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Solutions to Maximize Throughput in the Food Processing Industry

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By Peggy Fonrose - September 24, 2021

Maximizing throughput will help you to maximize factory productivity. However, many in the food processing industry don't have an accurate picture of their net throughput. Although having planned and unplanned downtime parameters is important, if your factory’s real output doesn’t align with what it should be, you’re going to continue to miss goals and not know why.

Food processing manufacturers who want to meet those goals and maximize throughput can better identify issues by using digital factory technology to truly understand how their assets are operating. Digitizing factory processes can help managers identify overlooked production issues, such as micro-stops and bottlenecks

Also often referred to as Industrial Internet of Things (IIot) technologies, digital factory advancements can not only maximize throughput but also help your factory identify and reach its true potential.

How to Use Digital Factory Analytics to Identify Production Issues

Even if you have automated processes on your factory floor, if you’re not actively measuring for continuous improvement, you likely don’t have a clear picture of your factory’s actual throughput—which makes it impossible to improve. If you can’t get accurate, real-time data, you’ll never get the information you need to get—and keep—everything running at top speed.

Additionally, if you’re still using manual, paper-based production line data, it is unlikely that you’ll stay competitive, much less pull ahead of your competitors. To get a real picture of how everything is operating, use data collection software that will help you calculate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

OEE measures three components:

  • Availability
  • Performance 
  • Quality

The OEE formula: 

OEE = (availability) x (performance) x (quality)

OEE has long been an important tool in lean manufacturing. If you’ve never calculated OEE before, start with this handy OEE calculator template to see what is involved. Using this template, you can learn how to track production equipment availability and efficiency in real time while also registering the number of rejects. This visibility helps you identify where the biggest throughput hurdles are so processes or equipment can be adjusted to maximize productivity.  

Make OEE calculation both accurate and easier.

OEE software can automatically gather information from your line processes to calculate your OEE. Obviously, 100 percent is a perfect score—but hitting this score is unlikely. If you’re calculating OEE for the first time, 40 percent is a common score and leaves room for improvement. 

Eighty-five percent OEE is a great goal, but many manufacturing companies start by working toward the 60 percent threshold. It is important to note that regardless of how OEE scores are ranked, your goals should be realistic and based on your benchmarks and the top goals and priorities for your factory.

Interested in learning more about how to improve OEE at your factory? Read our  latest guide, Leveraging Technology to Improve OEE in Manufacturing!

Accurately Measure Micro-Stops Using Data Visibility

Using digital factory technology to measure OEE gives you visibility into your production data that you didn’t have before. This will help your factory identify overlooked micro-stops that keep your factory from maximizing throughput.

Factory managers can think that their equipment is operating to provide maximum throughput when it’s not. Today, managers have the IIoT, which uses smart sensors, Wi-Fi, and SaaS analytics tools to produce real-time data that identifies previously missed micro-stops that could be the barrier between factory projected goals and actual performance. IIoT sensors monitor manufacturing processes to provide more precise information so factories can optimize performance. Without IIoT technology, identifying those micro-stops in real time is nearly impossible. 

Things that hold up production throughput, including micro-stops, are like traffic violations on your production line. Not only do they slow you down, but if you continue getting them, they also add up to a much bigger problem—and you’ll be unable to maximize throughput.

Data visibility is crucial to production-line success.

Having total data visibility across your production line is how factories can begin maximizing throughput. Worximity’s Smart Factory analytics software helps manufacturers get the reliable data they need to make better decisions and improve not just throughput but also overall production. 

With the right analytics, your teams can improve your entire factory ecosystem using role-based, real-time data that helps them take action armed with the best insights.

Get the Data Visibility Your Need to Maximize Throughput

The digital factory is here to stay. The only way to keep up and get ahead is with the right technology that gives you total data visibility so you can make the best decisions for your factory and your industry. Using technology like Worximity’s Smart Factory analytics is like spying on every single step of your factory production line, and doing so will help you identify things like micro-stops so you can maximize throughput. 

Start by benchmarking your OEE to get a real-time look at your factory operations. Download this OEE guide that will take you from “step one” to “next steps'' in your efforts to make your factory highly efficient and to maximize throughput. No matter where you are on your digital factory journey, you can get a better idea of your actual OEE. Check out the OEE guide now.

Leveraging Technology to Improve OEE in Manufacturing

Worximity provides simple realtime technologies to solve food processor pains such as downtime, rejects, waste, overtime; helping them gain profit velocity by improving throughput, yield and OEE.

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