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.”

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

Andon 3D

MES PRO

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

 

Closing the Loop on Manufacturing Error-proofing with MES

Manufacturers of any size are ever seeking ways to improve the efficiency and quality in their product assembly operations; and it is efficiency and quality in manufacturing that quantify the effectiveness of both the physical actions performed on the shop floor, and the caliber of products produced as a result. Considering that quality and efficiency are the life blood of any manufacturing company, closing the loop on manufacturing error-proofing is not only important but often ignored. All too often manufacturers implement manufacturing execution systems (MES) as an extension of their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system only to realize the MES system they implemented does not actively ‘Execute’ anything.

The assembly line is a chaotic bees nest of activity with both humans and machines trying to work in harmony to complete tasks and produce quality products. The trouble is humans make mistakes, and machines, tools, parts, and devices are prone to fail; creating the recipe for operational inefficiency and poorly made products. Product assembly is further complicated by the nature of humans, i.e. humans can be objective in their decisions, and if driven by pressure (say process step cycle time constraints) may try to cheat the system.

For example, a line worker may be using a fastening assembly tool to fasten a bolt in a vehicle transmission; as they perform the fastening operation they receive a ‘No Good’ or ‘NG’ message from the tool controller since the system detected the specified torque and angle parameters were not met. At this point the line worker would try to remedy or correct the situation by trying to run the tool again, or a third time or more until the system indicates a ‘Good/G’ result. The clear issue in this example is the line worker is able to fix the individual problem she/he is having, and in-turn advance the product (which may be defective) to the next station, and ultimately out of the factory, with no one besides the individual line worker themselves knowing what had happened.

The line worker in the example above was able to make her/his own decision on the ‘quality’ of the fastening operation they performed, and pass the product, without a line supervisor or quality engineer approving it. Further, the error that occurred in the operation was not quantified, i.e. the error may have been on the part of the human action(s) only, or it may have been because of a defective tool, or a defective part. Without this deep level of insight into the problem, a solution cannot be had, and the mistakes will naturally be repeated.

The solution is to introduce a system of full-accountability into your manufacturing operations; to close- the-loop on the chance for any defective products to pass. The method to accomplish the goal is to integrate a software based configurable product with specific capabilities for controlling, enforcing, and documenting all manufacturing processes. An all-encompassing MES system both monitors and controls processes, making it the ultimate manufacturing error-proofing tool because it is responsible for directing the process steps to assemble the product, and to determine whether they are completed in tolerance or not.

MES systems are needed to keep an eye on both the human, and the tool/device results, as well as to stop them in the event a process step specification is not met. To maximize manufacturing error-proofing it is most imperative that the MES system both ‘Monitor’ and ‘Control’ the entire assembly process. The MES system must have the capability to halt operations, or stop individual line workers, and turn off all devices or tools associated with the work station and product assembly progress. Only by fully monitoring and controlling the assembly line can the MES system be effective and full-proof in its’ manufacturing error-proofing operation.   

Fully-monitoring the assembly line starts with first verifying the line worker’s credentials when they login to their ‘SmartScreen’ display at the workstation. Line workers must be qualified to perform the process steps at that particular work station; and they will only be allowed to start or be presented work instructions once the MES system approves it. Once approved the line worker may read the work instructions on the screen and press a button or enter text to acknowledge to the MES system the document was read and understood. At this time a Quality Alert may be presented by the MES, which again requires the line worker to acknowledge the alert was read.

Only after all security, assembly, and quality instructions are seen by the line worker and recognized by the MES as read and understood, does the system allow product assembly to commence, and tools and devices to be turned on. The graphic below (Figure 1) illustrates a typical MES system network whereas all line worker ‘SmartScreens’ and andon communication big screens interconnect to the plant server/MES; any tools or devices on the assembly line connected to the plant network or PLCs connect to the MES system also. The configuration portal is accessed by engineers in the cloud from a website browser on any computer.

manufacturing error-proofing

Figure 1: workers receive assembly instructions from SmartScreen user interfaces; the MES system monitors and controls their progress, and allows for configurability on-the-fly from a website browser.

By actively managing and controlling the plant floor the MES system greatly mitigates the opportunity for defective products to pass. Even line workers with very little manufacturing assembly experience can be employed and lead by the MES system to produce quality products in a short timeframe. MES systems empower manufacturers to realize a continuous improvement strategy they can work with and live with long-term. PINpoint’s MES system for example features a complete toolset of configuration features you can use to create your assembly line and process steps in real-time, and easily from a website browser on any computer, tablet or Smartphone.

It also features production scheduling, plant floor communications, product tracking, and manufacturing reporting tools as well, making it one of the most complete, flexible and cost-effective MES systems to implement and scale up in time as your manufacturing operations grow. Ready out-of-the-box, PINpoint can be implemented quickly and does not require third-party consultation or integration, adding even more value to your manufacturing error-proofing strategy.

Perhaps most importantly the MES system enables manufacturers to become aware of the problems that exist, which is fundamental because one does not know what one does not know, right? It is the data acquired from manufacturing that defines the action steps required to improve the efficiency and quality of the operations; it is the manufacturing intelligence and business intelligence afforded by the MES system that defines your strategy for continual improvement to close the loop on manufacturing error-proofing.

MES SYSTEM 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/

Automation.com Article Source:

 

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