SFM - a system that increases production efficiency

Learn about the advantages of the SFM ("shop floor management") system.

  • Elena Vižintin
  • 03/01/2023

In the field of production, one of the most common questions is how we can increase production efficiency and create more with the same resources. On the assumption that we do not interfere with major operating costs, which increase significantly from day to day, also due to the higher prices of (purchasing) materials.

And although one of the correct answers is certainly the digitization of production, we must ask ourselves what exactly it is that helps the processes in production (and beyond) to function more optimally. Operation that in the long run contributes to greater efficiency and lower costs of the entire operation.

And one of such solutions is certainly a production management system called SFM (“shop floor management”).

SFM is a system that helps monitoring the efficiency of individual production processes. In addition, it also contributes to more optimal operation of production, as it monitors the current situation and helps to detect deviations, jams and other irregularities that tend to occur in production. Is this the only advantage of this system? Certainly not - more on this below, as we will first present how SFM actually works in practice.

Let's imagine the production of company X, where employees can quickly and easily access data on the current state of production with the help of the SFM system's analytical view. As can be seen from the indicators, the individual pictures (pictures 1 and 2) show information about the costs used for an individual product, the hours spent on each operation, how many resources are still available, how much work has already been done according to the set plan or timeline work, what is the estimate of post-calculations and so on. In this way, we can work out just about every operation that occurs in production. From anywhere and anytime.

Figure 1: The figure shows how many costs were used in each stage of production. The red color of the circle means that the costs for an individual operation have already been exceeded.

Figure 2: The figure shows how much "effort" (i.e., the recorded work of the worker) was recorded for each operation within a certain task.

In addition to a comprehensive review of production, we can also access real data on the state of the warehouse, where we have available an up-to-date review of the issuing stations, data on individual customer orders (how many orders were executed on time, how many were late), data on material analysis (how many analyzes were successful, how many are still waiting to be implemented, how many were unsuccessful) and so on. Additional functionalities, such as a time review of serial numbers can also be added at the request of users.

Figure 3: Display of purchase orders, sales orders and material analysis.

In summary, the biggest advantages of the SFM system are:

• A smooth and fast flow of information that enables a comprehensive analysis of all production processes

• Reduction of production costs, which are often the result of manual data entry and delayed response to irregularities. With the SFM model, we get rid of these errors

• Better management of resources, which in turn also means higher efficiency of the entire production

• Improved transparency of production operations, which saves hours and hours of time-consuming administration

Although digital transformation is an investment that brings both financial and time investments, its advantages indirectly tell us that as a company should give it a chance.

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