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Where Did My Production Data Go?

Production Management, Automation, Machine Learning
May 17, 2023

Traditionally, manufacturing companies relied heavily on manual record-keeping for production processes. Operators on the production floor recorded data like units produced, machine downtime, scrap rates, and others manually.

But manual record-keeping has several problems that can immediately and negatively impact the bottom line.

How Data Goes Missing

One of the most significant drawbacks of manual record-keeping is that production data can quickly go missing, and busy operators may need to remember or record data correctly in a rush. Also, many shop floor observations are subjective or open to interpretation or bias. 

One operator may record a stoppage as a "jam," while another may label it as a "fault."

Additionally, manual data collection is time-consuming and labor-intensive, pulling valuable resources from monitoring equipment and other critical functions. And these errors are easily multiplied if data must be re-entered for each legacy software application, like quality or maintenance.

How Production Data Software Reduces Errors and Drives Excellence

Missing or incorrect data leads to inaccurate KPIs. And with the added burden of being time-lagged, managers have more difficulty making informed decisions about production processes.

Production data management software eliminates these errors to bring current production data to the fingertips of those who need it on the production floor and in planning. Through automated data collection, operators no longer must manually record data.

Instead, data is collected through machine connectivity across a smart manufacturing environment. The insights gathered utilize advanced analytics, machine learning, and other technology forces like IIoT sensors and edge computing to analyze and generate KPIs automatically.

Production monitoring software also enables operators and managers to track real-time production data. This benefit means managers can quickly identify problems on the production floor and intervene to correct them.

Because the insights give real-time visibility into the conditions and performance of the shop floor, managers can investigate issues quickly and take steps to correct problems before they become more prominent. This feature significantly reduces downtime, reduces scrap, and increases equipment utilization and efficiency.

Leveraging Production Data for the Entire Operational Supply Chain

A manufacturing company's operational supply chain requires immediate and accurate KPIs to function smoothly.

And this requires a strong digital foundation across the company. The software can integrate with other systems, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, to provide a complete picture of production processes.

This seamless interoperability helps managers make informed decisions about inventory management, scheduling, and other aspects of production within the operational supply chain, all informed by the insights of production data software.

The software also empowers managers to identify trends and patterns in production data to make data-driven decisions about process improvement. With real-time insights and advanced analytics, production data management software aligns your data with your processes to significantly reduce waste and improve efficiency.

By tracking KPIs such as scrap rates and machine uptime, managers can identify sources of waste and take steps to eliminate them. You can learn more about the benefits of KPIs in our Smart Manufacturing Software Buyer's Guide here.

Find Your Missing Data

Missing data, errors in data entry, and the time-consuming nature of manual record-keeping mean inaccurate KPIs and impaired decision-making. But production monitoring software from Plex embeds itself into your processes to automate data collection, provide real-time data, generate historical data for analysis, and reduce waste while significantly improving efficiency.

With a strong digital foundation, your entire operational supply chain will benefit from accurate real-time data and the analytical insights needed to not only find your data but put it to work to improve your performance. Contact us to learn more about Plex production monitoring software.

About the Author

Plex DemandCaster Supply Chain Planning

Since joining forces with Plex, by Rockwell Automation, in 2016, we’ve harnessed the power of its Smart Manufacturing Platform and industry knowledge to offer a digitized supply chain planning product. It seamlessly unites your business from the plant floor to the executive suite. To learn more about how we are bringing the Connected Enterprise to life across industrial enterprises, visit

Plex DemandCaster