Measuring an Industrial Process: Top 12 Common Metrics

It’s an axiom of business that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. This is especially true in manufacturing operations management. Industrial plant managers need to collect and analyze production data to gain clear insight into their manufacturing process control.

But tracking the wrong metrics is almost as bad as tracking nothing at all.  It’s essential to collect correct and accurate data.

Numbers and charts are powerful tools in the business world and vital for industrial manufacturing. The correct metrics can help you identify bottlenecks and throughput issues within the production process, which then can be utilized as part of continuous improvement efforts.

Good metrics offer industrial manufacturers two major insights:

  1. How your business is doing against your business plan;
  2. Where weak areas are that need focus to improve operations.

12 Common Metrics to Measure Manufacturing Operations Management

In our experience as manufacturing engineering consultants who guide industrial manufacturers on manufacturing intelligence and manufacturing operations management, we have found that most manufacturers benefit by measuring the following 12 core metrics:

  1. Cycle Time: The total time required to manufacture a product. Any reduction in this time directly reduces production costs.
  2. Changeover Time: The time required to convert a machine, equipment, or line to produce a different product than it was previously producing.
  3. Throughput: The amount of product produced.
  4. Capacity Utilization: How effectively your assets are being utilized.
  5. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE): Measures downtime, speed loss, and quality. The higher the score, the better the performance. This is the most common metric.
  6. Schedule Deviation: Identifies how closely the production schedule is adhered to.
  7. Planned v. Unplanned Maintenance: Identifies unavailability of the production assets due to routine maintenance or forced/unplanned maintenance.
  8. Downtime: The ratio of the total operating time against planned production time.
  9. Yield: Measures first-time yield as well as overall yield. First-time yield measures products that are manufactured without any rework or scrap or rerun.
  10. Customer Complaints: Customer satisfaction metrics that measures the number of times customers have complained or rejected/returned the product.
  11. Raw Material Quality: Measures the supplier defect rate or incoming raw material quality.
  12. On-time Delivery: Measures order fulfillment rate.

Tools that Help Measure Manufacturing Process Control

Measuring and improving the production performance of manufacturing process control comes with many implementation challenges. There are always additional opportunities for deploying new metrics programs, processes, and technologies that can make a real difference in production.

Maximizing production performance and identifying the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) requires an effective leadership team. It also requires committed functional production teams supported with the right information and insights to impact the production process according to their roles in a manufacturing company.

Are These Metrics Right for your Plant?

Though the common metrics listed here can apply to nearly any industrial manufacturer, there may be additional metrics that are more pertinent to your business or industry. The MESA (Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association) organization has sponsored research over the past years to help the manufacturing marketplace identify the most important metrics and help decision-makers understand metrics improvements and their relationships to metrics programs and the use of software solutions. As part of the most recent metrics survey, 28 manufacturing metrics were identified as being the most utilized by discrete, process, and hybrid/batch manufacturers. The MESA metrics list can be found here.

Matrix Technologies is one of the largest independent process design, industrial automation engineering, and manufacturing operations management companies in North America. To learn more about our manufacturing operations management capabilities and manufacturing process control solutions, contact Divya Prakash, Director, Manufacturing Systems and Solutions, (419) 897-7200 x 216.

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