5 Ways to Start Using Amper Tactically
At Amper, we're big on using your data for improvement projects to further your strategic goals. But we get it. Not everyone has the time to dedicate to CI projects or long-term planning. Especially when you're simply trying to keep your factory afloat.
The good news? Amper has tactical tools (like alerts and andon calls) you can start using today to help you take smaller steps to reaching your goals.
Here are 5 easy ways to use Amper tactically and keep your machines in production:
1. Use automatic alerts—but only for the machines you really care about.
To avoid getting overwhelmed with text messages or emails about downtime, many Amper customers will setup alerts ONLY for their hottest machines.
To do this, you can set up a personalized alert for yourself and toggle in/out machines you may want to monitor at any time.
Our customers typically have 1 alert per person, and that person takes 5 minutes each morning to add their hot machines for the day.
This is great for:
For information about setting up alerts, check out
2. Utilize the Call Team button to eliminate wait times
Do you have downtime due to waiting? Waiting on a person, department or material? It's possible this is a major downtime reason, and you may not even realize it!
Any time your operators are waiting on something, they should be able to call for it, versus walking away from their station to find it. You can do exactly that with our Call Team feature.
- First, determine what exactly it is your operators are waiting for. Is it material, maintenance, their supervisor, quality? Possibly all 4?
- Work with your CSM to set up your Call Team button and add your team to it.
- Train your operators on how to call for help, and check over time to see how your overall utilization increases!
3. Use the Setup tool and get alerted when setups surpass the time threshold
Earlier we discussed setting up alerts for machine downtime. But did you know you can also use the alerts 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, an escalation team would be notified. To get started with setups & setup goal alerts:
- Contact your CSM to have them turn on the Setup tool in the system
- Set a goal for setups (ex. 1 hour)
- Create an alert escalation workflow to be notified if a setup goes X minutes over your goal.
- Train your team on the setup tool
- Roll the tool out to your team and prevent setups from taking too long.
-If it goes over by 15 minutes, maybe you notify a supervisor to assist
-If it goes over by 30 minutes, maybe a manager gets notified
-1 hour, and maybe the maintenance team is on the way to assist!
4. Eliminate surprises tomorrow and improve utilization TODAY with Scoreboards
Amper's Scoreboard tool shows real-time visual data about what's happening on your factory floor. The tool helps you answer the question, "what's going on on my shop floor right now?"
Scoreboards are intended to be displayed on a TV screen on your factory floor. Why?
1. The first reason is for the Hawthorne Effect. This is the idea that what gets measured, improves. If you set realistic goals for operators to hit and display Scoreboards across your plant, you empower them with the knowledge to affect those numbers. We've seen customers increase their utilization by 20% through the Hawthorne Effect alone! Check out how Global Precision Parts did it in this case study.
2. Secondly, visual management helps point out what's wrong now, so you can react and fix it before it becomes a bigger problem. Red, yellow, and green colors can easily communicate to anyone: if something isn't green, go fix it!
5. Use Alerts and Scoreboards to React to Late Starts and Early Stops
Do you ever wonder why it takes so long to get started in the morning? Or have you noticed that some machines stop running for the day way before the end of the shift?
Use Amper to get notified when your Time to First Piece (TTFP) is taking longer than planned.
Here's how to get started:
1. Simply set a goal for late starts and early stops—we usually see customers choose 15-20 minutes.
2. Make a new shift in the settings for the first 20-30 minutes of your shift. The shift should be slightly longer than your goal. Note: in the image below the 1st TTFP and 2nd TTFP shifts span 30 minutes into the 1st and 2nd shifts.
3. Make sure your machines are NOT assigned to the TTFP shifts in the Machine Groups section in settings. If machines are assigned to overlapping shifts, it can create inconsistencies with your data. Note: In the image below, see how no machines are assigned to the TTFP shifts.
4. Create a cumulative alert for that goal. This alert says, "If a machine accumulates 15 minutes of downtime within the 30 minute shift, send the alert".
**There are 2 alerts above, 1 for each shift. 👆
Here is how you set it up. 👇
5. Start getting notified if machines cross the threshold. In this example, our shift starts at 5 am. We get an email at 5:23 am saying that there were 15 minutes of accumulated downtime at 5:16 am. This alert shows which machines weren't running for the first 15 minutes of the shift.
*Note: there is a 7-minute delay due to data processing time. This is why the text comes at 5:23 am for a 5:16 am issue.
This method can help you pay extra attention during these important windows of time, and will help you get to the bottom of why it takes so long to get started at the beginning of a shift. Most Amper customers can save up to 5% utilization from their TTFP improvements!