Operations

Developers, follow these 10 steps to test your manufacturing code

Testing is an under-rated step on the journey to manufacturing excellence. It often lacks formal procedures. It can be rushed through when things get behind. Testing needs to be an integral component of your project plan, executed with respect. Thorough, disciplined testing delivers: Fewer go-live issues and corrections, not to mention issues in later use Greater operator uptake/use → higher ROI for the project Systems that best carry out the Read More

The Harry Potter Problem: Define the Why to Succeed With Your Machine Learning Project

This article was originally published on IndustryWeek’s IdeaXchange blog, June 2nd, 2017. You might have noticed a comment was made on the first article in this series: I didn’t mention the ‘why’ as a KSF in bringing home a machine learning project. And it’s true, forgetting the why is a serious problem. As the commenter noted: Unless there’s a why and a businessperson involved, all you’ve got is a handicapped specialty Read More

Keys to a successful global MES roll-out

A global MES roll-out is a complex beast, involving a polyglot of players, systems, facilities, languages, consultancies and countries. Planning and process are critical. Team integration – global team integration – equally so. But before we discuss the challenges and the process, let me bring up the why. If you already have an MES in each one of your plants around the planet … why do you need a global Read More

Rise of the Living Data

  Yes, it sounds like a fiction novel. But it’s an accurate description of the way our new customers often feel about waking the data monster. They fear it, yet want it to rise from the depths and rescue them. Lack of data is never the problem. Well before we appear on the scene, our client is already wrestling with too much. The real issue is the lack of correlations, Read More

Factora wins 2015 Premier Foods Supplier Excellence Award

I’m tremendously proud to announce that Factora has been awarded with the 2015 Premier Foods Supplier Excellence Award for Decreased Costs. Journey to world class manufacturing: Premier Foods We won out over 1,200 other suppliers to win this award. Today I’d like to share with you not only my thoughts on this achievement, but those of the leaders on the Factora and Premier teams… Looking back, the tipping point came Read More

Is an OEE system the rapid route to a better OEE?

I have two questions for you. The first question is, will you be generating savings? Not all OEE improvements are created equal. As an example, you could almost certainly improve your OEE by buying a more expensive, higher-quality raw material. Doing so would likely increase all 3 factors that make up the OEE measurement: availability, performance, and quality. But will you have created savings? At Factora, we always go for Read More

Brand Value: Improve customer satisfaction with your MES initiative

When people talk about MES solutions, the discussion tends to focus on ROI. Just take a two-minute tour around our website; on every page you’ll find references to increased profits, increased margin, and reduced costs. But what about the less tangible benefits? A powerful brand is money in the bank In many industries, brand is the primary driver of profitability and margin. Companies like Starbucks and Coca-Cola and Nike can Read More

Does your MES belong in the cloud?

Decades ago, every manufacturing plant had a power plant. For each of these plants, a knock came on the door one day. Each plant opened that door to a visitor with an astonishing message: “You can get rid of your power plant! I can bring you power with a wire! It’s called a power grid. You’ll be tapped into it, and you can get power whenever you want, as much Read More

Feelings or facts? You can only control what you measure.

  Once during a plant visit a young process engineer said to me: “When things go right, I do not know why. And when things go wrong, I do not know why.” No surprise, the plant manager glared at him. Yet the engineer was only being honest. The fact is that most shop floor operators optimize on feelings, not facts. They really don’t have much of a choice. Their only Read More

What would it look like to use MES in the kitchen?

Providing context to raw data is what we do. But that’s a hard concept to grasp, without an illustration. So for fun, let’s consider baking a cake at home. How could MES help in this situation? Most people’s experience making a cake at home is surprisingly akin to what goes on in factories. Even when we follow the same recipe, it comes out different every time. Wouldn’t it be great Read More