WANTED: INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES – We Believe If Conceived Properly a Manufacturing Management Strategy Should Easily Support a Robust ROI. If You’re a Company that Believes You Can Be World Class and Won’t Stop Until You Get There, Let’s Talk.. http://PINpointinfo.com/contact/

At PINpoint Information Systems we believe that the traditional industry standards of MES and Automation do not effectively empower manufacturing companies to achieve their goals of world class Quality and Efficiency. PINpoint Information Systems is committed to creating an innovative combination of software and services that provide common sense solutions to everyday problems that impact your corporate profitability and makes the goal of continuous improvement more than a slogan. Most importantly, we believe if conceived properly, a manufacturing management strategy should easily support a robust return on investment.
If you are a company that truly believes you can be world class and you will not stop until you get there, let’s talk. We are looking for partners that are not prepared to accept the status quo and want to understand exactly where your time and money is really going.


“…if you feel your company could be such an exceptional partner that PINpoint should consider providing you with a complimentary proof of concept in your plant, please write me and tell me why. PINpoint is prepared to entertain partnerships with a small group of companies committed to proving that knowledge based data can drive a culture of manufacturing excellence.”

Anthony Borges


#manufacturing #leanmanufacturing #leansixsigma #continuousimprovementculture #manufacturingengineering #manufacturingexecutionsystem #industry40 #smartfactory


The Top 7 Manufacturing Pains Today And How To Remedy Them
EMPOWERING QUALITY & EFFICIENCY – Driving Change w/ Manufacturing Execution System Software
Technology Research – Gartner: Industrial and High-Tech/Electronics Context for Manufacturing Execution Systems

OPTIMIZING OPERATIONS: How Touchscreens Can Motivate Assembly Line Workers to Do Quality Work

manufacturing andon system


May 16, 2018 – // Manufacturing AUTOMATION // When UTC Aerospace required a solution to manage assembly line workers with no previous manufacturing experience, it decided to try something new that set a precedent for its future manufacturing operations management (MOM) strategy.

Using manufacturing software from PINpoint Information Systems that features situational awareness graphics on plant floor touchscreens, the manufacturer was able to train an unskilled workforce to build safety critical electronics without defects, which actually helped ramp up production within days, said UTC Aerospace. With the software monitoring and controlling the hundreds of process steps needed to build the products, problems and defects could not go unchecked so error-proofing was maximized.

How do touchscreens motivate assembly line workers to do quality work on time? All manufacturing stakeholders become accountable for the quality of the product, and the efficiency or timing in which it is assembled when individuals report to their own workstation touchscreens. The information created through an individual’s interactions with the touchscreens is also broadcasted to large plant floor displays for all team members to see, critique and act on. This manufacturing methodology emphasizes every line worker’s and supervisor’s own responsibility to contribute positively to the overall goal of manufacturing products of high quality in an efficient way, with the least amount of waste produced.

Assembly line workers and area supervisors become fully accountable for the finished product the moment they log into the user interface software with their own unique login and password. Figure 1 is an example of the SmartScreen user interface with various situational awareness graphics reporting the details and real-time performance of the individual line worker/workstation. The information includes the scheduled production time, the real-time status of the Goal Planned Actual (GPA), and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) which helps ensure the line worker is made aware and of their progress within the cycle time.

assembly line workers

Figure 1: Assembly line touchscreen user interface featuring situational awareness graphics.


Since each manufacturing stakeholder is identified by her/ his own credentials, they must succumb to the first level of assembly line error-proofing. The software behind the user interface touchscreen identifies the worker and then confirms – before any work can start or tools are enabled – whether that person is actually qualified to do the work. The software, PINpoint describes, ensures quality by authenticating that the person has received the proper training to perform the process steps and that they are aware of the latest quality alerts and safety requirements unique to their workstation or process.

At the heart of the user interface software is a manufacturing execution system (MES) and multi-dimensional database containing all the information required to build the product, along with the record of the line worker’s credentials, their training and up-to-the-second historical assembly line performance data.

Once the line worker is verified, the user interface presents the relevant work instructions so they can begin performing the steps to build the product. In the case of the common fastening operation, the user interface displays the tolerances required for the fastening operation. Figure 2 shows a SmartScreen example where the line worker has progressed to Process Step 4 requiring them to perform 20 fastening operations within the parameter set (PSet) of 5.00 – 7.00Nm at an angle of 5 – 7°.

assembly line workers

Figure 2: Fastening operation SmartScreen showing tolerances data visualization.


PINpoint believes the worker is motivated to perform each process step carefully and quickly since they are made aware of the cycle time remaining to complete the operation by way of the cycle time gauge shown at the bottom left side of the main screen. Along the bottom of the screen are coloured bars that can also be configured to visually indicate and further re-enforce how they are progressing.

Once the worker begins performing the fastening operation, the touchscreen displays their Fastening Results step by step with textual data and graphics that shows the worker’s progress. Not only does the touchscreen help guide the worker in each fastening operation, the system monitors their performance and can halt their progress and even turn off their tools should any operation be performed outside the set parameters.

The touchscreen user interface and software not only motivate line workers, they help foster a team-based approach to manufacturing execution that instills a new culture, and closed-loop accountability in the factory where all manufacturing stakeholders are made accountable for what they contribute, describes PINpoint. The data generated by the line workers’ activities and the data recorded from the machines also becomes indispensable as business and manufacturing intelligence reports become increasingly essential for optimizing manufacturing operations.

Anthony Borges, marketing manager at PINpoint Information Systems, offers over 14 years of manufacturing optimization knowledge, with an aptitude for solving problems which increase business and manufacturing efficiency. Headquartered in Burlington, Ont., PINpoint services industry internationally from its offices in Canada, the United States and China.

This feature was originally published in the May 2018 issue of Manufacturing AUTOMATION: https://www.automationmag.com/technology/hardware/8346-optimizing-operations-how-touchscreens-can-motivate-assembly-line-workers-to-do-quality-work


EMPOWERING QUALITY & EFFICIENCY – Driving Change w/ Manufacturing Execution System Software

Manufacturing excellence is built on a robust, goal oriented philosophy that creates a reasonable expectation of success and a tool set that empowers all levels of a manufacturing facility to ‘walk the talk’. PINpoint V5 manufacturing execution system (MES) makes committing to a culture of manufacturing excellence practical. Set goals, leverage real-time data to be accountable to those goals; make adjustments, and measure the effectiveness of those manufacturing decisions to make walking the talk a way of life.

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“How Do You Establish A Culture Of Manufacturing Success? …

…By Bringing Full-accountability To Your MOM / #ManufacturingOperationsManagement!”

PINpoint V5 Makes Committing to a Culture of Manufacturing Excellence Practical. Set Your Goals, Leverage Real Time Data to Be Accountable to Those Goals, Make Adjustments, Measure the Effectiveness of Those Decisions and Make Walking The Talk a Way of Life!

#PaperlessManufacturing #Errorproofing #LeanManufacturing #ManufacturingExecutionSystem #AndonSystem AndonSoftware #MESsystem #MESsoftware

PINpoint Releases Real-time Performance Dashboards for Manufacturing Quality and Efficiency Optimization

manufacturing execution system


“…PINpoint V5 is distinguished by its’ at-a-glance manufacturing performance dashboards,” said Rob MacMillan, President of PINpoint Information Systems. “Real-time reporting empowers manufacturers to actually know how they are doing, whether they will be able to make rate by the end of the day, and what actions to take if they are trending downward.”

Technology Research – Gartner: Industrial and High-Tech/Electronics Context for Manufacturing Execution Systems

Manufacturing Execution System
Industrial and High-Tech/Electronics Context for Manufacturing Execution Systems:

Presented by: Mr. Rick Franzosa, Research Director
Supply Chain Research at Gartner Inc.

“…the Manufacturing Execution Systems market has always been fragmented by industry and technology. A Magic Quadrant cannot do justice to the nuanced differences, so in conjunction with the release of the Magic Quadrant for Manufacturing Execution Systems, there will be six industry specific context documents. These documents focus on the unique challenges in the industry, and feature MES vendors not found in the Magic Quadrant document. This document, the final document of the six, covers Industrial (discrete) manufacturing and high-tech/electronics manufacturing.”

For more information about PINpoint Information Systems V5 MES and V5 Andon Software and to Book Your Demo Please Call +1 905-639-8787 or Click: http://pinpointinfo.com/contact-us

PINpoint Releases New V5 MES Plant Floor Management Software


manufacturing execution system.
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“More than a manufacturing execution system, PINpoint V5 is a tool set that empowers all levels of a manufacturing facility to walk the talk,” said Rob MacMillan, President of PINpoint Information Systems. “It enables our customers to develop a culture of accountability in their operations which is necessary for achieving the goal oriented philosophy that creates a reasonable expectation of success.”

The Top 7 Manufacturing Pains Today And How To Remedy Them

There are many common challenges manufacturers face on their assembly lines which must be overcome to produce quality products in the most efficient way. It is after-all the assembly line where products are born, from physical actions, or process steps performed by both line workers and machines. Regardless of the part or the product being built, the goal is to achieve the perfect balance of maximizing the number of process steps they complete to build that product (without defect) within the fastest time.

Step one is identifying the problem, and as the adage states correctly “…you do not know what you do not know.” The means to identify and act upon manufacturing problems is afforded by the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) or Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) software that both monitors and controls all process steps on your assembly line and provides vital manufacturing data as a result in easy to understand reports.

With over twenty years (20) experience in the error-proofing of complex or safety critical components and products we identified seven (7) manufacturing assembly line pains that still impact manufacturers today:

1.    Pains Due To Not Knowing What Is Happening On The Assembly Line:

How can you optimize your manufacturing if you do not know what to optimize?

MES/MOM software is a tool you can use to consolidate all manufacturing process step data into a single point of access from a website in the cloud. Plant floor communications are also handled by the built in andon system software which can be integrated initially or separately, as an entry-level towards the development of a longer-term MES/MOM monitoring and process control solution. The software is flexible and scalable to an unlimited number of users, work stations, process steps, and assembly lines regardless of location.

2.    Pains Due To Timing And Availability:

Are all needed materials or parts always available on time on the assembly line? Are assembly line workers ‘logged in’ and available to perform process steps on the available product?

Figure 1 is an example MES/MOM screen shot showing the status of manufacturing operations in real-time. The user can hone in on the specific information for a work station (Station View) as shown, or an overview of the assembly line or the plant performance is available. The preconfigured goal of products to be built is simply shown as the ‘PLANNED’ production, and with the ‘ACTUAL’ production data shown below it and updated as it happens.

Each number increment indicates the planned timing of when the line worker or work station should have the process steps assigned to that work station completed, before the product indexes to the next station. As the clock runs the performance timing of the operation is illustrated in terms of ACTUAL cycle time, and Over-all Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) performance metrics. Products are given a status based on a five (5) bucket model that identifies products being worked on as either Waiting (red), Available (orange), Suspended (yellow), Working (blue), or Complete (green).

mes/mom softwareFigure 1: Real-time MES/MOM manufacturing performance dashboard

As the product being built has process steps completed on it by the line workers and machines, e.g. parts are attached, bolts are fastened, and products advance on the assembly line; every single action is confirmed by the human’s interaction with the MES/MOM user-interface screen, and by the signals received from the devices and machines that are monitored/controlled by the MES/MOM (as inputs/outputs turned on/off at a specific time). The screen or dashboard refreshes automatically as progress is made and shows how many products were built and in how much time.

The ACTUAL saw-tooth graph illustrates which products were built within cycle time or not, and the reason why as indicated by the color legend and line transition point for each product; with zero (0) seconds being the counted down goal, and with any data shown below zero indicating an over-cycle time event. For example, if cycle time is exceeded one can determine why the delay happened, such as delays caused by waiting for the line worker, for materials, or for waiting for a product to arrive in the work station so it can be worked on. The individual work station’s created data populates the Over-all Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) calculator accordingly for the work station, line view and plant view. The OEE reporting tool enables the manufacturer to accurately gauge their performance on the go, based on product availability, performance timing, and the product quality resulting.

3.    Pains From Relying On Third-party Companies To Solve Problems They Are Not Qualified To:

Are consultants, integrators or programmable logic controller (PLC) programmers the most knowledgeable of your process to solve your problem?

Who knows your assembly line processes better than your manufacturing management team or manufacturing engineer? Third-party consultants and integrators are typically not directly involved in the day-to-day operations on the plant floor and the hundreds and possibly thousands of process steps needed to assemble a quality product. Additionally, Information Technology (IT) and upper management teams are not as qualified as the manufacturing engineers who create and configure the assembly line directly; but they do however play an integral role in the successful implementation of the MES/MOM software.

Efficient problem solving should lead you to a solution in the least amount of time, in the most cost-effective way, with a resolution to the problem that is flexible and scalable well into the future. Having your engineering, IT and upper management team work directly with a MES/MOM software development company that knows how to monitor and control assembly line workers and device processes is paramount to maximize error-proofing. Regardless of the finished product type, it is the individual process steps performed by human and machine “in a certain way” that ultimately yields a quality or shippable product.

4.    Pains Due To Complex PLC Logic:

How much time, and for what expense does PLC programming contribute to your problem?

It is very time consuming to re-code PLCs and programming is error prone. MES/MOM technology allows for the PLC to do the absolute minimum needed to accomplish its’ main function, i.e. its basic function of turning devices on and off and signalling to the MES/MOM software that it accomplished the requested input or function.

By monitoring PLC inputs and outputs, the MES/MOM software ensures process steps are completed within tolerance, and controls assembly line devices (turned off) when they are not. By halting any process step that yields a mistake performed by a human or machine not meeting the pre-specified tolerance or outcome the issue can be dealt with right-away (to either fix the problem, or re-route the product to a repair work station so production can keep going). The data acquired from the MES/MOM affords the manufacturer instant knowledge of the problem to resolve quality issues on-the-fly.

5.    Pains Due To Wasted Time And Money Incurred Due To Reactionary Measures That Do Not Solve The Broader Issues:

Are you tired of investing in ‘band aid’ or short-term fixes that are not scalable, need frequent maintenance, and upgrading?

At times reactionary measures are unavoidable, decisions need to be made in order to keep production going. Traditionally, these reactionary measures solve the problem for the short-term, but remain a pain because it is known production will again be impacted negatively when the problem arises again.

MES/MOM software affords the manufacturer a solution that is inherently flexible, and scalable indefinitely. MES/MOM software products like PINpoint V5 MES are designed as a long-term solution to address manufacturers daily problems. Visibility is key, and by simply opening a website browser on any computer or device the manufacturer can see at-a-glance how their assembly line is performing, or they can configure and make changes that impact the assembly line instantly from the cloud.

6.    Pains Due To Manufacturing Poor Quality Products:

Have you lost customers and market share due to product quality issues?

Especially pertaining to the quality of a “safety critical” product, any defect could be as catastrophic and costly as the loss of life as a result (mistakes cannot be afforded). A means to error-proof production is a must, which MES/MOM software provides as an absolute protection to assure defective products do not leave the factory.

With MES/MOM systems’ live tracking capabilities the manufacturer can verify the status of any product, serial number or work order from a website on any computer or mobile device. Products that have quality problems, and are in repair work stations can be easily tracked physically on the assembly line, and verified to ensure the defect was resolved.

7.    Pains Due To An Unmotivated Manufacturing Team:

Is employee morale low? Are you benefiting from the full-potential of your people?

Pursuing quality and efficiency is commonplace, but embracing the culture of accountability required to achieve it along with deploying the tools necessary to support that culture is not. MES/MOM software makes committing to a culture of manufacturing excellence practical. By setting your manufacturing goals, and by leveraging real-time data you become accountable to those goals. As you progress and gain more knowledge you can make further adjustments, and measure the effectiveness of those decisions.

Line workers, line supervisors, engineers and executive stakeholders all have a vested interest in the accomplishment of the goal, and therefore all contributing to the goal have their part to play, and their own sense of ownership and accountability in achieving their tasks successfully on time. The manufacturing intelligence metrics output in turn provide verification by way of easy to understand reports.

These common manufacturing pains can all be remedied by the MES/MOM software’s capability to manage your workforce, to configure assembly line tools and devices, and by its capability to inform you.
The information recorded and output as reports for analysis allows your manufacturing team to work from a position of knowledge to positively impact future decisions and actions.

To be competitive manufacturers are forever trying to find ways to save time and save money, i.e. to eliminate the waste caused by repeating the same mistakes, and only addressing problems short-term. The data visibility afforded by the MES/MOM software becomes indispensable once you commit to rely on that accurate data to inform and garner effective decisions backed up by measurable actions.

A culture of accountability is in-turn created when all manufacturing stakeholders clearly understand the goal, and what their personal contribution must be to reach it. The MES/MOM software empowers line workers and supervisors with knowledge by giving them an at-a-glance display of their work in progress; and by informing management of how their over-all operations are performing at any given time. Only by knowing where problems occur on the assembly line can you effectively optimize cycle time or Takt to improve product quality and maximize your plant OEE.


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

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


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How To Achieve Quality and Efficiency One Touchscreen at A Time

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

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

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

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

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

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



Figure 1: PINpoint SmartScreen user interface touchscreen example

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

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


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

WHITE PAPER | Bringing Data Visualization Forefront in Fastening Operations

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