Factory Monitoring: Intelligent Insights from 100s of Industries

What is the Factory Monitoring Playbook?

factory monitoring playbook - a gameplan for digital transfromation front cover graphic


At Brainboxes, our mission is to provide all businesses around the globe, wherever they are on their digital transformation journey, with the tools to optimise machine monitoring, connect industrial IoT projects, and innovate factory automation.

Over the last 10 years, the team and I have visited 100s of facilities spanning many industries, all with different machines and varied end goals. Whether serving the aerospace or automotive industries, detecting black holes or controlling remote telescopes in the Atacama Desert, from operating driverless forklift trucks to managing automatic barriers, we saw similar issues time and again.

We realised that the challenges we were seeing required the same principles and methodologies to solve, and our team devised a factory monitoring gameplan that would be accessible and useful across industry. With the Factory Monitoring Playbook, we’re able to share this step-by-step process refined by our years of experience.


What are some common challenges across different facilities?

Typical issues include: bottlenecks, stock piles, machine downtime, and quality inconsistencies. Oftentimes, what can appear to be random actually comes down to a measurable issue that can be identified and optimised with factory monitoring, specifically condition monitoring.

By answering certain questions: how much energy is being consumed in production, which machine is causing the issues, how much of the day are certain machines in standby, or what level of utilisation does a machine and ultimately a plant have, businesses can set a clear goal that will improve its processes and therefore its ROI.


Why is building a team important?

As a key decision-maker, you have a great perspective but you need to get the right people around the table. Running a factory requires many skill sets, including planning, process control, maintenance, and increasingly cybersecurity.

Each member of the team will have a key contribution, think of it as everyone holding a different piece of the jigsaw – only when the various departments come together can you start to see the big picture.

How can I get total buy-in from my team?

With the right people around the table, the next step is to get them all on board, and the best way to do this is by demonstrating viability. Stakeholders want to see real data before committing to a project and investing money, manpower and time, which can create a chicken-and-egg situation.

By introducing factory monitoring to first uncover the areas to improve and then initiating a small-scale project (Proof of Concept), it becomes possible to establish ROI and get everyone from your production staff to directors on board.


What is smart energy monitoring, and why is it important to my gameplan?

As energy becomes more of a key resource in manufacturing, including your facility’s consumption in your factory monitoring gameplan is fast becoming an effective way to identify savings.

The world’s energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency, recorded the steepest-ever increase in global electricity demand in 2021. The 6% surge (over 1,500 terawatt-hours) was the largest on record, leading to a stark warning from the IEA that the resultant cost spike risks causing severe hardship for many households and businesses around the world.

As economies look to cheaper coal power plants to try and cap soaring costs, we’re also seeing record emissions from ‘dirty’ power generation. Higher investment in cleaner, low-carbon technologies, and a stronger focus on energy efficiency through smart monitoring, can help limit power plant pollution, reduce market volatility, and get us to net zero carbon by the target of 2050. Energy monitoring can not only show when and where energy is being consumed, but also the energy signature of a machine can give insights into its productivity.


I’ve downloaded the Factory Monitoring Playbook; what’s the next step?

We’ve devised a questionnaire that will help you to apply the concepts and methodologies discussed in the Factory Monitoring Playbook, and create a gameplan personalised to your individual facility: click here to get started.