"Stamping press operators at Livonia-based private fastener supplier AlphaUSA enter production flow data up to 30 times per shift. The family-owned supplier installed data collection terminals at its reorganized workstations late last year in an attempt to streamline production and find new ways to manage increased capacity without adding physical floor space or machines.
AlphaUSA's big data involves tracking, monitoring and analyzing layers of information, including cause of stoppage, frequency and duration, on multiple presses running simultaneously.
"The data has allowed us to find areas, whether in a workstation or department, that is the greatest cause to time bottlenecks," said David Lawrence, AlphaUSA's chief administrative officer. "The more time we save, the more capacity we have." Less than a year after launching the data collection process, AlphaUSA is achieving more than a 35 percent increase in efficiency on its shop floor, Lawrence said."