South Carolina, US
The scope of this project was to provide error checking, production control, OEE, automated ERP
The scope of this project was to provide error checking, production control, OEE, automated ERP reporting, and material genealogy to a series of processes that produce high quality, high precision extruded cables. The final product included those features for 12 production lines and 3 rework lines within the facility, with the capability to add additional process and material types in the future. The ISA-95 production model includes over 400 objects with anywhere from 4 to 50 cells per line at varying levels of complexity of cell groups. The system design also significantly leverages supplemental equipment, work orders, and custom Process Segments and Operations Definitions.
Two Ignition projects were used to separate the ‘operator’ and ‘management’ functions of the application. The operator project includes features such as: starting and stopping production runs, scanning materials for lot number and quantity validation (via barcode scanning), in-process inspections, setting downtime reason codes, and reporting scrap. The GUI for this project gives the operator only relevant and critical information about their performance and the performance of their equipment leveraging high performance HMI techniques. With one terminal per machine placed immediately next to the line’s main control panel, the operator is given simple actions which are visible or invisible based on the current context. Additionally, the operator also has access to a mobile device which uses a mobile-optimized context-driven GUI to increase efficiency scanning/validating materials. The management project acts as a desktop application for users to interact with the system when they are not operating equipment. It provides real time dashboards for individual process lines and groups of process lines, gives the user the ability to access reports with flexible time and datapoint selections, and provides intuitive GUI functionality for settings and configuration of the system.
There were many value-adds as a result of this system’s implementation. Operators cannot start production with the incorrect or insufficient quantity of material; based on the characteristics of the process, this significantly reduces scrap and maximizes production floor efficiency. OEE is tracked automatically and instantly; this creates actionable data immediately so continuous improvement efforts are targeting the most significant problems. ERP reporting is done automatically; this reduces erroneous data sent to ERP by incorrect manual entry and saves operators (who were previously entering the data) time on the floor and reduces the number of systems the operator needs to be trained to use. Finally, the data and analysis tools (tracking how much material went where and when) gives support staff the data they need fast; because they have this data, they are able to drive changes all the way back to sales, purchasing, and production planning to reduce cost and waste throughout the facility.