Visteon Corp., Utica, MI, is a full-service supplier that delivers consumer-driven technology solutions to automotive manufacturers worldwide and through multiple channels within the global automotive aftermarket. They employ about 70,000, and have a global delivery system of more than 200 technical, manufacturing, sales and service facilities located in 24 countries.
As one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world, Visteon needed a way to obtain real-time information on specific points in the production process such as production monitoring, part reject, part bypass, machine faults, preventative maintenance, and blocked and starved points.
After the costly and unsuccessful installation of various plant monitoring systems, Visteon was wary of products that claimed to accomplish highly detailed benchmarking, but failed to meet their expectations. They were cautious about the purchase of yet another system.
Still, they took another chance with the decision to try the Shoplogix Plantnode system. Visteon Automation Control Engineer, Mike Ceriotti, installed the first two Plantnode units in just one day. No additional hardware such as PCs, dedicated networks, or PCLs was required.
Getting and using shop floor data in real-time
The Plantnode units are used in Visteon's plant floor machines to test the true efficiencies (and inefficiencies) of each machine. Rather than relying on the plant floor operator to report machine changes, production capacity or downtime, the small, cell-phone-sized Plantnode unit, implanted in each machine, tracks "real" utilization times. Now, the plant floor manager literally sees which machines (and operators) are working at target capacity.
Visteon was able to quickly see errors that were slowing down production and resolve them. Ceriotti noted, “Plantnode is by far the easiest, least expensive, and quickest way to monitor the machines production, faults, downtime, preventative maintenance, and blocked and starved points.”
To realize lean manufacturing principles, namely the elimination of waste, the ability to measure real-time shop floor data is essential. Unlike after-shift data guesses made by machine operators and shop floor managers, an intelligent embedded application that integrates with existing production equipment on the plant floor is one of the best methods for achieving accurate machine measurement data.
Manufacturers must have the ability to perform multiple activities such as data capture and measurement, performance analysis, machine alerts and reporting on a machine-by-machine, job-by-job, plant-by-plant, or multi-plant basis. The machine base data is objective and effective in improving Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), predictive and preventive maintenance, and quality initiatives across all industries.
A successful decision
Since that first installation of Plantnode at Visteon in Utica, both the Utica and Sandusky, OH plants continue to utilize the real-time shop floor data. Visteon takes the raw data from the plant floor and translates it into usable information, achieving optimal business decisions made in real-time. The company has connected the plant floor equipment into an overall plant network, allowing managers to access the information from anywhere in the plant.
Access to critical plant floor information makes it possible to react faster and even anticipate both problems and opportunities. Through an increase in production, Visteon experienced a return-on-investment on the Plantnode purchase in the first month.Shoplogix