Take any hundred companies who are exploring the deployment of Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), follow them through 5 years, and here's what you'll find:
When I started R.O.Why, my whole vision was (and is) to find ways to contribute to my customers’ success - surround myself with like-minded employees and affiliate R.O.Why with companies and rep firms that share my vision. Whenever I talk about it, people get excited, you can see it in their face. This kind of behavior is all around me too. In September, I stopped by the accounting firm I use - Wetzel CPA group to answer a tax question and ended up in a conversation with Ed Wetzel. Ed’s firm has handled R.O.Why and my personal taxes for years and he has become a trusted advisor. The Services page of his CPA website highlights “Tax Consulting, Planning & Preparation” and then at the bottom of the page he glosses over a list of other services. At the top of that list you will find the key differentiator to a business owner like me - Strategic Business Plan development and Financing alternatives analysis & presentation to financial institutions. Those services read like an afterthought on the site, but Ed is not just some bean counter. He has served as CFO in a manufacturing environment for years and while the people at his firm (Jane, Nan, Brandon and Brenda) are exactly who I want to represent me in Tax Consulting, Planning & Preparation – this experience as CFO in manufacturing gives him an insight into the needs of small businesses that goes far beyond tax consulting. If you need taxes done...go to Wetzel. If you want a small business owner, who also happens to serve as CFO to a medium size manufacturer, who also has a vision to contribute to his clients success…GO TO Wetzel.
Large Controls upgrade projects don’t have to be high risk to be high reward.
Case Study: CNC Retrofit - 140 axes in 80 days
An automaker manufacturing transmissions in North America, uses dial machines to drill and mill pump and reaction shaft supports. The machines were well maintained mechanically, and still very process capable; however the circa 1988 motion controllers and Programmable Logic Controllers were failing more frequently, and were becoming increasingly difficult to repair and support. As downtime was growing, the demand for the machined parts was increasing too. This automaker needed a control system retrofit that could be executed on their floor with minimum lost production. This is where good project management and a standard execution methodology was put to the test.
3. Maintain improvementsSince OEE is used in very different and unique manufacturing processes, understanding how OEE is used in each process is critical to achieving these goals.
Last year, a tier 1 automotive supplier moved Toward Zero™ unplanned downtime by implementing a system to monitor machine tool performance. The results were surprising.
A food ingredient company in the Midwest was losing product in there manufacturing process, but couldn't see where the product was going.
An automotive transmission pump manufacturer was experiencing frequent micro-downtime events with an unknown cause. The machine tool would would stop producing with no clear indication why. Operators required technicians to reset and restart the equipment and it's peripherals and after a few hours, experienced the same situation...reset, restart. This cost operators about 1 hour per shift. The plant runs 24 hours a day, 6 days per week.
In 1990, my father, Gene Rahrig, left the corporate world to begin a new business providing professional services to the manufacturing sector, primarily focused on machine tool and automation equipment maintenance and troubleshooting. Dad already had quite a reputation in the field – his first customers were beating down the door before the ink dried on the papers that formally registered his company with the State of Ohio. And so, Gene’s Industrial equipment Service was born. The following summer, I worked part time (under his close scrutiny) cleaning hydraulic tanks and changing DC motor brushes. A few years later, I took advantage of a full time position as his apprentice. I carried his tools for six months before he let me touch one thing that belonged to his customers, but I spent the next 4 years developing my own expertise with PLCs, CNCs, hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical systems with dad’s careful guidance. I also learned what it means to provide quality service to customers. The culture of Dad’s company was such that once we serviced a customer for the first time, we handled all their service needs going forward. Today, Gene’s Industrial serves many of the same customers that helped get the business started.