And if something is not top-of-mind, it is not going to improve. Awareness is key to process improvement, which is why the New Holistic Data System's (HDS) front screen constantly displays the most critical information. The idea is to motivate and inform. At a glance, both Operators and Managers can see which product is being produced, at what rate, and what are the top problems affecting the production module.

Current Brand
The image of the current brand is constantly displayed in the upper left-hand corner. Not only does this clearly show what is being produced, if you click on the image you can see all the product specs. The HDS can be linked to your central data base of specifications, so that all specs are maintained in just one place and the most current information is immediately available to the production modules.

Stops Ranking

The section called 'Stops Ranking' displays the top problems for a defined period. The objective is to keep these problems at the forefront of peoples' minds - if we are thinking about the problem, we are likely to find a solution; if no one knows what to worry about, the problems will almost certainly persist.

This feature can be set to rank by duration (total time recoded as lost for that reason code) or by frequency (number of times the reason code appeared) in a specified time period, or both. As part of our Holistic Philosophy, we recommend using both measures. In general, Managers focus on the problems with the longest duration because this converts directly to lost production minutes. However, small problems that occur frequently can drain the energy and enthusiasm of your Operators. While the fix may be quick, these problems may be the ones that frustrate Operators the most and negatively affect morale.

Hourly Production
A large portion of the front screen is dedicated to displaying a bar graph of production per hour - or at any regular time interval appropriate for the process. This is perhaps the most powerful element of the HDS front screen, both as a motivational and a diagnostic tool.

A marathon runner focuses on 'splits' - his performance in each kilometer of the race - so that he can pace himself for the entire distance. One slow kilometer does not mean a slow race, nor does one fast kilometer imply that he will break any records. HMC sees production in a similar way. Generally, production goals are set for an entire shift, so a particularly good or bad start can have a dramatic effect on motivation and it can be hard to see progress toward the goal. If there are complications early in the shift, Operators feel that they will not be able to 'catch up' and morale drops. Conversely, if production levels for the shift are high, Operators may just coast through the last few hours knowing that they will still reach their target. If we review output each hour, Operators are motivated each hour to achieve that goal, regardless of what may have gone wrong - or right - in the previous hour. Just like the marathoner paces himself for his 3 hour race, Operators will pace themselves for their 8 or 12 hour shift - the HDS is a tool that helps us influence that pace.

Another advantage of displaying hourly production is that we can easily identify trends over time. If we see that production is steadily increasing each hour it may indicate a particularly successful intervention that we can review and learn from. Conversely, if we notice a decrease in production over several intervals, we can investigate the cause and do some preventative maintenance before the machine breaks-down.

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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