Maybe that is why the Holistic Data System (HDS) from HMC is so successful. The New HDS is a visual system which allows Operators and Managers to see how production is evolving each hour. And while the system is designed to interface directly with the PLC, it still requires Operators to input a reason code for below trigger-level performance.

Visual Feedback
Having the HDS screen visible is key. It enables anyone to walk through the factory floor and within a few minutes know exactly what is going on and where to focus attention. For example, you can quickly identify a machine that is behind target based on the level of the average line and the bars that represent hourly production.

This allows you to not only anticipate output or volume issues, the evolution of production hour by hour enables you to quickly determine if the problem has been resolved or if it requires further attention - so you can congratulate the team on the successful rectification, or quickly get to work understanding what might be causing poor performance.

While frequent walks through the factory are important, the New HDS is network-based and works in real-time, which means that Managers can view performance from their offices as well. Armed with this information, Managers can make targeted visits to modules to recognize strong performance or intelligent questions and offer appropriate help or additional resources to solve problems. This also lets operators know they are being watched AND that their feedback is being looked at and acted on. If you are tight on a brand for a shipment, you can monitor production hour by hour.

Active Participation
Entering a reason code is an important opportunity to elicit feedback from the Operators and involve them in the process. Not only does it force them to think about what may be causing the problem, it may foster understanding and lead to corrective - or preventative - actions.

We have seen plants try to work only with the PLC output, and the result is data overload. Not only is the quantity of information overwhelming, it can be very misleading. For example: an Operator has a problem, opens a guard, clears the problem and closes it; and then he opens the guard again (if he is not satisfied with his 'fix'), and the problem shown on the PLC might just be 'guard open'. This information does not help us understand what caused the stop, and if we are relying solely on the PLC we have missed an opportunity to get valuable information from the Operator.

The new HDS from HMC will be available at the end of Q1 of 2004. Stay tuned for more information on this commercial grade system, or contact HMC for further details.

The new Holistic Data System (HDS) will have all the benefits of the Hourly Data System that HMC has developed and installed in numerous client facilities over the last 8 years, along with a number of enhancements to make it more powerful and more user-friendly. With the Hourly Data System some clients have achieved as much as 35% improvements in production in the first month, we expect even greater success with the new HDS.

The HDS is a visual system that can easily be configured to a number of parameters including shifts, crews, standard work week, time measurement intervals, trigger levels, brands, stop-codes, etc. Like the Hourly Data System, it overcomes many of the weaknesses of traditional shop-floor data collection systems. The HDS provides real-time information, comparing performance at regular time intervals with historic performance for each production module. Each hour is a new hour, so Operators are motivated to reach short-term performance targets throughout their shift (in most cases hourly). The graphic display makes it easy to recognize trends in production so proactive measures can be taken before a major problem occurs. Management can monitor production and gain a better understanding of what factors are limiting, or facilitating, Operator performance.

The new HDS is capable of retrieving production data directly from the packers (or case packers) and will interface with the makers to download fault codes for below-trigger performance intervals. All charts and graphs are generated automatically, with enhanced flexibility allowing analysis by cell, machine type, crew, etc. The second phase of development will integrate the HDS with SAP, allowing you to download throughput and reject data to SAP and enabling the integration of maintenance tasks with the SAP system.

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