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Value of Digital Performance Management

Implications of Digital in the Factory

Digital performance management (DPM) is an industrial information management solution that leverages familiar manufacturing principles that have guided factory performance improvement programs for many years. These include the Theory of Constraints, Lean Six Sigma, Deming’s PDCA closed loop, and more. With DPM, organizations access and use factory data from automation and operator entry in innovative ways to return lost or hidden hours to production, thereby improving Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and factory efficiency.

To understand DPM, think of these steps in a closed loop:

  • Monitor: Measure what’s happening on a production line, in work centers and on specific assets.
  • Focus: Locate the production line’s pacesetting operation and bottlenecks, remembering that bottlenecks move as line improvements are implemented.
  • Prioritize: Identify the highest impact sources of performance loss at the pacesetters, bottlenecks and across the line’s assets (these include, unplanned downtime, speed loss, changeover, scrap, and more).
  • Analyze: Determine root causes of the greatest sources of lost production time.
  • Improve: Define and implement continuous improvement (CI) actions to recover and restore lost production hours. Monitor the operations following implementation of improvement to confirm effectiveness.
  • Confirm: Integrate the results of CI initiatives into the factory’s operating plan and KPIs to confirm value realized.
  • Repeat: Of course, production lines, their work centers and assets interoperate dynamically. As improvements are implemented, other opportunities present themselves. DPM is built for this reality.

DPM connects the factory’s digital Operations Technologies with Information Technologies and closed-loop, Continuous Improvement (CI) programs.

What are the implications of digital in the factory?

These new uses of digital factory data – largely from the controls layer – are fundamentally changing how factories implement Continuous Improvement. Program goals and outputs haven't changed, but the inputs and how they’re used have. Organizations are now able to contextualize factory data to gain useful insights and make better decisions on improving their operations. Digital Performance management closes the gap between factory data and actionable insight.

Factories usually know where their pacesetters and first bottlenecks are located. But, identifying bottlenecks in a consistent, repeatable way as they move is a difficult and labor-intensive task. DPM provides a set of modular tools, organized in a closed-loop problem-solving framework to make these activities more efficient and repeatable. For many, DPM is a foundational element of their CI programs.

Why DPM and Why Now?

Organizations are now able to access and use factory operating data at speeds and efficiencies that many have sought for decades, but could not achieve because the necessary technologies did not yet exist, or if they did, were prohibitively expensive.

Getting Started

DPM is an operating system for factory continuous improvement. Through its collection of digital data tools surrounding a powerful production monitoring capability, DPM helps manufacturing organizations transform factory data into actionable performance insights.