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Manufacturing Data Urban Legends

I have been talking to a lot of manufacturing executives lately, discussing how they measure the performance and efficiency of equipment in their plants. During these discussions, I hear the same 3 things over and over again to the point where I might label them as Manufacturing Urban Legends.

Here the myths:

  1. We are too small to track OEE or machine up-time
  2. We are too inefficient to track production data, we have other priorities
  3. We are under capacity & can’t benefit from the data

Every one of these is false. These are just excuses that hold back thousands of manufacturers every year. OEE isn’t intimidating if you were to get the right information.

Below, I’ll show you why every single one of those myths is false, and how you can change your manufacturing business right now.

Manufacturing Data Legend 1:

We are too small.

True some companies are small enough that it does not make sense to collect the data but that bar is low. If you have 9 or 10 pieces of equipment you should be at least collecting uptime information on those machines. Most small businesses want to grow and in manufacturing, that means buying more equipment or adding people as sales increase.

By tracking utilization on your equipment when you are small you start good habits that will help you manage the business as you grow. The metrics can help you justify equipment purchases, adding employees and help you compete on price and quality.

Manufacturing Data Legend 2:

“We are too inefficient.

This urban legend comes in various forms: our equipment is too old; we don’t have the staff we have other things to do than track data. You have to start somewhere if you want to improve and you must set a baseline if you want to measure your progress.

If you don’t, you’ll have no real way to measure progress and judge how well your improvements worked. The only way to do this is to understand the utilization, cycle times and capacity of your existing equipment. You can use the information to get employee buy-in on lean projects and have clear targets and objectives.

Manufacturing Data Legend 3:

“We are under capacity.”

The best time to start gathering manufacturing data is when you under capacity or in a seasonal slowdown. Too many companies rest on their laurels when things are good rather than pushing forward. What happens when you land than new huge customer or demand spikes and you are capacity constrained? You will be too busy to start a manufacturing analytics project when you really need it and can benefit from it.

The Right Manufacturing Data

You can always use the right data to help improve your business. It is never too late or too early to start collecting and analyzing your production data and once you do you have a baseline to work from. Using a tool like Mingo Manufacturing Analytics can help you quickly, easily, and automatically collect the data you need to run your business.

Picture of Bryan Sapot
Bryan Sapot
Bryan Sapot is a lifelong entrepreneur, speaker, CEO, and founder of Mingo. With more than 24 years of experience in manufacturing technology, Bryan is known for his deep manufacturing industry insights. Throughout his career, he’s built products and started companies that leveraged technology to solve problems to make the lives of manufacturers easier. Follow Bryan on LinkedIn here.