Q&A Blog Series: Using Analytics to Improve Quality-Electronics/High Tech Manufacturing

1. Name, Mohan Ponnudurai, Industry Solution Director

2. How does poor data affect quality in your industry?

High tech and electronics sectors are very advanced in terms of using systems, software solutions and enterprise applications, mainly because of where they are typically in the maturity curve. These industries are fast paced with tighter product life cycles and output yield and quality are very important for the survival. As such, they run the businesses using specific processes, managing those processes with metrics, rules and near real-time visibility. Data integrity is the number one requirement when it comes to manufacturing, supply chain and customer demands, therefore, poor data will produce poor metrics and analytics that will destroy their market position. Having data alone is insufficient – gaining access to this data bring forward relevant information to the right people to gain insight so impactful actions can be implemented to get the products to the market efficiently.

3. What problems arise in this type of situation?

Typically problems arise when there are multiple sources of data, whereas there is no single source of truth when it comes to master data (because of growth, M&A, legacy systems, fragmented upgrades to ERP, PLM, MES, etc.) This poses a big deal of inaccuracies and IT is burdened with data synchronization and making sure everyone internally (engineering, manufacturing, supply chain) are looking at the same data. This is critical when you are tracking material progression through manufacturing, demand and supply management and forecast as well as capacity planning to respond to fickle demands.

These are not really structured reports, but more like analytic outputs based on what-if scenarios (supply/demand control planning), trends based on known cause codes or even based on common part numbers. Any small deviation in yield (or output) can be detrimental to quality and supply to meet customer demands.

4. How can business intelligence and analytics solutions be used to address quality-related challenges?

BIand analytics provide the manufacturing, supply chain, field service and supplier/partners the power to get the actionable information as required, without going to IT, issue the request or wait for the outcome. By this time, the critical need expired, because the high tech vertical is expected to respond in near real time. Quality issues can be flagged, identified, actionable tasks assigned and inventory, supply, raw materials and stages of manufacturing status can be visible and changed as required instead of waiting further in the production stages and issue rework or in most cases scrap. Ultimately, you want to synchronize the material, inventory and supply chain to match the real demand based on forecast and planned production. No one wants to be in a position not to know where things are with reference to quality and safety, and need to know when to stop the process instead of getting into rework or recall.

5. How can TrackWise Analytics be used to progress each role in the electronics/high tech manufacturing industry?

a. Executives and Decision Makers

­- Make data-driven decisions faster to address the yield, OEE and cost of poor quality, and align with corporate goals and objectives

- Increase the visibility of quality activities to influence KPIs across the organization

- Align the organization around a standard quality measurement and KPIs to instill a quality oriented culture

b. Managers and Process Owners

­- Identify emerging trends and implement corrective actions before a trend becomes a costly problem

- Ensure team efficiency by exposing issues early for resolution

- Provide answers to executive questions in near real-time through powerful analytics and predefined reports

- Enable views of process/record status in near real-time to manage open team tasks/issues

- Gain in-depth insight by easily filtering information to show data specific to a region, site or product

c. Quality Analysts

- Create and deliver reports rapidly

- Enable business teams to respond to questions in real-time

- Collaborate effectively with other stakeholders including suppliers

- Easily conduct ad-hoc analysis to track and trend quality data

d. End-users / Data Consumers

- Highlight what requires immediate attention to facilitate appropriate prioritization

- Gain access to personally relevant information through self-service report configuration with flexible filtering, output choices and drill-down functionality

- Enable day-to-day task management and improve operational reporting

e. IT/System Owners

­- Achieve lower total cost of ownership and reduce ongoing maintenance overhead through a single integrated solution

- Focus on greater value-add activities versus managing report creation and distribution

- Easily provide a single solution for quality processes from TrackWise EQMS

- Eliminate the technical resource demands required to support third party BI solutions

Connect with Mohan on Google+.

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