2021 has already thrown a large number of challenges at the subcontract precision engineering industry. Combatting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic alongside the demands of Brexit is no easy task but out of chaos comes opportunity! In this article we take a look at some of the changes in manufacturing trends and how our production control software is able to react and respond to ever-changing requirements.
In general, the number of start-ups is increasing with many taking the plunge due to new opportunities and/or changes in personal circumstances, whilst other companies are focussing on constant improvements and investing in high-tech machinery (including robots). In addition, there seems to have been a definite shift towards more UK-based production, possibly as a result of changes following Brexit trading regulations. Unfortunately some businesses are finding material lead times have lengthened which is a juggling act; no business wants to hold too much stock as this could end up losing them money. All of these are good reasons to have a strong system and procedures in place.
Looking specifically at PSL Datatrack customers, the drive towards doing things smarter has been clear. Aside from investing in production control software for better and stronger processes, the primary focus has been on digitalisation and interfacing. We have continued to work on Status Boards for customers (each designed to their exact specification) whilst also taking on exciting projects to link with machine and equipment monitoring software.
Shop Floor Data Collection (SFDC) is becoming increasingly popular as more of our customers look to push on with accurate live data and we are also receiving more Wishlist requests. Each submission is logged and assessed for how it would benefit the customer concerned – and hopefully other users – then we’ll look to instigate the change in a future version. More users are also taking an interest in where their data is stored and of the risks associated with the cloud – with some of their customers requiring information to be stored and secured locally, as is the case with PSL Datatrack.
To make sure we’re keeping up to speed, we are continuing to take part in trade meetings and events for all the latest news and thoughts. As long-term members of the BTMA and GTMA, and more recently of Made in Britain, these sessions are a great way of ensuring that PSL Datatrack remains relevant to all businesses running it.
We have also transitioned to mainly online training and demonstrations/presentations, via Zoom. This is not only a great time saver for customers and ourselves but also benefits the environment thanks to a reduction in travelling. Contact with our clients remains as close as ever and we continue to work side-by-side with them on essential system developments and bespoke training/consultancy sessions.
With efficiency and time saving improvements more important than ever we have continued to develop the Sequential Scheduler module, which is designed to assist in the scheduling of shop floor processes. The latest development helps to increase efficiency by allowing operations that have similar setup requirements to be grouped together – time can then be saved on setups and overall manufacturing efficiency improved.
This progression means that our customers are getting more opportunities and more time to drill into their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). PSL Datatrack’s dashboard screen displays up to 57 statistics, which are supported by detailed system reports, and is becoming their dashboard to success.
It is critical for any production control software provider to be aware of what is happening in the industry and be able to react, so customers continue to get the maximum return on investment (ROI) and ultimately become more profitable. PSL Datatrack always has and always will listen closely to clients and fellow trade members to formulate our own system improvement ideas alongside fantastic Wishlist suggestions from our users. Click here to find out more about our approach.