Friday, June 23, 2006

Integrated tool control eliminates wastage

Incorporating an integrated Bill of Tooling module to control usage, cost and availability of tools at the shop floor, a production control system suits many factories.
Prospec Systems have announced the release of the latest version of their PSL Datatrack production control system, incorporating a new, integrated Bill of Tooling module to control usage, cost and availability of tools and eliminate wasted effort at the shop floor, suitable for manufacturing companies of all types. The Bill of Tooling (BOT) module is designed to define and manage the tools required for any given production or manufacturing sequence. This new module is multi-function and deals with the requirements of 'make to order' and 'scheduled production' demands to trace not only the process but also to track the tool requirements, life and replenishment associated with a large variety of work pieces or items.

BOT enables the user to define tool stations and tools required within the manufacturing process or multiple variations of the production method and finally produce a complete setup and process sheet for the items to be manufactured together with immediate tool and equipment availability.

Tool inventory is maintained through automatic links from the Tools Stock module to Purchasing and Goods received.

Monitoring of stock levels and tool life estimates enable the system to suggest re-order points bringing to an end the possibility of a machine standing idle for want of a drill or cutting insert.

Integrated Purchase Ordering and Goods Received provide full traceability of equipment and the entire system is designed not only to handle the cutting tools but also durable items such as collets, chuck jaws, fixtures, tool holders and any other production necessary equipment.

Links to the integrated scheduling system and a full range of on-screen forecast reports, confirms availability of equipment, improves planning of production and makes best use of setter's time and machine capacity.

Production control software is updatable

Although being a fully functioning production control system, its software is not promoted as a 'finished' product - flexibility is the criterium and it continues to develop and improve.
'A really positive experience,' is how Stone Technology, the company behind the RedAnt production control system, describes its first-time participation in a MACH show. Backed by a group of SMEs who wanted software that relied on straightforward terms rather than computer jargon, Stone Technology's innovative software is written in Microsoft programming language and uses an industry standard SQL server database. This approach, according to Stone Technology's Mark Coleman, 'Makes hardware and software system upgrades bullet-proof.' Dunstable, UK-based sub-contractor Hone-All Precision is one of the SMEs involved in the development of RedAnt and, as a committed user of the system, Hone-All's Andrea Rodney has no doubts about its relevance to the smaller business.

'The 30 or so serious enquiries at MACH 2006 were, for the most part, made by people who had read about the system and wanted to see how it performed.

We took one definite order on the stand and expect to convert many of the other enquiries into firm orders.' The most interesting aspect of RedAnt is that, despite being a fully functioning production control system, it is not being promoted as a finished product.

Said Rodney: 'Flexibility is the overriding criteria.

Our individual businesses continue to develop and improve, and we believe the same should be true of RedAnt.

As a need arises we will respond with system changes, and the good news is that any improvement requested by an existing customer will be provided free-of-charge on the condition that it is then released to all existing users.'

Wireless enables real time production management

A wireless production monitoring system using mesh network technology and a proprietary Mote design, offers a higher level of flexibility and control enabling real-time production management.
IQMS, a leader in the design and development of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, today announced the availability of its new EnterpriseIQ RealTime Wireless Production Monitoring System. Using mesh network technology and a proprietary Mote design, the system offers a higher level of flexibility and control by enabling real-time production management from anywhere at any time. With RealTime Wireless Production Monitoring, there are no cumbersome wires and cables to hinder shop floor configurations, and accurate production data is always accessible from any network device, even remotely, as it occurs.

A standards-based wireless technology interface extends the comprehensive functionality already found in IQMS's existing EnterpriseIQ RealTime Production Monitoring system.

With embedded wireless technology, EnterpriseIQ RealTime Production Monitoring can wirelessly synchronize all network machines to monitor discrete, cyclical and continuous operations.

Communication is streamlined through message formats and network protocols without the added cost and hassle incurred by cabled monitoring systems.

'The wired version of RealTime Production Monitoring has been providing benefit to manufacturers worldwide for over ten years,' said Randy Flamm, president and CEO at IQMS.

'Now, with wireless functionality, RealTime is easier to use, costs less, and further supports the drive toward leaner manufacturing operations.

As a single-source, wireless solution, RealTime delivers more flexibility, while still enabling cost-effective, centralized control over plant operations.

The result is improved efficiency, greater visibility, and higher levels of productivity.' By connecting directly to shop floor machines, EnterpriseIQ RealTime Wireless Production Monitoring tracks all aspects of production immediately as parts are being made and applied to the shop orders.

Data updates are instantaneous and continual, and require no human intervention.

Critical data such as parts created, production time, down time, rejects, parts remaining to be produced, and finished product counts is collected and conveyed to the manufacturing schedule in seconds.

Reporting is made simple as well with automatic production shift reports that simplify inventory reconciliation and increase data integrity.

* Availability - EnterpriseIQ RealTime Wireless Production Monitoring is available immediately.

To see the system in action, visit IQMS at NPE 2006: The International Plastics Showcase, June 19-23 at booth 338, McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

* About IQMS - since 1989, IQMS has been a pioneer in the design and development of ERP software for repetitive, process and discrete manufacturing industries.

Today, IQMS provides leading real-time manufacturing, accounting, production monitoring, quality control, supply chain, CRM and eBusiness solutions to the automotive, medical, packaging, consumer goods and other manufacturing markets.

The only complete, single-source enterprise software solution, EnterpriseIQ offers real-time front office, accounting, manufacturing and supply chain management in a single database.