Optimize Manufacturing Operations by Reducing Changeover Durations

To maximize profitability and improve efficiency on existing production equipment, manufacturers have to reduce both planned and unplanned downtimes. Our experience working with manufacturing facilities shows that focusing on changeover optimization can lead to a significant improvement in asset availability (hours per week) and throughput with no additional investment.

What is product changeover? 

To meet customers’ dynamic needs, manufacturers often need to produce a variety of products on a single production line, which necessitates frequent transitions between products on each line. These transitions or changeovers require modifications to machine settings, part/tooling changes, adjustments on upstream/downstream assets, cleaning, or a range of other changes that must be performed while machines are stopped. The accumulated cost of changeovers on a single production line can run as high as several million dollars annually; however, they are often overlooked when trying to improve output with more focus given to maintenance issues or other downtime causes. There are often large discrepancies between the expected duration of changeover and the actual duration, decreasing active production time.

Measuring changeover duration

It is often challenging for manufacturers to accurately track how long a particular changeover lasts, and the proper tools and required technologies to precisely gather data, monitor changeovers and related production losses are frequently absent or inadequate. Changeovers may routinely take longer than expected leading to production losses which can go unnoticed without high quality supporting data. The first step to fill this gap is implementing Industry 4.0 technologies to provide accurate and live monitoring of production lines.

With Panevo’s ioTORQ LEAN, detailed and real time production data is automatically and reliably collected from industrial facilities. Sensors, installed on production assets, count units and provide high-resolution (every second) data including the status of the machine at any time, production speed, and the cause and duration of automatically detected downtime events.

Minimizing changeover duration

Important key performance indicators such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), performance, availability, and quality for all machines and time intervals are made available by ioTORQ LEAN in detailed reports and dashboards. Managers and site supervisors can use this information to identify bottlenecks in the manufacturing process, target the most frequent and impactful causes of unplanned downtimes, inspect which changeovers last longer than planned, and analyze hidden patterns in unplanned downtime events.

With this information in hand, managers can take necessary steps to minimize changeover duration. Depending on the nature of the problem, the actions required can range from simple interventions such as operator training or complex long-term projects such as designing a more efficient production scheduling which minimizes changeovers, requiring less time and effort, and reducing sources of configuration error.

Optimizing production planning

In most facilities, production plans are built based on purchase orders and basic production constraints. Generating an optimized production plan that takes into account the actual speed of each production unit for different products, the sequencing between lines and the real changeover duration between products is often too complex to be handled by humans.

For instance, a typical source of loss is when an asset is ready to produce but is waiting on upstream assets to be cleaned or set-up. Similarly, changeovers for certain product combinations may be slower than others. These considerations are often neglected in production planning/sequencing due to complexity and lack of data.

To prevent this, detailed production information including real-world line speed for each product type, and actual changeover duration collected over several months of operations can be combined with known production constraints to generate an optimized production plan. The result of an optimized production plan can increase line uptime by several hours each week.

How Panevo can help?

Leveraging industrial data with advanced analysis and optimization technologies, our ioTORQ LEAN platform helps manufacturers identify bottlenecks in their operations, address downtime root causes, and design optimized production plans. Through previous collaborations in the food and beverage industry, we have identified availability improvements of 1-5% without capital investment.

To learn more about our products and how we can optimize changeovers and improve uptime at your manufacturing site, contact us by filling up the form below.

Want to learn more?


Recent Posts