You’ve implemented a QMS and shop-floor system …….Now what?

The typical organization has likely purchased and deployed various manufacturing systems, either based on customer requirements or internal process improvement initiatives.  Those systems have been painfully deployed, causing all kinds of havoc to existing operating processes and risks to quality. Now that the tough deployment is done, and systems seem to be running fine, how is this leveraged to improve business? Can the organization better compete in the EMS manufacturing world using these manufacturing systems? 

Manufacturers deploy various manufacturing systems that provide necessary controls, enable data collection, support cost-saving initiatives, provide a means for compliance, and help decrease time to market. Yet most remain as islands of information, and provide the value intrinsic within their own confined systems. How can real-time material management manage costs and improve inventory turns? What are the benefits of having a quality system talk to a traceability and material management system? Can we optimize overall equipment effectiveness by enhancing links between material flow, quality and surface mount technology programming, and monitoring data? How can we increase revenue?

Over the next few blogs, I’m going to review how the various systems you have deployed can be further leveraged.

Interoperating to Manage Cost

Cost management is tied to factory management. Key cost contributors in most factories include material use, rework, returns and overstock.

Interoperating systems that “talk to each other” help manage costs. The largest variable cost in manufacturing is material. Purchased raw material (components) sitting in stock depreciates in value. Material sitting on the factory floor costs money and goes into a void, where only regular inventory counts, or manual material counts, bring them back into view – typically, too late to make any adjustments before diminishing inventory turns. You can completely eliminate the problem of material shortages on the production floor. What if you knew exactly how much material is needed?

The average factory sees about five material shortages per line per week, according to a study by the Aberdeen Group. While that material is being pulled, production is stopped, adding to the opportunity cost.

To truly achieve cost management, material pulled out of stock, kitted and prepared for production, needs to be monitored real-time on the factory floor. As feeder errors, nozzle rejects, and drops add to the consumption of the material issued, the stock room needs to be alerted and advised of materials needed (like part numbers), and the stock and delivery location (line and machine).

Only if an SMT monitoring system is interoperating with a material management solution in real-time (which polls the consumption and generates these material pull instructions) can this be achieved. Knowing that a part will be out is not enough. An alert when material is out in a machine or feeder provides no additional value. In most cases, that’s the status quo. If the monitoring system provides low-level warnings that a part will be out after five or 10 additional boards, then we truly can react in time to provide material: This is a predictive solution.   Let Mentor’s MSS Solution suite show you the way……

Knowing where all material is at any time increases productivity and cost efficiencies. Pulling material as it is needed, and not over-pulling, adds additional efficiency into the process. Reduction of WIP and faster material movement increase productivity and inventory turns. This focuses manpower on productive tasks, further managing costs.

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Posted October 18th, 2010, by

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