Collecting Production and Process data

Collecting production data or the data collection process is a very integral part of the production management , production planning and inventory management process . It is important it is done correctly in order to obtain a true picture of the process. It must be done in an efficient and faithful manner in order for it to be analysed by production engineers and management to understand what is happening in the production plant, process, quality , efficiency and OEE of machinery , and inventory management practices. Data collection from a production process can be done either through manual processes and paperwork or through a production/process management software system. The collection method chosen will obviously depend on the size and complexity of the production process being managed as some software packages can be costly to purchase and implement with requirements for different sensors, PLC's, relays, computers and control loop systems.

Areas where process and production data can be collected (its uses)

-Suppliers quality checks and warehouse records (Quality and quantity of purchased components)
-Raw material stores (inventory holdings and warehouse management)
-Initial processes (production management, OEE & quality management)
-Main production process-inline testing and sampling- (quality management, production management & OEE)
- WIP and intermediate inventory stores (inventory management & quality management)
-End of production line (production management, OEE & inventory management)
-Finish goods warehouse strategies (warehouse management and inventory management)

The data collected from the processes above can be used in many ways to analyse business performance , improvement areas and track process change effects. As seen above it has many uses, some of these are:

Common Analysis of production data

-Tracking of production waste and its reasons
-Tracking of production stoppages or downtime
- Tracking of OEE on different machines and plant process
-Calculating inventory turnover
-Calculating working capital requirements
-Estimating production costs, unit costs, delivered costs, and cost curves
-Consumption of raw materials and its costs
-Warehousing and inventory costs
- Inventory holding costs

As you can see the proper use of well collected data can help business and operations managers analyze a process and make the right decisions on running the business and help gauge how operations are performing. Production engineers can also use the data to monitor key process KPI's and identify opportunities for efficiency improvements.

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