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Managing the financials of five plant locations with real-time data in one dashboard

Collecting accurate numbers through Mingo Smart Factory’s production monitoring system helped Ice Industries ensure accountability and make data driven decisions about their inventory and OEE in real time.

real time data  accountability  analysis

Accountability and Visibility Helps Ice Industries Accurately Track Inventory

Before working with Mingo Smart Factory, Ice Industries might write off $60,000 – $100,000 of inventory to balance the books for a plant. On its last inventory physical, the write off for the same plant location was $0.

“Knowing that your inventory is accurate the whole time that you’re using the system is real dollars.” Bennett Bishop, Director of Operations & Finance

What Improvements Has Ice Industries Seen Using Mingo Smart Factory?

Inventory accuracy was something that Bishop always wanted for his financial figures but he knew that any data had to be intrinsically tied to the production reporting accuracy.

“Six months before we had Mingo it was, ‘I’m gonna make an 80,000 piece adjustment to our inventory to get this back in line with what’s actually out there.’ We did a physical inventory recently for plant one in our main location where we installed Mingo first. We were accurate to the part and to the pound of steel.

We make small parts, we make big parts, we make heavy parts. From an account standpoint, for everything to be on to the part to the pound of steel, was almost shocking to me. It was nothing like we were doing years before this.

Increasing Accuracy and Automated Reporting

Bennett Bishop’s challenge when managing five plant locations across the US and Mexico for Ice Industries was to oversee the financials of five slightly different production models. With a background in operations, he was pulled into areas that aren’t necessarily in his wheelhouse. He also needed a record of data that he could use to drive accountability in a plant even when he was physically 1,200 miles away. 

Mr. Bishop reached out to Mingo Smart Factory for a production monitoring system so he could make data driven decisions about inventory and operational costs with:

  • Real Time Data and Accurate Production Numbers
  • Accountability without the Errors of Manual Counting
  • Ability to Analyze Historical Data
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Ice Industries is a deep drawn steel stamping manufacturer with products that range from pressure vessels to roll forming. If you have a fire extinguisher in your house or business – it may have come from Ice Industries. This mid-sized company has worked hard to foster consistent growth and market diversification since their founding in 1999.

“It’s difficult to really have an actionable conversation in a short amount of time when you have to understand whatever’s going on in the beginning of that conversation, before you can even start to analyze it, to help them make a decision.” – Bennett Bishop

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Integrating Mingo Smart Factory Into Ice Industries' System

Ice Industries had previously depended on manual inputs to manage inventory and gauge their OEE. Employees would transcribe the counts from the machine terminal and enter those numbers into the ERP system. It took a fair amount of time for an operator to clock in to a job and perform these tasks. The old interface wasn’t intuitive for operators with fields that may or may not pertain to their task.

Mingo Smart Factory’s software can collect data using three methods:

  • PLC configured machines
  • Installed Mingo sensors on older machines
  • Manually entered on a tablet by the employee or supervisor

All data is pushed into the cloud where it can be collected into a customizable dashboard. In the event of a power or network outage, the information remains stored on the local server until  service is restored.

No spreadsheets, no delays, no excuses

The Power of the Scoreboard

DON'T BE IN THE RED

Plant managers usually focus on what they can see, which is the performance metrics of a facility:

  • when the machine is running
  • how fast product is being produced

With Mingo Smart Factory’s dashboard, everyone can view the manufacturing analytics to see the plant’s efficiency, availability and performance cost. If the issue is availability, then supervisors can see the production monitoring system data in a visual format and make adjustments in real time to shift staff to be more available throughout the shift so that orders can be run as fast or faster than was quoted to the customers.

Some of Mingo Smart Factory’s customers post these metrics on screens on the factory floor so workers can keep an eye on their OEE and line efficiencies. The system can be set up to send out automated alerts when a machine is outside its set parameters or is down for an extended period for no documented reason.

“It's huge because [we] didn't have that level of detail. Now [we] actually have data to make decisions from versus your gut, or having to stand out there and stare at the process to see what's going on.”
Bennett Bishop
Ice Industries

Results In Less Than Two Weeks

Ice Industries started getting reliable production monitoring data from Mingo Smart Factory’s dashboard and cloud based collection system in a week and a half. After verifying the counts in Mingo matched the manual counts from the floor, Mr. Bishop was able to get his operational staff on board. “We were able to understand when this happens you need to do this, or you need to look here, or you know what to do in specific situations, instead of just filling it out on a sheet of paper like they were before.”

While the initial need for Mingo Smart Factory was to get accurate production monitoring and reporting data, Ice Industries has been able to use the dashboard information to analyze:

  • Most Frequent Downtime Causes
  • Labor Consumption Cost
  • Historical Performance

When the owner of Ice Industries emailed the Director of Operations about the status of a line, Mr. Bishop was able to go into the Mingo Smart Factory dashboard to pull the actual production numbers from the past two months. Some quick analysis revealed that while the OEE showed that the quality and performance was good, the 30-60% availability was dragging down the metrics.

See How Mingo Can Improve Your Factory

Built by people who know manufacturing, Mingo provides the 21st century “Smart Factory” experience that manufacturers need to grow in a modern environment. See how it can help you drive revenue.

Why Mingo Smart Factory?

“[Mingo Smart Factory] was significantly less expensive than a lot of the stuff we tested in the market. It was cloud based. The amount of hardware that was required had multiple different options. We have 2 plant locations that are using a completely different connectivity structure because the plants are just different. We have one plant that’s all on network ethernet, on every machine which required very little physical integration and a lot more on the back end of making sure all the tags and everything are set up correctly. The other location is [not on a network ethernet since] the work is a little bit different. With minimal hardware we could install it ourselves. We could have the maintenance guys install it, match it up in the software and it works.”

Ice Industries needed a solution that was more than just a production monitoring system that counted the number of finished parts. “We needed to know what part went in a box, and how many went in the box, and at what time that occurred. To track that efficiency [in our previous system, the worker had] to manually enter every one of those by clicking a button.” The worker then had to remember how many of which part had been packed.

“I can make it as detailed or automated as I want to, depending on the machine. That was really attractive because I didn't have that option with many other platforms that I spoke with.”
Bennett Bishop
Ice Industries

What has been the biggest benefit?

Having an accurate inventory provided Mr. Bishop good data to manage from a financial standpoint on specific part number costing and labor absorption. 

“It’s huge because you didn’t have that level of detail. Now you actually have data to make decisions from versus, you know gut, or having to stand out there and stare at the process to see what’s going on.

Mingo Smart Factory’s production monitoring software is, “intuitive and simple enough to make adjustments that are applicable throughout the platform.”

Being able to quantify those OEE numbers led to real dollars. Ice Industries has seen a return on their investment within the first year.

“What advice would you have for new Mingo customers or someone looking at the product?”

“Keep it simple in the beginning. Collect what information you really need, and then grow from there. That’s the easiest way to get the buy in on your team. Once people really start using it, the buy in happens organically. They want even more out of it.”

 

Your support on the website and the chat feature is phenomenal. Reaching somebody that also understands our parts, facility, and how we work made things go a lot faster.

Bennett Bishop

Ice Industries, Director of Operations & Finance

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