In today’s world, it’s not uncommon for companies to be rich in data but poor in insights. Despite having access to a wealth of information, organizations struggle to properly analyze performance and drive transformational improvements. This is where ThingWorx Digital Performance Management (DPM) steps in to bridge the gap.
This week in your factory, you’ve applied maximum effort, pouring countless hours into perfecting your product. As the work week ends, a feeling of slight disappointment remains.
Could you have accomplished more? Where did it go awry? You may not be able to find the answers on your own, leaving your factory inefficient and operating below its full potential.
If this is you, look no further. With the capabilities of Thingworx Digital Performance Management, you will unleash an untapped potential of data and boost your manufacturing processes.
What is Digital Performance Management?
ThingWorx Digital Performance Management (DPM) is a cutting-edge solution designed to help organizations identify, prioritize, and improve production issues.
By capturing lost production hours and their causes, DPM indicates where to focus for the most critical impact. Also, it optimizes the finite time available, allowing organizations to reclaim lost hours and increase effective time by 20% or more. Thus, directly impacting the bottom line.
How Does DPM Work?
Consider a manufacturing facility that can produce one unit per hour. In a week with 88 hours worked, the facility manages to manufacture only 44 units. Let’s say 12 hours are lost through planned downtime and 14 hours are lost due to changeovers.
That leaves about 18 hours unaccounted for. Where did those come from? With ThingWorx DPM, you can quickly identify issues, and why they happened, and then take appropriate actions to fix them.
Moreover, DPM calculates and analyzes discrepancies, providing valuable insights to improve productivity. DPM is a comprehensive toolset that propels organizations towards peak performance by tracking performance, conducting in-depth analysis, planning, and validating improvements.
The Production Dashboard
One feature included with DPM is the Production Dashboard. The visual dashboard is a crucial tool for supervising shift performance and gathering vital data to inform reporting and analysis. It is designed for supervisors and line managers to track productivity across various production lines.
Some key features of the Production Dashboard include:
Provides insights into shift progress at the production block level
Allows for automated and manual data entry, including reason codes to capture all losses
And offers a simplified interface to minimize disruption
The Bottleneck Analysis tool is designed to automatically detect and monitor the most significant bottlenecks in your factory, providing valuable analysis and insights into OEE and OLE.
One of the challenges that customers face is a lack of visibility into bottlenecks, which leads to a disconnect between continuous improvement efforts and their impact on the business. However, bottlenecks are often dynamic and complex.
To address these challenges, DPM offers key capabilities to help identify and resolve:
Automatically identifying and tracking bottlenecks.
Systematic identification of the top constraints, which can significantly increase factory efficiency by 5-20%.
Management of the dynamic nature of competing bottlenecks.
Overall, DPM works relentlessly, making up for lost time by tracing the root cause of issues and providing precise remedies to ensure smooth and efficient functionality. Consider DPM an invaluable employee, working tirelessly around the clock without additional overtime costs!
Accelerate Problem Solving with DPM
DPM’s capabilities extend beyond surface-level analysis. By combining Pareto analysis and time loss analytics, DPM users can uncover and address a significant percentage of production problems.
For instance, a DPM user noticed quality losses between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Thanks to DPM’s automated analysis, the manufacturing team quickly determined that the issue was caused by a glare from the sunset, making the inspection camera unreliable.
All in all, DPM helped accelerate the problem-solving process saving valuable time and resources.
Reap the Benefits
Digital Performance Management is as remarkable as it sounds. DPM holds the secret to your production improvements and is ready to share them with you. Discover the plethora of benefits that are tied to DPM:
Standardized Measurement: DPM provides a consistent and standardized approach to measure losses, ensuring accurate evaluation of bottlenecks, and their impact on performance.
Efficient Root Cause Analysis: Leveraging AI technology, DPM identifies the root causes of bottlenecks and facilitates their permanent resolution, eliminating recurring issues.
Automated Problem Identification: DPM’s powerful AI algorithms automate the process of surfacing common issues, exponentially reducing the time spent on problem-solving.
Real-time Insights: What once took months to identify critical insights now becomes easily accessible through DPM’s intuitive interface, providing teams with immediate access to actionable insights.
Get Started with DPM Today!
In conclusion, if you want to revolutionize your performance management and take your organization to new heights, it’s time to embrace Digital Performance Management.
Remember, in today’s fast-paced world, those who leverage technology to gain insights and make data-driven decisions are the ones who thrive.
Are you ready to unlock the true potential of your organization with Digital Performance Management? Talk with an expert now to take your first steps toward success.
I’m sure at least once in your life you’ve heard the saying, ‘Work smarter, not harder.’ But what a cliche, right?! Well, for those of you managing your Bill of Materials (BOMs) in Excel, it’s time to step away from the cell block prison (pun intended).
In this article, we’re going to break down what it actually means to revitalize your BOM strategy with the Digital Thread to start seeing the results you want.
What Is The Digital Thread?
First of all, let’s start with the basics. The Digital Thread is a term used to describe the seamless flow of information throughout the manufacturing process. From design and engineering to production and after-sales support. It provides a way to connect all the data and information generated at different stages and from systems of the product lifecycle.
Generally, the Digital Thread provides value by enabling better visibility and control of any processes that require or produce product data. It enables manufacturers to collaborate more effectively, automate and optimize workflows, and quickly respond to changes. All while adjusting quickly to customer needs.
Bill of Materials (BOM)
Next, let’s break down the concept of a Bill of Materials. A complete Bill of Materials (BoM) list usually contains all of the parts and components needed to create or manufacture an end product. You might think of a BoM as a recipe ingredient list. The information about each part can include details such as part names, part numbers, quantity required, and cost per unit. Not to mention, BoMs contain other relevant part details such as material type, color, or size if applicable; supplier information; serial numbers, etc.
By consolidating and organizing all the pertinent information product information, the BoM becomes a centralized resource. A critical resource that facilitates the manufacturing processes of specified products.
Ultimately, the goal of the BoM is to help track inventory and verify missing parts during assembly. Equally as important, BoMs are critical to support a healthy supply chain, as well as help with purchasing decisions and more.
The Digital Thread and Bill of Materials Working Together
Balancing a plethora of product information – it’s no surprise, the best BoM management strategy used within the industry does not leverage solely Microsoft Excel. Nor does it rely upon one Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Instead it works to unite data from multiple systems into a single source of truth.
Sounds great doesn’t it? But, if you’re like most – your product data lives all over the place in different systems from different departments. This situation tends to create data siloes resulting in time-consuming manual tasks using outdated operational processes. Generally, these are some of the biggest problems that inhibit manufacturers from achieving their business initiatives.
Oftentimes, during our EAC Assessments, we hear multiple teams across the enterprise and different management levels are frustrated by broken processes. In short, there is a lack of key information employees need to do their jobs right, at the time they need it most.
Meanwhile, the digital thread uses advanced technology (such as product lifecycle management systems as well as the Internet of Things) to connect critical disparate processes. This, in turn, helps minimize manual tasks, and breaks down data siloes. Implementing the digital thread to your BoM strategy creates a major impact for all stakeholders involved. For instance, design teams, engineers, manufacturing, assembly, operations, finance, purchasing, and even marketing.
How The Digital Thread Supports Engineering
Furthermore, the Digital Thread plays a crucial role in supporting engineering and bill of materials (BOM) management by providing seamless connectivity and accessibility to relevant data throughout the product lifecycle. Here’s how the digital thread benefits these areas:
1. Engineering Collaboration
Firstly, the digital thread allows engineers to collaborate effectively by providing a centralized platform for sharing and accessing engineering data. This facilitates cross-functional collaboration, enables real-time communication, and reduces errors or miscommunications during the design and development process.
2. Design Consistency
Secondly, the digital thread ensures design consistency by maintaining a single source of truth for engineering data. Changes made in the design phase are automatically propagated throughout the digital thread, ensuring that all related documents, models, and specifications remain synchronized.
3. BOM Accuracy and Visibility
The digital thread integrates BOM management, configuration management, and BoM transformation capabilities. This enables accurate and up-to-date BOMs, as the data will automatically reflect changes. Additionally, it provides real-time visibility into the BoM status, including component availability, sourcing information, and cost implications.
4. Change Management
Next, the digital thread streamlines change management processes. By automating change notifications, approvals, and tracking. Essentially, it ensures that engineering changes are effectively communicated, documented, and implemented across the relevant stages of the product lifecycle, minimizing errors and delays.
5. Manufacturing Process Optimization
By connecting engineering data with manufacturing process management, the digital thread enables better coordination and optimization of production processes. By in large, system and data integration allows for improved manufacturing planning, efficient resource allocation, and reduced lead times.
6. Enhanced Visualization and Analysis
Another example includes leveraging augmented reality (AR) design sharing to provide visual representations of designs. In detail, enabling stakeholders to view and analyze products in a virtual environment. It’s recommended to use AR to enhance design reviews, simplify communication, and facilitate better decision-making.
Overall, the digital thread improves engineering and BoM management. Markedly, by streamlining processes, enhancing collaboration, ensuring data consistency, and providing visibility across the product lifecycle. It promotes efficiency, accuracy, and agility in engineering and BoM-related activities. Leading to improved product quality and faster time to market in the long run.
How A Digital Thread BoM Strategy Streamlines Manufacturing
Simultaneously, the digital thread plays a significant role in enhancing the bill of materials (BoM) management for manufacturing, assembly, and quality control processes. In sum, here’s how the digital thread benefits these areas:
1. Manufacturing and Assembly Planning
The digital thread enables seamless integration between the BoM and manufacturing planning systems. It provides real-time visibility into the BoM, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information for manufacturing and assembly operations. This allows for efficient production planning, optimized resource allocation, and improved scheduling in all.
2. Supply Chain Integration
By connecting the BoM with supply chain management systems, the digital thread enhances supply chain visibility and collaboration. It enables better coordination with suppliers, accurate tracking of component availability, and improved procurement processes. As a result, it minimizes the risk of production delays and ensures timely delivery of materials.
3. Work Instructions and Assembly Guidance
Thirdly, the digital thread facilitates the creation and dissemination of detailed work instructions and assembly guidance based on the BoM data. This ensures that assembly operators have access to accurate and step-by-step instructions, reducing errors and improving productivity on the shop floor.
4. Quality Control and Traceability
The digital thread enables better quality control and traceability throughout the manufacturing process. By integrating the BoM with quality management systems, it ensures that quality requirements and specifications are adhered to during production. It also enables traceability of components and materials, making it easier to identify and address any quality issues or recalls.
5. Continuous Improvement and Feedback Loop
Additionally, the digital thread supports continuous improvement initiatives by capturing data and feedback from manufacturing and quality control processes. It enables the analysis of production data, identifies areas for improvement, and facilitates data-driven decision-making to enhance manufacturing efficiency and product quality.
6. Post-Market Monitoring
Finally, the digital thread extends beyond the manufacturing phase to support post-market monitoring and quality assurance. Integrating BoM data with field service management systems and customer feedback enables organizations to identify and address product issues, initiate product improvements, and provide timely support and maintenance.
All in all, the digital thread enhances BoM management for manufacturing and assembly processes by ensuring accurate and up-to-date information, facilitating supply chain integration, enabling effective work instructions, improving quality control, supporting continuous improvement efforts, and enabling post-market monitoring. Concurrently, it streamlines operations, improves product quality, and enhances customer satisfaction.
The Polaris Story
Polaris utilized PTC Windchill, an advanced product lifecycle management system, to transform their Bill of Materials into a reliable new business model backbone. As a result, it allowed them to create a connected enterprise.
Windchill PLM combines the digital thread framework with a maximized BoM and change management strategy. This powerful product lifecycle management platform organizes all information associated with the development of its products, allowing every stakeholder to access the latest up-to-date information in a dynamic format.
Once it was clear to Polaris that they had outgrown certain tools and processes, they coordinated and synchronized a digital thread of data throughout the enterprise by leveraging PTC Windchill.
As of today, Polaris’ Windchill PLM system enables them to manage and organize the bill of materials (BoM) and implemented configuration management practices. This helped transform their BoMs as needed, effectively managing changes, overseeing manufacturing processes, and utilizing augmented reality (AR) design-sharing capabilities.
By orchestrating these elements, the digital thread ensured seamless connectivity and flow of information across different stages and departments within Polaris. This enabled improved collaboration, streamlined workflows, effective change control, and enhanced manufacturing processes. On top of giving the ability to share and visualize designs using AR technology.
To sum it up, it’s time to put Excel away and start working smarter, not harder. Successful BoM management derives from a single source of truth throughout the enterprise in regard to all the data contained in the Bill of Materials. The Digital Thread allows for the seamless automated flow of the BoM information to create a truly connected enterprise, working in sync along every step of the manufacturing process.
It’s true, PTC Windchill really is the best PLM software on the market, but along with its seemingly uncapped capabilities comes divine complexity.
And with complexity, well, often comes…frustration.
In a world where we can virtually have anything instantly at our fingertips, why should anyone be forced to learn and memorize an ever-changing, complex PLM system?!
Yet, it seems that in order to successfully capitalize on a PLM system and utilize all the features a company invested in – it’s almost unavoidable.
Time after time, we hear of instances involving Windchill users’ wasted time, energy, and clicks.
So, our company, EAC Product Development Solutions, thought to ourselves – how could we make PLM easier?
How could we simplify the user interface of PLM systems, such as PTC Windchill, to make a faster, easier and better user experience?
How could we do the same for change management within Windchill easier, better, and faster?
Not only did we figure out a very simple solution, but we also figured out how to make data access simple.
It’s easy to plugin, install, and most importantly – it changes the entire user experience of PTC Windchill.
It makes Windchill PLM easy to use, understand, and it provides an easier way to capitalize on all the features the complex system has.
Essentially, we created and designed an easy PLM system plugin that transforms the complex user interface of Windchill and makes tasks such as creating change reports, requests and adding new variances easy!
Applications that make PLM faster
Although our PLM applications might not speed up a Windchill system directly, they will definitely decrease the time any users take to search for information.
With our Productivity Apps, infrequent PLM users no longer need to remember how many clicks they need to make or where they need to go to find information in Windchill.
In fact, anyone with access to the simple desktop applications can easily access any PTC Windchill Product Lifecycle Management information directly through their own simple personalized desktop screen.
This eliminates any and all time needed to train and learn a complex PLM system.
Our PLM system applications were designed to relieve and entirely combat Windchill user complications.
We built them to initially enhance enterprise-wide Windchill system adoption and usage.
So let’s talk about how our Apps really work.
Our applications plug directly into your PTC Windchill system and display a simplified desktop user experience.
They push and pull data to and from your system, helping to streamline your PLM system usage and functionality.
The accessibility for users that might only need access to information housed in Windchill, perhaps only once or twice a week, will greatly benefit from the implementation of our Apps.
By opening a simple desktop application, without any training, any user can easily navigate the interface, find any product information they need, and do so all while eliminating time and lengthened processes that the basic Windchill interface requires to complete a task.
Our PLM applications give any user the Product Lifecycle Management information they need as quickly as possible. This is exactly how PLM Apps can speed up the time it takes to accomplish a simple task!
Forget the need for PTC Windchill training
The truth is, PTC Windchill systems can be complicated, especially in instances where users are not fully trained to use the software.
This is where infrequent PLM system users oftentimes research how to do this or that within their system. If this is you, you know all too well of the valuable productivity you’ve lost when searching for answers in the system help center.
You may even run into instances where you’re skipping tasks altogether (such as creating a change report), and in fact, you may even risk doing it wrong because you’ve forgotten a few steps.
To make matters worse, you might even need to disrupt others for help.
It’s because of all these reasons and more, our Productivity Apps really can change the game.
With the simple click of a button, our Apps have the ability to alleviate several daunting steps.
Over the years, our organization has worked with hundreds of Windchill users’, allowing us to continually expand our app framework and functionality based on what our customers have told us.
After all, the technology you purchase should be working for you, not the other way around.
We have had customers say, “I want a view. I want to be able to have a guy on the shop floor and a partner both be able to see everything related to a part number. I want them to see a document, a drawing, a part, or a bill of material. etc.”
Over time, what we found our customers were looking for was really any relevant data that was associated together. They wanted their data to be completely available and, in some cases, even to download.
They were unable to easily display all the information they were looking for just by doing one, simple, quick search.
That’s when our Quick Search App was born, and it was really developed just to do that.
Quick Search provides a single easily accessible view where any user can get all the relevant product data and information they need on a simple screen. It’s even downloadable and all.
Connect disparate data from unconnected systems
Our PLM Apps even have the ability to tie together data you need from siloed, unconnected systems.
Not only do these Apps help users easily find Windchill data, pull data, and make that data easier and more accessible without great changes, but they were designed to truly tie and pull data together from other siloed enterprise systems.
They have the ability to pull data from Legacy ERP or MRP systems.
For example, you could connect to your ERP system to pull quantity, along with any other relevant information, and have all your information right at your fingertips.
Forget difficulties with change management
The truth is, many organizations face difficulties with change management, and we wanted to ‘change’ that.
How? Let’s start with how our Apps alter change management in a way that makes a difference, and more importantly, how that difference makes the process easier.
Change management becomes effortless with the ability to easily customize or configure the user interface that is built on top of the ThingWorx Navigate app.
What does that mean?
Essentially, our Apps still utilize the powerful change management workflow built within Windchill to point at all of the complex, rich data in Windchill.
The difference is, they change how data is visually displayed and how your teams work together.
Hence where the ‘productivity’ name comes in.
They provide one view into all relevant data, so your users are easily able to fill out all of their relevant change information. This is a huge benefit in comparison to having to jump back and forth between multiple screens to retrieve data or complete things inside Windchill.
By tying all necessary data into one view, not only is the user experience enhanced, but the number of clicks and picks required by a user is drastically reduced as well.
Ultimately, this is what grants your users the ability to quickly submit change requests (while it even presents the information that is needed as users fill out a simple form).
This means your team no longer has to go through the GUI or work step by step to fill out the information they need to kick-start a change request.
This is something most Windchill users don’t understand.
There are easier ways.
The best part? These ‘ways’ don’t change your system configuration, they simply sit on top of your system and re-invent the user interface to enhance the system’s abilities and most importantly, productivity.
Our applications alleviate the need for siloed departments to interrupt other disjointed departments by providing accessible data in real-time, everywhere.
Easy task management
Not only can you easily submit a change request or problem report, but you also have the ability to easily manage tasks.
Users are able to pull up a dashboard displaying the entire task force. For instance, once a change request is submitted, you have the ability to see if that change request is being analyzed.
They provide visibility and status on task completion. This helps users easily know what they need to do, and what state that task is in.
You might be thinking, “But what about the people using change management to review and approve, and complete tasks?”
No need to worry, our Apps are equipped with that functionality too.
Managers can utilize these Applications to easily see what is going on and help them understand what they might need to review.
Users can even view open tasks, complete them and even assign tasks to other users.
The functions are endless. You can do anything that involves change management, all directly within our EAC Productivity Apps. It really is a one-stop shop.
This means anyone involved in your organization’s change management process now actually has the ability to do everything they need to do, within one single app.