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The missing link in ERP - realtime automated report from the shopfloor

02/07/2015

Are the production resources available for ERP system infinite? Are the factorial systems production reports real? In order to answer these questions, a realtime data collection system

much be installed - the Integral Platform system

 

For several years already, ERP based systems for central management exist in the industry. When these systems, or their sub-systems, manage the production timing, they refer to the production units according to manual reports from the shop floor, or as infinite resource which never stops or breaks. In general, the production timing systems are not being fed by realtime automated production reports. As a consequence, those systems can’t respond fast enough to changing situations in production, and the result is that the production manager has to overcome bottlenecks or other faults on their own, in the old fashioned way of “putting out fires as they happen” method. All of this lead to the need in realtime production reports from the shop floor, or to be more accurate, from the machines themselves. The production timing system requires information about the production zone status at any given moment. Production zone might consist of a single machine, several machines, or part of a bigger process. The basic required information is: identifying the product in the machine, production start time, end time, knowing if the machine is at work, at fault, or stopped, and what is the stop or fault reason. Fulfilling these requirements is defined as the Production Report System, or Integral Platform.

Data Source

Production systems or machines are operated these days by computers or Programmable Controllers, or combination of both. By using those electronic control systems, we can have realtime production data. In order to get this production data, we need to prepare the machine in several layers. One layer is the CNC programs, where a special “signal” has to be injected. Second layer is about hardware connections in the machine controller, and third layer is about the machine’s peripheral equipment. After performing the changes and preparations, we need to add new hardware and software to each machine. At this stage, the machine is being connected to the factory network, and from there the data is transmitted to a database. The last stage is producing reports or orders which feed information directly to the production timing systems.


Management programs with Integral Platform


The role of production management programs can be summarized in sending bunch of production commands to the shop floor. The division or factory manager gets the production information, and manage the production order of the operations manually, or even using computerized data sheets, e.g. Excel. So even though the are production managements programs in the factory, and despite extensive pressure from the central management to use them, the production manager is left with all the traditional production management problems. The real helper tool which comes to help solve the problem is the Integral Platform’s Production Report system. This system sends information directly from the production zone to the server automatically, in real time, without involving the production timing systems. This ensures decisions making in production are made based on correct and real time information. Integral Platform allows the production timing systems to activate the relevant algorithm, by which the production priority list is being determined. With a realtime production reporting system in place, the following reports can be generated by the system:

 

  • Single part production time, or actual production time of a set according to work order

  • Machines stop times, and the reasons for the stop

  • Machine Setup times

  • Secondary action times (tool change, stone cleaning, supervision)


Benefits of realtime report system and interface with its matching production timing program:

 

15%-25% raise in productvity

40%-50% reduction in inventory

40%-50% reduction in overall process time

50%-90% increase in delivery times

Without a doubt, those details are worth attention.

 

The above details might appear fictional, or in the very least promotional. Even as the author of these very lines, I  admit in having my doubts at first, but the results speak for themselves, as a real case from one of the leading factories in Israel proves. And here is the story:

 

Production report system has been installed in a machining plant, which mass produce various products in large quantities. The plant has 120 CNC machines. The plant manager had a feeling that while he has enough production capacity, he was not meeting delivery times as well as he should be. The production personnel suggested to solve this by buying more production machines and opening new production floor. When asked, they said the average production efficiency is 90%. A decision was made to check this up by installing Integral Platform system.

 

The Integral Platform revealed that the actual average efficiency was 65%. Now the decisions maker had an ever updating tool, which enables making changes and get instant results. Instead of being dragged into high and unneeded expenses, turned out that the existing production line can produce much more. These days this factory is using most of its available resources in efficient way, and was able to maximize its production without high monetary and operational expenses.

 

Solution description

 

Realtime machine status display and specific machine detailed status by choice

 

The factory managers get realtime reports from the shopfloor by simple connection to the internet from everywhere.

 

Summary

 

Data collection in the production plant will bring 15%-50% increase in overall efficiency, hence the investment will refund itself without half an year.

 

The Integral Platform shop floor realtime data collection is way to maximize the production potential of the factory. As said before, such systems are already installed in Israel, and are among the world leading in their area.

 

Author: Micha Yitzhaki, CEO at MIR which develops and is selling the Integral Platform system

 

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