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Non Conformance Reports for Manufacturing

Non Conformance Reports for Manufacturing

Non Conformance Reports for Manufacturing

Hey, it’s Martin from Metis Automation here.  I’m going to talk about non conformance reports in the manufacturing processes.  And the NCR or the non conformance report. More importantly, I am going to show you how Tascus can help and improve this process.

The Current Situation

The reason this occurs is when you are going through the manufacturing process, you do an inspection or a check on what you’re creating.  You may not be doing a specific test or a failure test.  You may, however, find something about the product that means it does not conform to the correct standards that it should.

So it may be things like a visual imperfection such as a scratch or rust.  Or another fault that means it doesn’t meet the specification.  But it is something that you know you cannot pass on to the customer.

How Non Conformance Reports and Currently Documented

So what do you do in that situation? Usually you would create a non conformance report.  The non conformance processes and documentation has been around for a long time.  The documentation has either been paper based, database based or an Excel based system.

How Tascus Can Help Non Conformance in Manufacturing

What I’m going to do today is show you what tools we’ve included into the Tascus manufacturing execution system to let you handle the non conformance report process within Tascus.

Watch the video below to show you further how Tascus can help and improve the non conformance reports within manufacturing.  Even more, I show you how simple this process is to set up. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

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Measuring Manufacturing Downtime

Measuring Manufacturing Downtime

Hi, Martin here from Metis Automation. In my video, I am going to talk about how to configure our Manufacturing Execution System – Tascus.  You can use this fantastic tool to capture and record some of the downtime that you might experience in your manufacturing process. Most importantly Tascus will help you avoid downtime.

Maximise Your Manufacturing Productivity

As we all know, it is key and extremely important to capture the reasons for downtime and measure manufacturing downtime effectively.   It is also crucial to record the periods of time that are consumed with downtime.  These records will enable you to make continuous improvements towards optimising your manufacturing productivity.

Avoid Parts Shortage and Avoid Waiting Time in the Manufacturing Process

Parts shortages can lead to your employees unable to continue their work. Additionally parts shortages may lead to unexpected breakdowns on machinery. The first thing to do, before you can resolve those problems is categorise them.  If you can figure out what they are with 80 / 20 analysis.  Ideally use the Pareto principle to split out the problems which are causing the most impact and causing the most disruption.  Then systematically go through and resolve the issues one by one. By doing this, you’ll end up with a more productive process.

How Tascus Can Help You

So bearing that in mind, in Tascus, we’ve added some tools to enable the capturing of that downtime and make it easier to resolve.  

Watch the video below to see how Tascus can help you.  We use a simple traffic light system, green for fully functional,  amber means that there is some kind of delay and red means aligned stoppage.

Tooling Traceability for Manufacturing Processes

Tooling Traceability for Manufacturing Processes

Tool Traceability

When manual tools are used in the manufacturing process, it is very important for quality standards to record exactly which tool reference number has been used. It is also important to keep that aligned with its calibration records and its service records. If this is recorded you know, as well as all the components that have gone into building of a manufacturing product are correct, that also all of the manual tools used are also the correct tools.

How Metis Can Help You

Historically, most manufacturers use paper or Excel spreadsheets of what tools have been used and whether they’re up to date or not. Alternatively, we’ve added a new feature into the Tascus Manufacturing Execution System to automatically let you scan the tool and attach it to a workstation. With this exciting new feature, you can easily check if it is the right tool that has been used for the process.

So take a look at the video below which explains how to set this process up. When you have watched the video, please let us know if this looks like it will help with your traceability of using tools in the manufacturing process.

It is important to note that we have added this new process in order to make it easy and expandable. This means you do not have to put specific tool names into a production sequence, which would quickly make maintenance of the system difficult. We’ve added it in an easy way and in an expandable way so that you can add tools which can then be used at multiple different workstations across your factory.

Visual Work Instructions for Manufacturing Processes

Visual Work Instructions for Manufacturing Processes

Visual work instructions for a manufacturing process. What are they and why are they useful?

Firstly, having things explained in a clear visual way, can speed up the training process, reduce errors and help to standardise processes across a manufacturing company. Secondly, this can lead to improved productivity, efficiency and quality.

Visual work instructions mean taking photographs and videos of how the ideal manufacturing process should be performed. The aim is to make it easier for new hires and the team to replicate that process more closely.

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Having one video or image makes it clearer for people than having text instructions explaining how something should be done. In the past, generating those instructions would have meant taking pictures, printing them out on paper and putting them into a folder or on a work cell somewhere. However, these days using tablets and screens across the factory creates a great solution for digital visual work instructions. An operator can just scan a barcode, it presents it to them and walks them through the process.

This video covers the principles of visual work instructions and the easiest ways to get them used across your business. So, watch the video to see how this works with the key features in our Tascus manufacturing execution system.

Creating Digital Manufacturing Travellers

Creating Digital Manufacturing Travellers

Creating Digital Manufacturing Travellers

Digital manufacturing travellers in a manufacturing process are required for traceability purposes. It’s where you record every stage and every operation in the manufacturing process that’s been completed. You capture key information like quality inspections, measurements, batch numbers or serial numbers of components that have been used as part of the process. Also, things like key process information, such as, if it’s been cured in an oven, for how long, at what temperature and by who.

Collecting all this information can be quite a big task in a manufacturing process. Traditionally it was done on paper. So every order that went through a factory had a job pack in there. It had the manufacturing traveller, and operators would just initial it and write what they’ve done as it progresses through the manufacturing process.

These days you can create digital manufacturing travellers. It means your business is moving towards going paperless. It can lead to fewer mistakes and it means that any issues are identified earlier. For example, If there’s a measurement that’s out of range. There’s no need to write it down and wait until the error is picked up at the end of the process. It can be electronically, entered as soon as it happens. People can be notified about it and corrective action can be taken immediately.

Within Tascus Manufacturing Execution System, digital manufacturing travellers are a key component of that. So, every production sequence that you run, creates a manufacturing Traveller. So let’s take a quick look at how that works in Tascus.

How to Get Started with a Manufacturing Execution System

How to Get Started with a Manufacturing Execution System

How would you get started with implementing a Manufacturing Execution System? There’s quite a lot already happening in manufacturing, and the process itself is complicated enough as it is. But what really affects the bottom line, is how you manage these processes. A MES is the best option for effectively managing your operations with automated data collection, organised digital filing, and accessibility.

It’s only normal to have reservations before implementing a new structure into your business. However, it’s also important to remember the positive extent to which your company will flourish once you have a clear, efficient system. If you can monitor, track, and improve your operations, software solutions are your best bet to regain total control.

Here are five steps to get you started on successfully implementing a manufacturing execution system into your company and make a positive impact on your business.

Step 1 – Apply a Strategy

This is about understanding what impact or what difference you want it to make to your business.

For example, a company decides they need a MES. They’re at a stage in their growth to potentially expand their manufacturing process. However, they realise if they expand with their existing systems, with people writing on paperwork and scanning in documents etc, that the amount of admin would get completely out of hand. It wouldn’t be sustainable. Putting in an automated, systematic process, could be a key strategy driver for your whole decision making and implementation process.

Other strategies we see, are customers driving people to have a solid quality control and product traceability process. This could be to do with becoming more competitive, adding advantages, cutting lead time, or being more responsive. It could also be about capturing real data to drive continuous and productivity improvements.

What MES system you use, what you do with it and how you track it, will depend on which path you go down. Deciding at management level what the strategy is for the business over the next five to 10 years, will help identify how a mes will help that strategy.

Step 2 – Set Goals

Once you have set your strategy, you need to set some specific goals. These will give you a clear benefit when they’re implemented in your business.

These will probably be driven by the KPIs you’re already using in your business. This may be a productivity-based one like OEE, or a customer one, for example, on-time delivery or lead time.

Setting goals based on your KPIs will also give you a clear cost justification. If you can say that your productivity will increase by 10%, you can calculate the benefit to the business and help justify the time and money expenditure. Additionally, any cost of improvements can be tied into the benefit that it will give in sales, versus the investment you need to make into the system.

Step 3 – Map Out Your Existing Manufacturing Process

Look for opportunities where the mes can slot in to your existing manufacturing process and make a big impact.

What you’re looking for initially is the 20% of activities that cause the most mistakes. What takes the longest amount of time and are there any data entry issues? This can include things such as operators writing up measurements or maintenance checks on pieces of paper and inputting information into Excel spreadsheets. Anything that involves lots of downstream manual work is prime for taking out and being replaced by a MES.

Use the map as a basis to figure out how a mes can slot into your existing process alongside the strategy and goals you’ve set up. See how it can make the biggest impact in terms of guiding and training operators; capturing data; doing quality checks; building a traceable record or scheduleding planning or maintenance tasks.

Step 4 – Establish a Team

Identify a team and the key roles of the people who will be involved in successfully implement the MES.

You need to establish who’s going to lead the project and deliver on the ROI needed for the business. Someone who understands the overall goals and can stay focused on the business outcomes, without getting tied down in the tactical details.

You need people who will be involved in training and getting existing operators on board. It’s going to be quite a big culture change within the business, impacting people at every level and changing their day to day work practices. Therefore, having an effective trainer who understands culture change is important to the success of the project.

You do also need people who understand the technical details. People who can administrate the system, work with the supplier and get it installed and integrated into your business.

Step 5 – Capture the Process

Once you’ve decided how the MES is going to fit into your manufacturing process, you can capture the detail for each manufacturing operation.

You could put a video camera on someone as they go through their shift and how they build a product. Use this to understand the detailed steps. Ideally, what should end up in the MES, is a record and instructions for how to follow your manufacturing process. You need a clear, accurate understanding of the representation of your manufacturing process first, so people can follow it in the future.

Often what happens if you go off existing work instructions and standard operating procedures, is that when you go out into the factory and onto the production line, in reality, people aren’t following those processes to the letter at all.

So go out there, get videos, get photos and get it documented. As a starting point, capture what’s happening in reality and put that information into the mes. Capturing that process detail will ensure you have a stable and consistent process going forward. You can optimise it and improve it further, from there.


To summarise, the five steps to get started with a manufacturing execution system are:

  • Apply a strategy
  • Set some goals
  • Map your existing manufacturing process
  • Create a team with wide-set skills
  • Capture the process detail with videos, pictures and written documents.

Once you’ve completed these tasks, you’ll be well prepared to decide what you need from a MES.

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