June 30, 2017 Improving Productivity With Enhanced Employee Engagement
Acutec Precision Machining Inc., is a high-precision manufacturer that handles a wide range of customer requirements, from prototype to high volume parts, from power generation to aerospace
How VIMANA helped ACUTECAcutec selected VIMANA to find ways to analyze and improve their shop floor productivity using actionable insights based on data collected from shop floor equipment.
- Apps like VIMANA are generally suspected in shop-floor environments because they have a perception of being “intrusive”.
- At Acutec, VIMANA was able to counter the feeling because the management was proactive in reaching out to operators and machinists and making sure they did not feel that this was going to be used against them.
- The accuracy and simplicity with which VIMANA was able to analyze the data contributed to the openness of the engagement.
- The visibility that VIMANA provided made it possible for the analytics to be shared openly with everyone in the plant.
“We are using VIMANA to make decisions and improve awareness across the facility. Our operators have welcomed the objective data that VIMANA has brought, and we are being fully transparent with the analysis.”
– Elisabeth Smith,
President & CEO
As Acutec got started with VIMANA, they wanted to ensure that the machinists were fully engaged in using the product. Machine data collection systems usually get a bad rap for creating distrust on the shop floor, a scenario Acutec’s management wanted to avoid when they rolled out VIMANA. They started with town hall meetings where they spoke to the operators both as a group as well as individually to explain why they selected VIMANA and why it was important that they brought software in to find ways of becoming more efficient.
The response was overwhelmingly positive. Not only did the operators agree with the management’s approach, they also fully embraced it, and welcomed the exposure of their day-to-day issues that the data would bring, so that they could rally management support to solve those problems. VIMANA’s capability to accurately detect producing periods and automatically classify downtimes helped in establishing highly accurate analysis of the manufacturing equipment. The operators welcomed the peer pressure that the data would bring, in creating positive motivation to improve productivity.
VIMANA was pervasive throughout the entire Acutec Meadville facility, with large screen monitors displaying realtime status at individual cells and with some machine tools having their own realtime displays. This pervasiveness helped establish the transparency in both the data collection and the analysis.
The realtime capabilities of VIMANA also meant that the dashboards accurately tracked device performance – performing complex pattern matching to keep up with the activities of the high speed machine tools.
The improved visibility led to a significant improvement in device utilization across the entire facility. The secure SaaS deployment is enabling Acutec to rapidly and efficiently scale VIMANA across the facilities they operate from.
The realtime data was viewed from different facilities across the company, using multiple dashboards & analytics interfaces, including deep analytics view to understand historical performance.
How management was able to implement cost saving business decisions
Acutec used VIMANA in deciding what types of parts they had to load on different machines. They were able to quickly assess the impact of machining electrodes instead of production parts on machine tools. While the machine tools were capable, the additional cost of setting up the machine to produce the graphite electrodes, and then cleaning the machine after, greatly inflated the total cost of the machining process. With VIMANA they were able to see precisely how much of an impact this had on their overall productivity which in turn led to quickly shifting this capacity to a new machining center exclusively for graphite electrodes machining.