To truly compete in the marketplace today, organizations need to carefully manage their manufacturing operations and the physical assets necessary for manufacture. This is especially important in industries which rely on diverse networks of production tools that reside in many locations. Further complicated by the fact that, in many cases, the stakeholders managing these tools aren’t typically the owners, a new level of risk is added to effective tool management. Therefore, it’s critical for firms to implement tool asset management methods that are accurate, flexible, and scalable.
One such method that offers these characteristics is Plan for Every Part (PFEP). PFEP allows you to accurately track your tools’ assets across multiple business units in numerous locations, and cloud-based versions give managers the power to update information in real time to any number of stakeholders.
Below, we’ve outlined four key benefits typically realized by companies who leverage the PFEP framework for their tool asset management programs.
4 Benefits of Using PFEP for Tool Asset Management
1. Reduced Management Cost
In any manufacturing operation it’s vital to develop lean processes that reduce cost and eliminate waste. Often this cost reduction effort is heavily focused on the actual production processes rather than the indirect production processes, which are ripe for cost reduction too. Developing a tool management strategy that leverages PFEP is a great way to reduce your total management cost.
By utilizing PFEP, an organization can accurately and seamlessly track critical tool information across multiple business units and make it instantly available to support production management decisions. This not only reduces cost incurred through miscommunications and the subsequent rework, but it also provides real-time tool information that can be used to thoughtfully plan preemptive maintenance or risk mitigation tactics aimed to minimize emergency actions that carry a much heftier price tag.
2. Improved Quality Assurance
While cutting cost is important, it’s irrelevant if quality suffers despite it. So, to help mitigate any quality regression throughout a tool’s life, it’s crucial to accurately track tool production quality KPIs over its lifetime. This is the only way an enterprise can truly understand if a tooling asset is the root cause of an identified quality issue. Furthermore, having one constant record of a tool’s failure incidents and maintenance interventions provides a much deeper understanding of actual tool life versus expected tool life.
3. Reduced Tool Management Risk
As companies grow, so do the complexity of their operations. Therefore, organizations should make use of scalable tracking systems found in web-based PFEP applications that’ll empower them to quickly understand tool location, status, and usage history. Having one version of the truth readily available creates a significant advantage over the risks of misplaced or mismanaged tools, which may become a liability for the tool owner.
This tracking history, or change log, also creates a record of the events in the tool’s life that could be used as a discussion point when performing a root cause analysis and/or determining cost liability allocation. In addition, the ability for tool owners to track tool information and status, and view their KPIs anywhere with an internet connection is a powerful means to control risk.
4. Reduced Production Time
As competition increases and more pressure is put on a company’s margins, it’s important to reduce waste leading towards cost reduction and to develop efficiencies that offer timing advantages for your customers. By accurately and consistently tracking the location, status, and history of your tools in the PFEP framework, setup time may be significantly reduced. On a large scale this would significantly reduce operational costs and grow revenue through increased throughput.
Implementing a PFEP framework – especially one that’s part of a cloud-based software platform – to track tool status and history across multiple manufacturing locations is a great way to capture new operational efficiencies, revealing the four benefits above. PFEP’s accuracy, flexibility, and scalability improve your organization’s collaboration and visibility, which will reduce manufacturing risk and production times for you and your partners both now and in the long term.