Ease of Use: Get More from Your Camera-based Troubleshooting System through Your Operators

Surprisingly, one of biggest complaints from asset leaders of manufacturing processes that use camera-based troubleshooting systems is operator acceptance. It's not the lack of advanced features, resolution, frame rate, cost or implementation, but instead the simple fact that operators do not engage with this type of technology unless they absolutely have to. Furthermore, the use of the technology is not consistent across the operator teams.

Having any camera system to help identify process disruptions is better than having none. But a camera system that gets used more across the entire production group will have a faster and more continual ROI (return on investment). How can ECS help maximize the results of your investment in camera technology?

The attached application report details how ECS upgraded an existing system that was similar in some ways and very dissimilar in others. Both systems had the same key elements:  cameras connected to computers to show on an operator HMI (human machine interface) event-based process disruptions of a converting line. However, the contribution to increasing the realized capacity was very different with each system. ECS understands it's not the features themselves as much as how the operators engage them.

The advent of mobile technology has created a complete population of 'ready-trained' operators of touch screen interfaces. If you can figure out the most used features and make them specific to already accepted touch screen actions the adoption curve of this vital tool is greater and the longer term consistent use of the technology is better. The key is getting your operators to use it—this alone justifies the purchase.

Once your operators understand how easy the system is to use, the real payback is the change in longer term interactions. First, they take time to investigate advanced features. Second, the system is used even when the production line is running at acceptable speeds and quality. Finally, the system is used sooner in the troubleshooting process and more often for less severe process disruptions. In the end, the camera system contributes more to the result it was designed for, increasing the realized capacity of the process. Increase speed, decrease waste, and decrease delay with ECS.

 The upgraded system was configured using the existing rack and backbone of the previous installation.

The upgraded system was configured using the existing rack and backbone of the previous installation.

 Closeup of the custom ECS camera enclosure with timed air cleaning functionality

Closeup of the custom ECS camera enclosure with timed air cleaning functionality