Transforming Data into Actionable Insights with Manufacturing Dashboards
Manufacturing businesses today are dealing with an ever-increasing stream of data, thanks to the rise of digital technology and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). From production data to supply chain information, the volume of data available to manufacturers is growing at an unprecedented rate. Effectively utilising this manufacturing data is crucial for gaining insights into the performance of the manufacturing process, allowing stakeholders to make informed decisions that lead to improved performance and profitability. However, with so much data available, it can be challenging to know how to collect, analyse, and use this data effectively. This is where manufacturing dashboards come in, providing a centralised platform for managing and analysing data, and turning it into actionable insights that can help manufacturers optimise their operations and achieve long-term success.
In this article, we explore the concept of manufacturing dashboards, the different types of dashboards, the data sources, and why dashboards are crucial for modern manufacturing businesses.
What are manufacturing dashboards?
Manufacturing dashboards are visual representations of real-time manufacturing data from various sources within the production or manufacturing process. These dashboards serve as a single location where managers and other stakeholders can monitor the performance of multiple operations and make informed decisions based on this data. Designed to be user-friendly, manufacturing dashboards utilise graphs, charts and other visual aids to facilitate quick interpretation of data. There are four main categories of manufacturing dashboards that play a vital role within the manufacturing industry:
- Operational Dashboards
- Performance Dashboards
- Quality Management Dashboards
- Financial Dashboards
Each category consists of various detailed sub-dashboards that, when combined, provide a comprehensive overview of the manufacturing process, allowing for effective decision-making based on IIoT and manufacturing data insights.
Operational dashboards are designed to provide a real-time view of the production process, enabling stakeholders to monitor the performance of various operations and make informed decisions based on this manufacturing data. These dashboards primarily focus on the production process and provide detailed information about machine status, production volume, and other key operational metrics.
The data is captured using sensors, software applications, and other monitoring tools that are integrated with manufacturing equipment and systems. For example, sensors can track machine speed, temperature, and other operating parameters, while software applications can be used to monitor and track production volume and quality metrics. This data is then transmitted to a central dashboard where it is displayed in real-time.
The captured data is driven by various technologies. At the core, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) provide real-time manufacturing data on the manufacturing process, including information on production scheduling, quality control, and inventory management. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems monitor and control the manufacturing process and can capture data related to machine status, production volume, and other operational metrics. Additionally, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are used to control and monitor manufacturing equipment, capturing data related to machine status and operating parameters. Lastly, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices connect to the manufacturing equipment and capture real-time data on machine status, production volume, and other operational metrics.
Different types of operational dashboards
- Machine Status Dashboard:
The machine status dashboard is an operational dashboard that provides real-time information about the status of each machine on the production line. It displays information on whether the machine is running, idle, or experiencing issues. It may also include information about the number of units produced by each machine, downtime, and maintenance schedules.
- Production Volume Dashboard:
The production volume dashboard is another dashboard that delivers real-time information about the volume of units produced on the production line over a specific period. It displays data such as units produced per hour, per shift, or per day, as well as information about scrap rates and production efficiency.
- Downtime Dashboard:
The downtime dashboard shows data related to downtime events on the production line. It provides information about the causes of downtime, the duration of each downtime event, and the impact of downtime on production volumes.
- Inventory Dashboard:
The inventory dashboard is an operational dashboard that offers real-time information about inventory levels. It displays data on raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods inventory, as well as information about inventory turns, days of inventory, and stockouts.
- Quality Control Dashboard:
The quality control dashboard is a dashboard that provides information about product quality. It displays data on the number and type of defects identified during production, as well as information on rework rates, scrap rates, and overall yield.
- Energy Consumption Dashboard:
The energy consumption dashboard presents data related to the energy consumption of the production line. It provides real-time information on energy usage by each machine and can help managers identify areas for energy savings.
- Maintenance Dashboard:
The maintenance dashboard provides real-time information about the maintenance status of the production equipment. It displays data on maintenance schedules, repair history, and ongoing maintenance activities, and can help managers optimize maintenance schedules to reduce downtime and improve equipment performance.
Performance dashboards are designed to provide a high-level overview of the performance of the manufacturing process, tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) that are critical to the success of the operation. These manufacturing dashboards typically include data related to production efficiency, cost control, and customer satisfaction, and provide insight into the overall health of the manufacturing operation.
Performance dashboards are important for several reasons. First, they enable stakeholders to track progress towards key goals and identify areas where performance can be improved using manufacturing data. Second, they provide a comprehensive view of the manufacturing process, helping to identify and address issues that may not be apparent from individual operational dashboards. Finally, performance dashboards help to align the goals of the manufacturing operation with the goals of the overall business, ensuring that the manufacturing process is contributing to the success of the organisation.
The key examples of performance dashboards
- Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Dashboard:
The OEE dashboard is a performance dashboard that measures the effectiveness of the manufacturing equipment. It tracks three key metrics: availability, performance, and quality. The OEE dashboard provides a comprehensive view of the equipment’s uptime, throughput, and quality of output, utilising manufacturing data to help managers identify areas for improvement in equipment performance.
- Supply Chain Dashboard:
The supply chain dashboard is a dashboard that monitors the performance of the supply chain, from raw materials sourcing to finished goods delivery. It provides data on key metrics such as lead times, inventory levels, and supplier performance, helping managers to optimise the supply chain and reduce costs.
- Financial Dashboard:
Diving into this in more detail later, financial dashboards track financial metrics related to the manufacturing process, such as revenue, expenses, and profitability. It provides a comprehensive view of the financial performance of the manufacturing operation, utilising the manufacturing data to assist stakeholders in identifying areas where costs can be reduced, and profitability can be improved.
- Customer Satisfaction Dashboard:
The customer satisfaction dashboard is a performance dashboard that tracks customer satisfaction metrics such as customer complaints, returns, and overall satisfaction rates. It provides a comprehensive view of customer satisfaction, helping customer satisfaction managers to identify areas for improvement in product quality and customer service.
Quality Management Dashboards
Quality or quality management dashboards provide real-time information about the quality of the products being produced in the manufacturing process. These dashboards typically include data related to product defects, rework rates, scrap rates, and overall yield, and provide insight into the health of the quality control process.
Quality dashboards play a crucial role in quality management software solutions, which are designed to manage and improve the quality of products and services. Quality management software provides a centralised platform for managing quality-related tasks, including quality planning, quality control, and quality improvement. Quality dashboards are a key component of these software solutions, providing real-time information about the quality of the products being produced and helping managers to identify areas for improvement using manufacturing data.
Managers can monitor product quality in real-time, identifying issues as they arise and taking corrective action to improve product quality. Furthermore, they help to identify trends in product quality, allowing managers to identify root causes of defects and take preventive measures to reduce their occurrence. Quality management dashboards can also help to improve customer satisfaction, ensuring that products meet the quality standards expected by customers.
Different types of quality management dashboards
- Defect Analysis Dashboard:
The defect analysis dashboard provides real-time information about the types and frequency of defects identified during production. It can display data on defect rates, root causes of defects, and corrective actions taken to address defects. This dashboard can help managers identify areas for improvement in the quality control process, reducing the incidence of defects and improving product quality.
- Rework Rate Dashboard:
The rework rate dashboard provides real-time information about the number of units that require rework during production. It can display data on rework rates by product, by shift, or by production line, and can help managers identify areas where rework rates are high and take corrective action to reduce them.
- Scrap Rate Dashboard:
The scrap rate dashboard delivers real-time information about the number of units that are scrapped during production. It can display data on scrap rates by product, by shift, or by production line, and can help managers identify areas where scrap rates are high and take corrective action to reduce them using the intended manufacturing data.
- Overall Yield Dashboard:
The overall yield dashboard offers information about the overall yield of the manufacturing process. It can display data on the number of units produced versus the number of units that meet quality standards, as well as data on the impact of defects and rework on overall yield. This dashboard can help managers track overall performance of the quality control process and identify areas for improvement.
Last but not least, having insights in the financial situation is an important aspect of a manufacturing business. Within manufacturing, financial dashboards are designed to provide information about the financial performance of the manufacturing operation. These manufacturing dashboards typically include data related to revenue, expenses, profitability, and other financial metrics, and provide insight into the overall financial health of the manufacturing operation.
Financial dashboards are key within manufacturing as they provide a comprehensive view of the financial performance of manufacturing operations, allowing financial managers to track progress towards financial goals and identify areas where costs can be reduced, and profitability can be improved. Furthermore, these dashboards can help to identify areas for investment and growth, ensuring that the manufacturing operation is maximising its potential.
Valuable financial dashboards
- Revenue Dashboard:
The revenue dashboard provides information about the revenue generated by the manufacturing operation. It can display data on revenue by product, by customer, or by sales channel, and can help financial managers identify areas where revenue growth can be maximized.
- Cost Dashboard:
The cost dashboard visualises real-time information about the costs associated with the manufacturing operation. It can display data on costs by product, by production line, or by department, and can help identifying areas where costs can be reduced.
- Profitability Dashboard:
The profitability dashboard shows real-time information on the profitability of the manufacturing operation. Here it basically combines the revenue and cost dashboard by displaying data on profitability by product, by production line, or by department, and can help financial managers identify areas where profitability can be improved.
- Cash Flow Dashboard:
The cash flow dashboard provides insights in the cash flow of the manufacturing operation. It can display data on cash inflows and outflows, as well as information on accounts receivable, accounts payable and inventory levels.
Why manufacturing dashboards are a need for manufacturers
In today’s industry, with an ever-growing stream of manufacturing data available, it is essential to use this data effectively and to its fullest potential. Manufacturing dashboards are a crucial tool for manufacturers in this regard, as they capture all available data and transform it into visible, easy-to-grasp insights. They enable manufacturing managers to monitor performance metrics, identify trends, and take action to optimise production and improve efficiency. With the increasing amount of data available, the right dashboards can help turn this manufacturing data into actionable insights, improving decision-making and enabling managers to make informed decisions that lead to improved performance and profitability.
Manufacturing dashboards are essential because they provide real-time visibility into production performance. Managers can track key performance indicators such as production volume, scrap rates, and machine uptime, allowing them to identify issues as they arise and take corrective action to optimize production and improve efficiency. These dashboards also enable data-driven decision-making, as they leverage the increasing amount of data within manufacturing businesses to provide actionable insights into production performance. By using data to inform decision-making, managers can make informed decisions that lead to improved performance and profitability.
Furthermore, manufacturing dashboards can help improve efficiency. They provide insights into the performance of individual machines and equipment, which enables managers to optimize production schedules and reduce downtime. By improving the efficiency of the production process, manufacturers can reduce costs and improve profitability. Additionally, manufacturing dashboards can increase quality control by providing real-time information about product quality. This enables managers to identify issues as they arise and take corrective action to improve product quality. By improving quality control, manufacturers can reduce the incidence of defects and rework, leading to increased customer satisfaction and improved profitability.
Getting started with manufacturing dashboards
To get started with implementing and using manufacturing dashboards, it is essential to first identify the key performance metrics that need to be tracked and the manufacturing data sources that are required to generate these metrics. Once this is done, manufacturers need to ensure they have the right manufacturing solutions in place that provide dashboard functionalities. This might involve implementing new software systems or integrating existing systems to ensure that the required manufacturing data can be captured and transformed into comprehensive insights.
Not all manufacturing software solutions provide dashboard functionalities. Therefore, it is important to carefully evaluate options and select solutions that can provide the required capabilities. They should also ensure that their solutions can integrate with other systems and provide real-time data updates, as this is essential for the successful implementation of manufacturing dashboards.
After implementing manufacturing dashboards, manufacturers should continuously monitor their performance and adjust as necessary. This may involve adding new metrics or adjusting the visualisation of existing metrics to better align with business goals and objectives. By continuously improving the use of manufacturing dashboards, manufacturing businesses can continue to optimise their operations and achieve greater performance and profitability.