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Increasing machine productivity and jobs at Samuel Heath

200-year-old Midlands-based manufacturers of prestige quality bathroom fittings and architectural furniture have expanded its skilled workforce following the installation of FourJaw’s machine monitoring technology to help their team improve machine productivity.

Increasing machine productivity and jobs at Samuel Heath

200-year-old Midlands-based manufacturers of prestige quality bathroom fittings and architectural furniture have expanded its skilled workforce following the installation of FourJaw’s machine monitoring technology to help their team improve machine productivity.

Challenge

Batch setup limiting machine productivity levels

Samuel Heath, which is renowned for the enduring craftsmanship and flawless finishes of its products, deployed FourJaw’s plug-and-play machine monitoring system to discover continuous improvement opportunities within their shop floor operations.

It revealed a startling fact. The data showed that while the firm had impressive productivity levels when their machines were running off a batch, it was awaiting setups in between batches that was the main limit to higher productivity levels.

Solution

actionable Real-time machine data

By deploying the FourJaw machine monitoring platform, Samuel Heath gained operator input from tablets placed next to each machine, showing the reason codes and durations of downtimes. Viewing this information on the FourJaw web dashboard, it was clear to see that a lack of shop floor staff was the bottleneck, as machines were sat idle awaiting a setup.

FourJaw Machine monitoring platform showing uptime and downtime

Results

MACHINE AND EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY BOoSTED

This was just the information Samuel Heath needed to recruit additional skilled machine setters on the shop floor to reduce setup times and get the CNC lathes running at an improved level of utilisation. As a result, Samuel Heath has a growing workforce that is achieving elevated productivity across their machines and has welcomed new skills onto the shop floor through their recent hires.

We hear so much in the media about digitalisation leading to job losses in manufacturing,” says FourJaw CEO Chris Iveson. “But we are finding our technology identifies problems that can only be solved by creating new jobs and new skills. It is all about getting the most out of your machines by maximising machine utilisation. To do that you need smart machine monitoring and smart people to run with it.”

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