Modern Machine Shop

FEB 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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An increasing number of shops are performing machine tool monitoring in some way. In fact, I'm more frequently encountering large, f lat-screen monitors in shops I visit that display machines' operational status in the form of bar graphs containing areas of green, yellow, red and black. In general, the more uninterrupted green, the better, because green time is chip- making time. (You'll understand why I say "in general" in a bit.) Such a monitor is found in J&R Machine's facility in Shawano, Wisconsin, enabling everyone on the shop floor to see, at a glance, the shop's performance in real time. Plus, that information is accessible to managers via their computers, smartphones or tablet devices through the machine-monitoring software the shop uses. That way, they can remotely check in on a machine's status at any given moment and receive alerts when a machine shuts down or an alarm is triggered. While there certainly is value in collecting and displaying this data, identifying and tracking green time is only part of the continuous improve- ment initiative for J&R Machine. "We didn't add machine-monitoring capability simply to see how much our machines are running or when they're up or down," explains Parker Tumanic, the contract shop's vice president. "Rather than looking at this data only from an operational standpoint, we look at it from a financial perspective." J&R Machine compares machine run hours to employee payroll hours to create a productivity index that enables it to make more informed decisions about a variety of aspects of its business. DEREK KORN | EXECUTIVE EDITOR Productivity Index Modern Machine Shop 77

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