Using Manufacturing Dashboards to Streamline Your Factory

Dec 4, 2020 12:00:00 PM / by David Crowley

machine status dashboard with stock

As modern manufacturers face ever-tightening production expectations, plant managers are challenged to find new ways to address chaotic technological disruption and tighter globalized competition. That means sharpening their lean production strategies and harnessing actionable insights. 

If only there were a solution for manufacturers to access a manufacturing dashboard that provided a real time visual representation of the entire process. Oh wait—there is.

Manufacturing dashboards leverage a variety of visualizations—graphs, tables and charts—to bring fresh insights to production KPIs. Dashboards gather and organize data in real time from factory machinery, worker input, sensors and other devices. In short, a manufacturing dashboard “sees all/knows all” across the entire operation. Once gathered, a dashboard provides user-friendly, action-oriented presentations that everyone across the operation can access.

Manufacturing Dashboard Functions

As noted, a manufacturing dashboard acts as harvester, traffic cop and visual artist for production and process monitoring data. By connecting to a central processor, the dashboard draws data streams from all connected machines and input devices and separates out KPIs: machine and tool cycles, good and bad part counts, up time and reject, assist and downtime events and reasons.

The platform can also collect process variables such as delivery performance, fill time, supply charge time, injection start pressure, maximum injection pressure, take-out time, screw speed, barrel zone temperatures and more. This data stream, in turn, drives and optimizes OEE by integrating production rates, quality, and machine availability.


Dashboards Streamline Production

With a nest-level dashboard, operators can track and optimize production quality by leveraging vital analytics. A manufacturing dashboard provides an effective means to measure rate of return as it relates to supply chain and low-defect rates—from sales to production to logistics.

Because of the holistic and visual nature of a manufacturing dashboard, data is easily and readily available across all departments, including manufacturing, quality control, management, accounting and financial. Additionally, the best dashboards deliver an extra layer of streamlining by offering functions such as drag-and-drop job scheduling, real-time dashboard reporting and customizable alerts.


Dashboard Benefits

So far, we’ve taken a global overview of manufacturing dashboards. Now, let’s drill down into the nuts and bolts to highlight several factors that separate dashboards from traditional processing.



Dashboards broadcast data both online and through an automated process, focusing on process monitoring. Once set up, operators will never have to re-invent the wheel and “teach” the dashboard how to parse and deliver data. Your team remains focused on optimizing production, finances, logistics and quality control.


Actionable Insights

With manufacturing dashboards, your team is in total control, from the floor to the managerial office. Dashboards present data in a simple, visualized display that moves beyond spreadsheets and paper charts. Managers can hone their ability to discern trends and patterns beyond the norm to ensure nothing is missed. A manager would be able to access a Pareto chart to track waste or view a pie chart to gain insight into capacity issues.

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Top-notch manufacturing dashboards are customizable per individual users. Operators may want to get a view that focuses on process while a decision maker wants to know how the production line is driving rate of return.

Effective manufacturing execution systems harness the power of actionable data to provide insight into job-specific details on every machine and deliver the shop floor information you need to keep operations running smoothly. Subscribe to our blog for ongoing manufacturing updates that can help you make the most of your production processes! 

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