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Manufacturers ask a lot of their plant floor operators. Key among their tasks is data collection. However, data collection can be arduous, even distracting at times from operators’ other responsibilities.

This year presents a perfect opportunity to re-examine your data collection processes and ensure they are keeping pace with other manufacturers that are accelerating digitization efforts.

Content provide by InfinityQS

Consider adding fully automated data collection to your manufacturing. When implemented with the right quality management solution, your plant floor operators will gain powerful benefits from this type of data collection.


What is fully automated data collection?

Fully automated data collection is when data is automatically collected without prompting or any manual action. Measurement devices or machines gather data that isn’t manipulated or interpreted by an operator.

Manufacturers typically leverage fully automated data collection to collect important information about their machines, including things like monitoring speed and operating temperatures.


What are the two types of fully automated data collection?

You can feed data automatically to your implemented InfinityQS quality management solution through two important tools we offer:

  • Data Management System (DMS)
  • Data Collection Service (DCS)

DMS

DMS “harvests” data from various sources. It interfaces with your equipment so that it can receive data values from:

  • Databases (Enterprise Resource Planning, Manufacturing Execution System, Coordinate Measuring Machine)
  • Checkweighers
  • Text files
  • Object Linking and Embedding for Process Control (OPC) servers

DCS

Once DMS collects information from your equipment, DCS then combines or standardizes it for use in your quality solution.

By utilizing both DMS and DCS in your quality management solution, you can marry separate and disparate data. Quality management solutions like Enact® by InfinityQS® offer advanced dashboards, which can display that data in a useful, easy-to-understand way.

In Enact, your fully automated data can be viewed and analyzed the same way as your manual and semi-automated data.

QTY 0122 IC InfinityQS Topic 1 Dashboard showing data collection notifications

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Why is fully automated data collection important?

Fully automated data collection is an important part of quality management because it’s constantly collecting data without the need for manual intervention.

Reduces or eliminates human errors

When an operator enters data in the system, they can accidentally hit a “6” instead of “7.” But fully automated data collection removes the operator from the equation entirely, ensuring information is accurately recorded. Freeing your operators from manually entering data lets them focus on other tasks they need to keep an eye on.

Monitors for nonconformance

Imagine for a second that you’re a cookie manufacturer. Your goal is to produce cookies with the same taste, crunchiness, and chewiness in every batch. To do so, you need to maintain consistency across your equipment and processes.

With a system that utilizes DMS and DCS, you can automatically measure important conditions like oven temperature and moisture levels.

When you connect other software like your Enterprise Resource Planning or Manufacturing Execution System, your quality control becomes even more powerful.

If at any point a process falls out of specification, your quality system can trigger a notification to alert the appropriate users to the issue. From there, they can address the issue before it grows into something bigger—such as product being held due to nonconformance, or even worse, a costly product recall.

Supports process improvement

Let’s say your processes remain in spec. Great. Now you can study your collected data looking for trends that will improve product consistency and discover opportunities to become more efficient and lower your costs.

For example, what if you could put one less cookie in every bag and still give your customers a full bag? In high-speed manufacturing those cookies add up to an extra bag very quickly, those bags become an extra pallet and each pallet brings in more money.

Improvements in your products, processes, and operations benefit your customers and company.


Find the right quality solution for fully automated data collection

Now that you’ve seen how fully automated data collection can simplify your manufacturing operations and cut down on data entry errors, you must choose a quality solution that can handle it.

What should you look for?

A system with unified, centralized data handling engines will ensure that all data that comes into the repository is seen and treated as the same.

Enact is one quality solution that handles all data the same way. That makes timed data collections easy and enables you to set criteria, so you’re notified of any statistical or specification-limit violations.

QTY 0122 InfinityQS Infocenter Topic 1 Enact System Diagram

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How plant floor operators benefit

Fully automated data collection makes plant floor operators lives better by:

  • Saving time spent collecting data
  • Reducing manual data entry errors
  • Connecting disparate systems and delivering information in real time
  • Supplying more data to fuel continuous improvement initiatives

And isn’t making your operators’ lives easier what it’s all about? Enable them to focus on what really matters: improving quality, reducing defects, and finding ways to become more efficient.


Visit the InfinityQS website to learn how Enact by InfinityQS can support your plant floor operators and improve product quality and efficiency at your company.