July 16, 2016
One North American textile company is delivering production problem forecasting to shift managers with WinSPC real-time statistical process control software.
This fifty-year-old North American textile company produces a great variety of Nylon-6 fibers and resins that are critical to many consumer products. Some take the form of fibers in high-tenacity yarns woven into fabrics, ropes, webbing and cordage. These tough stranded materials then end up in strong flexible military and consumer goods that we use every day.
The remainder of their sales are for resins. Resins are blended with other materials to form tough extruded or injection molded plastic parts for automotive, home or sports equipment. They also form the protective jacketing for wires and other stranded products. Although the average consumer might not know its name, Nylon-6 is an integral part of our modern active society that demands super strong, durable and lightweight goods.
One key challenge they faced was product variety. Fundamentally, they produce Nylon-6 material, but this must be delivered to customers in various fibers, coatings, and intermediate products that are ready to be used by makers of finished goods. These range from the most basic fiber or resin up through wound and fabric products ready for manufacturing. Thus there are hundreds of combinations that are produced, and ideally, should be tracked.
An additional challenge was the diversity of systems employed throughout this manufacturing process. Oracle, Microsoft and custom databases managed the information flows at various stages of production, while testing and validation equipment tracked and stored information within its own proprietary stores.
Some tools provided monitoring and trend tracking but these systems did not interact with or leverage other steps in the workflow and therefore the views from these tools was limited. Meanwhile, the management of configuration and production information resided in worksheets.
The company asked the WinSPC team to come onsite and help them unify this facility into a single information flow. The WinSPC onsite team worked with the IT staff to determine the best way to consolidate these flows in WinSPC in order to get a total view of their operations. Four SQL devices were created to populate three WinSPC Collection Plans that would then monitor all the products in production.
Automated integration of the management team’s Excel files permitted production information to consistently flow into the system without manual entry or rekeying, while CWR scripts managed the process of ensuring that the right data arrived with the proper channel and location to keep the right context in focus. WinSPC Active Directory integration was then used to manage the logins and keep the user experience as simple and secure as possible. Finally, with the data sources plumbed and the operators and line personnel connected, it was time to look at the outputs.
The customer wanted a combination of emails and dashboards. They requested that WinSPC send shift managers notification of problems with details; they also wanted them to use dashboards to monitor and provide an overview of production health on key indicators. Due to the great preparation and collaboration of the two teams, the system was operating in only three days.
Shift managers are now empowered by SPC to detect problems as they emerge in production. And management stays abreast of production issues with email triggers and dashboards that provide live views of performance.
About DataNet Quality Systems
DataNet Quality Systems empowers manufacturers to improve products, processes, and profitability through real-time statistical software solutions. The company’s vision is to deliver trusted and capable technology solutions that allow manufacturers to create the highest quality product for the lowest possible cost. DataNet’s flagship product, WinSPC, provides statistical decision-making at the point of production and delivers real-time, actionable information to where it is needed most. With thousands of installed facilities worldwide and distributors across the globe, DataNet is dedicated to delivering a high level of customer service and support, shop-floor expertise, and professional Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma, and Lean Manufacturing services.