Archive for February, 2009

Announcement: Scheduled Provideam Service Pack available mid-April 2009.

February 9th, 2009 No comments

Provideam Clients who have purchased the Provideam Maintenance Support Plan will be eligible to receive scheduled service pack releases. Service pack releases will include bug-fixes, enhancements and new features. Four service packs will be released per annum.

Supported users will be notified of the releases as soon as they become available.

Service Pack 3.5 (Due mid-April 2009)

Item Type Description
FireFox/Mozilla Support New Feature Provideam will now support FireFox/Mozilla.
Reset Demo Data New Feature A tool will be included in the install to allow the user to remove preloaded demo data from the database.
Mode Log Report New Feature A new reporting option to generate a log of Machine Modes (Downtimes) will be included in the Report Wizard
Demo Application Enhancement The Demo Application will be enhanced to demonstrate the ability of Provideam to monitor Lot, Part and Tool data directly from a Machine via an OPC server.
List Management Enhancement The UI (user interface) will be improved to facilitate better navigation of long lists. For example it will be possible to select page 10 in the list rather then having to index through the list.
Improved UI Data Management Enhancement The UI will be improved to better manage the handling of data such that data will only be loaded when and if it is required.
Dictionary Bug Fixes Text items which were not included in the Dictionary will be included as part of this update

To check if you are currently a ‘Supported User’ please contact [email protected]

Categories: Announcement Tags:


February 3rd, 2009 No comments


The current economic crisis has hit manufacturing industry extremely hard. Even companies which were performing well six months ago, now face an uncertain future. The global downturn has heightened the pressure on every one of us to reduce costs and increase productivity.

Most manufacturers are facing into a period where there is a reduction in demand and a knock on tightening of margins. The key to beating the recession is to eliminate unnecessary costs as soon as possible and to tune our production equipment so that we are up and running before our competitors when the inevitable economic up-turn arrives.

In the commercial world decisions regarding investment in manufacturing assets are made on the basis of productivity (i.e. how well are the asset under our disposal being employed).In manufacturing our productivity is closely related to how well, or effectively, we operate our production equipment. The pre-eminent benchmark used to measure this is OEE or Overall Equipment Effectivity (Effectiveness).

A company operating at 100% OEE would have 0 Defects, 0 Breakdowns and no Speed Losses. 100% OEE is practically impossible to achieve and even World Class Manufacturing Companies would struggle to exceed 85% OEE.

The point is not what our ultimate OEE Target might be but that we continuously strive to improve our current OEE levels.

There are two fundamentals required to improve our equipment effectivity,

1) accurate, up-to-date, impartial data on production performance and

2) trained staff with the capability to interpret and act on the data. Companies that possess this combination of data and trained staff are empowered to identify losses and to engineer out the causes of these losses.


There are many reasons why Provideam is the ideal choice for companies wishing to take on the challenge of reducing costs by tackling losses and ‘continuously improving’ the effectivity of production equipment.

Minimal Cost of Entry: Provideam is scaleable from 1 to 100’s of machines. For a minimal investment it can be hooked up to one machine – most machines can be integrated within a day. Once we see the benefits on a pilot machine you can roll the system out to other machines at will – thus eliminating the risk of purchasing a white-elephant.

Easy Configurability: Once data begins to flow, staff begin to understand how to interpret the data. This leads to suggestions from staff as to how to improve the data quality. The Provideam configuration is very straight forward to understand and modify to each company’s requirements. Thus staff can adapt the Provideam configuration, over time, to improve their ability to analyse the data. This configurability helps to foster a sense of ownership of the data and is an enabler of the Continuous Improvement management style.

Motivational: Real-time metrics displayed on a Live Display is an excellent motivational tool. The act of collecting and displaying these metrics identifies them as being important and acts to motivate staff to exceed targets for these metrics.

 Provideam Live OEE Stacked Bar
Provideam Live – Typical Motivation Screen

Easy Access to Operational Metrics: Provideam provides easy access to operational performance metrics through a range of views and reports. However, we’ve made it even simpler.

The majority of Provideam Users rarely logon to the application – they simply rely on scheduled emailed reports. These reports typically form the basis of a daily production meeting. Schedule Shift reports are emailed within minutes of the Shift ending. All staff are presented with the same data. The data is impartial and this facilitates an open discussion on the real reasons behind losses rather then an argument as to the validity of the data.

Trend Analysis: Several years of historical data can be stored in the Provideam database and this enables us to extract trends showing how performance has improved/disimproved over the period. It can also allow a ‘before and after’ analysis to highlight the effect of changes in the process, materials etc.

Parameter Comparison: Process Engineers use Provideam to highlight the operational performance variances between periods (e.g. Day Shift and Night Shift) or between Objects (e.g. Part A and Part B or Machine A and Machine B). This is an extremely useful way of assessing the worst and best performing machines and processes.

Innovation Support: By allowing us to identify and quantify the real causes of loss, Provideam gives us the tools to establish the business case for upgrading badly engineered equipment. For example Provideam can provide an accurate picture of time lost during change-overs which could be used to build a case for process improvements as with for example the introduction of SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies).

Increased Profits: Provideam gives us the tools to reduce costs and to operate equipment more effectively both in the short term and on in to the future.


In conclusion some points to remember;

1. The downturn won’t last forever.
2. Tackle costs immediately to survive reduced product demand and tightened margins.
3. Fine tune processes now to ensure that we are ready to take advantage of the inevitable upswing before our competitors.

Categories: OEE and Lean Manufacturing Tags: