Manufacturing activity slowed throughout North America in August. According to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), U.S. manufacturing activity fell to 51.1 from 52.7 the month prior. The reading is the worst in two years. In Canada, the RBC Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to 49.4 from 50.8 in July. A score below 50 signals industrywide contraction.
In each market, factory managers are under renewed pressure to optimize processes and lower costs. Big Data tools are best for capturing machine-level information, and analytics tools could hold the key to identifying opportunities for improvement in these five areas.
1. Line speed by product
2. Assembly speed by product and employee
3. Error rates correlated by product and employee
4. Granular utilization data
5. Relative cost to prototype