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Factory floor
James BrookNov 11, 2022 12:21:04 PM3 min read

How to achieve factory efficiencies despite a complex manufacturing process

Today’s factories can be hugely complex places requiring many actions to happen at just the right times for them to function smoothly. Manufacturers are constantly seeking to find ways to reduce waste, whether that’s using less energy, fewer raw materials and saving other costs.

Inefficiencies cost manufacturers money, waste time, diminish work quality and prevent you from focusing on driving your business forward. Studies show that anywhere between 20%-40% of a company’s revenue is lost due to inefficient processes. At a time when costs are high, many cannot afford to lose money by being inefficient.

To find the solution, we need to understand the problem. So let us look at the main areas of manufacturing inefficiencies.

What are the main areas of inefficiency in manufacturing?

Often undetected, inefficiencies come at a price and will have an impact on business performance and profitability. From talking to the manufacturers we work with, there are certain issues that come up in conversation time and time again.

Machine downtime

Separated into two different categories, planned and unplanned. Planned downtime covers things such as maintenance and machine set-up. Unplanned downtime in manufacturing happens when equipment that should be running experiences a failure or runs out of raw materials.

There is also unproductive downtime, such as when a machine isn’t in use due to an issue such as a breakdown or a bottleneck in production, which also impacts efficiency.

Machine downtime monitoring will help identify this against productive downtime (when a machine is being set up for the next job, for example) and give a clear picture to the management of what is going on.

Machine downtime monitoring showing utilisation trend

While all machine downtime has a price, it is essential that preventative maintenance is carried out to lessen the chances of unplanned downtime, which is a far costlier process.


If the staff on the factory floor have to navigate complicated processes or manually collect data from machines by walking around the shop floor collecting data from machines using a clipboard and a pencil, they are not spending time doing the actual work that you need them to do.

Production schedule gaps

Gaps in your production schedule can mean that machines that could be working sit idly and potentially use electricity when they aren’t earning the business money.

Production Bottlenecks

Just because a certain task has been done in the same way for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to or should be that way. Issues in the production process can cause major slowdowns that will have implications on capacity, productivity and ultimately profitability.

How Industry 4.0 'Machine downtime Monitoring' can help you be more efficient

Industry 4.0 is all about connecting digital systems to make manufacturing businesses more productive, competitive, and resilient.

Try our Machine Monitoring ROI Calculator  Find out how quickly you can see a return on investment with FourJaw  Manufacturing Analytics test  


Gathering the right data is key to identifying inefficiencies. FourJaw's machine downtime monitoring capability captures machine utilisation and top downtime reasons to give a real-time picture of what is happening on the factory floor. This data can then be used to identify gaps in the production schedule, bottlenecks and reduce the need for a member of staff to manually collect data from each machine.

A recent example of the positive impact machine monitoring provides manufacturers is evidenced by British manufacturer, Armac Martin.

After installing FourJaw machine monitoring, the production team were able to see where inefficiencies were in their production process and take corrective action, which had an immediate impact on efficacy, helping to drive a 14% uplift in machine utilisation and a 65% increase in parts output at Armac Martin.

Armac Martin use FourJaw machine downtime monitoring


The machine data captured on their factory floor showed which machines were in high demand and well-utilised and which were becoming redundant. This gave the production team a clear view of the production schedule and machine capabilities and allowed them to sell one piece of under-used machinery and invest in a machine that would meet the growing demands of their customers. The purchase of the new machine is expected to reduce the overdue raw material orders by more than 60%.


Machine monitoring is an invaluable smart technology that is enabling manufacturers to be more efficient, by driving productivity, growing capacity and in turn growing profitability.

Find out more about how we can help you achieve efficiency improvements in your factory by booking a free, no-obligation demonstration.

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James Brook

A passionate and experienced Marketing Leader with a background of 15+ years in developing and implementing marketing, brand, and product strategies for companies across a breadth of sectors and geographies. Over the last five years, James has worked in the technology space, having led the global marketing function at an Industrial monitoring and control company and more recently joining FourJaw as Head of Marketing & Communications. FourJaw is a SaaS business that is helping to change the world of manufacturing productivity through its IoT machine monitoring platfom.