Our Philosophy

Automation

A - Automation

Defined as the technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, alleviating people from manual labour while producing consistency in consumer goods.

In today’s demanding and technology driven agile markets, excellence in Process Automation is imperative and foundational to manufacturing businesses striving towards true Manufacturing Intelligence or mQ.

With the continuously increasing need for rapid, reliable plant floor integration and data exchange with higher-level business systems, the old school of locked down, standalone islands of equipment, the I stick to mine and you stick to yours mentality still practiced by many equipment suppliers, is no longer acceptable.

Just like automation for manufacturers is a method to reduce costs, modern technology provides methods and standards that can automate the very automation implementation process itself for systems integrators, which brings great benefit to the end user.

However, the full utilisation of these technologies requires co-operation from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) themselves, which if implemented, can lead to significantly improved results, providing robust, reliable, flexible and repeatable foundations.

Without this foundation any equipment performance monitoring systems such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) provides little benefit and might even add frustration to the business culture. No need for painful reminders of the obvious!

As an end user, you the manufacturer, business owner or decision maker, play a huge and vital role in helping us to lead the change in attitude for a modern and essential Open Source environment, where OEMs supply equipment that has open communication for extraction of key performance metrics, preferably using standard protocols.

If you’re going to want to extract information from the equipment you’re about to purchase, talk to us and we can interview the vendor for you. In the long run, saving a few dollars now by buying closed equipment will cost you a heap more than you save.

We know this because we often have to be the bearer of bad news when a customer asks us to ‘get information’ from a piece of equipment that has no possibility of data collection.

mQ Intelligence provides experience and know-how upon which to build a solid, reliable, maintainable and open automation foundation, which will support your business on its journey toward Manufacturing Excellence.

 

 
Automation
Automation
Performance
Performance

P - Performance

Performance and efficiency monitoring provides accurate information for those manufacturers who wish to be leaders in their field.

Coupled with a strong automation foundation it makes sense to monitor the performance of machines and processes in real time, otherwise any improvement cannot be quantified.

Line performance OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and AU (Asset Utilisation) are examples of essential indicators used to drive continuous improvement.

OEE is calculated with the formula: Availability x Performance x Quality (APQ) and allows manufacturing companies to compare themselves against ‘world’s best practice’ (WBP), across industry sectors. If implemented correctly OEE can be viewed on a single asset basis, on full production lines, on site facilities, and all the way to national and global enterprise levels.

mQ helps identify where best to spend capital for optimal return on investment, with reports that  show real time machine performance, presented as dashboards and Pareto charts of uptime, downtime,  reason codes, micro-stops and OEE.

Asset utilisation (AU) is a calculation of total revenue earned for every dollar of assets a company owns. At its best, all of your assets should be optimised to produce at full capacity and at WBP levels.

Performance and efficiency monitoring provides accurate information for those manufacturers who wish to be leaders in their field. It has been shown to significantly increase the bottom line, especially when the business has to reach for higher and higher hanging fruit and squeeze more out of ageing assets.

For example, we recently improved the throughput of a 25yo depalletiser by 35%, removing it as a bottleneck and thereby extending its life.

We typically see OEE values in the 25-40% range, so considering WBP is around 85% (made up of 90% Availability x 95% Performance x 99.9% Quality), imagine what you could do if you doubled your OEE from 30% to a meagre 60%?

In a recent project we increased a client’s OEE on a single line from 44% to 70% in just 6 weeks, saving them $10k/week!

Technology is advancing at an ever increasing rate allowing for increased levels of data meshing. With energy and resource usage now being points of focus, mQ can provide performance information down to the cost per unit produced, in real time.

Increase in Performance is an essential component of the continuous improvement journey toward Manufacturing Excellence.

Want to improve your performance and sweat some ageing assets? Contact us at mq@mqintelligence.com

 
Performance
Governance

G - Governance

‘Establishment of policies and standards, and continuous monitoring of their proper implementation.’

For a manufacturing business to achieve Excellence, it’s necessary to have good Governance. This means a range of systems in place that ensure things are made to standards.

Businesses use Standard Operating Procedure (or SOPs), for a variety of tasks. SOPs are written to ensure a standard procedure is followed so that the result is repeatable. This leads to compliance and assurance that the output of the process is repeatable and predictable.

Reviewing the result is part of a continuous improvement process so that SOPs can be adjusted to make improvements in the process, for example when there are changes in requirements, such as new products, processes or laws.

One of the key foundations for any manufacturing process governed by an SOP, is to ensure that master data quality is as close to 100% accurate as possible. Some organisations have master data teams whose sole purpose for existence is to ensure accurate master data. If the data is wrong, then the chance of making consistent product that complies with standards is very slim.

mQ uses master data sent to it from ERP systems, such as orders, recipes, work centres, routes, yields etc, to confine the process to the designated path, thereby ensuring compliance and adherence to the defined standards. Deviations from standard are the bane of any operation and can lead to poor quality outcomes, such as product recalls, damage to the brand and even death of customers.

mQ provides a flexible framework that can be configured to alert production personnel when systems are falling outside of guidelines, thereby reducing quality issues and product recalls.

With the addition of AutoCoding inline packaging and label verification to our product suite, another level of governance is now available to manufacturers, especially for food and beverage producers.

In a recent installation, AutoCoding prevented three recalls (due to incorrect packaging) in its first three months of operation. AutoCoding paid for itself in these months, plus added further value via the production data it collected.

We see Governance as an absolute cornerstone to support a culture of Manufacturing Excellence.

If you’re concerned about lack of governance in your manufacturing environment, you can contact us at mq@mqintelligence.com

 
Governance
Governance
Visibility
Visibility

V - Visibility

Visibility into the manufacturing process provides insight into the production supply chain, which affects the ability to track and trace, as well as record its genealogy.

Our experience has shown that a large majority of manufacturing businesses are driving blind.

To use a metaphor, it’s a bit like driving a car with the windows blacked out, no dashboard, the view in the rear view mirror where you were a month ago, and the boss in the passenger seat asking, “Are we there yet … are we there yet ..”

H. James Harrington is an author and expert on process improvement and he explains it simply:

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”

The first step to being able to measure is to actually be able to see it! We come across many manufacturing businesses where simple yet fundamental measurements, like unplanned downtime, are not measured at all. Or if they are by using a paper-based system and spreadsheets, the business knows the collected data is not accurate.

To us, Visibility means being able to see the information, when and where it’s needed, contextualised for the specific audience, and in as near to real-time as possible.

Visibility into the manufacturing process provides insight into the production supply chain, which affects the ability to track and trace, as well as record its genealogy.

Inaccurate views of production lead to inventory errors at both ends of the chain: raw materials and finished goods. Any MRP process running on incorrect stock levels creates orders for products that are out of sync with what customers need.

The business chases its tail …

This leads to either stock-outs (poor customer experience) or over-stock, which unnecessarily ties up working capital.

mQ provides visibility into the very workings of your processes so that at any time, you can see what’s happening where, and by whom.

Accurate data means accurate control, which leads to accurate analysis, which is fundamental to supporting a culture of continuous improvement, leading to Manufacturing Excellence.

To benefit from our decades of experience providing real-time information to those that need it, you can contact us via mq@mqintelligence.com

 
Visibility
Integration

I - Integration

An integrated business can adapt to ever changing forces of variability, respond to changing customer demand and better handle input variability from suppliers.

With the existence and explosion of today’s data-driven world and the ever-expanding portfolio of connected devices, people and systems, there comes a growing appetite for integration.

There is a desire to access, view and interrogate data more than ever before.

We use our phones to check emails, our computers to do banking, our iPad’s to play movies and our watches to record heart-beats.

There is a growing expectation that data is available, accessible, interoperable and that it’s in real-time, trusted and contextualised.

The manufacturing plant of today, striving for manufacturing excellence, requires a high level of integration.

At mQ Intelligence we understand that integration is a key enabler in the journey toward manufacturing excellence and as such it plays a key role at the heart of our mQ philosophy.

Integration encompasses:

  • The exchange of data horizontally between peer systems
  • The exchange of data vertically between application layers
  • The sharing of key data points throughout the manufacturing landscape
  • The seamless connectivity of remote data silos
  • The extraction of valuable equipment and process data.

We have seen empirically that a connected manufacturing business is more likely to achieve excellence.  The traditional ‘silos of data’ (and knowledge, and wisdom, and experience) can be broken down, data-joined, shared and collaborated.

mQ offers the framework for a manufacturing business to move forward using a mantra of “a single version of the truth.”

mQ allows timely data synchronisation, reconciliation and contextualisation.

An integrated business can more rapidly adapt to ever changing forces of variability, respond to changing customer demand and better handle input variability from suppliers.

It simply makes the business more agile.

An integrated business has a solid and structural framework to underpin operational excellence, facilitate and maximise gain from continuous improvement initiatives, and to realise and leverage synergies, expertise and knowledge across the business landscape.

To learn how your business may benefit from our experience of integrating systems across the manufacturing landscape, you can contact us via mq@mqintelligence.com

 
Integration
Integration
Execution
Execution

E - Execution

Execution is the driving force behind maximising capability, reducing waste in process and people, and therefore a catalyst for lowering unit costs.

Let’s hear it for the “E” in MES! (Manufacturing Execution System that is, not Many Excel Spreadsheets!)

Execution is at the heart of all manufacturing businesses.

It’s the driving force behind maximising capability, reducing waste in processes and people, and therefore a catalyst for lowering unit costs.

mQ provides a robust, flexible and intuitive execution platform that enables manufacturing businesses to move forward toward manufacturing excellence.

There are several key aspects to a genuine execution system and at mQ Intelligence we understand that data flows are typically bilateral, feedback loops enhance efficacy of the planning cycle, and interoperability between people and processes accelerate decision making.

The business becomes more agile.

Execution is typically enacted across multiple layers of the business, so it’s important to understand business requirements on a case by case basis.  mQ utilises a role-centric methodology which allows data to be personalised, contextualised and harmonised in a way that makes most sense to the user, for the role, in their area of focus.

Our mQ execution strategy facilitates data exchange between planning systems and the factory floor, allowing operations to be executed in a timely, consistent and believable manner, whilst maintaining a high level of realism, which differs across different businesses, to accommodate changing circumstances.

A defined and balanced execution strategy drives productivity and provides a major feedback loop to enhance manufacturing visibility, in turn providing critical input to maximise inventory accuracy and order fulfilment.

Which leads to happier (and repeat) customers!

At mQ’s core, manufacturing execution is the binding factor between people, plant and processes.

…. How do we make what and where …. ?  What do can we do when things don’t go to plan …. ?

What is the status of that order …. ?  When can I start the next operation …. ?  Will we make the delivery on time …. ?

A well planned and well executed manufacturing process has a much better opportunity to reach maximum potential, and a maximum level of Manufacturing Excellence.

To learn more about how mQ may be able to help your business better align planning with execution, you can contact us via mq@mqintelligence.com

 
Execution

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Looking for more Efficient Operations? Better Visibility? More Informed Decision Making? Contact us TODAY!

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Level 2
520 Bourke St
Melbourne
VIC 3000
Australia


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