Test and measure

We have all heard the mantra “systematize systematize systematize”. What exactly does this mean? What does the system look like and where do we start? I would suggest that the place to start when looking at the system is the data. What are your metrics? What are you measuring? Is it time, is it quality, how is it being measured? Is the data qualitative or quantitative? Selecting the right metrics is mission critical to the process, not only to build the system in the first place, also for ongoing continuous improvement. When it comes to building the system, one often overlooked facet is forced system compliance. Does the system inherently force compliance with the system? A good way to achieve this is through the use of a custom built Graphical User Interface (GUI) for you application. For example in one of the case studies, we added an additional PC to a labelling process. Before the PC was added there was nothing to prevent operators skipping fields or entering in wrong information. When we added the additional PC, we wrote a GUI that forced all fields to be entered and checked the data was of the correct format before the data could be sent to the labeling machine. In another process we communicated to a machine PLC to prevent it from starting unless fault data was recorded.
The ultimate goal here is of course automation. Build the system so that the system runs itself with a minimum of input from users. The key here is to understand your system and how it is performing and it’s special quirks (faults) which tells you key information that you need to pay attention to so that you can prevent potential disasters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *