Leveraging digital data analytics technology for effective centerlining
Leveraging digital data analytics technology for effective centerlining

In today’s manufacturing landscape, accuracy is everything. It’s impossible to remain competitive with inconsistent or unreliable production results, and it’s no secret that the effects of poor production quality can be heavily detrimental to an organization. A single product deviation can cost, on average, anywhere from $25,000 to $55,000 for manufacturers. If product loss occurs, these costs can top $1 million. 

What leads to these severe losses? A lack of visualization into the processes at each facility or plant. Manufacturers face several common challenges that occur internally, including process bottlenecks, unexpected downtime, or inaccurate process parameters—just to name a few. The way to directly combat these problems is to leverage the strategy of centerlining.

What is Centerlining?

Centerlining, also referred to as Open Envelopes, is a methodology popular within lean manufacturing initiatives that can be applied to the manufacturing process to establish and use standardized process settings and parameters to guarantee consistency. 

Essentially, each step or aspect within any manufacturing process can occur at a variable range with upper and lower limits. This enables flexibility to handle any outside influences (equipment wear, regulatory components, etc.) in stride. Centerlining comes into play when each of these subelements within the manufacturing process is specified to the ideal value for optimal production outcomes. 

Breaking down the production process into each step and accurately identifying the exact specifications needed to achieve in each phase can lead today’s manufacturing teams to:

  • Reliable output
  • Elimination of batch or product deviations
  • Minimized waste
  • Faster turnaround time
  • Consistent high-quality production
  • A safer environment
  • An increase in profitability

Centerlining is undoubtedly a tremendously beneficial process to instill, but without the right digital technology in place, can seem like an impossible task. Let’s dive into how you can effectively implement centerlining at your operation.

Leveraging Digital Data Analytics Technology for Effective Centerlining

The key to applying a centerlining or open envelopes strategy to your business workflow is advanced data analytics technology. Without clear access to your operational data in near real-time, it’s incredibly difficult to gain a holistic understanding of your processes, get ahead of any issues, and identify the true cause and effect of each variable.

A solution such as Sightline Systems empowers manufacturing teams with a single location to collect, cleanse, secure, visualize, and analyze all data across an operation—including both historical and time-series information. To improve your centerlining efforts, in particular, the technology gives you the ability to seamlessly achieve the following processes.

  1. Centerline Establishment

By utilizing big data management tools, such as Sightline, your team can quickly test variables to determine where your centerline should be. This is done by first establishing the key variables within the process of focus and then creating acceptable limits for each of them, or measurable ranges that prevent unacceptable product quality as the end result. 

After the limits have been identified, it’s time to test and monitor specific values within these ranges to find the ideal number that leads to not only acceptable product quality, but optimal product quality. In traditional data analysis techniques, manual recording is used to try to contextualize and relate outcomes to specific variable limits, but this leaves large room for error and can take months of sorting through data.

Sightline can deliver automated calculations of these ideal limits using machine learning and predictive analytics technologies, accurately modeling and analyzing your data within different operating conditions. The data intelligence solution seamlessly collects real-time data on any metrics you need, from any inputs you’re focusing on, to analyze the full context of historical data and reliably predict future outputs based on variable conditions.

This expedites the process of centerline establishment and defines the target values for all parts of the manufacturing process.

  1. Anomaly Detection and Root Cause Analysis

In addition, Sightline enables your engineers to easily, confidently, and continuously monitor how each process is performing in relation to your centerlines after they’re established, featuring an alerting functionality of any deviations in near real-time relating to desired process parameters. This is known as anomaly detection, which leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics to measure and trace historical activity and identify potential data outliers within the context of your custom parameters and alerts.

The system utilizes early warning detection algorithms to identify issues of process parameters outside of your centerline before they become production disruptions with a visual “spike finder” to show unexpected data spikes across your systems and facilities before they become critical production problems. 

And when an alert does come through, the technology doesn’t stop there. Using an advanced correlation engine, Sightline analyzes events across all facilities, operations, equipment, servers, applications, and databases with an advanced analytics engine to quickly identify root cause analysis. 

This eliminates any guesswork or lengthy timelines of finding exactly where your process parameters were inconsistent with your centerline to cause the issues that occurred. Revealing where workflows need to be adjusted to return back to your true centerline will greatly improve production outcomes.

  1. Centerline Refinement

Your operation likely cannot survive on a “one-size-fits-all” technique for any extended amount of time. As new manufacturing regulations are developed, new materials or equipment is introduced, or new processes come to the table, it’s important to continuously refine your centerline to stay on track with production targets.

The easy way to do so is by relying on advanced data analytics technology to repeat the steps above and quickly recalibrate your variables to maintain optimal production outcomes—despite introducing new elements into the equation.

Find Your Centerlines Today

It’s time to harness the power of digital analytics technology to deploy an effective centerlining strategy. Are you ready to see what the Sightline Systems solution will look like at your operation? Book a conversation with one of our team members today.

FAQ:

What is Centerlining?

Centerlining, also referred to as Open Envelopes, is a methodology popular within lean manufacturing initiatives that can be applied to the manufacturing process to establish and use standardized process settings and parameters to guarantee consistency. 

How Do You Use Data Analytics Technology for Effective Centerlining?

A solution such as Sightline Systems empowers manufacturing teams with a single location to collect, cleanse, secure, visualize, and analyze all data across an operation—including both historical and time-series information. To improve your centerlining efforts, in particular, the technology gives you the ability to seamlessly achieve the following processes.
– Centerline establishment
– Anomaly detection and root cause analysis
– Centerline refinement

What Does Centerlining Help You Achieve?

Reliable output
Elimination of batch or product deviations
– Minimized waste
Faster turnaround time
Consistent high-quality production
A safer environment
An increase in profitability

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