AM Techniques to Better Track Production Floor Issues

AM Techniques to Better Track Production Floor Issues

Bright AM

Reading Time: 4 minutes

You won’t be successful in manufacturing if you can’t track production floor issues and resolve them effectively. It will impact your quality and your profitability.

The top Additive Manufacturers know this. They also know that:

  1. Production planning and scheduling are crucial to maximizing capacity. It includes qualifying equipment and operator meet production requirements.
  2. Production management provides real-time information to everyone on the production floor. It includes a proactive way to address nonconformances and ensure seamless production.
  3. Quality isn’t relegated to a department. It takes a culture of total commitment by everyone within the organization.

What drives these three key areas? A digital infrastructure is required to improve the overall infrastructure, including the ability to track production floor issues. A manufacturing execution system (MES) and a quality management system (QMS), such as Bluestreak | Bright AM, are essential to manage the production pathway, efficiently plan and schedule equipment and operators, and provide a better layer of quality control.

The Warning Signs of Quality Control Issues in AM

Your reputation and profit margin depend on your ability to provide high-quality products. If you don’t have an efficient system to track production floor issues, it’s difficult to operate at peak efficiency. Check this list of warning signs and see if they match up with what you’re seeing in your operation.

  • Excessive scrap and waste
  • Rework
  • Excessive post-processing
  • High maintenance and support costs
  • Failed audits
  • Missed deadlines and/or budgets
  • Customer complaints

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, you need a better solution to track production floor issues. The items on this list are not the problem; they’re the symptoms. You must diagnose the root cause to correct them, which requires an efficient way to track and fix production floor issues.

Techniques to Track Production Floor Tracking

You need a system that tracks each part at every step in the process and provides real-time information for every operator. Here are a few of the techniques that Additive Manufacturers are using to avoid production floor issues.

  1. Link work orders to production orders. This ensures operators that everyone has the information they need.
  2. Use a paperless workflow. This avoids lost, misplaced, misfiled, or out-of-date paperwork.
  3. Digitize your tooling inventory. This improves your ability to schedule and identify conflicts.
  4. Practice continuous process improvement. Creating an agile manufacturing business involves the ability to continually improve the quality of your operation.

These techniques should also include proactive measures to eliminate problems.

Proactive Production Floor Tracking

The best way to correct production floor problems is to be proactive and prevent them from happening in the first place. Bluestreak | Bright AM has built-in traceability and trackability for every step of the production process.

Bluestreak | Bright AM automatically recognizes conflicts in scheduling, equipment, or operators. It provides real-time recognition of quality issues and helps you define any necessary corrective and preventive actions. This avoids one of Additive Manufacturing’s biggest concerns: building layers on top of nonconformances. This allows products to get through the entire production cycle before the errors are discovered in testing.

Another technique for improving performance on the production floor is to enable better visibility, control, and quality.

Better Visibility, Control, and Quality

Bluestreak | Bright AM provides real-time visibility for each operating step in the production pathway. This gives operators better control of the build plate/platform process. It provides real-time data—from work orders to advanced specifications and CAPAs—and ties the quality control management process, procedures, and data directly to individual operators.

Everyone in the production pathway will always have the latest, accurate information. There are no more missed steps, lost or misplaced paperwork, or out-of-date data. This leads to fewer mistakes and worries when you track production floor issues.

The final technique goes right back to the beginning. Track every step of the build process for end-to-end production pathway monitoring.

Track Every Step of the Build Process

By monitoring all work in progress at every stage, decisions can be made quickly. When problems arise, they can be addressed before they escalate.

Bluestreak | Bright AM gives managers the ability to know exactly what’s happening with every piece of work in progress at any time (and on any internet-connected device). Detailed real-time and historical data associated with a work order are captured for easy retrieval. When problems are uncovered, you can track production floor issues through corrective measures.

Has this ever happened to you? You identify a problem and do your due diligence to uncover the root cause. You create a CAPA to address this situation, only to see the same problem surface again later. In too many manufacturing facilities, data is still being recorded manually or on spreadsheets. It’s easy to forget to attach critical information for operators. With Bluestreak | Bright AM, CAPAs are attached to the work order as a build progresses. Any changes are recorded in real time, and operators won’t be able to progress items until they’ve signed off that they’ve seen and done the necessary changes.

The Benefits of Production Floor Tracking with Bluestreak | Bright AM

Using Bluestreak | Bright AM, you can solve many of the production floor tracking problems that Additive Manufacturers face. It eliminates information silos and puts accurate, up-to-date information into the hands of everyone who touches a part or product.

This includes several benefits that are key to profitability:

  • Improved consistency
  • Reduced scrap, rework
  • Reduced post-processing
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Reduced cost per project
  • Increased profitability

Bluestreak | Bright AM was built exclusively for Additive Manufacturing. It has the built-in tools that Additive Manufacturers need for efficient and profitable performance. It increases quality, which leads to happier customers and more repeat business.

If you’re still wondering how Bluestreak | Bright AM can improve your operation, you should know that with a paperless workflow and automated real-time audit trail, Bluestreak | Bright AM has been shown to cut audit times in half. Let us show you how you can better track production floor issues and improve your quality.

Bluestreak | Bright AM is designed exclusively for the Additive Manufacturing industry. Our best-of-class MES and QMS solutions bring quality control management to new levels. Contact Bluestreak | Bright AM today for a free demo!