Suppose you are an operator and you find that the transport pipeline gets clogged every time when processing powder. With your years of experience, you know exactly what to do to resolve the issue: give a firm tap at a spot exactly thirty centimetres after the second coupling in the pipeline. The powder is dislodged and the production process can continue or was not even interrupted at all. By regularly giving the pipeline a tap, it stays clean. Problem solved, you might say,” says Wouter Schotborgh, co-director of ELICIT Online, a leading software and consultancy firm that actively focuses on recording and transferring knowledge in the process and manufacturing industry.
“This is a concrete example from one of the meetings we had this past week. It would be far more effective for this organisation to systematically record these bits of ‘insider knowledge,’ especially the ones that affect the quality of their operations. Rather than only working with experienced operators, it is better to use an integral approach: bring in technical services, the process technologists and the quality assurance department as well. As a result, you can look at a malfunction or product deviation from a wide range of new perspectives and get a more complete overview of the various disruptions or product deviations and their respective solutions. In this case, for example, it became clear quickly that a disruption at the start of the production process could impact the quality of the final product. Once you know that, you can adjust your pressurisation to avoid the problem entirely. By analysing and recording this kind of information and sharing it with colleagues, you can structurally develop a quality-oriented production process,” Wouter says.
“That is exactly what we want to achieve with our software: identify causes and effects throughout the entire process. Our approach is based on systematically working backwards from the end result – the (semi-finished) product – to the very start of the process. More often than not, the cause of a quality deviation in the product is found right at the start of the process.”
“You cannot improve by only resolving effects. With our software, you can also formulate clear business cases for improvements because you know exactly what deviations occur at which stage of the process. Reducing the amount of downtime by implementing structural cause-and-effect improvements helps you lower your costs and increase your output and level of quality. By doing so, you can make a positive contribution to your organisation’s long-term success and your clients’ satisfaction – all by simply translating your people’s learning ability into an objective technological solution. Talk about coming full circle,” Wouter concludes.
We would love to talk more about this important topic for the process and manufacturing industry. We are excited about the opportunities that this smart software offers. Contact us for more information. We would love to help you improve!