How to use Amper to improve productivity and labor management

Team members
Factory size (ft2)
Number of machines

Company overview

Global Precision Parts (GPP) is an international market leader in precision machined parts. It offers multiple capabilities, including multi-spindle, CNC, and hydromat solutions.

GPP serves a range of industries, including automotive, fluid power, HVAC, industrial equipment, plumbing, electrical, construction, and more. GPP prides itself on exceeding expectations—which is why management implemented Amper’s machine monitoring system in the first place.  

Key highlights

GPP decided to digitize their daily production and OEE reporting to save time, increase visibility, and have data to drive Lean Manufacturing initiatives.

  • The team used utilization data to measure paid labor utilization.
  • They set a goal to see two hours of machine uptime or one hour of setup per hour of paid labor.
  • After the initiative, GPP increased their machine utilization by 10%.
  • Paid labor utilization averaged 100% or more.
  • GPP’s operator-to-machine ratio rose from 1:2 to 1:6
When we started this initiative with Amper, about 80% of what we were paying we were turning into production. We now average over 100% every single week of paid production.

— Michael Abbot, Plant Manager

GPP’s challenge: How do we use our data?

When GPP implemented Amper’s OEE tracking system, management did it right. That included involving their most influential operators from day one, earning their early buy-in. Those operators would then serve as change champions, encouraging fellow operators to get on board.    

The strategy paid off, and after six months of using the Amper system, GPP felt it was getting good quality data. However, they didn’t know how to leverage it in order to meet their goals. They needed help choosing a focus.

“We just wanted to get the most out of our money—as we all do in manufacturing,” explains Michael Abbott, GPP Plant Manager.

GPP’s solution: Track paid labor utilization

GPP shared their dilemma with their Amper representative. After some thought, they arranged a peer brainstorming session with another Amper customer that was also getting started with the system.

Operators and managers from both sides attended, sharing experiences and best practices. Inspired by what they learned, GPP’s team determined that they would use their utilization data to measure paid labor utilization. They drew up a strategy and set their goal.

“For every hour of labor we paid out, I wanted to see either two hours of machine uptime or one hour of setup,” says Abbott.

The goal was to hit this standard by 100% or more.

Impressive end results

In a relatively short time, GPP increased their  machine utilization by 10%, while paid labor utilization averaged 100% or more.

Soon, GPP was able to justify purchasing new equipment. Their new machines run a little slower, but because they’re more fully automated, GPP’s machine-to-operator ratio rose from 1:2 to 1:6.

In short, GPP was able to generate more sales while reducing costs, leading to an improved profit margin.  

Key takeaways for manufacturers

According to Abbott, the key to improving productivity starts with some honest introspection: “I would say, really sit and look at yourself. How much are you paying out—are you really getting what you want out of it?”

Then, he suggests, see how Amper’s machine monitoring system can help you get the data you need—even if you start by tracking just one machine. (Amper’s free pilot program allows you to track 2 machines for four weeks at no cost!)

Abbott also warns that you can expect to be surprised, as the results will not be what you think. (This is such a common Amper customer experience, Amper calls it “the wow moment.”)

Furthermore, he recommends that you determine what data you want to track, noting, “Without Amper, we wouldn’t have been able to do this easily. The data is raw and clean—you don’t need to manipulate it to see the truth of what’s happening on the floor.”

Finally, he says, take it one day and one week at a time. He believes the project yielded such quick success because “it was more about managing business day-to-day versus aiming for long-term changes and projects.”