Elevating Manufacturing Excellence: The Power of Business Intelligence (BI) Dashboards

Elevating Manufacturing Excellence: The Power of Business Intelligence (BI) Dashboards

In the fast-paced world of manufacturing, especially in the aluminum can making industry, one vital question reigns supreme: “How is your plant performing?” However, for many enterprises, this question remains obscured, casting doubt over operations. Timeliness is paramount in manufacturing, and the absence of immediate insights can lead to costly delays and uninformed decisions.

Enter Business Intelligence (BI), our hero in this tale. Armed with powerful tools like dashboards and interactive data visuals, BI illuminates the path forward, providing manufacturers with the clarity they seek. These tools aren’t just accessories; they are the compass guiding businesses toward excellence. Join us as we journey through the realm of manufacturing intelligence, where data transforms into actionable strategies, replacing uncertainty with the confidence to answer the pivotal question: “How is your plant performing?”

Unlocking BI Insights: Navigating Dashboards vs. Interactive Data Visuals

In this two-part exploration, we’ll dive into the world of dashboards and interactive data visuals, uncovering their unique roles in providing critical insights for informed, data-driven decision-making.

Dashboards: A Snapshot of Performance

  • Dashboards serve as real-time snapshots, displaying the current status of machinery and production lines.
  • These visual representations consolidate essential data, including key performance indicators (KPIs) and other pertinent information, offering a comprehensive overview.

Interactive Data Visuals: A Dive into the Data

  • Interactive data visuals, on the other hand, enable users to delve deep into data by adjusting parameters and applying filters.
  • These tools provide dynamic visual representations that facilitate direct exploration and analysis of data, empowering users to extract valuable insights.

Both dashboards and interactive data visuals are pivotal in the manufacturing industry, offering versatile solutions to meet the diverse needs of operators, managers, and executives. Let’s uncover their applications and explore how they drive efficiency and informed decision-making in manufacturing processes.

Additionally, below, you’ll find showcased example dashboards that demonstrate the operations of a can manufacturing facility, all powered by Acumence—a comprehensive business intelligence monitoring software solution.


The Role of Dashboards

A manufacturing dashboard is crucial for monitoring and managing various aspects of production processes.

A manufacturing dashboard is a real-time, visual representation of a manufacturing process (production facility, line, or machine). They combine data cards, graphs, tables, and other visualization techniques to make production KPIs easy to understand.

Values are pushed in real-time across the network from the Plant Server, eliminating the latencies and excess bandwidth that plague client-side pull communications.

A well-designed manufacturing dashboard should possess several key qualities to be effective:

  • Clarity and Simplicity: A good dashboard should present information clearly and easily understandable. Complex data should be distilled into meaningful visualizations, such as graphs, charts, and KPIs, allowing users to quickly grasp the current state of production without confusion.
  • Relevance:  The dashboard should focus on the industry’s most relevant and critical metrics. Metrics like production rates, quality control, downtime, and resource utilization should be highlighted.
  • Real-time Data:  An effective dashboard should provide real-time or near-real-time data to quickly respond to any issues arising during the production process. This is especially important in industries where delays impact the final product’s quality.
  • Customizability:  Different users within the manufacturing process might have distinct needs. A good dashboard is customized to display the metrics most pertinent to their role.
  • Interactivity:  Interactivity enhances user engagement and understanding. Users should be able to interact with the dashboard, drill down into specific data points, and even set alerts for abnormal conditions.
  • Mobile Compatibility: Access to critical data on the go is essential in today’s fast-paced manufacturing environment. A responsive design that works well on various devices ensures that users can monitor production even when not at their desks.  (Remote Visibility into Your Manufacturing Plant)
  • Predictive Analytics:  Advanced manufacturing dashboards can incorporate predictive analytics to anticipate potential issues, such as equipment breakdowns or supply shortages, enabling proactive interventions.
  • Data Integration:  The dashboard should pull data from various sources within the manufacturing process, including sensors, machinery, inventory systems, and more, to provide a comprehensive overview. (Where Should Sensors Be Located On Your Tow Piece Can Making Line?)
  • Comparative Analysis: Enabling users to compare current data against historical data or benchmarks can help identify trends and areas for improvement.
  • Security: Given the sensitive nature of production data, security measures should be in place to ensure that only authorized personnel can access the dashboard.

Example Dashboards

A plant can have many different dashboards throughout the facility. Each dashboard has a purpose and audience in mind.

Plant Overview Dashboard

The Plant Overview dashboard gives managers and users quick access to up to the second information on production and plant events across the entire plant.

This custom-built dashboard for the can making industry contains real-time data and animations, allowing managers on all levels to view an overview of the plant layout, machine details and visualizations, line status, and plant performance metrics.

Machine Dashboard

From the Overview Dashboard, machine operators can click on a machine to dig into that machine’s data from the Machine Dashboard.

From here, they can see more KPIs for the machine and see specific downtime values and reasons.


The Role of Interactive Data Visuals (IDV)

There are many options to get interactive data visuals (IDVs), including Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Zoho Analytics, Data Wrapper, Google Charts, FunsionCharts, Sisense, QlikView, and many others.  Many, if not all, of these allow users to create interactive visualizations and reports.

Interactive data visuals are powerful, interactive business intelligence and data visualization tools that can benefit the manufacturing industry. They allow manufacturers to gather, analyze, and visualize data from various sources to make informed decisions and optimize operations. Data can be input to IDVs directly from machines, databases, Data Warehouses, and Data Marts, or many other types of files.

Here are some ways IDVs can be used in manufacturing:

  • Data Integration: IDVs can connect to various data sources commonly used in manufacturing, such as databases, spreadsheets, and cloud services. It allows manufacturers to gather data from production lines, equipment sensors, supply chain systems, and more. (Where Should Sensors Be Located On Your Tow Piece Can Making Line?)
  • Real-time Monitoring: Real-time monitoring of production processes and equipment performance is crucial in many industries. IDVs can visualize data from sensors and machinery, providing real-time insights into production status, efficiency, and potential issues.
  • Quality Control:  IDVs can help manufacturers track quality metrics, identify defects, and analyze patterns of product defects. Manufacturers can quickly identify trends and take corrective actions by visualizing quality data.
  • Supply Chain Management:  Manufacturers can use IDVs to analyze supply chain data, monitor inventory levels, and track the movement of raw materials and finished products. This helps optimize procurement, reduce waste, and ensure timely deliveries.
  • Predictive Maintenance:  For equipment-intensive industries like manufacturing, predictive maintenance is crucial to avoid costly downtime. IDVs can integrate with predictive analytics models to identify patterns that indicate when equipment might fail, allowing maintenance teams to intervene before a breakdown occurs. (example ToolCONTROL)
  • Energy Management:  IVDs can help manufacturers monitor and analyze energy consumption across production processes. This enables them to identify energy-saving opportunities and optimize energy usage.
  • Performance Metrics:  Manufacturers can create custom dashboards in IDVs to visualize key performance indicators (KPIs) such as production rates, downtime, scrap rates, and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). This facilitates data-driven decision-making.
  • Regulatory Compliance:  Most industries are subject to various regulations and standards. IDVs can be used to track and report on compliance metrics, ensuring that manufacturing processes adhere to industry regulations.
  • Sales and Demand Analysis:  IDVs can help manufacturers analyze sales trends, customer demand, and market insights. This information can guide production planning and inventory management.
  • Continuous Improvement: Manufacturers can use IDVs to drive continuous improvement initiatives by analyzing historical data and identifying trends. This involves identifying areas of inefficiency and implementing process changes to enhance productivity.

Example Power BI Charts

Charts in Power BI present information in the form of graphs, diagrams, or tables. Each chart has a purpose and audience in mind.

The charts below show how Power BI can be used in the can making industry. These are examples of Performance Metrics and Quality Control.

Daily Downtime

The power of a daily downtime Power BI chart lies in its ability to provide valuable insights into a manufacturing process’s operational efficiency and performance. By visualizing daily downtime data, you can effectively track and analyze the periods when production stops or slows down. This is crucial for identifying trends, patterns, and potential productivity issues.

Downtime Analysis

Downtime analysis involves tracking and analyzing the periods during which production processes are halted or slowed. Downtime analysis is a powerful tool for metal manufacturing when looking at efficiency enhancement, cost saving, resource allocation, continuous improvement, predictive maintenance, real-time monitoring, data-driven decision-making, and customer satisfaction.

Business Intelligence: Illuminating Industries Beyond Manufacturing

Business Intelligence (BI) isn’t confined to the manufacturing realm alone. It’s a powerful tool with applications that span across diverse industries. To illustrate its versatility, we’re shedding light on an intriguing case study by Flexware Innovation that ventures beyond can manufacturing. Discover how ‘Langham Logistics’ Journey Toward Business Intelligence’ unveils the transformative potential of BI across the dynamic landscape of logistics.


Unleashing the Potential of Acumence: Business Intelligence in Manufacturing

The example charts above show glimpses of Acumence’s capability, powered by Power BI’s interactive data visualization capabilities.

Tailored meticulously for the can manufacturing industry, Acumence seamlessly integrates dashboards and the data harvested from your machinery to deliver easily digestible Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and vivid graphics. Click here to dig deeper into how Acumence can elevate your operations and explore its capabilities.