CHINESE MANUFACTURERS: Making A Case For Keeping It Real

I recently made a tour through the burgeoning automobile assembly landscape in China and it was a humbling and thought provoking experience. The rate of expansion is truly awe inspiring, but it also raises an intriguing question. Where will Chinese manufacturers, and particularly the auto makers find the inspiration to achieve the world class quality and efficiency required to empower these products to create demand in more than their local market? Understandably they are looking to North America and others for inspiration. Upon reflection, I can’t help but hope they proceed with caution.

On close inspection of the North American automotive industry there are several ironies and disconnects that ring loudly. The discipline that is most often charged with delivering quality and efficiency to manufacturing operations is the Manufacturing Execution System or MES. After reviewing the ISA-95 standard that defines this space, one could argue that while it identifies the components of MES, it does little to identify how to create value with it. There is nothing in the ISA-95 standard that would indicate to a potential MES customer how to apply it in a way that could create a reasonable expectation of achieving quality and efficiency.

I think it is reasonable to assume that the success of the manufacturing process is critical to companies whose life blood is manufacturing quality products yet MES is often the last system defined in the corporate landscape after staples like ERP, PLM and others. In fact, establishing a coherent approach that creates a reasonable expectation of quality and efficiency often falls into a void between Information Technology, Engineering, Production, Quality and Plant Management. Which silo within a company should own the challenge of defining an approach that co-ordinates all plant disciplines in an effective way?  In most cases the answer is none, so consequently the fundamental values of the culture to support the pursuit of quality and efficiency go inadequately defined.  Each discipline looks after their own and the results are multiple systems functioning as islands with no knowledge of each other. This lack of co-ordination is a missed opportunity and something that is overdue to be solved.

The concept of advanced process control is most common within automotive assembly yet when you look at the major players in America and even Japan, you see strategies that are limited by the technology decisions made over twenty (20) years ago. The cost of transitioning away from these aging architectures is very real but that is no reason for this to be the benchmark in developing markets that have the freedom to make more progressive decisions. Unfortunately, it is much easier to play follow the leader than to invest in the difficult task of evaluating technology and making selections that create a reasonable expectation of achieving your corporate objectives.

Communication is a well documented necessity and challenge within businesses of any form.  In an industrial environment, the mechanism for plant floor communication is the Andon System. Historically the Andon system is a series of pushbuttons or pull cords within an operator station that could flash a light or play an audible tone designed to get the attention of a supervisor. This kind of infrastructure is hardwired so it is inherently expensive and inflexible. In the technological era of 2017, hopefully it is reasonable to assert that this might not be the most effective alternative to communicate across a plant floor that is often the size of several city blocks, yet most assembly lines built today blindly apply the same standard that was prevalent twenty-five (25) years ago. One could muse about the reasons for this, like the control the hardware companies that have a vested interest in propagating this outdated approach have on industry; but I can’t help but think what would happen if a company like Google ever turned their creative energies on a simple challenge like plant floor communication?

The follow the leader phenomenon could not be more clear than in the area of electric fastening tools. In an industrial assembly environment bolting components together with threaded fasteners is one of the most common and most important processes (see Figure 1). This has lead to a large and lucrative market for sophisticated fastening systems that has evolved over the last few decades. The companies marketing these kinds of products have done an admirable job of answering this demand and building a market now worth billions of dollars per year.

The electric tool has become as common place as the pushbutton on the assembly line and in most companies this is a significant but accepted cost that comes with setting up a modern assembly line. You would think that an investment that is often measured in millions of dollars would come with an expectation of delivering a specific result and a corresponding value, yet this is typically compromised by the same ambivalent approach that deploys pushbuttons or prints paper instructions as a means of communication in a chaotic industrial environment.

 

chinese manufacturers

Figure 1: Heavy machinery bolted joint fastening operation

Electric fastening systems are highly sophisticated devices with endless capabilities (just ask the vendors promoting them), but the ability of companies today to deploy them in an intelligent  way that creates a reasonable expectation of achieving their intended goals is lacking. Finding a vendor to furnish these systems anywhere in the world is simple. Having a vision for deploying them to a positive end is an entirely different matter.

If a bright light was shone on many of the common practices of the most sophisticated industrial manufacturing processes in the world, there would be many red faces and this would not be more true than in the area of Big Data. This is a trendy subject and like electric fastening systems most manufacturers accepted long ago that being dedicated to the advantages of data analysis is a staple for success in any manufacturing operation. Every assembly plant and engineering office has a host of graphs and charts proudly displayed to tell the stories that are somehow vital to those making the critical game time decisions daily that drive world class quality and efficiency. While this data may provide some useful trending information most is limited to telling part of the story of what happened yesterday. Sophisticated data analytics cannot make up for lack of resolution or timeliness of the source data.

This reality is yet another by-product of manufacturing systems that often lack a common-sense approach to solving everyday challenges of manufacturing. Data that is manually collected after the fact, impacted by subjective influences and not properly correlated because it resides in multiple stand alone systems compromises the value that truly focused data can provide.

To witness the luxury of Chinese manufacturers being able to build new manufacturing facilities today with the latest and greatest technology one just needs to look around in the major cities of China. Technology is on display in everything from architecture to mass transit systems. The exploding demand for automobiles in China has lead to a corresponding expansion of local Chinese manufacturers. They are looking at leaders in America and Europe to learn from their experience. Can Chinese manufacturers do more than play follow the leader? We have endeavored to help them with their “Made in China 2025” objectives by providing the Chinese market the most innovative manufacturing process control and error-proofing technology available today.

MANUFACTURING EXECUTION SYSTEM (MES) SOFTWARE FOR CHINESE MANUFACTURERS

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 (Version 4.x available now; V5 scheduled for release this Summer 2017).

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

 

PINpoint_Made-In-China-2025_Sheet (pdf download)

CHINESE-MANUFACTURERS_Making-A-Case-For-Keeping-It-Real_July-20-2017 (pdf download)

 
RELATED LINKS

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

MES Systems:
http://pinpointinfo.com/mes-systems/

Andon Communications Software:
http://pinpointinfo.com/andon-3d/

 

Author:

Rob MacMillan, President, PINpoint Information Systems Inc.

Mr. MacMillan is an entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in industrial manufacturing.  PINpoint Information Systems is a software company that promotes the vision of a configurable product to manage manufacturing process in a co-ordinated, intelligent way. PINpoint software is the global standard for some of the largest industrial manufacturers in the world.

Excerpt:

“To witness the luxury of Chinese manufacturers being able to build new manufacturing facilities today with the latest and greatest technology one just needs to look around in the major cities of China. Technology is on display in everything from architecture to mass transit systems. The exploding demand for automobiles in China has lead to a corresponding expansion of local Chinese manufacturers. They are looking at leaders in America and Europe to learn from their experience. Can Chinese manufacturers do more than play follow the leader? We have endeavored to help them with their ‘Made in China 2025′ objectives by providing the Chinese market the most innovative manufacturing process control and error-proofing technology available today.”

WHITE PAPER | Bringing Data Visualization Forefront in Fastening Operations

Data visualization is integral to any continuous improvement initiative, and particularly in assembly fastening operations it further enhances error-proofing. Essentially data visualization is a term that describes the effort of helping people to understand the significance of data by placing it in a graphical context. Patterns, trends and associations that might go undetected in text based information can be understood easier with manufacturing execution software that puts data visualization forefront.

The ability to present complicated information to an assembly line worker in a meaningful way only adds to the error-proofing goal. Fastening operations in manufacturing are integral to the successful output of quality defect-free products; any bolt or nut not fastened to the specified tolerances of torque and angle are prone to failure, and potentially warranty claims, and safety concerns once in the field. The importance of quality assuring that each and every bolted joint on any product, and especially safety critical products like automobiles, heavy machinery, and airliners for example, is of paramount concern; safeguards must be introduced to ensure no defects ever pass, and those safeguards must monitor and control all aspects of those assembly operations.

Manufacturing execution system (MES) software provides manufactures of any size the impenetrable defence needed to error-proof. For example, at the line station level the MES interface screens or ‘SmartScreens’ are the first protection to error-proof any assembly fastening operation. Line station workers must first log into the system using their credentials; the system then confirms who they are, and whether they are qualified to do the process steps assigned to that particular station.

Once confirmed, the line worker in the example would next be presented with any pending messages or alerts, such as a Quality Alert, which once read would need to be acknowledged by the line worker to the MES system by pressing a button or entering text. Only after all messages and alerts are observed will the MES system give the line worker the approval to begin work, and turn on the tools and devices needed to perform process steps. From that moment forward cycle and/or Takt time begins, with the line worker being guided ‘visually’ by the SmartScreen to complete the assembly fastening operation.

The latest fastening operation data visualization technology from PINpoint Information Systems provides line workers extremely clear directions and visual feedback regarding the progress of each and every process step they are performing. So much so, it has proven time and time again to be able to instruct newly hired assembly line workers with no previous experience to perform complicated tasks; and to be able to do so in a short timeframe due to the guidance provided by the MES system.

Figure 1 below shows the SmartScreen Rundown Detail window. It comprises all of the information required by the line worker to successfully complete the fastening operation. The fastening tolerances are displayed as they were configured by the production engineers (from a website browser on any computer or phone) and are shown as both the assembly tool Controller Limits, and the MES system [PINpoint] Limits creating the flexibility for two (2) levels of defence in verifying the status of the fastening operation. Easy to identify colored areas in the grid represent the tool controller and MES system limits; the fastening operation Torque tolerance in this example is shown as the blue area, with the Angle tolerance shown as the purple area. Where they overlap distinguishes the target or specified Torque and Angle tolerance for the operation, with the green dot (animated and pulsing) indicating what the result was of the bolt rundown operation.

 

data visualization

Figure 1:SmartScreen’ fastening operation Rundown Detail window.

 
In the Rundown Detail window example above, the target Torque and Angle tolerances for the Tool Controller are 0.00 – 8.00Nm and 0 – 8° respectively; with the MES system [PINpoint] Limits for Torque set at 5.00 – 10.00Nm and Angle at 5 – 10°. When the line station worker performs the operation successfully within tolerance, the Status ‘OK’ is indicated in text as shown, but also visually with a flashing green dot located inside the overlapping colored areas indicating the operation was successful and within tolerance limits. If the worker had failed and rundown the fastener outside of the aforementioned Torque and Angle tolerances, then a ‘NOK’ would be displayed as the status, with a red dot, again flashing, but located outside of the overlapping colored areas indicating a failed rundown, or result outside the specification.

An ‘NOK’ status results in a halt to the line worker’s progress, with assembly tools and devices being locked. The MES system may be configured to allow the line worker to try a second or third rundown by reversing the tool and running it down again, or not; the system is completely configurable, so manufacturers can decide exactly how it is they deal with the defects unique to their products and manufacturing operations. In this case the issue with the defective part could be resolved in different ways, depending on the situation; i.e. perhaps the line worker is able to reverse the tool and attempt another rundown within spec for an ‘OK’ status, or maybe Line Supervisor interjection is necessary? If so, help is available immediately when the line worker presses their SmartScreen andon help button; and regardless of the scenario, once the Line Supervisor is involved she/he are able to make the decision on the next steps, such as re-routing the defective product to a repair workstation.

The use of data visualization on the assembly line only strengthens the manufactures ability to full-proof their error-proofing strategy. From the line workers and supervisors point of view, the system is their guide to doing a good job on time. The MES connects all people and machines into a monitoring, process control, and reporting system that tells you, and your team, how they and overall operations are doing at any given time. The motivation gained by the manufacturing team not only makes for a more efficient factory producing quality products, but creates an atmosphere and culture of people who want to do better together and grow.


DATA VISUALIZATION SOFTWARE

PINpoint Information System’s manufacturing execution system (MES) software is meticulously designed and tested to ‘Information Technology Infrastructure Library’ (ITIL) standards before any official version release. PINpoint’s andon and MES System software have been developed since 1997 and continue to be evolved and pushed-forward by leading manufacturers.

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

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

MES Systems:
http://pinpointinfo.com/mes-systems/

Andon Communications Software:
http://pinpointinfo.com/andon-3d/

Automation.com Article Source:
http://www.automation.com/automation-news/article/bringing-data-visualization-to-the-forefront-in-fastening-operations

 

data visualization

 

PINpoint MES PRO Makes Manufacturing Flexible, Efficient And Trouble-Free

mes pro

PINpoint Information Systems is leading the way with their web-based configurable plant floor management system called MES PRO. Manufacturers in various industries have already made PINpoint manufacturing operations management software the solution of choice for their manufacturing execution strategies. PINpoint’s advanced system is able to tell you everything about every product you ever built, including the people involved and their qualifications for the job. In order to learn more about their software we sat down with Anthony Borges, Marketing Manager at PINpoint:

mes pro

Q: Anthony, could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to PINpoint?

A: For 20 years PINpoint has been on the leading edge of technology throughout the evolution of Manufacturing Execution System (MES) or Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) software. Today PINpoint is in use across the World in multiple languages by leading manufacturers who have pushed the advancement of the software forward since 1997.

Manufacturing optimization is the only focus at PINpoint; our lean manufacturing solution is all about eliminating waste, reducing cost, improving efficiency, and improving quality. Our turn-key approach to manufacturing execution ensures customers all the features and benefits of an easy to use, web configurable plant floor management system.

Working with OEM customers like Caterpillar, Navistar, Perkins and Hyundai have confirmed our position as a leader in the industry. PINpoint Andon and MES system solutions have also played a major role at Lear, JCI, AWTEC, Magna, Automodular, Arvin Meritor, Benteler and Hamilton Sundstrand on projects supplying content to leading manufacturers Nissan, Toyota, GM, Ford, Chrysler, and Boeing.

PINpoint’s Andon 3D and MES PRO software are ready for integration out-of-the-box, saving time and money while providing a thoroughly proven lean manufacturing solution. Users of our software today attest to it being a formidable error-proofing system that empowers them to increase manufacturing efficiencies while delivering a positive return on investment.

 

mes pro

 

Q: Could you explain the function and advantages of your MES PRO manufacturing execution system?

A: Modern manufacturing practices demand the flexibility of running many products down a single assembly line while maintaining the quality and efficiency necessary to succeed in a competitive, global economy. This requires a global strategy to monitor and control all aspects of your plant floor processes that can impact quality and efficiency. MES PRO is an out-of-the-box manufacturing execution system that both ‘monitors’ and ‘controls’ all aspects of manufacturing; creating a closed loop of accountability in manufacturing operations.

Plant floor controls is the area most MES systems typically deflect to their local programmable logic controller (PLC) integrator, which typically leads to expensive custom solutions. PINpoint’s MES PRO differs greatly in that it manages the chaos of assembly lines with nothing more than a website browser. It is the industries most proven web based configurable plant floor management system that adopts to specific manufacturing requirements on-the-fly; and it is flexible, and scalable for the long-term, to grow with the manufacturer as their operations expand.

Whether a customer wishes to start with andon, production monitoring or comprehensive plant floor control, one station or an enterprise, PINpoint has a proven solution ready for turn-key implementation. MES PRO allows manufacturers to track products; a configurable strategy that drives granularity of data while providing visibility of your product throughout the entire process. MES PRO creates integrity of process by managing all plant floor activities from the operator to the equipment, creating a solid defense to ensure defective products do not pass.

MES PRO manages all shop floor data, recording and storing it for further analysis. PINpoint MES PRO’s advanced production monitoring generates laser focused data on everything you do on the plant floor while the latest data analytics technology transforms that data into meaningful reports to drive proactive management decisions.

 

mes pro

 

Q: You’ve recently announced the release of Andon 3D; tell us something more?

A: Andon 3D is 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 a readymade 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 Engineers 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 the image below for additional SmartScreen features.

 

mes pro

 

Q: What are the main benefits for manufacturers?

A: From OEE to Waterfall Reports, operating efficiency is the focus of any good manufacturing operation. PINpoint’s MES PRO and Andon 3D products provide manufacturers the visibility to identify where it is in their manufacturing processes improvements can be made to increase manufacturing efficiencies and product quality.

The problem is that most manufacturing operations management systems lack the sophistication to generate data with the resolution to provide meaningful metrics from the shop floor. MES PRO and Andon 3D put performance metrics forefront for all to see; whether displayed prominently on every operator’s SmartScreen user interface so there is no question as to how work is progressing compared to cycle time; or as meaningful reports as output using MES PRO and Andon 3D’s production analytics database search tools. This allows manufacturers to create customized reports essential for continuous improvement.

 

mes pro

 

Q: What are your plans for the next six months?

A: The year two-thousand and seventeen (2017) marks the second-decade anniversary for PINpoint Information Systems and brings with it many more Industry firsts in manufacturing operations management. Building on our leading fastening operation error-proofing technology, the latest version of PINpoint software 4.12 features a new data visualization tool for assembly line workers. By displaying the Torque, Angle, and both the Controller and PINpoint Limits, station operators have a clear understanding of how they are progressing in their fastening process steps. The image above shows a sample window from the SmartScreen client; it illustrates the current fastening operation’s rundown detail.

Further, PINpoint is excited to announce the release of a cutting-edge manufacturing reporting data visualization system that takes the guesswork out of interpreting manufacturing statistics; it is a manufacturing intelligence and business intelligence tool with the power to communicate continual improvement objectives using video playback. It affords engineering managers the ability to actually ‘play-back’ a summary of production shifts in their website browser, at a selectable speed, to really hone in to see exactly when there was an impact on manufacturing efficiency.

Essentially, it allows managers to drill down in the data quickly to identify the root of the problem. This development eliminates all need to subjective quantification of production problems, and provides real-time feedback of what is really happening on your shop floor.

PINpoint Information System’s manufacturing execution system (MES) 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.

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/

Interview Source – SuperbCrew:
http://www.superbcrew.com/pinpoint-information-systems-makes-manufacturing-flexible-efficient-and-trouble-free/

Advancing Error-proofing Via MES System Control

MES system control remains a key factor in the Smart Factory of the future, and the advancement of error-proofing; because error-proofing presents a constant challenge for manufacturers in their quest to produce products with the utmost quality and efficiency.

With the advent of advanced automation techniques, the IIoT and Industry 4.0 concepts, we answer the question, ‘What is the Optimal Method to Eliminate or Mitigate Defective Products Made by Human or Machine?

 

mes system control


The answer is to identify the root cause of the manufacturing problem, and to make the necessary changes to stop those actions or correct those individual process steps that led to the defect. One can imagine the difficulty in performing such an investigation, and the time needed to do so. It requires the analysis of manufacturing data, and whether you have a lot of data or not, the human is still a factor in determining how to manipulate that data into a report that makes sense enough to lead to an improvement.
 
Ideally, the more manufacturing data available for analysis the better; no single bit or process step in the assembly of the product should be overlooked. Including cycle time or Takt, which is also integral to optimally configuring processes. The data should also include the specifics of the human or line worker performing the steps, in order to answer questions such as:

  • Was the line worker or station operator logged in?
  • Was she/he trained and verified to work on those process steps?
  • Were they presented work instructions, or quality alerts; and did they acknowledge reading them?
  • Were there any process steps they performed incorrectly? Did not pass; or took too much cycle time to complete?
  • How did the line worker communicate their issues? Was the andon communications system optimally utilized; and what can be learned from how the line worker communicates problems, and how quickly they are resolved?


The list of possible defect causing actions is endless, especially considering the unique manufacturing operations of every facility regardless of product. The common thread is all manufacturers must make effective actions, right down to the individual process step being done perfectly in order to produce quality products. Integral to this is how you monitor and control all the manufacturing activities on your plant floor.
 
As outlined by ISA-95, the manufacturing activities relating to the individual steps required in the assembly of any product compose level 0, level 1, level 2 and level 3 of the model; with manufacturing execution system (MES) or manufacturing operations management (MOM) activities making up the whole of level 3. It is the MES/MOM level of the ISA-95 model alone that relates directly to the monitor and control of the assembly line and each and every product it outputs. The MES system is responsible for the work flow, or the recipe control to produce the desired end products. MES system control is also essential for maintaining the records or manufacturing data that can be later used to further optimize production processes.
 
Every-single manufacturing activity by human or machine below the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) level 4 of the ISA-95 model relates directly to whether a quality product will be assembled or not. The plant floor is where the action happens, where ‘physical’ process steps are completed to produce ‘physical’ products. It is the MES system control overseeing all this that affords the manufacturer the means to produce quality products in the most efficient way possible (in an acceptable timeframe, and with less waste produced). MES system control also affords the manufacturer the means for continuous improvement; because even if you are producing a quality product today, the question follows if you are doing so efficiently or not? The MES system empowers manufacturers to fine-tune cycle time; to make on-the-fly adjustments to process step sequences, and cycle time. Cycle time in itself is a factor in error-proofing, as in the example of a process step cycle time being too short and causing the line worker to hurry and make mistakes.
 
Note that to be successful it is imperative that the MES system be the central hub or nervous system of your manufacturing operations; i.e. the MES system is to both ‘monitor’ and ‘control’ the assembly line. All assembly line devices connect to it including the programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and all humans interact with it creating a closed-loop of accountability. To maximize the error-proofing result the MES system must control both human and machine, with the ability to halt progress and/or turn tools or devices off as needed. This ensures a solid defense against defects being overlooked or bypassed without supervisor approval. It is the only all-encompassing error-proofing solution, and the means for any sized manufacturer to improve since MES system control comprises all aspects of manufacturing optimization, including manufacturing intelligence and business intelligence.
 
The future of advanced error-proofing is by way of MES system control. Leading automotive, heavy machine, aerospace, military, marine and power sports vehicle manufacturers across the World already use the MES system as their go-to tool to do things better, quicker, and with less waste; to only produce quality products efficiently. MES software like PINpoint Information Systems’ solution can now be integrated by any sized manufacturer; there is no limit on the number of users or work stations or assembly lines, or products or process steps – the MES system is designed for the long-term, it is fully flexible, and scalable to expand as manufacturing operations grow.
 
The MES system can be implemented by Engineers in as little as a few days, and full training ensures your confidence in its operation; which is actually simple since the software is accessed from a website browser on any computer or phone. It is an intuitive software with a familiar drag-and-drop interface and WYSIWYG experience. On a daily basis the MES system is the center of operations, conversing as effectively with the ERP system where the orders originate and progress is reported, as with the plant floor where every single aspect of production is tracked, critiqued, reported, and adjusted. It is the configurability of the MES system which makes it any manufacturers ally in their quest for quality and efficiency.
 
MES SYSTEM CONTROL SOFTWARE
 
PINpoint Information System’s manufacturing execution system (MES) software is meticulously designed and tested to ‘Information Technology Infrastructure Library’ (ITIL) standards before any official version release. PINpoint’s andon and MES System software have been developed since 1997 and continue to be evolved and pushed-forward by leading manufacturers.
 
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

MES Systems:
http://pinpointinfo.com/mes-systems/
 
See the “Why PINpoint?” prezi here:
https://prezi.com/adp9dhp3vgn0/why-pinpoint-manufacturing-execution-system-mes-manufacturing-operations-management-mom-solutions/
 
Automation.com Article Source:
http://www.automation.com/portals/manufacturing-operations-management/advancing-error-proofing-via-mes-control

 

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

assembly-line-andon

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/

 

VIDEO: PINpoint MES System Production Analytics Demonstration – Part 3 (Valuable Reports)

PINpoint ultimately provides our clients valuable manufacturing reports integral to improving manufacturing processes. PINpoint ‘Production Analytics‘ comes pre-loaded with many manufacturing reports you can customize yourself, and save as favorites for daily viewing, including indispensable Cycle Time reports, Andon and OPE reports (see example Figure 1).

 

manufacturing reports


Manufacturing Reports Video

PINpoint manufacturing intelligence reports demonstrated in Part 3 of the Production Analytics Demonstration video below:

+ Daily Average Cycle Time by Station Report
+ Product Average Cycle Time by Station Report
+ Daily Average Cycle Time by Station Operator Report
+ Daily Bypasses by Station Report
+ Daily Bypasses by Reason Report
+ Total Daily Exceptions Report
+ Daily Exceptions by Station Report
+ Product Exceptions Report
+ Fastening Rundown Report
+ Fastening Tool ID/Serial Number Report
+ Daily Job Starts Report
+ And Many More Manufacturing Reports

 


Manufacturing optimization is only possible with the analysis of the data or manufacturing reports afforded by the manufacturing execution system. PINpoint is the only out of the box MES system that both ‘monitors’ and ‘controls’ the assembly line, all data which is captured in the PINpoint “Cube” multidimensional database for manipulation by the software’s Production Analytics feature.

Every tool a manufacturer needs to improve assembly line processes is included in the package; with PINpoint there is no extensive consultation required, there is no custom PLC programming, there are no modules to add, and therefore no added labor cost. By simply opening a web browser on any computer, tablet or phone to access the PINpoint portal website, the user can configure any aspect of assembly in real time. For leading manufactures Worldwide PINpoint is the go-to error-proofing system; it is a proven, turn-key, value-added, long-term manufacturing operations management (MOM) solution.

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

See the “Why PINpoint?” prezi presentation 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