Thursday, February 25, 2016

5 Elements of KPI Lifecycle

By John Horst, MESA member, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
and Barry Ezell,Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) 

Humans go through distinct phases of life: from dependence to learning to producing to sharing and back to dependence. We call this a lifecycle. The phases of life keep repeating as new persons are born and the elderly complete their lives. 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) also have a lifecycle with a similarly cyclic pattern: from definition to collection to set composition to implementation to assessment and back to definition

Manufacturers who use KPIs naturally implement this lifecycle, but there is some real value to clearly and carefully articulate the elements of the lifecycle. 

An accurate and detailed model of the KPI Lifecycle:
  • Enables efficient and effective performance management 
  • Enables a cottage industry of performance methods and software tools
  • Provides a basis for open standards on KPI use
Assuming the target proceses have been identified, here is an outline of five elements to consider to successfully use KPIs in your manufacturing process throughout their entire lifecycle. 

How to Find Value in KPI Lifecycle

By John Horst, MESA member, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
and Barry Ezell,Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are part of a lifecycle because KPIs are continuously defined, redefined, and are even sometimes abandoned. Explicitly defining a KPI Lifecycle provides an impetus for the development of methods and tools that enhance performance.  

NIST and VMASC have designed two methods to define KPI Lifecylce: one for performing KPI Set Composition, and the other for KPI Assessment.  

Both methods need to produce accurate results. But how can we know that the methods are producing accurate results --thereby providing real value to the manufacturer?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How to Achieve Smart Manufacturing

By Conrad Leiva, MESA International Board Member and chair of MESA's Smart Manufacturing Working Group

This article was originally published on IndustryWeek IdeaXchange ( on Dec 31, 2015.

For more information on Smart Manufacturing, if you are a member, check out the white paper "Smart Manufacturing - The Landscape Explained".
In the 1970s and 80s we witnessed a revolutionary wave of productivity improvements in manufacturing. New technologies, including personal computers (PCs), numerically controlled (NC) machines, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and computer aided manufacturing (CAM), combined with new process improvement ideas like Total Quality Management (TQM), Just-In-Time, and Six Sigma yielded new levels of productivity and efficiency in many manufacturing industries.  
In this decade, we are seeing a convergence of technologies and process improvement initiatives of a similar scale with the potential to radically improve the way manufacturers thread processes and systems in the enterprise and the way they deliver customization and services to customers.

Monday, February 8, 2016

5 Questions to Ask to Speed Monetization of Product Innovations

Mike K Williams, MESA ERM Working Group member

Here is a short list of questions to ask yourself if you are looking to accelerate the monetization of product and material innovations.

  1. Have you ever been frustrated by a lack of information you have about your plant’s capability to produce a new product or material, otherwise known as the process fit? 
  2. Have you ever missed a production order or produced off-grade material because the recipe generated in R&D and approved for sale, does not quite match the plant floor configuration?  
  3. Have you ever lost a new sales opportunity because of the excessive time it takes to coordinate all the necessary information and approvals for new or updated recipes to meet the promise date? 
  4. Do you have multiple manufacturing sites which produce the same product but are not identical in equipment capability?
  5. Would you like to have more agility in your manufacturing sites to take advantage of underutilized assets?

If you have any of these situations, you should be interested in Enterprise Recipe Management (ERM). It is a vehicle to expedite the New Product Development and Introduction (NPDI) work process and thus monetize innovation more quickly.

One of the challenges in achieving this objective is resolving the discontinuity between traditional ERP-based PLM solutions and shop floor information and control systems.  To successfully manufacture a product one must know both WHAT to produce (composition of matter) as well as HOW to produce it (procedure and control constraints). 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Asset Performance Management 2.0: Stakeholders Rule

By Mike K Williams, MESA APM Working Group member

Asset Performance Management (APM) is a well-used term with varied meaning based on whom you ask.  It can span the spectrum of solution space from device monitoring and diagnostics, to equipment reliability and condition-based maintenance, to overall equipment effectiveness reporting, to IS0 55000 management systems.  All of which address different stakeholders with different objectives and scorecards.