Machine downtime monitoring systems – rapid benefits plan

  • Machine data monitoring systems sound scary, expensive, very high tech, and long term.
  • They are actually not any of these.
  • With a proper roadmap you can start seeing benefits rapidly, economically, in just a couple of weeks.
  • You can get return on full investment in just 1 to 3 months, depending on the cost of your machines.

Downtime monitoring systems - a roadmap for rapid benefits

Downtime monitoring systems on Industry 4.0 essentially have two components:
1. Hardware and software that collects data electronically from the machine, and stores it in a database (picture 1).
2. Software that analyzes the data, reports it or generates alerts (picture 2). The machine data monitoring system also provides the data to other software.

Oee Manufacturing Company in Bangalore
digitalization roadmap - talking to other applications in the firm

Picture 2: Software that uses data collected from the machine

Step 1: Install the machine data monitoring system. Use it to improve OEE, reduce consumables and energy usage, improve quality, reduce machine breakdowns, and improve operator efficiency. Once this is done, you can then start using the data for various Industry 4.0 applications.

Step2: Provide the data from the machine data monitoring system to other software in your organization – ERP, scheduling, MES, logistics, etc.

The implementation is ideally done in multiple phases. As you get each phase going, you learn from your mistakes and fine tune the system so that the organization is ready for the next phase. Luckily, machine data monitoring is easy to implement in phases.

Here is a roadmap that you can use as a starting point. The time frames may vary from firm to firm, and you can decide on yours based on what you want to achieve, your size and working culture. Typically, downtime due to work ethics issues is 10 to 15% in most shop floors. Step 1 can reduce this to almost zero in just 2 weeks. If downtime in you shop floor due to work ethics is 10%, this means you get a capacity increase of 10 % in just 2 weeks.

So how do I take off with my machine downtime monitoring system ?

Steps 1, 2 and 3: Install a machine downtime monitoring system that can provide data to other software. Implement the low hanging fruit in Phase 2 and 3 – production and productivity monitoring and improvement.

Step 4: Improve the functioning of your existing ERP or other software by getting them to interact with the database of the machine monitoring system. E.g., the machine data monitoring system gives the ERP software accurate and real-time data on production quantity, machine status, downtimes, rejections, consumables usage, etc. The ERP software in turn gives the machine data monitoring system information on work orders, schedules, part and operation details, personnel, etc.

Depending on what your end aim is, you can stop at any of the phases in the roadmap, or even jump phases or mix them up.

Leanworx does Steps 1, 2 and 3. It is designed for SMEs, and is plug and play. Which means it is very economical, and you can get going along the path on your digitalization roadmap in a matter of hours instead of weeks or months. For your Step 4, Leanworx has features that enable you to easily connect the software (ERP, scheduling, logistics, etc.) to the Leanworx database for 2-way communication.


Breakfast garnished with some quirky humour

When I feel like a big carnivorous breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausages, etc., one of my favourite places in Bangalore is Church Street Social. Portions are big (important for a gourmand like me), there’s humour in the décor and the menu, and it’s a fun place. Your napkin is a roll of toilet paper; some of the seats are old wooden seats from some demolished movie theatre; you can buy merchandise with their brand at a counter labelled Maal.

Industry 4.0 implementation roadmap - component 3

My plates, before and after

The menu has its bit of humour too – note the ‘Hungover breakfast’, with a discount for ‘those who were here last night’ (and presumably got drunk there).


Occasionally (when the craving for this kind of food hits me), I land up there late-ish on Sunday morning. After a heavy breakfast I waddle out of the place, my paunch leading the way, and head out to whatever the rest of the Sunday has in store for me.

By the way, here’s the difference between Gourmet and Gourmand (both words of French origin).
Gourmet: a person of refined taste and passion, who enjoys eating high-quality food.
Gourmand: a person who enjoys eating a large quantity of food (like your truly).

Free Webinar : Is Industry 4.0 Worth It for Machine Shops? 29 June 2024, 2pm to 3pm, Saturday.

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