Machine Monitoring Solutions Providing Tool, Quality & Production Control

Evaluating Job Profitability and Operator Performance

By: Steven Noto, Process Technologies Group, Inc.
Topics: Part Sorting, Good Part Counts, Data Logging, Operator Evaluation, IMPAX TSS

Increasing profitability by tracking and comparing different jobs and operators in a sorting application

To be successful, every effort to increase productivity and efficiency must be based on accurate shop data. The TSS monitor is used to deliver this data, and allow positive changes to enable greater profitability.

Project Goals

Sorting Department, With Sorting Machines
SWD's Sorting Department

Production efficiency depends on many factors, including machine effectiveness, operator diligence, and the quirks of each particular job. But how these factors interact and affect the bottom line can be a mystery if the right process data is not tracked.

SWD Inc., a major Chicago-area finishing and sorting facility, sought to unlock this mystery by tracking the performance of their machines and their operators. They knew that productivity varied from employee to employee, and across the different jobs that they ran on their sorting machinery, but there was no easy way to make comparisons using their current data collection techniques.

They were looking for a way to track these quantities and see how they interacted. Their goals included learning which jobs and which parts were more profitable to work with, to help them sell and schedule jobs more profitably. They also hoped to analyze operator performance, to identify the areas of superior performance and any weaker areas, so they could seek improvement.

Implementation Notes

In order to collect performance data, the IMPAX TSS machine efficiency monitor was selected. The monitor was already equipped to track the performance of parts and operators; only slight tweaks were needed to also allow full tracking of the total parts of each run versus the good parts after sorting.

In addition to installing TSS monitors and the TSS-NET data collection system, special data visualization software was employed to view the resulting data. The data was also integrated with the existing job information database, so that productivity numbers could be tied directly to dollar values. Custom dashboards were then written to view at-a-glance comparisons of operator hourly performance and the profitability of each job.

Data Visualization Software, Comparing Operator Performance
IMPAX Data Visualization Software
Comparing Operator Performance

Project Results

Since equipping each machine with a TSS monitor, all of SWD's sorting activities are now logged. Data is collected throughout the day, so as soon as a shift completes, it can be evaluated. SWD has reported that they have gained valuable data on job productivity, and that they better understand the true profitability of each job. They have also had success using the system to evaluate operator performance. They have been able to identify the best performers, and make some changes to help the poorer performers in areas where they could use improvement. These uses of the TSS system have increased overall profitability.

Company and Product Profile

IMPAX TSS Monitors combine PLC technology and user-friendly software in a powerful machine efficiency and downtime tracking system. TSS monitors work as stand-alone units and are also networkable, forming a powerful production monitoring and downtime analysis system.
More information: IMPAX TSS Monitors, TSS-NET Software

Process Technologies Group, Inc. (PTG) designs and manufactures process monitors, efficiency monitors, sensors, and data collection software for all production environments.
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