Employees can view the real-time status of the operation from any vantage point in the cell. Large panel displays in the center of each work center scroll data points at a steady rate. During downtime – scheduled or unplanned – the displays become giant clocks that track the time required to return to normal operations.
“Seeing the numbers from the FactoryTalk solution motivates our operating teams and helps drive accountability,” Hacker said.
The intuitive nature of the system also eased the transition.
“From an operator perspective, FactoryTalk Metrics are easy to read, easy to interface with, and easy to get information out of,” Rusch said. “From engineering-management perspective, the data is instantly credible and critical for charting continuous improvement.”
Rockline improvement teams have used the data to understand the crux of problems on the line. For instance, the capper in one of the cells was showing a significant amount of intermittent downtime, triggering stops on the line. By analyzing production data, engineers identified the raw material (lid) as the root cause.
“We went to Stone Technologies and Rockwell Automation for help to cure our raw material issue,” Hacker said. “Data delivered from the solution showed the impact of the material on our process. We couldn’t do that before.”
Today, OEE in each manufacturing cell exceeds 70 percent.
“We went from mediocre to world-class,” Hacker said. “That never would have happened without the Stone Technologies solution based on FactoryTalk software.”
Canister production in each cell improved; Rockline saw the biggest increase on its cell with the highest demand, which increased output by over 180,000 units a week.
“FactoryTalk Metrics allowed us to take advantage of all incremental capacity,” Hacker said. “Quality is also up because line operators can react to problems sooner.
Rockline’s improvement teams are focusing on their next project using FactoryTalk data: reducing waste and scrap. They are also using Stone generated information as an input for process simulation and modeling.
By using live data, they can evaluate the impact of process changes or equipment upgrades on overall performance. This allows them to identify key opportunities and maximize future capital investment.
“The system will do the heavy lifting for us,” Hacker said. “And we expect similar results.”
The results mentioned above are specific to Rockline Industries’ use of Rockwell Automation products and services in conjunction with other products. Specific results may vary for other customers.
Trademark Information: FactoryTalk Metrics is a trademark of Rockwell Automation Inc.