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Shop floor machine operator using machine monitoring
James BrookMay 23, 2024 3:12:51 PM4 min read

The Impact of Smart Technology on a manufacturers Shop Floor Operations

The Impact of Smart Technology on a manufacturers Shop Floor Operations

The arrival of smart technology in recent years has revolutionised the manufacturing landscape, ushering in an era where efficiency and productivity are fast becoming a competitive advantage.

At the forefront of this transformation are Industry 4.0 technologies that have made accessing data across the shop floor more accessible and affordable than ever before. From machine monitoring platforms such as ours to predictive maintenance solutions from the like of MaintainX, these powerful tools are having a massive impact on the productivity and efficiency of shop floor operations.

By harnessing the power of data and real-time monitoring capabilities, smart technologies are empowering manufacturers to make informed decisions, streamline processes, and drive continuous improvement.


This article looks at the role of FourJaw’s manufacturing analytics platform on shop floor operations and highlights real use cases of how the technology is used to optimise processes.

Use Case: Data Gathering for Continuous Improvement:

Continuous Improvement (CI) is the lifeblood of modern manufacturing, driving efficiency and competitiveness. FourJaw plays a pivotal role in this process by facilitating comprehensive data gathering. For instance, at a healthcare manufacturer, machine downtimes captured by FourJaw showed the effect of recurring machine breakdowns during a specific production phase, prompting targeted maintenance interventions that significantly reduced downtime.

Vernacare production Dry Tissues line

Use Case: Downtime Reasons pinpoint lost productivity:

Accurate data collection is fundamental to effective decision-making and problem-solving in manufacturing. By using technology to monitor machines, operators can get automatic alerts when a machine is in a state of downtime, by logging each downtime reason using appropriate downtime labelling, operators and management teams can rely on the accuracy of the data collected and take corrective action where the costliest machine downtime occurs.

For instance, in a food processing facility, FourJaw is often used by an operations or production manager to see the downtime reasons related to equipment failures. This insight would then empower the operations manager to pinpoint areas for equipment upgrades.

We have seen numerous examples in various manufacturing subsectors where this type of action has resulted in a 20% reduction in unplanned downtime.


Use Case: Improving Shop floor Efficiency with Real-time alerts:

In today's fast-paced manufacturing environment, real-time visibility into shop floor activities is indispensable. In this use case, we look at how a FourJaw customer uses real-time alerts to improve communication and improve productivity across the shop floor.

A production manager at a metal fabrication plant, relies on FourJaw's real-time monitoring capabilities to stay informed about production progress, even when working remotely. For instance, when a critical machine experiences a malfunction, FourJaw immediately alerts the production manager, allowing them to coordinate maintenance efforts swiftly and minimise production delays.

Use Case: Greater Resource Planning and Pricing Accuracy:

Accurate job tracking and machine downtime tracking are essential for optimising resource allocation and pricing jobs competitively and profitably. FourJaw does just that by enabling manufacturers to monitor job progress and allocate resources efficiently.

For instance, in a subcontract manufacturer, FourJaw's job tracking functionality facilitated seamless coordination between design, production, and delivery teams, ensuring the timely completion of customer orders. Moreover, FourJaw's job tracking and machine downtime capabilities enabled the production manager to accurately calculate job costs, leading to more competitive pricing strategies and increased profitability.

Data classification-1

Use Case – Enabling team members to efficiently communicate:

Effective communication is the cornerstone of collaboration and productivity on the shop floor. FourJaw's integrated messaging feature streamlines communication processes, ensuring that relevant information can be conveyed promptly and accurately.

For instance, in a specialist metals plant, operators use FourJaw's messaging feature to report downtime issues in real time, enabling swift interventions to prevent a bottleneck from occurring, resulting in production capacity and on-time delivery being maintained.

Production manager and operator looking at machine data (1)

Summary: The Impact of Smart Technology on the Shop floor:

The widespread adoption of smart technology like FourJaw reflects several key trends shaping the future of manufacturing and optimising shop floor processes:

Remote Monitoring and Management: Manufacturers are increasingly investing in and relying on remote monitoring solutions to oversee shop floor activities and manage production processes from anywhere.

Real-Time Alerts and Notifications: The use of real-time alerts enables proactive problem-solving and preventive maintenance, minimising machine downtime and maximising productivity.

Data-Driven Continuous Improvement: The emphasis on data-driven decision-making drives continuous improvement initiatives, ensuring that manufacturers remain agile and responsive to changing market demands.

Streamlined Communication and Collaboration: Integrated communication tools, put in the hands of shop floor operators and management enhance collaboration among team members, fostering a culture of innovation and efficiency on the shop floor.



In conclusion, the impact of smart technology on manufacturing operations cannot be overstated (even if we do say so ourselves).

Tools like FourJaw empower manufacturers to harness the power of data, optimise processes, and drive continuous improvement, positioning them for success in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

By embracing these trends and leveraging innovative solutions, manufacturers can unlock new levels of efficiency, productivity, and profitability, ensuring their long-term viability in an ever-evolving industry landscape.


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.