Real-time information across the board

PSL Datatrack 3
PSL Datatrack 3

Jota Advanced Engineering, the subcontract precision engineering division of the Jota Group, has found that investment in the PSL Datatrack Status Board display system has brought a new dimension to its successful business by giving visual real-time information on its key production functions.

Providing CNC machining capabilities into the wider motor racing, aviation, power generation, scientific and medical sectors, as well as internally to the Jota Sport motor racing and Jota Aviation divisions, the precision subcontract engineering company uses a wide range of sophisticated production machinery including multi-axis turning centres with live tooling and 5-axis machining centres.

The company regularly works to tight tolerances often in difficult to machine materials. Jota Advanced Engineering is accredited to ISO:9001 is seeking IATF 16949 Automotive approval.

After being introduced to the system by a fellow subcontractor at a MACH show and following a subsequent onsite demonstration, the company initially invested in PSL Datatrack production control software in 2016.

This replaced the manual systems which were being used to control production and record business data. Based on Excel spreadsheets and Word documents, this approach was both time-consuming and difficult to manage efficiently. The company realised that a slicker, more professional method of production control and administration was required for the business, to manage everything from product prototyping to batch production.

PSL Datatrack provided the ideal solution as director, Ryan Goodger, explains: “The focus of PSL Datatrack as a company, and through its software, is right on the precision engineering sector – a business it knows very well – and the needs of companies like Jota Advanced Engineering. The system is very flexible with its modularity but most important for us was that PSL Datatrack could tailor the software specifically for our requirements.”

The investment gave Jota control of its customer quotations, sales and purchase order processing, workshop scheduling, Shop Floor Data Collection (SFDC), deliveries and invoicing procedures. It provided close management of all of these aspects of the business, obviating the need for keeping paperwork or customer archives.

It gives Jota highly accurate information about its business and machining capacity so that it can keep its commitment to customers in terms of product quality, traceability and delivery punctuality. Not only that, but quotation times were slashed by up to 40%.

Mr Goodger says: “PSL Datatrack sits behind our precision engineering business. Everything stems from a customer quotation and when an order is then received, the information is transformed into a works order from which all the subsequent production operations are evolved before delivery and invoicing is then taken care of.”

The next stage for Jota was to be able to see the status of all work passing through the shopfloor in real-time. This led to investment in Status Boards which has become a key element of the PSL Datatrack system for so many customers because of their versatility.

Putting Status Boards on display throughout the factory and in the management offices at Jota has ensured that clear visual instructions are available to all departments on any aspect of production, giving even more control over manufacturing processes and achieving Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

For Mr Goodger however, that was just one of the benefits: “I also love the fact that what is displayed on the screens is the result of the customisation that PSL Datatrack undertook to meet our specific requirements and ideas.”

The result of the discussion between Jota and PSL Datatrack was a ‘traffic light’ system for the Status Boards on the shopfloor that can be clearly read and easily understood by all operatives, allowing them to identify and rectify any possible bottlenecks in production.

The screens show the sequence of jobs that are going through the factory at any time and those that are planned for the following day. A green light indicates when a specific machine is going into production mode and an amber light shows that it has been set, ready to go into production. The red light highlights that it is yet to be set for production.

Meanwhile, four Status Boards in the management offices are used for production planning. They use information stored in various PSL Datatrack modules to display critical information on: machine capacities or free hours; jobs may be falling behind schedule; work being despatched; and materials coming in (or overdue) from suppliers.

“This real-time information allows us to make important decisions on moving production around, keeping customers fully informed and monitoring or chasing suppliers' deliveries if they’re late,” Mr Goodger adds.

The benefits to Jota from investment in the Status Boards have been considerable, ensuring any urgent actions for either the shopfloor or company management are not overlooked. As information is dynamically kept up-to-date, any instructions relating to specific customer jobs can be immediately generated.

“Status Boards display the information that we want to know and have been customised by PSL Datatrack to suit our needs. Our relationship with Geoff Gartland and his team is enabling Jota Advanced Engineering to go from strength to strength,” Mr Goodger concludes.

PSL Datatrack

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