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Why PINpoint? Manufacturing Execution System (MES) / Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) Solutions

Why PINpoint ..? Because LEAN manufacturing is About Eliminating Waste, Reducing Cost, Improving Efficiency, and Improving Quality: PINpoint Takes You There.
Championing “Continuous Improvement” Since 1997. Intelligent Manufacturing Defined. PINpoint Information Systems Has Been Championing “Continuous Improvement” Since 1997.Intelligent Manufacturing Defined.


Why PINpoint ?



Please do not hesitate to contact PINpoint today for more information; please call: (905) 639-8787, or email: sales@pinpointinfo.com or visit: http://pinpointinfo.com/


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

Production Analytics Demo (Video):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inDK_yAuGgs

To Stop The Assembly Line, Or Not To Stop The Assembly Line?

To stop the assembly line or not to stop the assembly line? Particularly a batch process synchronous manufacturing line where the movements of the jobs are coordinated, and workers adhere to a set time to complete their job. Stopping a synchronous line impacts the performance of the entire assembly line because each job has a predetermined TAKT time and Goals Planned Actual (GPA) target to achieve. If a job is delayed or a problem arises that requires a line stop, then TAKT time over-clocks and these event can potentially be a factor in whether the manufactured products goal is met or not for the scheduled shift.

Inevitably a reason for a line stoppage will arise and require the worker (or system) to stop the manufacturing process. ANDON is a system which is able to notify management, maintenance, and other workers of a quality or process problem. The most advanced and effective ANDON systems are controlled by manufacturing execution system (MES) software and can feature over sized signboards which graphically display the status of each work station and the individual worker by name. It shows which station/worker is having the problem, or requires attention in an intuitive way with graphics. For example, if the worker needs materials replenished to continue her job then she presses a button and a visual alert is displayed on the big screen for the Line Supervisor to see (in the example screenshot shown below it is a ‘blue dot’). The ANDON system being a website based software is easily configurable to show the essential information needed to ensure productivity; when goals are being achieved the screen displays green and the progress for each member is shown in a bar graph below their name.

ANDON system alerts are typically activated manually by a worker using a pull cord or button, or may be activated automatically by the production equipment itself. The MES software includes the feature to stop production so the issue can be corrected. MES based ANDON alert systems also incorporate audio alarms, stack lights, mobile text/email, and video messages or other animated graphics such as an ‘OEE’ performance gauge for all to see. It is up to the Manufacturing Engineer or Production Team to determine which of the alerts constitute a line stoppage, or the interjection of a Line Supervisor who has the access to remedy/bypass the situation. Keeping that in mind, whether the Manufacturing Engineer or the Line Supervisor are faced with a delay or line stoppage for “whatever” reason, the MES is capturing each and every input by the individual users and storing those events and notes in a database (as well as machine events); valuable data which can be accessed right away or analyzed later in easy to interpret manufacturing reports.

It would be interesting to receive comments pertaining to whether it is a good idea to stop the manufacturing line to remedy situations as they happen? To correct the actions that led to the problem on the spot; and to nearly deny all failed parts from proceeding? Of course for issues such as materials replenishing, or the replacement of a broken tool, the raising of an alert in advance or as soon as problems start is fundamental and encourages preventative actions to ensure the line does not stop in the first place. In the cases where the manufacturing stoppage happens due to a worker not completing their job quickly enough, or is due to a quality issue, the power of how the assembly line should react is up to the strategy the manufacturer implements, i.e. there are pros and cons to consider: stopping the line will consume TAKT time and adversely affect GPA, although on the other hand the quality issue is sorted, the bad part is repaired or quarantined; and in the cases that the reason for the stoppage is due to worker errors, then that situation itself can be addressed by Line Supervisor interaction, such as recommending additional training for the worker. Or perhaps it is revealed the TAKT time is too short for that particular operation, meaning scheduling adjustments need to be made, e.g. jobs reallocated or TAKT time increased.

Whether the line is stopped or not, the ANDON alert will lead to a response action anyway, to encourage the line keeps moving or starts up again quickly if it stopped. If the line is set up to only stop for major issues then yes it forces production to keep moving, and yes you do have the data recorded for the days’ manufacturing events to consider; BUT are you guaranteeing bad parts did not ship, and are you guaranteeing your manufacturing assembly line is optimized as much as it could be? Both scenarios fit a certain manufacturing strategy – it becomes a question of how quickly the manufacturer wants to deal with problems and learn from those mistakes.

Manufacturers have the choice since MES is configurable to their needs. You have the option to remedy the issues as they arise, even if it takes more time and less products are made each day. One can think of it as short term pain for long term gain because yes stopping the line may adversely affect the goal, although at days end a lesson is learned, the problem is addressed and should not happen again; and ultimately a bad part’s chance of being shipped to the customer is more diminished. That is truly continuous improvement on-the-fly. For more information on website based configurable plant floor management please see www.pinpointinfo.com and please do not hesitate to contact us.

A History of Innovation

Perfecting MES Since 1997

For nearly twenty years PINpoint Information Systems has evolved its’ ‘paperless’ plant floor communication system to be the first easy to use and ‘live with’ continuous improvement solution. An out-of-the-box Manufacturing Execution System (MES) which is designed to be intuitive, flexible, scalable, and cost-effective (great value-added). Since 1997 PINpoint Info has consistently aided World leading manufacturers in the Automotive, Aerospace, Heavy Machinery and Recreation vehicles industries to improve assembly line processes; proving time and time again that Continuous Improvement is a measurable and achievable goal in discrete manufacturing.

PINpoint Info is comprised of a team of process control and software engineers with decades of experience in manufacturing processes. Having this level of insight has allowed us to solve complex manufacturing problems using a common sense approach. We are all invested into the success of our customers, and we have really championed all aspects of Continuous Improvement (LEAN manufacturing, Six Sigma) and provided those partners the configurable tool to quantify, report, and create the strategy to improve.

Please view our short interactive Prezi presentation for examples of our work and customers over the years: https://prezi.com/p/ewlfvgglri6o/#share


Improvement Manufacturing PINpoint History


PINpoint’s SMARTbuild, SMARTscreen and ANDON software Version 4.0 is available now. Features including Work Order management, assembly line process creation and editing, on-the-fly assembly instruction updates, OEE and TAKT time and GPA tracking (man hour losses); and the vast array of Manufacturing Reports are indispensable tools and data required for production optimization. We provide the user an interface which allows customer’s themselves, or third-party integrators to efficiently program the assembly line/process controls for a few work-stations, or for large assembly lines with hundreds and hundreds of work stations. SMARTbuild allows the Engineer or Programmer to manipulate the inputs and outputs of the PLC based system in a simple website with drag-and-drop interactivity, and greatly saving labour costs traditionally spent on re-programming and error-proofing PLC code.

PINpoint’s SMARTscreen website is what the team interacts with; the line workers, supervisors, and production engineers all benefit greatly from the mistake-proofing built into the solution. The first order of mistake-proofing is to verify; is the line worker even qualified or certified to do the job? If they are not then we lock out the tools and an alert is created – the system won’t allow the line worker to continue until they are trained and certified, or until a supervisor with higher level access allows the process to continue (in any event a record of the user interactions are stored in a database for ‘reason’ analysis later). Once able to continue, the line worker then interacts with SMARTscreen which verifies that assembly instructions are up-to-date, materials are present, and that the right parts and tools are used to specification; again, if not an alert is created which raises awareness to the team that there is an issue, e.g. alerts displayed on big plant floor screens for all to see (see screenshot below), with text/email, sound, and stack light alerts possible too.

Example of ANDON display on big screen (results displayed are configurable):

Improvement with Advanced Andon

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 905-639-8787, or email Anthony at aborges@pinpointinfo.com.


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

Production Analytics Demo (Video):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inDK_yAuGgs


Full-accountability Gives PLCs New Life

As we transition from Industry 3.0 to Industry 4.0 one essential part of these manufacturing systems the PLC, or ‘Programmable Logic Controller’ will continue to play an integral part. The PLC was first introduced into Industry in 1969; it was developed by Modicon as a relay re-placer for GM and Landis. Today in the Automotive Industry companies like Allen Bradley have standardized their PLCs for the majority of production line operations. Moving forward, PLCs in use today can be upgraded, i.e. software takes over control of the PLCs inputs and outputs functionality, and with significant benefits due to the maximization of error-proofing and the reduction of costs contributed to integrating and maintaining PLC systems.

The future of manufacturing control is software/web browser based plant floor management. Manufacturers no longer have to rely on experts or third-party companies to maintain or re-program PLCs when changes are needed, e.g. when a new product is added to the line, or a product specification is changed; all circumstances where downtime and labour expenses are incurred due to the complexity of integrating, and re-programming code in PLCs. Progressive assembly manufacturers are leading in this new thought movement of using software to not only control the PLCs, but the whole production process; putting the power of the system into the hands of Production Engineers, the key people who are most knowledgeable of the ‘manufacturing process’.

Production Engineers are the experts who truly understand the assembly line process and its strengths and weaknesses, and therefore they are the most qualified to make changes to the assembly line, and now they can. Innovative software development company PINpoint Information Systems has brought the ultimate power of production control to the customers fingertips; now the Production Engineers themselves can ‘re-program’ the assembly line from a user-friendly, intuitive web browser, essentially giving them the ability to make changes in real-time, to drag-and-drop new products into the line, adjust tolerances, set rules; and to configure the actual production schedule (see Figure 1.):


PLC to Manufacturing Execution System

Figure 1. PINpoint Manufacturing Execution System ‘Scheduler’ feature screen shot.


Partnering with World leading Automotive, Heavy Machinery, and Aerospace manufactures and their Suppliers since 1997, PINpoint Information Systems has established itself as the leader in production optimization software. PINpoint’s up and coming launch of its’ latest SmartBuild and SmartScreen Software Version 4.0 is a testament to their commitment to manufacturing excellence, and continuous improvement through full-accountability manufacturing practices. PINpoint has perfected a user configurable product that allows for the expansion of any plant floor strategy simply by opening a web browser.

Management can use a simple web browser to see all the information about production, although the system goes beyond the function of just distributing information: at heart, it is an error-control system. For example, when an Automotive assembly line worker arrives at the workstation they have to log into PINpoint’s SmartScreen client application, which then checks firstly with the production database to see whether the worker even has the certifications necessary to operate the equipment at hand, and whether they have the necessary training on the product being assembled. If not, the system will not allow the worker to perform the assembly. If they are qualified the system then provides the worker with the information needed for producing that day’s orders. As work commences error-free the assembled products move down the assembly line to each subsequent workstation, with bar-code or RFID scanners ensuring this progress and mistake proofing along the way. SmartScreens display the information about the order, which parts the worker needs, where the fastenings and joints are and so on. SmartScreens tell workers the number of parts needed, where the fastenings should be and the torque required on every screw. If anything is missed, the software will not allow the part to move out to the next stage on the assembly line.

The SmartScreen terminal also communicates back to the production database. This keeps management up-to-date in real-time, but also provides an audit trail for the customer. Management can use a simple web browser to see all the information about production because all the data is tracked and easily accessible in the client database. In the case of Automotive manufacturing, the vehicle identification number (VIN) can tell you precise information about the components manufactured; it can tell you who built every part and every assembly, and whether that person was certified to do the work they did.

The use of software to command the PLC and assembly line as a whole is a value-added proposition, not only for the manufacturers, but also for the machine builders who integrate and program the PLCs into the production lines for those customers. Machine builders now have a means to bring added-value to the manufacturer, to simplify the process, save costs, reduce errors and make changes quickly; to easily adapt their assembly machinery regardless of the product being assembled or its changing specification. By upgrading PLCs to be controlled by PINpoint’s SmartBuild and SmartScreen software the assembly manufacturing industry as a whole gains value. Full-accountability in Manufacturing leads to the production of the highest possible quality products; it increases competitiveness, builds team morale, and gives assembly manufacturers a true means to achieve their goals of continuous improvement. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information and a demonstration of SmartBuild and SmartScreen.


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

Production Analytics Demo (Video):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inDK_yAuGgs

What is 20-20 Hindsight Worth in Manufacturing Management?

What is 20-20 Hindsight Worth in Manufacturing Management? How many times now have manufacturers put into action a plan, invested millions of dollars in equipment or infrastructure, yet did not yield the desired or required result in retrospect? What was the true value of the set-back when you factor in all the variables of time, materials, market share, and team morale losses? Sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, perhaps one that came from the recommendations of others, or was developed on their own, but somehow failed. Was more research and planning needed, testing – how could the poor result have been different?


Manufacturing Management


It seems this happens a lot, and many times is not due to unpreparedness either; it can just be simply the awareness of the right solution or technology was not realized at that moment. How about the opposite scenario; where the idea is good, the research/planning and testing indicate it will work, which leads to the investment and implementation and realization it is proven a great success story? Naturally it is the ideal, and those involved are hailed and the manufacturing company grows; waste is reduced, quality parts are made, personnel are empowered, and brand share increased.

What if you as a manufacturer today, and in your present continuous improvement dilemma can have access to the information successful companies have used to achieve their goals? What if you mirrored their methods, would you also be successful? It is very likely because 20-20 hindsight is extremely valuable in manufacturing, and life in general. Do not repeat the things others do wrong, learn from them and improve. What hindsight is worth to you is exactly what you may lose in time, money, employee morale, market share, etc., if you choose incorrectly.

We thrive to share that the information and methodologies needed to achieve truly quantifiable continuous improvement results in manufacturing can be yours now. Some of the largest leading manufacturing companies in the world, those who rely on the hand assembly of critical parts, rely on line operators; such as those in the Automotive, Heavy Machinery, Aerospace, White Goods, and Furniture industries (discrete/batch process manufacturers) for years now have been empowered and continually improving due to the plant floor control software PINpoint Information Systems has perfected since 1997.

“What is 20-20 Hindsight Worth?”

Think about what you do not know right now; the knowledge missing to ‘maximize’ your chance for manufacturing success. What if you can have this knowledge today, the methodologies others have already tried and proved (but without the losses or set-backs they incurred)? Should you reach out to learn more, research further, to consider all the modern LEAN manufacturing management tools available to guarantee continuous improvement? The answer is yes, always ask questions and surely you will be educated and better capable of making the right process improvement decisions to ensure success.


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

Production Analytics Demo (Video):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inDK_yAuGgs

Advanced Manufacturing Article Highlighting PINpoint Information Systems

PINpoint Advances Automation Technology

The Smart Factory by advanced manufacturing magazine highlights manufacturing automation technology of the future:

“…in order to maintain their quality commitment to Ford for assembling key automotive components, Automodular needed to make sure that all their people not only were fully qualified and certified for the processes they performed, but also that each person had all the information needed to assemble each part, at the right time!”

automation technology

MES/MOM Software

By implementing a MES/MOM to manage every manufacturing operation the customer was enabled to achieve the highest level of error-proofing to produce a quality product while keeping costs down. A manufacturing execution system or manufacturing operations management is essential for any manufacturer large or small to fully-optimize their assembly line. MES/MOM improves quality by instilling a culture of accountability into manufacturing; it empowers manufacturers to maximize process step error-proofing.

LEAN manufacturing is About eliminating waste, reducing cost, improving efficiency, and improving quality: PINpoint Information Systems takes you there, they’ve been championing “Continuous Improvement” since 1997. Developed over two decades with hundreds of man years invested, PINpoint’s software development team of Information Technology and Manufacturing Process Engineers have advanced manufacturing and have evolved PINpoint MES/MOM to be the most powerful manufacturing execution system on the market. Now in Version release 4.8 it is by far the most proven manufacturing optimization software capable of managing even the most complex “Make-to-Order” or “Configure-to-Order” manufacturing operations.

Thoroughly proven PINpoint is in use daily around the World in multiple languages by leading automotive, aerospace, heavy machinery, agricultural, and power sports vehicle manufacturers. The 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 Anthony at aborges@pinpointinfo.com.


Quality Increases When Awareness Exists

If you were a Butcher and you only sharpened your knife once every couple months, how effective would your tool be after even a few days, or weeks of use? The World’s best Butchers would Never skip a day without sharpening their blades. If you are a Manufacturer and your tool is “information”, and you are only updated of your plant floor operations periodically, how can you expect Quality to improve if even simple mistakes are passing you by? How are these issues affecting your initiatives for continuous improvement if you cannot gauge them? Are you leaking profits and taking a backseat to the growth of your competitors?

Software MES System

Is it because Manufacturers lack discipline, or because they lack access to the sharpening tools needed to stay in the know? We have all heard the adage that ‘knowledge is power’ because it is. Today more than ever leading Manufacturers are mandating to use web-based plant floor management technologies to keep them up-to-date. It is information, or more typically today the lack of info which leads to hindsight reflection and “hopefully” drives the best corrective actions forward (actions after the damage is already done/money is lost). Fortunately LEAN manufacturing tools in the form of web based software have become the choice for leading Automotive, Aerospace, and Heavy Machinery manufacturers to “really live continuous improvement.”

Downtime can be reduced dramatically when full-accountability comes into play; and the surprising bonus is it empowers the workforce! The quality and profit depleting pains of Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-utilized talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, and Extra-processing (“DOWNTIME”) are mitigated in a quantifiable way when full-accountability practices exist. By improving the Operational Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of OEM customers like Caterpillar, Navistar, Perkins and most recently Hyundai, PINpoint Information Systems has set the standard high with software solutions that maximize continuous improvement efforts. PINpoint’s web configurable plant optimization system has also played a major role at Lear, JCI, CalsonicKansei, AWTEC, Magna, Automodular, Arvin Meritor, Benteler and Hamilton Sundstrand on projects that supplied content to World leaders like Nissan, Boeing, Toyota, GM, Ford and Chrysler.

Imagine a “configurable” web-based plant floor management software that Process Engineers, Plant Managers, Supervisors and Operators can all use/interact with on the fly. A solution which provides the real-time and historical information required to succeed. Streamlining plant floor operations starts with the basics, e.g. is the Station Operator even present? Are they qualified/trained to run the job? Do they have the most up to date instructions (not just outdated plasticized paper instructions)? Are all the tools, materials and products present? And once going if they make an error, can we guarantee any mistakes will be caught in order to be resolved right away?

Quite simply, Quality increases when Awareness exists. Once you are able to have a real-time monitor and tracking of the processes then it only naturally follows that this accountability diminishes mistakes. It is the real-time notification of errors which allows for quick remedy and guarantees bad parts do not reach the next process step (let alone the customer). The whole team has a vested interest when full-accountability is lived. It is the ability to make changes to the line with little to no downtime that further reduces downtime (no more stoppages for PLC reprogramming). And it is the real-time indicators of OEE “for all to see” with live feedback of issues that leads to quick and decisive downtime preventative actions.

Continuous Improvement = Growth. PINpoint’s first-in-class web-based plant floor management software keeps continuous improvement relevant; a worthy discussion topic which can only lead to increased quality, competitiveness, and healthy organizational growth for manufacturing companies Worldwide. Please leave comments below, we would love to connect with like-minded Colleagues and continual improvement minded Companies to discuss how PINpoint Information Systems can help you. Or please contact me directly at your convenience, my name is Anthony Borges (aborges@pinpointinfo.com).

VIDEO: Intelligent Manufacturing Defined

Introducing PINpoint Information Systems Manufacturing Execution System (MES), / Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) “Solution. The PINpoint intelligent manufacturing system is ever-evolving, and has been pushed-forward by leading manufacturers since 1997. PINpoint’s MES System software is the perfect ‘Entry Level’ into manufacturing execution systems for any manufacturer regardless of size. For larger scale or Enterprise level applications, PINpoint is the ultimate assembly line process control and monitoring system.


“We Put the Power of the System into
the Hands of the People that Need It.”
Rob MacMillan, President
PINpoint Information Systems Inc.



LEAN manufacturing is About eliminating waste, reducing cost, improving efficiency, and improving quality: PINpoint Information Systems takes you there, we have been championing continuous improvement since 1997. Intelligent manufacturing is defined; please do not hesitate to contact us today for more information; please call: (905) 639-8787, or email: aborges@pinpointinfo.com 

 Intelligent Manufacturing



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

Production Analytics Demo (Video):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inDK_yAuGgs

Launches Industry’s First Process Control System for Machining Processes

PINpoint’s groundbreaking process control system brought a comprehensive yet configurable approach to the dynamic, high speed environment of industrial assembly typically dominated by custom PLC based solutions. This standardized approach has brought a culture changing opportunity to some of the largest industrial manufactures in the world. The PINpoint solution now has been extended across the entire factory floor and the same principles of accountability are now available for machining and fabrication processes as well. In partnership with Caterpillar Corporation, PINpoint has created a system that can enforce a well defined process in machining and fabrication that can drive an improvement in quality as well as increased efficiency, operator accountability and reduced scrap.

Contact PINpoint today to schedule a demonstration of how we can drive process improvement across your entire facility while generating the vital information necessary to support progressive, proactive decision making.

PINpoint Opens Shanghai Office to Support Their Growing Business in Asia

PINpoint Information Systems is pleased to announce they have opened an office in Shanghai, China to support their growing business in Asia. PINpoint Information Systems China is located at 9/F, Tower 12, KIC III, No.333 Song Hu Road, Yangpu District, Shanghai 200433, China

PINpoint Information Systems is a global supplier of Manufacturing Execution Systems. “As our customers expand around the world to meet the demands of the global marketplace, we have to go with them. Opening an operation in China allows us to support our customers is Asia and assures them that PINpoint is open for business anywhere they choose to grow their business: said Rob MacMillan, CEO of PINpoint Information Systems.

PINpoint is a company fully dedicated to empowering and improving manufacturing dependent businesses by providing a flexible, user friendly and incredibly powerful manufacturing execution system. The PINpoint solution is a configurable product that is unique in how it integrates the gap between the ERP layer and the equipment on the factory floor.