A PSL Datatrack Status Board display system at Jota Advanced Engineering has brought a new dimension to its business by giving visual real time information on its key production functions.
Providing CNC machining capabilities into the wider motor racing, aviation, power generation, scientific and medical sectors, as well as internally to other Jota divisions, it uses multi-axis turning centres with live tooling and five-axis machining centres, to work to very tight tolerances, often in difficult to machine materials.
After being introduced to the system by a fellow subcontractor at MACH and following a subsequent onsite demonstration, the company initially invested in PSL Datatrack production control software in 2016. This replaced the manual systems which were being used to control production and record business data. Based on Excel spreadsheets and Word documents, this approach was both time-consuming and difficult to manage efficiently. The company realised that a slicker, more professional method of production control and administration was required for the business, to manage everything from product prototyping to batch production.
The investment gave Jota control of its customer quotations, sales and purchase order processing, workshop scheduling, Shop Floor Data Collection (SFDC), deliveries and invoicing procedures. It provided close management of all of these aspects of the business, obviating the need for keeping paperwork or customer archives. It gives Jota highly accurate information about its business and machining capacity so that it can keep its commitment to customers in terms of product quality, traceability and delivery punctuality. Not only that, but quotation times were slashed by up to 40%.
Director, Ryan Goodger, says: “PSL Datatrack sits behind our precision engineering business. Everything stems from a customer quotation and when an order is then received, the information is transformed into a works order from which all the subsequent production operations are evolved before delivery and invoicing is then taken care of.”
The next stage for Jota was to be able to see the status of all work passing through the shop floor in real time. This led to investment in Status Boards which has become a key element of the PSL Datatrack system for so many customers because of their versatility. Putting Status Boards on display throughout the factory and in the management offices at Jota has ensured that clear visual instructions are available to all departments on any aspect of production, giving even more control over manufacturing processes and achieving Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
For Ryan, however, that was just one of the benefits of the multiple Status Boards that were acquired. “I also love the fact that what is displayed on the screens is the result of the customisation that PSL Datatrack undertook to meet our specific requirements and ideas.”
The result of the discussion between Jota and PSL Datatrack was a “traffic light” system for the Status Boards on the shop floor that can be clearly read and easily understood by all operatives, allowing them to identify any possible bottlenecks in production and rectify these. The screens show the sequence of jobs that are going through the factory at any time and those that are planned for the following day. A green light indicates when a specific machine is going into production mode and an amber light shows that a machine has been set, ready to go into production. The red light highlights that it is yet to be set for production.
Meanwhile, four Status Boards in the management offices are used for production planning. They use information stored in various PSL Datatrack modules to display critical information on machine capacities or free hours, alert management as to which jobs may be falling behind schedule, to highlight jobs going out of the door and to show materials coming in or overdue from suppliers. “This real time information allows us to make important decisions on moving production around, to keep customers fully informed and to monitor or chase suppliers' deliveries if late,” says Ryan.
The benefits to Jota from investment in the Status Boards have been immense, ensuring any urgent actions for either the shop floor or company management are not missed. As information is dynamically kept up-to-date, any instructions relating to specific customer jobs can be immediately generated. “Status Boards display the information that we want to know and have been customised by PSL Datatrack to suit our needs. Our relationship with Geoff Gartland and his team is enabling Jota Advanced Engineering to go from strength to strength,” concludes Ryan.