How Simple Visualization Improves Plant Efficiency

How Simple Visualization Improves Plant EfficiencyDuring a visit to one of our Parker Factory Display (PFD) customers, they shared some comments on their visualization success that improved their plant efficiency. This customer is a typical manufacturer in the Food and Beverage business and sought out a product like the PFD in order to display their production efficiencies on each production line. They have 7 units in plant with 4 of them deployed and expect to have an additional 13 units deployed.


What is the PFD visualization system?

The Parker Factory Display (PFD) visualization system offers unprecedented flexibility and impact for delivering critical messages to associates on the factory floor. Whether presenting Andon display-type information, lean metrics, production status, OEE data, safety policies or employee announcements, PFD is much more than a "scoreboard" that simply displays text -- it provides workers with real-time, situational awareness for faster response to downs and non-conforming conditions.

The PFD comes packed with a new controller-only option, factory display options up to 55" for primary and secondary units and version 3.0 of the PFD software, which is Windows XP and Windows 7 (32/ 64-bit) compatible. The controller-only option is equipped with the Windows XP operating system and an 80 GB solid state hard drive, which make the unit quite robust. The new controller also includes two Ethernet ports, which allows the separation of the Office network from the plant network. With the addition of the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) driver to the controller image, you can now connect to virtually any database!

With its high-definition resolution, flat-panel displays and built-in networking, PFD offers unparalleled visual impact for empowering associates. Its intuitive graphics enhance the message, while its distributed architecture easily integrates into existing manufacturing and IS infrastructure. Whether remotely publishing displays from anywhere via the Web or visualizing non-conforming parts on a production line, the Parker Factory Display does so much more than other production board displays and Andon display-type systems . . . and at a lower cost.

Results from our manufacturing plant visit

While visiting the plant and viewing their installations, we discussed how things were going with one of their plant engineers, "Bob". Bob pointed to a line and said,

"That's the first line we deployed these units on; it was one of our worst performing lines in the facility." 

Then he added,

How simple visulaization imporves plant efficiency - Parker Factory displays PFD Parker Hannifin Electromechanical"What's really been exciting to management is since deploying your displays and presenting the line's efficiency in a large visible format the line has improved to be one of our most efficient."

So we asked the obvious question about any other improvements. Bob's answer was,

"Nope, we think that just the fact that they are being measured brings out the employees competitive spirit and they work hard to improve the efficiency." 

Amazing.  After countless discussions and Placewares trying to present the value of factory display products in terms of improved efficiency and reduced downtime we didn't talk about this fact. Certainly, the improvements come as a result of making changes in areas that the monitoring and display uncover ... not that simply monitoring would result in generating the improvements.  Bob's last comment was music to my ears:

"You know that's why management is so excited by these things... they are paying for themselves in no time just with the efficiency improvements where we deploy!" 


How simply visualization  improves plant efficiencyArticle contributed by Andy Balderson, National Sales Manager, Electromechanical Division North America - Parker Hannifin. This was originally published on the Parker Motion Blog on April 26, 2010.







Other related content from the Electromechanical team:

How to Remotely Control Your Plant With a Mobile App

How Visualization Helps Teams Do a Good Job

How the “Information Anywhere” Revolution Helps Boost Production

Wireless Remote Monitoring System Suits a Variety of Applications


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