Profit Finders Introduces Visionary Continuous Improvement Program To Help With Lean Manufacturing

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Manufacturing facilities are under tremendous pressure to reduce cost and increase efficiency year after year after year. If a manufacturing facility stops improving it will not survive – plain and simple. For 2012 Profit Finders has introduced a new program called VISION that offers manufacturing managers the ability to capture real-time data and instantly convert the data into actionable information to help drive a robust and never-ending continuous improvement program.

If a manufacturing facility stops improving it will not survive - plain and simple.

Since 2003 Profit Finders has been developing proprietary web-based data collection techniques and analysis tools to help factories eliminate waste, increase efficiency, reduce cost, improve quality and drive continuous process improvements. Historically Profit Finders has provided clients with the equipment required to capture data. A typical equipment package included meters for natural gas, water, electricity, and chemicals – plus probes for process parameters such as temperature, pressure, line speed, pH, and conductivity. The new VISION program requires no meters or probes. All the data is captured from existing production equipment.

The typical logic controller (PLC) for a piece of production equipment has dozens of valuable data streams. Often manufacturers manage to tap into PLC’s and collect data, but then they often struggle to convert the vast amounts of data into actionable information. In many cases the data is simply dumped into a data historian file and never accessed and leveraged because no process engineer has the time to sort and analyze. Profit Finders’ VISION program solves this problem.

“The idea for VISION came out of regular program review meetings with our clients in 2011. A number of clients complained about not being able to efficiently collect and analyze the vast amounts of data that are generated by their production equipment. They were familiar with our abilities to capture and analyze large amounts of data and asked for assistance” explained Ed Jones, Senior VP with Profit Finders.

Profit Finders accepted the challenge and their VISION offering is the result. “We chose the name VISION because all the data currently exists within the factory. What we do is provide managers, engineers, and supervisors with the proper vision of the data as actionable information in a format that makes sense from their different perspectives. The dashboard for the Plant Manager is often different from the dashboard for the Process Engineer” noted Tom Fabek, General Manager for Profit Finders.

For a VISION project Profit Finders supplies the client with a Data Acquisition Server (DAS). The DAS is placed on the client’s internal network and production PLC’s are accessed via their unique IP addresses. The DAS collects data and sends it, by Internet connection, to a Profit Finders Data Center. Profit Finders handles all the programming to generate custom dashboards, custom production reports, and real-time alarms. Clients can access their dashboards from any device connected to the Internet – there is even a smart phone application.

Profit Finders continues to work with clients using their traditional model, which they have dubbed “Profit Finders Classic”, but factory managers are very excited about the fact that VISION is a turnkey program that can be fast tracked. “The VISION program is truly ‘plug and play’. The only piece of hardware required is the DAS. We can be up and running in a matter of hours instead of months” explained Mark Sekerak, Engineering Manager for Profit Finders.

The Profit Finders VISION program is infinitely scalable. Once the Data Acquisition Server is in place, any production PLC can be added to the program simply by typing in the corresponding IP address. “So we can start with VISION in the Laser Department as project number one, then expand into Welding, Stamping, CNC, Furnaces, Finishing and/or Assembly without having to add additional equipment. One DAS can handle everything. This allows a client to give it a try and expand as we prove the value” noted Joe McHenry VP Business Development for Profit Finders.

About Profit Finders
Profit Finders is headquartered in Strongsville, Ohio. To arrange an Internet demonstration or get more information about the company’s programs visit their web site http://www.profitfinders.net

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