How to Use ERP for Controlling Machine Runtime & Downtime

What is Machine Runtime and Downtime?

Downtime is the time when a machine is not in production, or it's not working. In digital terms, it means the system is completely offline and shut down. It happens when the infrastructure is being repaired, uninstalled, or replaced with a more sophisticated one or during a system upgrade. Runtime is the exact opposite of this: it is the time during which operations are running smoothly, and the production line is flowing well and smoothly, like oiled cogs in a complicated machine.

What is ERP?

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is a centralized database system for storing, analyzing, and managing all the data flows through a business. The ERP system helps to create strong interdepartmental links and encourage collaboration among vendors and distributors. Traditionally, ERP systems were mainly on-site frameworks that took a long time to deploy and came with high costs. With cloud-based ERP solutions, it is now easier to reap the benefit faster with additional advantages. For production lines that focus on mass production, this can be very helpful as saving time equals a direct increase in profit margins. 

Using ERP to Control Runtime and Downtime

The primary purpose of any factory or assembly line is ensuring maximum runtime and minimum downtime during the entire manufacturing process. Minimizing the flaws of the process, which causes the system to shut down, is the way to maximize runtime and reduce downtime. Using different features and modules of ERP, we can ensure greater efficiency in the manufacturing process. We will now look at six different ways to reduce downtime and extend runtime. 

1. Centralized database: The most crucial benefit of any ERP system is the pool of information that distributes the data to different modules like a conduit. When a company keeps track of information related to assets through manual data entry, its maintenance cost can go up substantially. It is also much more challenging to analyze and create reports and spreadsheets based on this since it is much more prone to errors. However, ERP systems allow the storage of a vast amount of data in an efficient and assorted manner. It will facilitate broader troubleshooting before maintenance arrives and put the right information at the hands of those in hot water. 

2. Efficient decision-making: Manual data entry also means individuals have to look for address books and manuals to figure out who to contact or what went wrong initially. Mistakes in such vital information accrue in more downtime. The benefits of a centralized system also extend here. Standardized maintenance practices are often carried out, and experts can figure out where the fault lies by analyzing its history, how frequently it has been used, the last servicing date, etc. 

3. Faster communication: Written requests to tech support waste time and are often lost in the chaos that ensues during downtime. This slow work order process is one of the main reasons why it's crucial to achieve faster communication with maintenance. ERP software is often connected to multiple devices to flag and alert technicians of potential disruptions of the supply chain. Digital notifications can be sent automatically or by any user still online within the mainframe. Such quick initiatives are handy to reduce the loss of time. 

4. Proper inventory tracking: Inventory tracking is essential for faster repairing of the parts. Appropriate parts should be in hand as soon as possible, as well as the necessary tools for fixing them. With ERP systems, these items can be tracked regularly to their exact spots and can be traced back to where they should have been in the first place. Additionally, inventory systems are kept continuously up to date, so if an assembly part is low in stock, the supplier or the vendor is contacted immediately for restocking. Defects can also be explored, along with alternatives to repair the defects. 

5. Reporting features: Formulating and outlining reports is extremely difficult if the information or the files are corrupted, and people are forgetful, so they tend to confuse the series of events that must be put in detailed reports. Automated processes in ERP software are much more sophisticated, and they are much more reliable in their accounts. Preventive schedules can be arranged, and regular checkups can be made via appointments to ensure a solution is automatically found. 

6. Accountability: A chronological timeline of events becomes murky and confusing to procure when individuals are questioned. Abandoned projects are often found, and in some instances, it's hard to pinpoint the exact moment when there was a systematic breakdown. An ERP software ensures that everyone is on the same page, and their actions are traced back to projects they're working on, along with their individual contributions to the team. As a result, employees feel more responsible for the projects they've worked with, as they have a more hands-on approach.

Thus, we can conclude that the versatile uses of ERP extend to regulating runtime and downtime by automating many labor-intensive processes, analyzing and reporting every minor issue, and centralizing and arranging all the information in one place. There are many ERP systems available in the market. Among all that we have seen, we believe Odoo is the premium choice. Odoo is a user-friendly software built under the same UI which uses one app to do all the jobs in one: streamlining operations, managing invoices, and boosting sales. It has many different apps, including one for ERP, which includes the ability to customize and design a template for your software, depending on what you are selling in the market. 

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