Given the vast array of manufacturing fastening tools and assembly line device products available on the market, it can become overwhelming to identify which products you should purchase; as recommended by consultants or the tool suppliers themselves. Is it worth spending ‘extra money’ because of claims of added features and benefits? The question is, what is it you really-need to accomplish the task? What if you could purchase the most basic or cost-effective tool ‘needed’ for the job, with saved money in hand to put towards the over-all manufacturing execution system (MES) solution you really need? This is proven to be so, and fastening tool processes are a prime target application for manufacturers to improve their existing manufacturing operations (upgrade), or for new project specification; please consider the following.
Fastening operations play an integral role in the manufacturing of quality parts for cars, transport trucks, heavy machines, agricultural equipment, airliners and more. The fastening of critical bolted joints especially, involves controlling both the input torque and angle of turn in order to achieve the desired proper preload result of the bolted assembly. These safety critical parts are designed to not fail, and therefore must be verified to be without defect (without fail) prior to shipment to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). To aid in this goal, fastening tool manufacturers incorporated ‘error-proofing’ measures into their device solutions; although they cannot solve the problem entirely. Therefore, regardless of the class of fastening tool or expense, the tool itself will not be monitoring and controlling all aspects of the assembly process, including the human. So why spend extra money unnecessarily, only to operate at a deficit from day one?
Manufacturing Execution System Case Study
A multi-national heavy equipment manufacturer lived the exact case study being described here, and in the end achieved an outstanding result of a ninety-four percent (94%) decrease in bolted joint failures, and with Warranty claims reduced the same in turn (see figure 1). Previous to the integration of the manufacturing execution system the customer made a very substantial investment into the latest fastening tools available at the time, with error-proofing features built in to verify bolt input torque and turn angle. The customer monitored the use of the tools over a twelve (12) months period only to be disappointed by a very poor result, i.e. there had been no change or improvement in the number of bolted joint failures and Warranty claims resulting from the upgrade of the fastening tools after the 12 month’s pilot.
Figure. 1: Bolted Joint Failures and Warranty Result after MES/MOM implemented.
The customer had failed to solve the root problem, which no assembly tool or device can do; there are so many factors at play between human and machine at any given moment, and that interaction must be “monitored” and “controlled” by the central decision making machine that is the manufacturing execution system. Imagine the MES system as the CPU of your manufacturing operations; a software you work and live with on a daily basis, which is easily navigable and accessible on any computer to check the status of manufacturing operations at anytime and make changes if necessary. The MES system allows you to keep on top of your process steps as they happen, because any error in assembly that is ignored or left unchecked is a potential unknown defect which can pass process after process and ultimately into the field and the end product. The MES system creates a fail safe means of ensuring defects do not go undetected; and further, in the process important data is captured which can be analyzed later to further enhance operations.
To keep costs down and ensure jobs are done to specification with only quality parts being produced, customers simply need to purchase the most cost-effective electric fastening tools, and specifically those with a built in transducer. Further, the most basic MES system as offered by PINpoint is not a large investment; in fact, their product is the ideal “entry-level” manufacturing execution system, which doubles as an innovative software based Andon solution with powerful production analytics capabilities built-in to help you define cycle time. With the use of MES software you can control any make and model of fastening tool through the use of open protocol. What does this mean for you the manufacturer? Unprecedented error proofing.
The ISA-95 model of activities in manufacturing operations systems divides the ‘activities’ of manufacturing into 5 different levels (see figure 2.): with Level 0 being the production process, or the manufacturing line; Level 1 the tools, sensors, devices; Level 2 automated process control, PLCs; Level 3 manufacturing operations management (MOM), the manufacturing execution system (MES); and Level 4 being business planning and logistics, the enterprise resource planning level (ERP). PINpoint creates the perfect marriage and communication, or ‘conversation’ between all levels of ISA-95 – the MES is the central processing center of manufacturing operations with the ability to both “monitor” and “control” or direct the actions of humans and machines, and in turn report the results in meaningful documents which are invaluable in your quest to improve/optimize manufacturing operations further.
Figure 2: MES/MOM is central to the success of manufacturing operations management.
The MES or MOM system is central to deciphering and creating actions from all the manufacturing data being received (monitored), in order to act (control and alert) in real time accordingly, and in order to output the granularity of manufacturing, or Andon data, essential to maximizing quality and production output (OEE) and optimizing process step cycle time. Therefore as proven and recommended, consider the MES system to be the primary focus in your plans to improve manufacturing processes, and as the starting point for your new project; because the tools and devices you connect to the network are secondary in the over-all manufacturing optimization scope of things; the fastening tools will serve their basic purpose to accept inputs and transmit outputs to the MES, the vital data needed for the manufacturing execution system to verify and command processes. The elimination of the need to spend additional money for unrequired features on fastening tools is notable, since so long as the fastening tool has a built in transducer it can be paired quite effectively via open protocol to communicate with the MES to ensure error-proofing in fastening operations is never compromised.
The manufacturing execution system software has been developed since 1997 and it continues to be evolved and pushed-forward by leading manufactures. Thoroughly proven it is in use daily Worldwide 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 contact 905-639-8787, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website http://pinpointinfo.com/
Production Analytics Demo (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inDK_yAuGgs