Thought Leadership

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Reinventing America - The Idea Lab

Reinventing America for the Next Generation Workforce: Sage Clarity launches “The Idea Lab”

CHICAGO, March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Sage Clarity, a global manufacturing technology and advisory services provider, announced today the launch of the Clarity Idea Lab. The Idea Lab showcases cutting edge solutions focused on the Next Generation Manufacturing Enterprise.

Idea Lab solutions, advance the user experience beyond traditional enterprise software solutions for manufacturing. Solutions employ cutting edge advanced technology used in creative ways to engage the workforce. Idea lab solutions include intelligent data mining big data applications, mobile business intelligence solutions and highly interactive factory floor advanced visualization applications.

One example in the idea lab is the Factory Media Center that utilizes a 90″ touch screen designed to…

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Webinar Manufacturing KPIs

Webinar: Manufacturing KPIs – 50 to 10 KPIs

Fewer than 20% of companies say that “everyone” in their business gets the numbers they need to make day-to-day decisions (according to The Advanced Performance Institute). To steer the business properly, leaders need a long list of KPIs – usually on a monthly basis. That list can get shorter, when data for metrics becomes real-time.

Webinar highlights:

  • Assess your current KPIs by business function, role, and department
  • Consider real-time readiness and maturity, in context of people and data sources
  • Create a KPI roadmap and action plan, prioritize by readiness and business value
  • Choose the “best” KPIs and commit the right resources
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Continuous Improvement

Continuous Improvement: Engaged Staff Equals Better Performance

“Anybody under the age of 20 has a very different view of data and information than people in the current workforce,” observes John Oskin, founder and CEO of Sage Clarity Systems, Chicago. The presentation of and access to data from the corner office to the shop floor is changing, though “the future is not about top-down vs. bottom-up initiatives,” he says. Instead, it is about engagement and involvement in achieving improvements that can be financially quantified.

Article Highlights:

  • How an Engaged Staff can drive Continuous Improvement
  • CPR for TPM
  • Tools & Technologies for supporting Continuous Improvement
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When Planning Rates Fail Us

When Planning Rates Fail Us

Studies show that 30 percent of SKUs in a typical manufacturing facility have at least 10 percent error between the current planning rate used and the ideal, “desired” planning rate. Most manufacturers aren’t even aware of this problem. That’s why frequent, detailed analysis — reviewed more often than annually or even quarterly — are necessary to ensure accurate standard and planning rates.

A new methodology to establish accurate planning rates is required, including:

  • Review data sufficiency.
  • Analyze minute-by-minute production data
  • Look for data anomolies and SKU differences
  • Recommend rates based on historical performance
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Mobilizing Manufacturing Intelligence

Cutting The Cord: Mobilizing Manufacturing Intelligence

When it comes to manufacturing, digestible insight for operations performance generally means being chained to a desk. That’s because in the past, accessing information on the go was accomplished either a) on a small smartphone screen where data was hard to sift through or b) on a laptop that had to be lugged across a manufacturing floor. However, the rise of the tablet—specifically, the iPad—has been a game changer. With constant Web connection, long battery life, and instant “on,” the iPad is the perfect piece of hardware to put into the hands of key executives.

Article Highlights:

  • The iPad’s operating system provides a new way to touch applications and manipulate data.
  • The iPad’s simplicity and intuitive design make it possible to drill down rapidly into the latest data sets, and can even make slicing and dicing data fun.
  • The iPad’s ability to make unfiltered, real-time information readily consumable also eliminates the need for interpretation or summarization, giving executives an accurate, undiluted view of every aspect of operations.
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Food And Beverage PackagingOperations

Best-in-class benchmark study: Food & Beverage packaging operations

Manufacturing enterprises gain competitive advantages when they focus on operational excellence initiatives like Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, Total Productive Maintenance and other continuous improvement methods. They set goals to unlock capacity and reduce inventory and labor costs, while increasing productivity without additional capital investment. Leading manufacturers meet these goals by identifying and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) within and across facilities on an ongoing basis.

Article Highlights:

  • Best-in-class manufacturers are 22% more productive by identifying manufacturing losses at a rate 45 times greater than laggard manufacturers.
  • Typical plants in the food and beverage industry average more than 87,000 “short duration” line interruptions per year.
  • Best-in-class manufacturers approach 80% Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) with asset utilisation rates as high as 97%.
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Food Engineering Benchmark - Asset Utilization

Food Engineering Benchmark: Asset Utilization

A more disciplined approach to asset utilization is being adopted as food and beverage companies push the outer limits of what is possible in existing facilities. As manufacturers try to squeeze more production from assets, there’s an accelerating focus on lean manufacturing, Six Sigma and other approaches to continuous improvement. “Most people approach continuous improvement as one size fits all,” observes Oskin, but the types of issues addressed depend on how effective the organization is in terms of OEE and other KPIs.

Article Highlights:

  • Companies in the top quartile (considered “best in class”) tend to have well-developed maintenance programs and are much less prone to lost production time than other companies. A targeted equipment reliability effort with frequent measurement of improvement is an effective strategy for them.
  • The bottom quartile—the “laggards”—also should focus on equipment, though at a more fundamental level. As a result of equipment malfunctions, “every seven or eight minutes, a line stops,” Oskin says. “We’ve seen companies improve asset utilization 30% by addressing that one issue.”
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Manufacturing Intelligence - Using Analytics

Manufacturing Intelligence: Using analytics to achieve operational excellence

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are under tremendous pressure to increase product volume in their own plants and improve margins. They must often achieve this higher volume with optimized resources — a challenging task without the help of real-time discovery analytics for operational excellence. They usually find that simple OEE tools are not adequate to drive improvement, and leading manufacturers, especially pharmaceutical companies, look to solutions that deliver facts, pervasive visibility, and maximum knowledge transfer, along with real data, actual root cause analytics, and a deep understanding of problems.

The four main reasons companies implement EMI solutions are:

  • Productivity
  • Reduced Capex expenditures
  • Inventory reduction
  • Support of lean six sigma initiatives
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Closing The Perceptin Gap In Benchmarking

Closing the Perception Gap in Benchmarking

Nearly every manufacturing company uses key performance metrics (KPIs), but few manufacturers really understand how these metrics relate to each other.
Understanding the interactions between metrics and their associated effects can lead to a better understanding of what drives sustainable improvement. Most of the time, plants and companies sense that there is room for improvement, but determining a set of actionable diagnostic metrics is more elusive.

Close the Gap…

  • With Internal Benchmarks
  • By Looking To Other Industries for Insight
  • With Survey Data
  • With Rich Real-Time Information
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Benchmarking OEE

Benchmarking OEE

EMI brings packaging line performance analysis to life. Are you Best-in-Class, Average, or Laggard?

How much do you really know about your packaging operation? Best-in-class OEE performers know where 99% of the day went.L aggards on the other hand, have no clue where 16.2% of the day went. Think about it this way—would you rather not know where your 10-year-old kid is 15 minutes of the day, or nearly 4 hours of the day? This level of knowledge in the manufacturing world is just as critical, because you can’t solve problems until you identify them.

One size does not fit all:

  • If a plant’s OEE is greater than 70%, work on 3 things: equipment failures, operational failures, and minor stops.
  • If a plant is in the middle of the pack, they should focus on equipment failures, operational downtime, and minor stops.
  • If a plant is with the laggards, they should prioritize shutdowns, equipment failures, minor stops, and quality issues.
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