Mastering Shop Floor Control: Tips for Effective Production Management

Apr 12, 2023 | News

As a manufacturer, it’s critical to optimize your shop floor operations for maximum efficiency, productivity, and profitability. That’s where MES (Manufacturing Execution System) software comes in handy. It helps you streamline and automate your shop floor processes, from scheduling to production tracking, quality control, and more. But to reap the full benefits of an MES system, you need to master the basics of effective shop floor control.


In this blog post, we’ll explore the basics of shop floor control and provide tips on how to optimize your production processes.


Understanding Shop Floor Control

Shop floor control refers to the management of the manufacturing process from the production floor. This includes overseeing the flow of materials, monitoring production schedules, and ensuring that machines and personnel are properly utilized.

Effective shop floor control is essential for maintaining production schedules, minimizing waste, and ensuring that quality standards are met. By optimizing your shop floor control processes, you can maximize productivity and reduce costs.


Tips for Effective Shop Floor Control


Automate Where Possible

One of the key benefits of an ERP system is the ability to automate routine processes. By automating tasks such as inventory management and scheduling, you can free up valuable time and resources for more critical activities.

Emphasize Communication

Communication is critical for effective shop floor control. Ensure that your production team has access to real-time data and can easily communicate with one another. This can help to prevent delays, minimize errors, and improve overall efficiency.


Monitor Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators (KPIs) provide valuable insights into your production processes. By monitoring KPIs such as cycle time, throughput, and defect rates, you can identify areas for improvement and take proactive steps to optimize your processes.


Implement Lean Manufacturing Principles

Lean manufacturing is a philosophy that emphasizes waste reduction and continuous improvement. By implementing lean principles such as value stream mapping and just-in-time production, you can minimize waste, reduce lead times, and improve overall efficiency.


Invest in Training and Development

Investing in the training and development of your production team is essential for ensuring that they have the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. By providing ongoing training opportunities and promoting a culture of continuous learning, you can improve the quality of your products and enhance overall efficiency.

Here are some tips on how to achieve that:


Define Your Shop Floor Processes

The first step to effective shop floor control is to identify and document all your processes, from raw material receipt to finished goods shipping. This helps you map out your workflow, understand interdependencies, and eliminate redundancies and bottlenecks. Once you have a clear picture of your shop floor operations, you can design your MES system to support your processes and enhance your productivity.


Set Clear KPIs

To measure the success of your shop floor control, you need to set clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that align with your business goals. These KPIs can include production output, quality, scrap rate, uptime, cycle time, and more. By tracking your KPIs in real-time, you can identify areas of improvement, monitor your performance, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your shop floor operations.


Implement Real-Time Monitoring

An MES system can provide real-time monitoring of your shop floor activities, from machine status to employee performance. By collecting and analyzing data from various sources, such as sensors, RFID tags, and barcodes, an MES system can give you a holistic view of your shop floor operations. This helps you detect issues early on, prevent downtime, and improve your decision-making.


Use Automated Alerts and Notifications

To stay on top of your shop floor operations, you need to be alerted immediately when something goes wrong. An MES system can send automated alerts and notifications to relevant stakeholders, such as supervisors, operators, and maintenance technicians, when a machine breaks down, a quality issue arises, or a production target is not met. This enables you to take quick action, minimize disruptions, and avoid costly delays.


Embrace Continuous Improvement

Effective shop floor control is not a one-time event but a continuous process of improvement. By regularly reviewing your KPIs, analyzing your data, and soliciting feedback from your employees, you can identify areas of improvement and implement corrective actions. An MES system can help you automate your continuous improvement process, track your progress, and ensure that your shop floor operations are always optimized for efficiency and quality.


Streamline Your Operations with Best Practices for Shop Floor Control

Shop floor control is crucial for effective operations management, which relies on order planning, capacity planning, and production order release. Best practices involve capturing the right data in the right context to control processes through data, not chance. Manufacturers who succeed in this area use insights from data to drive continuous improvement.

As demand for faster production and delivery increases in a supply chain-constrained environment, shop floor managers must receive the right information at the right time. They must also be able to recognize deviations and out-of-control processes to solve issues. Digital operational data and automation systems, such as ERP systems, can report out-of-plan conditions and flag material and resource shortages that may affect quality and delivery expectations.

To stay competitive and meet customer demands, manufacturers must digitize processes, automate repeatable tasks, and consolidate data sources for comprehensive insights. Traditional manual shop floor control processes and spreadsheets do not provide the necessary information to make informed decisions.

In conclusion, effective shop floor control is essential for maintaining a competitive edge in the modern manufacturing landscape. By automating routine processes, emphasizing communication, monitoring key performance indicators, implementing lean manufacturing principles, and investing in training and development, you can optimize your production processes and achieve your business goals.


How NC-Vision can help compose your MES

Built from the ground up on a true no-code foundation, NC-Vision empowers production and manufacturing companies to take control: Simplify production planning and visualize what’s going on the shopfloor – anywhere, anytime, creating your unique digital twin.
Get real-time insights into processes, machines, and resources to support data-driven decisions and increase business efficiency.

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Go live in days instead of months with your individual composition. Add plug & play solutions from the marketplace later.

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Avoid lengthy project planning and overpriced customizing, while keeping operating costs in check.

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In just 30 minutes, we’ll mix and match the applications you need, so you can see your individual MES/MOM solution live in action.