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One of the top trends in manufacturing plants today is the need and desire to have a better understanding of what is happening on the shop floor. The most productive and efficient manufacturers are actively monitoring their shop floors, not to be "Big Brother" looking over the shoulder of the machine operator, but rather to gain insight into the operations which can in turn help the operators and the plant to be more productive. Numerous manufacturers who have implemented productivity monitoring have seen a 20% improvement in just ten weeks, with a significant Return on Investment (ROI) from their initial investment in six months or less.

The ability to seamlessly network equipment, robots and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) is a key to saving time and money in any manufacturing shop. Overall Equipment Effectiveness is a universal measure that will help answer the efficiency question. Volvo Construction Equipment is one of the world's largest manufacturers of construction machines, with a full product range, manufactured, serviced and supported all over the globe. Each and every machine comes with the quality, performance and safety you expect from the Volvo name.


Traditionally, productivity was tracked via paper forms that are entered into a software system at some later date. Individual's time monitored and synchronized the feeder lines to the main lines. The MTTR, MTBF, and MTTF were approximate estimations. Data filling in paper forms were available for inspection and system compliance to ensure transmission, coolant, diesel, and drum oil were filled in right quantity and VOLVO was looking to implement a solution to:

  • Monitor uptime and downtime of the conveyor.
  • Capture engine oil filling details wrt to engine serial no.
  • Capture axle oil filling details wrt to axle serial no.
  • Ensure a fool proof system - integration of poke yoke signals from transmission, coolant, diesel, and drum oil filling units with the TPM-Trak controller.
  • Understand MTTR, MTTF wrt to maintenance help parameter.
  • PACE MAKER application to enhance the productivity of each department.
  • To drive visual indicator lamps and an Andon board.


  • TPM-Trak Control System (TCS)® hardware enabled with multiple communication interfaces (Modbus RTU, Can Open, RS485, RS232), PLC, RIX, digital I/Os were deployed on these machines, along with TPM-Trak® software (web version) running on a Windows 2008 server.
  • TPM-Trak® digital dashboards and reporting modules were enabled on select user laptops/desktops (Windows XP/Win 7), which enabled key production personnel to access real-time data.
  • RTC based Pace Maker Andon boards were installed at 6 individual departments.

TPM-Trak that automatically collects, reports, charts and processes real-time manufacturing data including cycle time, idle time, downtime and more was implemented to provide a platform for efficiency issues which can be dealt with as they happen, not days or weeks after the fact. The realtime data flowing from the equipment optimized machinery, personnel, and materials.

TPM-Trak allowed the viewing of data such as the machine status, downtime detail, from anywhere through a browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Business Benefits

Implementing this solution led to the following results:

  • Precise understanding of the conveyor stoppages and running time, occurrences of help request (maintenance, kitting, quality and stores).
  • Detail time study analysis report of MTTR, MTBF, and MTTF.
    sms Alert to all respective department heads, managers, line supervisors whenever help request is raised ensured timely escalation.
  • Increase in productivity process within the respective departments by more than 15%.
  • Easy engine serial no., axle serial no. traceability for critical parameters for filling units.
  • Poke yoke interlocks helped them to achieve quality, performance and safety.
  • Reports generated through TPM-Trak were integrated to Volvo Production System (VPS).
  • 10% sustained improvement in handling accurate logistics at each feeder and station.


  • Having seen strong business benefits, customer has expanded usage of assembly line Andon monitoring systems solutions to road machinery line.
  • Assembly line Andon monitoring systems solutions have been identified as a standard business solution to be used in the future.
  • Expansion of assembly line Andon monitoring systems to newly construction of Back Hoe Loaders (BHL) division.

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