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Plug & play line monitoring for production companies

    Low-threshold process improvements on the basis of objective data

    Maximum output with minimum effort

    A socket for a television screen on the shop floor can suffice to improve the efficiency of your business processes. Too good to be true? mact and Ikologik prove through a pilot project at chocolate manufacturer Libeert that it can be done effectively. A practical approach, based on visualising 'real time' data, leads to immediate improvements and higher job satisfaction among the staff.

    Tom Lefere has already gained a great deal of experience in improving operational activities at customers, and since 2019 he has been concentrating fully on this with mact. "Sometimes people are convinced that they are working very efficiently, while in fact they are struggling. By working with tools that give people on the shop floor a helicopter view, we strive to maintain efficiency, but without the dabbling."

    Performance in focus

    Tom Lefere finds those tools at Ikologik from Bruges. Tom Serru's company has grown into a reliable partner for process monitoring via self-developed software for visualisation, reporting and intelligent analysis of process data. "Our solutions allow us to provide a real-time picture of performance on the shop floor. We do that via a television screen that shows a number of objective data, such as the number of pieces produced today, the weekly production and a graph with the production per hour," Tom Serru explains.

    Jerome Libeert, Manager of Operations at the chocolate manufacturer of the same name, was eager to test the system in practice. "Libeert produces delicious and beautiful chocolate products in a sustainable way and is the leading master chocolatier for the general public. The company was looking for a simple method for labour analysis of the offline manual assembly and packaging line of hollow figures. Until recently, they could only measure the output of the different teams the day after, which was a missed opportunity to make processes on-the-spot more efficient. With the new approach, that goes a lot smoother," says Tom Lefere.


    It turned out that the cadence with which the first person puts empty boxes on the conveyor belt is essential for higher efficiency. "We calculated the optimum cadence for each of our types of chocolate figures, so that the first employee could focus on that," says Jerome Libeert. "Then we were able to eliminate the hiccups at the other workstations too. At the end of the conveyor belt there is an electronic counter that registers live. The results are immediately displayed on the screen. Without setting concrete goals, we notice that the employees are automatically motivated to reach certain numbers. Because this happens in a rather playful way, there is no pressure and at the end of the day, people also go home with a greater sense of satisfaction. They know that they have done well.

    The 'plug & play' solution requires no connection to the customer's IT infrastructure. "The data capture takes place in the Cloud and is also visible on the supervisor's television screen or mobile 'devices', so that the person in charge notices it immediately and can intervene directly if any obstacles are encountered," explains Tom Serru (Ikologik).

    Jerome Libeert is already a believer and is determined to continue working with it. "It is a very simple and user-friendly way to gain new insights and increase efficiency through direct communication with our people. In the end, everyone wins.