Plex has announced a new module for their IntelliPlex Analytic Application Suite. The IntelliPlex Production Analytic Application is now available and provides manufacturing intelligence and insight based on IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) data.
Driving production enhancements
The new solution uses a graphical dashboard that delivers information and insights around key performance metrics. This includes measures such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), scrap rates, first pass yield, inventory turns, on-time jobs and machine availability.
This solution adds to the growing number of modules within the IntelliPlex Analytics Application Suite. Alexi Antonino, Plex analytics project manager commented: “Plex is constantly adding new applications to the IntelliPlex Analytic Application Suite: supply chain and human capital management are up next.”
The analytics suite already includes applications for sales, order management, finance and procurement. This latest one will make a significant difference to production managers in manufacturing companies.
Analytics powers insight and real business benefits
The last few years has seen a significant growth in analytics solutions. Companies such as Tableau and RapidMiner allow companies to extract their data from different systems to provide insights. The analytics companies are still maintaining a higher level of sophistication in their products. Plex has released a solution for a specific audience that speeds up deliver of the benefits faster. Antonino added: “Hatch (Stamping) was initially exploring a proprietary analytics solution – at least a six-month development project – and once they saw the capability of the IntelliPlex Production Analytic Application, decided to implement the Plex technology instead. The production analytic application requires no implementation time, so Hatch experienced immediate activation and were able to hit the ground running, gaining the ability to quickly start leveraging their shop floor data to make better informed decisions.”
Hatch Stamping were one of the early adopters of the solution along with H&H Controls. Darla Stoffel, program manager at H&H Tools commented: “With IntelliPlex Production Analytics, we can quickly create custom portals that meet our needs. Our supervisors really like how easy it is to retrieve data, and management monitors production trends from one simple screen. It’s really powerful!”
Plex allows users to create custom dashboards using their chosen metrics. It adds a practical layer of analytics to the solution that allows users to rapidly access both the data and the insights that it presents. Integrating the elements within the dashboards with the role-based dashboards that are part of the main application is not yet available. However, users can quickly access the analytics dashboards and customise them using drag and drop functionality. It is on the roadmap according to Antonino but no timescales were given.
Direct access to the data key
Dashboards provide a high level view based on personalised requirements and allow users to drill into the data. This allows a production manager who sees a trend across an organisation to drill down into specific locations. Hatch Stamping already delivers this. Antonino commented: “Hatch is now able to see both an enterprise view of its 18 plants all the way down to the work center.”
The angle of those views into the raw data can be varied according to plants, time and geographies. Plex is constantly adding further metrics, frameworks and tools to the solution. This means that Plex is not just providing a manufacturing solution for their customers. It is also delivering a sophisticated analytics package on top of it. That analytics solution is tailorable not by data scientists but by production engineers who understand their own metrics. They can also use the data to initiate the actions they need to take once insights are surfaced.
Karl Ederle, group vice president of products for Plex commented: “At Plex, we know that the best manufacturing organizations are built on the shop floor and that operational excellence is the foundation of product quality, company growth, and profitability. The IntelliPlex Production Analytic Application is unique because it provides an enterprise-wide view of manufacturing performance, combined with the ability to tap into the IIoT signals from equipment on a specific production line. Plex now offers customers analysis of their organization that truly spans from shop floor equipment to the financial bottom line.”
IntelliPlex Production Analytic Application
IntelliPlex delivers its analytics in a browser rather than an app. It means that businesses do not need to make a costly switch to different tablets or phones. On the shop floor this means that ruggedized devices are quickly useable by employees. The core IntelliPlex analytic platform forms part of the Plex Manufacturing Cloud subscription. The production analytics application is an add on module that incurs an additional subscription charge. Pricing, according to Plex: “is based on the specific use by each customer.”
This is a practical and useful improvement to Plex. Analytics solutions are delivered allowing customers create their dashboards to meet their specific requirements. This can require a deeper knowledge of analytics and data science. Plex has created a flexible solution specifically designed to enhance the lives of production managers and manufacturers. It is a solution that they can adopt and use for their own benefit.
Antonio added: “In many manufacturing organizations, there is a communication breakdown between the front office and the shop floor. Because the three OEE production metrics—performance, quality, and availability—are not expressed in monetary units, daily efforts to improve processes using OEE alone do not always translate into bottom-line savings. Plex puts OEE and financial metrics into a single dashboard, for the first time giving manufacturing leaders the ability to see and manage complete business performance.”
There is more to come from Plex on their IntelliPlex platform. As they add more modules the ability to move those elements into the role-based dashboards will become more important. It will also be interesting to see what data science and enhanced analytics they bring to their solution. It will also be interesting to see if those upgrades are rolled out across all existing modules or delivered one by one.