Mature Manufacturing - How Mature Is Your Operation Really?

A clear, well defined strategy is required to understand the current maturity of the operation, the desired maturity level and the gap between the two states of the operation

(PresseBox) ( Dresden, )
A common misconception in the manufacturing world is that when a plant and its production process is automated and IT applications (MES, ERP, SCM) are deployed to monitor and control the operation, they are somehow aligned with the organization’s strategy. It is also believed that the operation would be lean and more efficient, just by implementing better process equipment and IT. In reality however, the challenge is bigger in nature and encompasses all aspects of the operation.

Implementing a manufacturing system which is geared up to meet the continuous improvement (CI) initiatives requires a well-planned and highly structured approach. Most manufacturers who fail to recognize true benefits from automating their plants and deploying expensive IT applications, do not realize that success in building an efficient MOM and achieving CI depends largely on analysis of status quo and mapping gaps required to be filled.

This process also needs to address how the gaps would be eliminated in the most profitable manner, justifying the ROI at every milestone. Manufacturers who deploy MOM/MES applications without careful planning tend to spend a lot more money on developing their systems than the ones who take a more disciplined and planned approach.

MESA along with Atos origin provides a clear and well defined Manufacturing Transformation Strategy. Before we begin to understand it in greater detail, it is critical to point out a few facts which form the basis of the maturity ideology.

Firstly, for any manufacturing system (including IT, People, Process and Structure) to be successful it is vital that the user requirement specifications are clearly understood at the very beginning and that the features designed undergo a performance qualification. This belief presumes that software development is aligned with the process of the organization and enables IT to be more cost-effective, as any change which is required at the operational stage can be 300 times more costly than say at the design stage.

Next, the application of GAMP, ISA-88/95, CI and lean advocates that standardization of operations across the value chain, with a focus on processes, metrics and CAPA, allows for development of best-in-class operations.

The key performance metrics for manufacturers worldwide are:

- On-time Delivery,

- OEE or Overall Equipment Effectiveness,

- Raw material Yield.

Finally, reduction of process variance (Six Sigma), reduction of process waste (lean), and effective CAPA and containment strategy allow a plant’s operation to be optimized.

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