Optimizing multiple machine operation with Industrial Smartwatches

  • Michael Reutter
  • Machine operation

Today, production employees are usually informed of a machine malfunction by means of acoustic signals, flashing signal lights or monitors. As a result, malfunctions or a material shortage are often not detected in time, resulting in unnecessary machine downtime, which reduces plant efficiency and causes costs. The risk of machine downtime is particularly high if the machines are located in confusing places or if employees are responsible for machines that are physically separated from each other.

Especially in this case the use of an Industrial Smartwatch provides enormous added value:

  • Employees are notified immediately in case of machine malfunctions
  • Employees receive only the information that is relevant for them
  • A stimulus overload of the employees is avoided
  • With the Smartwatch, employees have their hands free
  • Faster reaction times lead to shorter machine downtimes and thus to cost savings

Scenario in the case of one of our customers from the automotive industry:

Initial situation and problem:

The customer has a production hall with various U-lines which are almost 60 m long. One line manager is responsible for several production lines and therefore he was often not reachable for the 6 line managers and had to be searched for if something had to be coordinated with him. In addition, the plant operators had to constantly pay attention to the many different signal lights on the machine, e.g. to identify a malfunction or a shortage of parts, which meant that some of the signals were overlooked. In some cases there were malfunctions while the responsible employee was not at his workplace (e.g. in the toilet). The long communication channels and delayed reaction times have resulted in high costs for the customer.


We connected the aucobo system with the customer’s MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and equipped all plant and line managers with Industrial Smartwatches. As a result, employees now only have to act on an event-based basis. As soon as the machine has a malfunction, it is displayed to the employee on the Smartwatch as in the following example:

  • Priority: High
  • Machine: Machine 3, Hall 1
  • Cause of malfunction: Part jammed, machine stopped.

The employee then has the option of accepting the task, rejecting it, forwarding it to a colleague or being reminded again in X minutes. The same applies if there is a need for coordination with the line manager. With the push of a button, they can be notified, no matter where they are. The line manager, in turn, can see on his computer who is currently working on which tasks and assign new tasks to each employee or contact them individually.

Added value:

  • Capacities were optimized
  • Employees were relieved by the elimination of stimulus satiation
  • Prioritization and distribution of tasks is now clear
  • Reduction of machine downtimes
  • The output quantity was increased
  • The OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) was increased
  • Data quality has been improved

The customer now knows exactly how long it takes on average to solve a specific problem and how often an error occurs, as the employees can specify the exact problem with the Smartwatch.

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