Shop floor control includes the systems used to assess and prioritize all those pieces of information relating to resources and production procedures, related costs, labor, use of materials and equipment, and other factors that help achieve the highest possible production level for the activities planned. The purpose of an efficient shop floor control is monitoring all activity in the workshop in real time and in an integrated manner. It’s about knowing what is happening on the production floor at every moment in order to optimize the decision-making process.
Our starting point is based on correctly planning all activities and materials within the company, including employees, materials, equipment and production time. To achieve this, the various sequential steps of shop floor control, from order creation to order dispatch or sale, must be taken into account.
Thus, once orders are planned, they are turned into manufacturing orders and programmed accordingly. After this, capacity needs are specified, material availability is assessed, production orders are enabled, and workload is analyzed, all of this taking into account execution times and estimated delivery dates. Next, materials for dispatch are noted, the order is confirmed, merchandise entry is validated, and the order is fulfilled.
Shop floor control can also include other activities that will affect the decisions made. In this sense, it is key that we identify and assess any risk factors, such as real work capacity at the shop and technologies used, to minimize possible vulnerabilities associated with the specific work methods used by each company.
With the theoretical bases for a correct shop floor control already defined, what are the best practices for the integral and agile management of the manufacturing processes? Lantek has spent years implementing technology solutions in different markets with differing needs. This experience is key to identify any scenario presented by the companies, and is the foundation upon which Lantek has built its own integral management system that gathers and synchronizes all strategic information. The end result? It allows for agile decision-making and helps plan resources, increases the performance of the human team, and maximizes cost savings.
The best practices for shop floor control include the efficient management of work orders so that assignments can be modified with flexibility and resources can be appropriately employed. Lantek Manager, one of Lantek’s star systems, is designed to achieve this goal. From the office desktop the material requirements for specific orders can be adapted, priorities can be defined and the manufacturing process can be monitored in real time.
The delivery of accurate and updated information on materials’ consumption and availability is another good practice that defines shop floor control and is linked to change management, equipment control, and the correct identification of possible human errors to ensure an increase in productivity in every sense. Along this line, the Lantek Wos solution helps provide the right manufacturing and design procedures to operators while offering two-way communications to ensure the correct management of incidents and changes.
These good practices, among others, help achieve an efficient shop floor control which, within a manufacturing execution system (MES), can improve the productivity of any business. Its strength: timely, cross-process data management, with the security of having all decisions under control.
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