How to Track Packaging Equipment Installs in 2016


If you’ve sold, installed, or purchased equipment in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector, you’re intimately familiar with processes to ramp up equipment to meet performance goals, or a desired OEE (overall equipment effectiveness).

Getting equipment running effectively is a critical part of the trust building process post-sale and if not executed appropriately, can lead to substantive cost overruns and ultimately affect sales efforts in the future.

With mobile devices, it’s become easier than ever to collect and share data in real-time when you deploy your equipment or consumables at a customer site, whether it’s for pilot purposes or for permanent installations. Quantifying and tracking the issues that affect performance can lead to dramatically reduced sales cycles and increased probability of a win long term, and can help your customers reach their desired objectives.

Consider the power of collecting and sharing data in real time on the equipment you’re installing and measuring for performance, like:

  • Reasons for machine stoppages, whether it’s maintenance, upstream issues or product jams (identify reasons and don’t just count time)
  • Changeover time
  • Cases needing rework
  • Equipment OEE
  • Number of rejects observed
  • Total downtime

Few original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) have real-time access to install or trial related data, much less a quantified output from an install to present to decision makers who ultimately decide whether or not the purchase was worth it.

Tracking data and sharing it in real-time when you install equipment and run trials is possible with a limited amount of effort and training, particularly in cases where you have channel partners selling your equipment and making a commission.

Consider the following in an attempt to generate powerful remote diagnostics that can help you meet performance guarantees.

Set the Goalposts Before You Go Mobile

It’s important to define success criteria before you begin an installation and to build this into your tracking efforts on site, before you decide to go mobile. This includes defining how long the installation and monitoring program will run, what objectives define a successful installation, and what parameters will be measured throughout the monitoring program to gauge movement towards meeting those objectives. Establish communication protocols and the way in which knowledge gained throughout the pilot will be disseminated amongst various parties. Web enabled dashboard technology can be used to socialize the results of installations in real-time.

Configure and Train

Mobile devices have to be configured so that it’s clear what information field based partners or on-site employees at a factory need to collect throughout the installation or trial period. It’s important to consider the variables that indicate that your equipment is performing, and to consider other factory variables that need to be tracked to show a correlation between your equipment or consumable and overall improvement (downstream of your equipment). Equally as important is ensuring that the customer, and any other personnel monitoring the trial from your organization has access to a real-time view of the trial on a dashboard.

Deploy and Roll with the Punches

When partners or field based employees show up on site, the communication protocols should be reestablished in person and the data collection should begin with mobile devices. There will inevitably be events that occur, such as unplanned downtime, that affect your installation. These events can be recorded as well. In some cases, you can potentially link to an opportunity to address the problem, or at the very least absolve your equipment of any responsibility for the downtime event.

Enjoy the Remote Diagnostics

During the installation, you could be receiving real-time diagnotics from the field. This is possible when you deploy a discrete, semi-automated solution with your field based personnel. With an appropriately configured system and a powerful reporting engine, you’ll have all the intelligence you need to share successful pilot or trial results with plant management, procurement, and other buyers of your products. You also get the advantage of running your pilots in a consistent manner, at scale.

To find out more about how automation suppliers are using SITEFLO to monitor equipment installs and to help their customers procure solutions that live up to the promise of their value proposition, please email us at

Click here for a Free Trial