Shop Floor Control

The shop floor is the core of your company’s production process. This is the place where your manufacturing workers, machine oerators, and automated tools execute on the processes that you’ve planned. At the same time, it’s the place where shop floor control—process validation, data collection, quality control, product sampling, and other related activities—takes place. When properly implemented and usable for your company’s employees, a robust shop floor control system can serve as a powerful tool for controlling resources, schedules, and costs.

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What Is Shop Floor Control?

Shop Floor Control (SFC) refers to a set of tools and techniques that are used to track, monitor, and supervise manufacturing people, processes, and materials on the production floor. Generally, this includes tools for scheduling work, tracking metrics, and monitoring human, material, and equipment resources as they are brought onto the factory floor.

These processes may be automated for greater accuracy and efficiency; some elements, such as inventory tracking and schedule optimization, may be fully autonomous, while other functions incorporate human review and judgment.

These controls are irrelevant to several areas of manufacturing, including:

  • Planning and Scheduling: Receiving and processing planned orders, and incorporating these orders into a production schedule.
  • Production: Completing the manufacturing process for the planned order.
  • Requirements: Assessing plant capacity and material levels, to determine whether an order can be released to production.
  • Delivery: Confirming and validating the order, documenting receipt, and settling accounts.

Your shop floor control system has a profound influence on your business. A poorly-integrated system that’s difficult to use can threaten your ability to produce, validate, and deliver products for your clients. By contrast, a system that integrates with your company’s manufacturing toolchain can be an invaluable tool that shows you what’s actually happening on the factory floor in close to real-time.

What Are the Benefits of Shop Floor Control Systems?

A robust shop floor control system can yield many direct and secondary benefits for your company’s manufacturing operations. Some of the most visible of these include:

  • Increased high-level visibility: Quality and production engineers gain a birds’-eye view of the production process, improving quality and delivery timelines.
  • Improved resource management: Detailed reports from the shop floor help your team better manage your resources and materials, finishing the job sooner and at less cost.
  • Higher labor utilization: In addition to material resources, efficiently directed use of human resources saves money and time.
  • Better adherence to SOPs: Directors and managers can ensure that standard operating procedures (SOPs) are being followed, and gain the ability to intervene in case of exceptions.
  • More accurate reporting: Better data and information coming from the shop floor improve the quality and comprehensiveness of production, compliance, and audit reports.

Why Automate Shop Floor Control Processes in Manufacturing?

Businesses whose shop floor procedures include manual entry steps may realize particularly significant benefits from efforts to automate their shop floors. Not only can this save time, but it can also cut down on redundant paperwork, minimize errors, and reduce labor costs.

But not all solutions are created equal. A solution that does not integrate with your MES or ERP is not working to its full potential, and may even create bottlenecks and continued challenges for full adoption. To reap all the benefits, you need a solution that integrates easily and completely with your existing tool suite.

Improve Shop Floor Control with MasterControl

MasterControl Manufacturing Excellence solutions can support your company on your digital transformation and smart manufacturing journey. When integrated with your existing production systems, such as an MES or ERP, our software can help your company realize significant cost savings and:

  • Automate: Save time and money while improving the accuracy of automatable shop floor processes.
  • Collect data: Enable sophisticated data collection and monitoring from the factory floor, giving you a better view of the production process.
  • Schedule: Streamline the process of developing schedules and moving planned work into production based on data collected from the shop floor.
  • Track Requirements: Improve your ability to capture, view, and execute on project requirements early in the development process.
  • Deliver: Deliver products on time and on budget with enhanced shop floor control capabilities.

Learn More

To find out more about MasterControl Manufacturing Excellence and how it supports robust shop floor control, please contact MasterControl.