Top 5 Ways to Use Alerts

Top 5 Ways to Use Alerts

By: David Okrzesik, Customer Success Engineer

With Amper, you can send alerts based on different types of activity on your shop floor. This article outlines the different ways you can use alerts for better control and visibility throughout your plant.


Don’t forget that your CSM is here to help and can assist you on specific questions and uses that may arise regarding alerts.

1. Alert Escalation for Downtime

Escalated workflow for Machine Down Alert

For escalation alerts when a machine goes down, different users will want to be notified under a varying severity of circumstances. In this scenario, we are talking about downtime.

How to set up a “Machine Down” alert

Example: Using the Machine Down Alert for Escalation of Issues

  • Bob: a production supervisor who fights all the fires
  • Jack: a production manager who assists Bob on the fires he can’t put out
  • Tara: the plant manager who is focused on big picture goals and issues

The Scenario:

  • Bob creates an alert for himself that texts him when Machine #1 has been down for 15 consecutive minutes
    • This gives the operator ample time to solve a minor issue, but gives Bob visibility to issues he should help with
  • Jack creates a similar alert for himself but instead of 15 minutes, he is alerted if a machine has been down for 30 minutes
    • This gives Bob time to find a resolution for the issue with the operator, but if they cannot, Jack is automatically alerted to gain visibility and offer assistance
  • Tara creates an alert just as Bob and Jack have done, but as previously stated, she is busy and only cares about major issues—so she sets the time threshold to 60 minutes
    • This gives both Bob and Jack the opportunity to handle the problem, but automatically notifies Tara when the issue persists, so she can provide further support as needed

Here’s what this alert escalation would look like set up in the Amper system:


2. Alerts for Machines Approaching Utilization Targets

Machine Down (Cumulative) Alert

The Machine Down (Cumulative) alert is used to notify employees if a machine accumulates more total downtime than the threshold over a specified period of time or in a shift.

How to setup a “Machine Down (Cumulative)” alert

Example: Using the Machine Down (Cumulative) Alert

  • Jason: the VP of Operations at ABC Machining
  • Kris: the Maintenance Manager at ABC Machining

The Scenario:

  • With the help of Amper’s data, ABC Machining, has increased utilization from 25% to 45% in just 3 months. However, Jason is an ambitious VP of Operations, and he wants the plant to be at least 50% utilization.
  • To get an average utilization of 50% for just one week, Jason knows that means for the shift (600 minutes) worked each day, the machines must never be down for more than 300 of those minutes.

To ensure Jason and Kris, the Maintenance Manager, stay on target for their goal, they agree to create a Machine Down (Cumulative) alert, so they can be notified when the machine has accumulated 240 minutes of downtime in the shift.

**Remember, anything more than 300 minutes of downtime means utilization will be below 50%.


Setting the alert threshold to 240 minutes, leaves Kris and Jason some time to strategize and ensure the machine does not accumulate an additional 60 minutes of downtime for the remainder of the shift

This is what this Machine Down (Cumulative) Alert would look like in the Amper system:


Note: This proactive strategy can be applied to other alert types as well. Simply is set a goal/expectation for the given machine/person/team and set up the alert with a time threshold that is well before that goal. This gives time to adjust and get back on track before a particular problem persists.

3. Unlabeled Downtime Alerts

Downtime Reason Entered

Unlabeled is the default downtime code when a downtime period starts and ends without a reason being labeled. This makes it easy to understand who is not labeling downtime reason codes, and allows you to create an alert for it.

How to set up a “Downtime Reason Entered” alert

Why set up unlabeled downtime alerts

If you want to dive into the data and gather potential improvement projects for cost saving goals, the data around downtime labeling must be sound and complete. It’s recommended that no more than 10% of downtime go unlabeled.

With the chaos of a production floor, it can be difficult to ensure operators are labeling downtime. Thankfully, with the Downtime Reason Entered alert, labeling becomes easier to monitor. It makes supervisors aware that operators are not labeling downtime reasons, so they can go out to the floor to remind them to do so.

To use an alert for this functionality, follow the instructions outlined above, and select Unlabeled as the Downtime Code. The result should look something like what is shown below.


4. Long Setup Alerts

Setup Over Target Alert

You can use the Setup Over Target Alert to get notified when a setup or changeover is taking too long.

For example, you could set a goal for setups to take no longer than 1 hour. Using the Amper setup tool, your operators would start their setup, and if he/she takes longer than the goal with the allotted grace period, an escalation alert would notify the team.

NOTE: To use this alert, the Setup tool must be turned on with a goal and actively in use. To activate, please contact your Customer Success Manager.

How to set up the “Setup Over Targetalert

Example: Using the Setup Over Target Alert

  • Bruce has been an operator at ABC Machine for 20 years
  • Damian has been an operator at the same company for only 2 years
  • Selena has been an operator at ABC Machine for 10 years
  • All 3 of these operators must complete setup before working on his/her machine.

The Scenario:

ABC Machine has been using the Amper setup module for the past month with a setup time goal of 25 minutes. Over the month, they’ve noticed:

  1. Bruce consistently takes about 35 minutes for setups
  2. Damian, who learned from Bruce, takes about 30 minutes
  3. Selena, who reordered some steps, only takes 15 minutes

Given this, ABC Machine has asked Selena to train Bruce and Damian on her method of a faster setup. To ensure no one is ever taking longer than 35 minutes, the supervisor creates a Setup Over Target alert.

To do this, the supervisor determined the setup goal should be 25 minutes, with a grace period of 10 minutes. This way, if Bruce, Damien, or Selena have a setup that goes over 35 minutes, their supervisor (or any other necessary personnel) will be notified immediately with an alert to provide support as needed. Below is a picture of what this would look like in the Amper system:


5. Maintenance Alerts

High Priority Maintenance Request

A High Priority Maintenance Request alert is used to notify maintenance personnel about critical maintenance issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

NOTE: To use this alert type, the Maintenance app must be activated. To learn more about how to get the Maintenance app, email or contact your Customer Success Manager.

How to set up the “High Priority Maintenance Request” alert

Example: Using the High Priority Maintenance Request Alert

  • Peter has been an operator at ABC Machining for 8 years
  • He is pretty consistent when it comes to labeling downtime, and he often submits maintenance requests when something is wrong with his machine

The Scenario:

Peter senses something wrong with his machine and submits a maintenance request using the Operator Interface on his tablet. He has the ability to select the level of priority he feels is needed. For example:

  • Squeaky bearing: it’s a LOW priority request
  • Smoke coming from the machine: it’s a HIGH priority request

Whatever the request, it gets sent to the Amper web app for approval (typically from the Maintenance Manager), so that the task can be assigned, addressed and completed.

To ensure any of Peter’s high priority maintenance requests are approved and addressed ASAP, ABC Machining uses the High Priority Maintenance Request alert. This alert sends a notification out to the Maintenance Manager once Peter has submitted a maintenance request marked as HIGH priority. Thus, this guarantees a speedy response and in many cases, less downtime!

For extra visibility and responsiveness, the alert can be sent to the entire maintenance team to alert them of the high priority issue.