In the fast-paced and high-stakes industry of high-volume card production, minimizing rejects is crucial not only for operational efficiency but also for maintaining a competitive edge. To achieve this, best-in-class manufacturers are turning to data analytics as a powerful tool to identify, analyze, and address the root causes of rejects. Data analytics is revolutionizing the smart card manufacturing landscape and helping businesses enhance their quality control processes.

The Power of Data Analytics in Manufacturing

Data analytics involves the use of advanced algorithms and statistical methods to analyze large sets of data, extracting meaningful insights and patterns. In the context of high-volume card production, data analytics provides manufacturers with a comprehensive understanding of the entire manufacturing process from start to finish. This insight allows for informed decision-making and targeted improvements in areas prone to defects or rejects.

One of the primary benefits of data analytics in minimizing rejects is its ability to identify and highlight patterns and anomalies in the manufacturing process. By analyzing historical data and trends, manufacturers can pinpoint specific stages or conditions that lead to a higher likelihood of rejects. This proactive approach enables preemptive measures to be implemented, reducing the occurrence of defects before they become a serious issue.

Data analytics also facilitates real-time monitoring of the manufacturing process. With sensors on the equipment, manufacturers can collect and analyze data in real-time, allowing for immediate identification of anomalies or deviations from established quality standards. This enables swift corrective actions, minimizing the overall number of card rejects.

Integrating Data Analytics into Quality Control Processes

To fully leverage the potential of data analytics in minimizing rejects, manufacturers must integrate it seamlessly into their quality control processes. This involves:

  1. Data Collection Infrastructure – Establishing a robust infrastructure for data collection, including sensors and monitoring software across the production line.
  2. Data Processing and Analysis – Implementing advanced data processing and analysis tools to derive actionable insights from the collected data.
  3. Real-Time Reporting – Setting up real-time reporting mechanisms to enable immediate response to deviations from quality standards. This ensures that corrective actions can be taken swiftly, minimizing the impact on production efficiency.
  4. Continuous Improvement – Creating a culture of continuous improvement by regularly reviewing and updating the data analytics system based on evolving manufacturing conditions and emerging trends in smart card technology.

Transformative Impact of Data Analytics − A Recent Opportunity  

Recently, a large financial client solicited our assistance in analyzing their operational health and overall quality. They simply wanted to track, report, and plan for operational efficiency where minimal measures were currently in place at their issuance facility. They needed clear insight and root cause diagnostics to assess the what, when, and how of production inefficiencies hindering their operational plan. In addition, they needed a solution that helped them maintain complete control of their end-to-end issuance production, from supplies and rejects to idle time and availability.

After a thorough analysis using Entrust’s Adaptive Issuance Production Analytics Solution (PAS), it was determined that the customer’s biggest Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) impact areas were machine utilization (Availability) and the number of reject cards (Quality). The analysis provided our client with a recommended action plan, including anticipated improvements based on their operational environment, specific machine layout, and configurations. Both outcomes were pivotal in increasing overall quality through deeper data interrogations.

Outcome #1 − Availability

In the above example, our digital intelligence identified compelling trend information in two areas. The first was a noticeable gap in the amount of idle time between machines, which led to further investigation into the operators themselves at each station. By enabling the “idle time tracking” feature, a complete picture of all operator activities between runs and during pause time showed a sizable disparity from machine to machine. This helped the client address critical labor differences and immediately laid the foundation to drive a continuous improvement plan, initiating best practices across the production floor.

Outcome #2 − Quality

The second finding determined that a significant percentage of rejects were all traced to a limited number of error codes. Similar to the first outcome, the client was able to investigate through a focused, root-cause analysis, driving their investigation quickly to assess and pinpoint the failures. The result was a significantly improved reject rate. Without a focused analytics-based assessment of their environment, this client was left to guess how and why inefficiencies were happening. The dynamic PAS dashboard was instrumental in identifying these inefficiencies and leading improvement plans for a more stable, healthy, and efficient operation.

In the dynamic landscape of high-volume card production, where precision and efficiency are paramount to the bottom line, leveraging data analytics is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather a necessity. Manufacturers that embrace data-driven approaches to quality control can minimize card rejects, enhance operational efficiency, and ultimately deliver superior smart card products to the market. As technology continues to advance, the integration of data analytics into manufacturing processes will play an increasingly pivotal role in shaping the future of high-volume card production. By harnessing the power of data, manufacturers can stay ahead of the competition and ensure that every smart card produced meets the highest standards of quality.

Learn more about the Entrust Adaptive Issuance™ Production Analytics Solution and how it can aid in operational efficiency using digital intelligence, data analytics, and advanced technologies essential for smart card manufacturing.