PRODUCTION DATA ACQUISITION – THE BASICS

Production data acquisition – all the most important information put together for you in a clear and understandable summary:

  • What does PDA/production data acquisition mean? – Definition
  • PDA in the production process
  • What do we understand by production data in the production process?
  • What types of production data are there?
  • What are the tasks and goals of production data acquisition?
  • Why is PDA so important?
  • What are the benefits of automatic production data acquisition?
  • How does automatic PDA work?
  • Automatic production data acquisition using the right software
  • What should companies watch out for when selecting a PDA system?
  • How is a PDA system introduced?

WHAT DOES PDA/PRODUCTION DATA ACQUISITION MEAN? – DEFINITION

When talking of “production data acquisition”, abbreviated to PDA, we mean the acquisition and collection of actual data on the states and processes at a company. For manufacturing companies, in particular, being able to acquire correct, up-to-date production data is crucial to competitiveness because these data supply important information for planning and controlling the production process.

PDA IN THE PRODUCTION PROCESS

For manufacturing companies, production data acquisition is an important step towards digital transformation in the Industry 4.0 era. This is because manufacturing companies are only able to gain a true picture of their production processes if their data basis is correct and reliable. An automatic PDA system is also an essential prerequisite for automating the production planning and control process.

Today, due to the increasing digitization and complexity of the data, many manufacturing companies already rely on intelligent PDA systems that acquire production data automatically, correctly and in real time. This allows them to increase transparency during the production process, recognize optimization potential and exploit this accordingly.

PDA systems, including Böhme & Weihs’ PDA systems, are often components in intelligent Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES systems). An MES system lets you set up a successful, automated production planning and control process – thus going one step further than an Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP system).

WHAT DO WE UNDERSTAND BY PRODUCTION DATA IN THE PRODUCTION PROCESS?

Production data are data that are generated during the course of the production process. This includes data from the machines involved in the manufacturing process as well as employee data. Production data include data on both the states and processes.

WHAT TYPES OF PRODUCTION DATA ARE THERE?

Basically, one distinguishes between organizational production data and technical production data.

Organizational production data

  • Order data serve to monitor the progress of the order. They are important for the further processing of manufactured products. These include: Production data, for example, number, weight and quantities, as well as work progress, the order status and feedback on order-related performance.
  • Personnel data record the presence and absence of employees. In the case of flexible work time models, this enables the remuneration to be exactly calculated. Personnel data include, for example, attendance times, working hours, remuneration costs and access controls.

Technical production data

  • Machine data comprise all the information generated by the machines. These include run times, utilization, downtime, malfunctions and energy consumption, as well as production volumes, yields and reject quantities.
  • Process data describe the factors that influence the manufacturing process and help to stabilize the processes. They include important information on quality characteristics, configuration data and process parameters.

WHAT ARE THE TASKS AND GOALS OF PRODUCTION DATA ACQUISITION?

The main task of production data acquisition (PDA) is to acquire technical and organizational data correctly in order to provide a transparent overview of all the information generated during the production process. PDA is used to record the costs incurred, consumption levels and performance and to relate these to their respective originators, thus providing important feedback for planning and controlling the production process.

The goal of the production data acquisition system is to create a dependable data basis for optimizing the production process.

WHY IS PDA SO IMPORTANT?

The planning, controlling, and monitoring of your production process is dependent on your production data acquisition system in a major way: Only if the ACTUAL data acquired are complete and correct, do companies gain a true picture of their manufacturing processes – providing them with a reliable basis for optimizing their manufacturing activities. In the medium to long term, this leads to lower costs, more efficient processes, higher satisfaction levels amongst your employees, products with higher quality levels – and, consequently, customers who are also more satisfied.

Production data acquisition also plays a fundamental role in implementing the Industry 4.0 concept: Here, the ability to acquire production data digitally provides the basis for achieving an efficient production process. This is due to the fact that both growth and competitiveness require manufacturing companies to advance further along the digital path. Companies that already rely on an automatic production data acquisition system will benefit from an error-free data basis in the long term.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AUTOMATIC PRODUCTION DATA ACQUISITION?

A consistent, automatic production data acquisition system leads to greater efficiency and lower costs in the long term. Companies that acquire their production data in a transparent manner and then go on to optimize their processes remain competitive in the long run.

Short-term benefits:

  • Provision of transparent, reliable overviews of all the production data
  • Malfunction notifications in real time
  • Avoidance of erroneous processes and minimization of risks
  • Optimal utilization of manpower and machines
  • Continuous quality monitoring during the production process
  • Improved cost calculation for each individual order

Long-term benefits:

  • Identification of optimization potential: Comparing target and actual data on an ongoing basis uncovers potential and weaknesses.
  • Satisfied customers: A consistent PDA system allows you to plan your internal processes better, thus providing reliable information on due dates and deadlines. This leads to an increase in customer satisfaction levels in the long term.
  • Improved productivity and competitiveness: Being able to continually optimize your processes based on up-to-date data enables you to utilize resources better, thus increasing productivity. Automatic production data acquisition makes companies responsive and, as a result, competitive.

HOW DOES AUTOMATIC PDA WORK?

To be able to automatically acquire production data, you will need a PDA system.

Technical production data are recorded by a machine data collection (MDC) system that records these data directly from the machines before forwarding them on to the manufacturing execution system (MES) to which it is connected. These data are then processed in the MES system to provide you with transparent information. Intelligent PDA solutions not only serve to make data acquisition simple but also to enable the data to be immediately checked for plausibility.

Organizational production data is usually collected by your employees. For example, project-related time recording is done at a PDA terminal.

AUTOMATIC PRODUCTION DATA ACQUISITION USING THE RIGHT SOFTWARE

With their MESQ-it system, Böhme & Weihs is offering manufacturing companies an intelligent solution for acquiring production data: The software is divided into different functional areas. Alongside correct, up-to-date production data acquisition, it also enables seamless machine data collection and transparent production monitoring.

MESQ-it offers you the following benefits:

  • Self-explanatory software interface, specially designed for machine operators
  • Easy-to-provide feedback via a touchscreen and plausibility checks
  • Optimal overview, including an innovative 3D view which provides a mirror image of your production process

WHAT SHOULD COMPANIES WATCH OUT FOR WHEN SELECTING A PDA SYSTEM?

  • Clarity: Your employees need to be in a position to call up the production data easily and intuitively. A true-to-life picture helps to achieve the best possible overview.
  • Ease of usage: Your employees must be able to easily sign activities on and off, launch and complete orders, as well as record the reasons for malfunctions and report back on partial and total quantities. An intuitive user interface is, therefore, a basic requirement for obtaining good production data acquisition results.
  • Flexibility: A flexible PDA system also supports you in the case of unforeseen production events, for example, through the opportunity to comment on events in arrears or adjust the order sequence accordingly.

HOW IS A PDA SYSTEM INTRODUCED?

When a PDA system is introduced, care should be taken to ensure that communication with the systems already implemented at the company runs smoothly right from day one. Equally important is employee training.

When you introduce such a PDA system, Böhme & Weihs will provide you with reliable and comprehensive support. For example, using MESQ-it eliminates the effort needed to install software on local workstations. In addition, companies benefit from minimal familiarization periods. Thanks to the intuitive user interface, the level of training effort required is also low. In addition, you can achieve data transparency across all departments through the integration scenarios between your ERP and MES systems.

Do you have any questions on production data acquisition or how to reliably acquire production data using an intelligent software solution, such as MESQ-it? Then please feel free to contact us.

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