Activplant, a London, Ontario, Canada, supplier of performance management solutions, announced on June 12 the general release of the ActivApplications—Throughput Analyzer, a strategic application within the Activplant Performance Management System (APMS).
A key component of this application is the introduction of the patent pending Throughput Capability Metric, which uses information captured from the automation layer in the plant to identify and qualify a resource’s current performance against the overall plant Takt Time, a measure used to match the pace of work to the average pace of customer demand. The Throughput Analyzer is designed to help customers identify which resources are constraining the product flow within high volume discrete manufacturing facilities, enabling them to resolve problems immediately and achieve the best possible improvements in plant performance.
The Throughput Analyzer is the first in the company’s line of ActivApplications, a new suite of next-generation applications that draw upon the capabilities of the APMS. Based upon the Toyota Production System, a framework for organizing manufacturing facilities with the goal of eliminating waste, and Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints, a body of knowledge on effective management of organizations as systems, the Throughput Analyzer makes it simple for manufacturers to identify those key constraints which most impact the bottom line.
On the move
Notes Jane Biddle, vice president of Aberdeen Group, a Boston analyst firm, “ActivPlant is a company on the move. Its ability to enable root-cause analysis in Lean Sigma manufacturing environments makes it a shoe-in for leading automotive companies. Additionally, it is refreshing to see a company deliver a product that supports the combined principles of Eli Goldraitt and [Toyota Production System inventor] Taichi Ohno.”
Julie Fraser, principal, Industry Directions, a Cummiquid, Mass. analyst firm, says, “I think the Activplant Throughput Analyzer is a real breakthrough in manufacturing intelligence, performance management for a few reasons:
• It's an application—and that is what most people can easily wrap their heads around
• It's pre-packaged—people don't often know what they should be measuring, and this gives them a few simple data points to gather and one target—throughput through the plant
• It requires minimal data acquisition—just three points from each workstation, rather than the many data points that some people try to use in building a dashboard
• Implementation time and cost are quick and can be fixed
• It's a reasonable cost of entry and cost of ownership.
This is shows that the market for plant performance metrics is maturing. It's accelerating the curve toward a functional space that is mainstream. I look forward to seeing more pre-packaged metrics like this.”
“Activplant’s Throughput Analyzer is a refreshingly practical, tactical solution for improving performance. It uses relatively few data inputs, and enables discrete manufacturers to identify and sequentially remove critical constraints and thereby improve throughput of product. It’s very complementary to the information visibility/intelligence aspects of their product line,” commented Greg Gorbach, vice president, collaborative manufacturing, at ARC Advisory Group Inc., Dedham, Mass.
The Throughput Analyzer will be available for general release on June 15, 2006.