If digital weighing scales or counting scales are part of your manufacturing or industrial processes, that means you have access to valuable scale data that you can use to improve the efficiency and productivity of your operation and control costs.
To see how you can put your digital scale data to work, we’ve compiled five of the most popular uses of scale data within the manufacturing environment.
Effectively managing inventory is a critical part of ensuring production, delivery, and other processes stay on schedule and orders are delivered on time. By capturing weights or counts as supplies enter your facility, are pulled from inventory, are expended within a process, or are returned to storage, you can maintain tight control of your supply levels to prevent over stocking or under stocking and protect uptime. Likewise, if you maintain parts or product inventory for order filling, you can gain ready access to exact counts of all products by capturing scale data as product enters and exits your inventory supply. Inventory management can also be automated so that once your supply or product levels reach a predetermined threshold, more supplies are ordered or the inventory manager is alerted automatically.
Quality Control & Waste Reduction
Capturing, analyzing, and validating weights or piece counts is an important aspect of quality control for a variety of industries from pharmaceuticals to food processing. Scale data can show the amount of a weighed material present in a product and when the material entered the process to verify product quality. Data collected on performance indicators such as weighing accuracy, uptime, and load cells, can also be used to identify scales in need of maintenance or repair. Maintaining your scales at this level improves quality control, resulting in more usable product and less waste.
Order Accuracy & Shipping Weights
Product weights and piece counts are data points that can allow manufacturers to quickly and easily verify order accuracy and confirm shipping weights. These verifications can be used to improve customer satisfaction through dependable order fulfillment and provide on-time delivery with fewer incidents of unexpected shipping costs or other logistical surprises.
Productivity Monitoring & Preventive Maintenance
Anytime manufacturers invest in equipment, they want to make sure they are getting the best use and longest life from that investment. Scale data can indicate how often and at what time a scale is in use, and it can also reveal how well the scale is performing. Capturing scale data within a specific operation or process allows you to study that data over a period of time to calculate productivity and measure it against your predicted outcomes. These measures can pinpoint areas for productivity improvement and can also help you to plan preventive maintenance during times that will be least disruptive to your production cycles.
Communicate with ERP Systems
Like other types of IIOT-ready equipment, your digital scales can be connected to a network for integration into a larger ERP system. For many manufacturers, capturing and analyzing data at an enterprise-wide level is a long-range, multi-faceted goal, which is why it’s important to recognize that your digital scales are equipped for this level of integration. The more data you can access from your processes and equipment, the greater the level of efficiency, productivity, and cost control you will be able to realize throughout your entire operation.