How To Achieve Quality and Efficiency One Touchscreen at A Time

Whether your manufacturing operations are small or medium sized with only one or a few workstations, or you already have multiple assembly lines and hundreds of workstations, there is a touchscreen or user interface technology available now that can make all the difference in whether you achieve your manufacturing quality and efficiency goals, or not. Do you presently assemble your products or complete your process steps within your allocated cycle time or Takt time; and to the highest quality standards? If not, what’s holding you back? If yes, can you do even better? A lot can be revealed when you have insight into the right manufacturing data to begin with.

That data must be detailed to the finest degree including every bit of information relating to all the actions on the plant floor by both human and machine at each unique workstation, and it has to be in real time to be in the know as soon as possible (especially when things are going wrong). The most advanced workstation user interface screens are the front for the ultimate manufacturing execution strategy. Not only can workstation user interfaces be used to manage plant floor communications, they can also monitor its’ users daily progress, i.e. both assembly line supervisors, and workstation workers progress to ensure activities are done properly and issues are resolved on time to achieve the over-all goal of quality products built efficiently.

Both an Andon communications and a manufacturing execution solution, software products like PINpoint’s SmartScreen workstation interface provide manufacturers the means to monitor and control all plant floor manufacturing activities and their timing. Utilized in the simplest form, the smart touchscreens are an essential plant floor communications tool, production monitoring, and manufacturing reporting tool. Additionally, as your manufacturing operations evolve and you increase your number of employees, or workstations, assembly lines, and you automate, the back bone of your manufacturing execution or product assembly and full process control strategy is already included. At the heart of the workstation user interface is a powerful manufacturing execution system (MES) or manufacturing operations management (MOM) software platform, making it the perfect entry-level MES/MOM solution for any sized manufacturer new to MES to implement and instantly improve their plant floor management strategy. The system is also designed as an out-of-the-box upgrade for existing or antiquated MES software users.

The SmartScreen client interface is where the line worker communicates her/his status and qualifications to perform process steps at that specific workstation or job. They must first login with their unique login and password or badge scan to indicate their status to the system and confirm they are available to work and perform process steps. The user interface qualifies who the person is and whether they are trained or certified to perform the task(s), i.e. before they are presented any work instructions, and before any tools, devices or machines are turned on (full process control option).

Only when the line station worker is identified to do the work can they access paperless instructions, and they are made aware of any quality alerts or safety alerts in effect for the process steps they are to perform. Once the required document reading or viewing is acknowledged by the user (keyboard input or RFID card scan) can they proceed to work and be presented with the process steps to be completed with the tools or devices activated.

See Figure 1 below for an example SmartScreen interface where the user is already logged in, was qualified, and acknowledged documents. She/he has now been presented work instructions, or process steps to be completed. At this point the system would turn on the required tools and devices at the workstation. It is also important to note that the timing of these activities is monitored and recorded in a server database for analysis later. The manufacturing data is crucial for finding ways to improve the assembly line processes. Plant Managers and Engineers can easily access the data from the cloud via a website on any Smartphone or computer to instantly view reports in real-time.

 

touchscreen

Figure 1: PINpoint SmartScreen user interface touchscreen example

In the Figure 1 example above the line worker is made aware of their progress by timers and colorful gauges (bottom left of touchscreen) to ensure they know how they are doing at-a-glance. This ensures the line worker stays cognizant of the pre-set timing to complete the work. The recorded timing data also proves indispensable to plant management, process engineers and quality engineers alike by empowering them to analyze real time or historical production data to determine how workstation cycle time and Takt time can be optimized to achieve the perfect balance of quality products being produced in the most efficient time possible.

In the second user interface screen example below (Figure 2) the line station worker was presented with an alert while completing process steps due to a mistake or product defect that happened. This quality issue alert indicates an error that occurred in the process that must be acknowledged before additional process steps are presented. Any tools or devices connected the job would be turned off until the problem is resolved.

 

touchscreen

Figure 2: Example touchscreen workstation product error-proofing, quality issue warning

Whether the error was caused by the line station worker, a failed tool or device, or defective parts and materials, stop guards can be configured to halt the workstation operation to prevent defective products from being shipped, or from progressing further down the assembly line without management interjection to acknowledge the issue and direct the resolution. In the scenario in Figure 2, the assembly line worker is presented a “FIX NOW” button which provides the user the instructions to deal with the issue, e.g. for them to fix the problem in the existing workstation, or to reroute the defective product to a repair station. If the problem cannot be resolved by the line worker then accordingly the issue can be escalated to include the line area supervisor or quality manager who can ultimately decide what to do to resolve the defect.

You can also see both the user interface screen examples above contain two (2) Andon communication push buttons (top right) configured as a means for the line worker to communicate to team members for help (buttons are customizable). They can report any problem they are having by pressing the buttons to raise visual alarms like stack lights or large screen displays, or to sound audio alerts via a public-address system, or by text or email messaging sent directly to supervisors or managers to get involved to aid in solving the problem quickly.

Manufacturers can now establish their plant floor execution strategy for the long-term in step by step increments by starting with optimizing communications and assembly line efficiency with detailed manufacturing reports. As operations expand the software is flexible and scalable, enabling small to large manufacturers alike an entry-level to develop their longer-term MES/MOM solution (including full process control capabilities with tool, device, machine control). It is ultimately the physical plant floor activities performed by humans and machines that determine the manufacturers ability to produce quality products on time. Can manufacturers do better and improve their operations with more error-proofing safeguards in place? Yes, it is proven, and can be as cost-effective as implementing one workstation touchscreen at a time.

MES/MOM SYSTEM TOUCHSCREEN SOFTWARE

PINpoint Information System’s manufacturing execution system (MES) / manufacturing operations management (MOM) software is meticulously designed and tested to ‘Information Technology Infrastructure Library’ (ITIL) standards before any official version release. Their MES/MOM and Andon communications products have been developed since 1997 and continue to be evolved and pushed-forward by their customers.

Thoroughly proven the software is in use daily around the World in multiple languages by leading manufacturers. Headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, PINpoint services industry internationally from their offices in Canada, the United States, and China. For more information, please call: +1 (905) 639-8787, email: sales@pinpointinfo.com or visit: http://pinpointinfo.com/

RELATED LINKS

WHITE PAPER: Maximize Fastening Tool Effectiveness and Save Money with Manufacturing Execution System Control.

WHITE PAPER | Bringing Data Visualization Forefront in Fastening Operations

See the “Why PINpoint?” prezi here:
https://prezi.com/adp9dhp3vgn0/why-pinpoint-manufacturing-execution-system-mes-manufacturing-operations-management-mom-solutions/

 

PINpoint Information Systems Celebrates 20 Years of Manufacturing Error-proofing Excellence

pinpoint information systems

PINpoint Information Systems Inc. Burlington, Ontario, has announced its twentieth (20th) anniversary since its founding in 1997. In its 20th year PINpoint is set to once-again revolutionize manufacturing operations management (MOM) / manufacturing execution system (MES) software with the addition of even more powerful data visualization and reporting features; i.e. manufacturing intelligence and business intelligence tools integral for optimizing manufacturing processes to achieve the highest levels of quality and efficiency.

Last year PINpoint introduced Andon 3D, a plant floor communications, product tracking, and manufacturing reporting system recommended as the upgrade for any existing andon system, or, as an entry level into MES system software to build your future MES strategy. Andon 3D has the PINpoint MES PRO (Version 4) software at heart, and given the platform’s flexibility and scalability to adapt to an unlimited number of users, work stations, assembly lines and product variations, the solution is long-term focused to expand as the manufacturer’s operations grow. 

PINpoint also introduced powerful data visualization features in its Version 4 products with graphic aids to error-proof assembly line fastening processes. Figure 1. below shows an example “Rundown Detail” screen shot that is displayed for the line worker on “SmartScreen” user interfaces/touchscreens they interact with daily as a guide to production and mistake-proofing. SmartScreen’s present complicated data in visual form so line workers can complete their tasks more effectively without defects in the allocated cycle time. In this example the line worker is guided to run down fasteners or bolts to a pre-set Torque and Angle tolerance to pass the process step.

pinpoint information systems

Figure 1: Example SmartScreen” user interface for error-proofing fastening processes.

Further development of PINpoint’s powerful data visualization technology has been ongoing and is about to change the way industry relates to critical plant floor metrics like OEE. By presenting OEE in real time and providing the ability to ‘play back’ a shift of production, PINpoint will provide users the opportunity to focus on the exact moment efficiency was compromised. By focusing on real time effectiveness of the entire line, PINpoint will provide the information to drive proactive decisions which in turn drive measurable improvements in quality and efficiency.

By simply opening a web browser on any computer or Smartphone manufacturers will be able to watch a movie of their production activities at any speed, with the ability to stop to zero in on a problem; and then analyze the data to understand what really happened, make a change, and then measure the effectiveness of that decision.

“…with a laser focus on maximizing error-proofing with stringent process control measures, PINpoint is solving real, every day assembly line problems other systems are not able to address. We have always designed our software to be a solution our customers can live with day in and day out, and grow with in time. With the upcoming release of our Version 5 it is an exciting time as we strive to provide even greater value to our customers with new features that empower manufacturers to achieve their goal of meeting world class standards” said Rob MacMillan, President of PINpoint Information Systems.

PINpoint is scheduled to release Version 5 of its software the Summer of 2017. It includes more advanced data visualization features with data playback capabilities and cutting-edge reporting tools. PINpoint software is designed and tested to ‘Information Technology Infrastructure Library’ (ITIL) standards before any official version release. PINpoint’s Andon 3D and MES PRO manufacturing execution system continue to be evolved and pushed-forward by leading manufacturers. Thoroughly proven PINpoint software is in use every day Worldwide in multiple languages by leading automotive, heavy machinery, aerospace, military, marine, agricultural, power sports vehicle manufacturers and more.

Headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, PINpoint services industry Internationally from their offices in Canada, the United States, and China. For more information, please contact PINpoint at +1 905-639-8787sales@pinpointinfo.com or visit their website http://pinpointinfo.com

SOURCE PINpoint Information Systems, Inc.

RELATED LINKS

V5 Andon

Advanced Manufacturing Solution

Andon 3D Released: Assembly Line Communications, Manufacturing Tracking and Reporting Evolved

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http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/andon-3d-released-assembly-line-communications-manufacturing-tracking-and-reporting-evolved-300373451.html

assembly-line-andon

Andon 3D Released: Assembly Line Communications,
Manufacturing Tracking and Reporting Evolved
 

BURLINGTON, Ontario, Dec 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — PINpoint Information Systems, Inc. Burlington, Ontario, has announced the release of Andon 3D, a cutting-edge manufacturing software which is the industries most evolved for assembly line communications, product tracking, and manufacturing reporting. Much more than traditional andon systems that feature stack lights and push buttons, Andon 3D is able to provide manufactures valuable insight into their manufacturing operations; essential information they need to know on how an assembly line is really running in order to maximize error-proofing and improve quality.
 

Andon 3D is a tool set that identifies the myriad of every day scenarios that play out on the assembly line; it then provides manufacturers instant visibility of that information. It helps manufacturers visualize every action, good or bad, that has a direct impact on efficiency. Manufacturers can now easily meet their daily demands of quality, efficiency and flexibility with an out-of-the-box software solution. Andon 3D is a modern approach to every day manufacturing challenges and it is essential for improving Goal, Planned, Actual and OEE targets.
 

At the foundation of Andon 3D technology is PINpoint’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES) called MES PRO; a long-term proven web based configurable plant floor management solution. Andon 3D includes many of the features found in the MES system, which makes it the ideal entry to develop your future manufacturing execution system strategy. It includes features like SmartBuild, which Engineering managers can access by opening a website to visualize and configure assembly line operations in real-time from any computer, tablet or Smartphone.
 

On the assembly line, station operators interact with their own SmartScreen touch displays at each work station. They provide the line worker info she/he needs to complete assembly process steps, and the timing. It also presents the line worker with Andon help buttons for when issues arise, as when time is running out, in order to call for help to avoid a line stoppage. Please see Figure 1 for additional SmartScreen features:

assembly-line-andonFigure 1. Andon 3D station operator SmartScreen user interface example.

From OEE to Waterfall Reports, operating efficiency is the focus of any good manufacturing operation. The problem is that most manufacturing management systems lack the sophistication to generate data with the resolution to provide meaningful metrics from the shop floor. Andon 3D puts performance metrics forefront for all to see; they are displayed on every operator’s SmartScreen user interface so there is no question as to how work is progressing compared to cycle time.
 

“…just open a web browser to start optimizing; drag-and-drop to create an assembly line, to add products, schedule production, and track your products. The data captured from production is available for analysis in real time, and is invaluable for improvements in manufacturing to occur,” said Rob MacMillan, President of PINpoint.
 

Leveraging the same DNA as PINpoint’s MES PRO to accurately track the flow of products on the line, Andon 3D provides visibility of work orders and all products in process, and tells you whether they are in a station or not. By generating laser focused data, it drives proactive decision making. Manufacturers benefit instantly from Andon 3D’s key components that allow users to:
 

Set a Manufacturing Schedule:

The Scheduler website provides a visual configuration tool to define when you are working, when you are on break, or to change your production rate.


Set a Production Goal
:

Set your goal for your manufacturing schedule or daily circumstances in real time. Own the flexibility to configure your Andon system to reflect how you really want to run.
 

Know Goal, Planned, Actual:

Instantly see your metrics for a station or the line. Change your Goal or TAKT time and watch all your station clients update dynamically.
 

Generate Events from Man or Machine:

Andon systems are all about communication. Modern communication should not solely rely on an operator deciding to push a button. The business logic driven by Andon 3D can decide when to raise an event based on line conditions or an input from peripheral equipment.
 

Use a Website Browser to Modify Andon:

Use your browser to configure how your Andon system communicates in your plant. Leverage e-mail, text messages, sound, a Big Screen display or even talk to a peripheral machine to distribute your notifications. PINpoint can escalate notifications based on time or suppress messages based on who is scheduled to be on duty.
 

Track Products in Real Time:

Create a Product, a Route for that product and create a Work Order to build it. Andon 3D knows how long each product spends in a station, who worked on it, if it was over cycle, or if help was required. Its tracking capability is the foundation that empowers your Andon system to tell the real story.
 

Analyze Production Metrics:

Data management is more than just feeding a database. It is transforming data into information and presenting it in an effective way so it can drive proactive decision making. Andon 3D’s Reporting engine is built on the latest analytic cube technology and provides ultimate flexibility in how you look at your production data.
 

ABOUT PINPOINT

PINpoint Information System’s software is designed and tested to ‘Information Technology Infrastructure Library’ (ITIL) standards before any official version release. PINpoint’s Andon 3D and MES PRO manufacturing execution system (MES) software have been developed since 1997 and continue to be evolved and pushed-forward by leading manufacturers. Thoroughly proven their software products are in use every day Worldwide in multiple languages by leading automotive, aerospace, heavy machinery, agricultural, power sports vehicle manufacturers and more.
 

Headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, PINpoint services industry globally from their offices in Canada, the United States, and China. For more information, please contact PINpoint at +1 905-639-8787sales@PINpointinfo.com or visit their website http://pinpointinfo.com

SOURCE PINpoint Information Systems, Inc.
 

RELATED LINKS

https://prezi.com/adp9dhp3vgn0/why-pinpoint-manufacturing-execution-system-mes-manufacturing-operations-management-mom-solutions/

http://pinpointinfo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/PINpoint_Andon3D-Product-Brochure.pdf

 

Introducing Andon 3D Error-proofing User Interface

error-proofing

Andon 3D by PINpoint Information Systems is a modern twist on assembly line operator user interfaces. Andon 3D is not your traditional HMI or SCADA, it is an error-proofing solution overseeing manufacturing operations and the actions of the line operator. It operates above or next to HMI and SCADA; and unlike those traditional systems, Andon 3D is the ultimate plant floor communication, product tracking and manufacturing reporting system essential for improving manufacturing efficiencies.

At the foundation of the Andon 3D technology is PINpoint’s Manufacturing Execution System (MES), a long-term proven website based configurable plant floor management solution. Andon 3D includes many of the features found in PINpoint’s MES system, which makes it the ideal entry to develop your future manufacturing execution system strategy. PINpoint includes all the manufacturing optimization tools you need in a turn-key paperless manufacturing solution, starting with SmartBuild. Simply open the SmartBuild website to visualize and configure your assembly line in real-time from any computer, tablet or Smartphone.

Line operators interact with their own SmartScreen touch displays at each work station. It provides the line worker information she/he needs to complete assembly process steps, and the timing. It also presents the line worker with andon help buttons for when issues arise, as when time is running out, in order to call for help to avoid a line stoppage. Please see Figure 1 for additional SmartScreen features:

error-proofing

Figure 1. Andon 3D error-proofing SmartScreen user interface example.

The first order of error-proofing at any station is the verification of ‘who’ is working there (logged in), or not. Immediately the system can determine whether that operator is even qualified to do the tasks at hand; if they are, the system allows them to proceed and provides work instructions.

If we dig deeper we can extract even more details about the efficiency of the work station and line operator. For example, if an operator is not logged in at their work station when a product is available to be worked on, would you not want to know why? Alternatively, if an operator is logged in at their station, and no product is available to be worked on, then why or how did that happen? Only Andon 3D can give you the insight required to identify such time depleting details of cycle time that ultimately accumulate and cause over-cycle events.

All the data or interactions of the line operator with the SmartScreen user interface are monitored and recorded, and can be reported on using Andon 3D’s Production Analytics feature. It is the manufacturing intelligence afforded by the Andon 3D system that leads to the implementation of effective continuous improvement initiatives. All plant floor communications and product data are captured into the PINpoint “Cube” multi-dimensional database, which is manipulated easily in a web browser or by using Microsoft Excel with Production Analytics to report on a multitude of manufacturing operations specifics, right down to cycle-time losses.

Production Analytics gives you valuable insight into where it is your cycle time is going, how it is being allocated, and how it can be improved to the finest detail. It allows you to find out exactly where it is on your assembly line bottlenecks in time are occurring, and who caused them. This vital information allows the manufacturer to take decisive actions to remedy the issue, be it re-allocating cycle time elsewhere, or process steps to another station. Andon 3D is a flexible and scalable error-proofing solution that adapts to your unique manufacturing processes; it gives you the visibility needed to make changes in real-time that impact your bottom line instantly.

Andon 3D Error-proofing Software

PINpoint’s Andon 3D and manufacturing execution system (MES) called MES PRO have been developed since 1997 and continue to be evolved and pushed-forward by leading manufacturers. Thoroughly proven our software is in use daily around the World in multiple languages by leading automotive, aerospace, heavy machinery, agricultural, power sports vehicle manufacturers and more. PINpoint software is meticulously designed and tested to ‘Information Technology Infrastructure Library’ (ITIL) standards before any official version release. Headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, PINpoint services industry internationally from their offices in Canada, the United States, and China. For more information, please call: +1 (905) 639-8787, email: sales@pinpointinfo.com or visit: http://pinpointinfo.com

RELATED LINKS

Download our latest Andon 3D product brochure here:
PINpoint Andon 3D Product Brochure

See the “Why PINpoint?” prezi here:
https://prezi.com/adp9dhp3vgn0/why-pinpoint-manufacturing-execution-system-mes-manufacturing-operations-management-mom-solutions/

 

Evolution of the Andon System

PINpoint continues to evolve its time proven manufacturing software with the addition of Andon system functionality into SmartScreen, the station level software that station operators interact with daily. SmartScreen touch displays are vital to the error-proofing solution; each and every configured user, be it line worker, area supervisor or plant manager is guided by them. When an operator first logs in at their station SmartScreen identifies who the person is, and verifies whether they are qualified to do the work assigned. If the worker is not certified or trained to perform the process steps SmartScreen will not allow the worker to proceed, and tools or any connected devices will remain off or locked.

Once a station operator is verified they are presented with all the information they need to complete their tasks, starting with paperless work instructions and quality alerts; SmartScreen is the workers personal guide to complete the process steps in the cycle or TAKT time allotted. As work proceeds and issues arise, the Andon system functions are prominently displayed on the SmartScreen (see Figure 1.). As shown the SmartScreen is quite informational and interactive, it is designed to lead its user in the most efficient manner to complete process steps and resolve issues quickly on-the-fly. As problems happen the line operator has multiple Andon system functions to choose from; a ‘red’ attention button can be pressed for critical problems requiring a line interruption; or a ‘yellow’ button to call for supervisor help, and when materials are low a ‘blue’ button is easy to spot and press.andon system

Figure 1. PINpoint SmartScreen Andon System

You can also add custom buttons; PINpoint is a ‘configurable’ web based manufacturing execution system, therefore the Andon system and all components of SmartScreen can be customized for your unique manufacturing environment. Once pressed a number of notifications can be triggered, including the turning on of stack lights, and/or alerts can be displayed on big screens for all to see (with colors, graphics or video to draw attention); also audible notifications, email and text messages can be sent. Further, the PINpoint Andon system is much more than push buttons and stack lights, it can be configured to raise notifications on its own, in addition to the manual inputs by the station operator.

Should a line worker for example fall behind in completing their process steps, the system can be configured to raise a Cycle Time ‘Warning’ Event. Essentially as cycle time is depleted and the SmartScreen tracks the line operators progress, a time threshold can be configured to raise a notification alarm before the issue escalates further; a warning to inform both the operator of their situation and to draw attention to the area line supervisor for help. A Cycle Time ‘Over’ Event is also configurable, should the line operator not complete the process steps in the configured cycle time a notification can be raised.

The configurablility of the Andon system or manufacturing execution system is as easy as opening a web browser to access the PINpoint portal; from there the process engineer can configure the assembly line and process steps timing using ‘SmartBuild‘, schedule production with ‘Scheduler‘, verify product status and location with ‘Tracking‘, and access manufacturing intelligence with ‘Production Analytics’. With Production Analytics you output reports crucial to improving assembly processes, including Andon Analytics (see Figure 2.):

 

Andon System

Figure 2. Andon System Analytics

 

Changes and tracking are in real time, and all of these features and more are provided in one package, making PINpoint the most value-added Andon system and manufacturing execution system on the market – everything a manufacturer needs to optimize their operations is available out-of-the-box, PINpoint is a long-term proven solution that is designed to be flexible and scalable to grow with you as your manufacturing operations expand into the future.

Please do not hesitate to contact PINpoint with any questions, please call: (905) 639-8787, or email: sales@pinpointinfo.com or visit: http://pinpointinfo.com/

ANDON SYSTEM RELATED LINKS

Interactive Presentation: https://prezi.com/adp9dhp3vgn0/why-pinpoint-manufacturing-execution-system-mes-manufacturing-operations-management-mom-solutions/

Production Analytics Demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLAGW_6faiM&list=PLvRjiER8QiZo3CyNn-i9Pc7oAxT7M65Ig