Control support by MES class systems allows reminding about necessary control and to indicate whether the result is within the quality limits without the necessity of interpretation of results by the person performing the control. Modern software also allows for faster changeovers and production start-up, and greatly facilitates the induction of new hires. How do production management systems enable operator guidance, and why is it worth implementing such a solution?
Automatic operator guidance through changeovers and other activities
Time is of the essence on the shop floor. Modern factories, therefore, strive to use every second productively and minimize downtime. One of the elements that have a positive impact on availability results is shorter machine changeover times.
Some types of production (e.g., pharmaceuticals, food production) involve complex and time-consuming changes of settings and parameters. Expected quality standards require operators to follow strict procedures in hundreds of documents. How can all this be reconciled?
Dedicated production software helps in operator guidance through the production process. ANT Solutions is a complete solution that focuses on automating all possible activities. The operator does not have to search for the required information, as all details are displayed on the operator panel. The operator guide almost leads operators by hand, so they do not waste time wondering what to do in a particular situation. Instead, they act immediately according to set expectations, efficiently using all their working time.
In addition, an advanced system indicates the need to check the quality of the manufactured components. Regular checks facilitate achieving satisfactory results and avoiding reworks due to incorrectly entered parameters or an error overlooked by an employee.
Operator guide – the way to efficient production
How does advanced software improve production efficiency? A state-of-the-art system guides the operator through all steps – from starting the machine, through checking the tools and raw materials to receiving the finished product.
Operator guide provides comprehensive support for the operator during machine changeover and facilitates standardization and optimization of production times. Clear instructions guarantee that no step is overlooked.
The operator receives instructions on the screen. These can be PDF files, images or videos. Complex documents do not have to be analysed – the simple form of communication allows for quick onboarding of new hires and makes the work of experienced staff much more manageable.
Most importantly, the MES system facilitates real-time monitoring of production, thus allowing immediate defects detection, the fast introduction of changes, and updates of activities so that work can be completed on time.
With digital guidance, you receive a powerful tool. It can remind the operator of the activities that should be done at a certain time. In addition, it can also inform about tasks to be performed after producing a certain number of pieces or remind about activities that should be performed after a breakdown within a certain timeframe. The system also sends a notification when samples need to be prepared or a quality control needs to be performed because limit values have been exceeded.
Quick operator guide through changeovers – key features
How does the software guide the operator through the production process? One important feature is the changeover matrix, a useful tool for machine changeovers. It helps to define what exact actions are required to change production type. Changing production from item A to item B may require different steps than from item A to item t C. Changeover matrix helps calculate time and display steps to be taken and tools to be changed to launch new items. It also suggests which tools need to be changed to start the following process.
Another essential feature of the automated software is creating the production center line and the upper and lower control lines. These indicators allow the same settings regardless of which operator controls the machine. Each indicator has the same parameters, which guarantees repeatable production. In addition, splitting the changeover into tasks to be carried out by competent employees (technician, operator, quality control) prevents an uncontrolled process.
Automatic signaling of follow-up actions is possible by sending signals to the machine to start a task, such as pouring a certain amount of oil or adjusting the speed to the current limits.
Why should you use software for production?
Using a production management system allows you to automate most processes. By collecting data in real-time and communicating online with the operator, you can reduce response time by up to 65% compared to standard methods. Rapid detection of irregularities allows you to reduce quality issues, which translates into a significant increase in the OEE value. Data is captured in the system, and instructions and guidelines are displayed on monitors, reducing information transfer time and eliminating the need for paper reports.
The connectivity of the machines ensures repeatable processes, standardizing and optimizing production operations.
What are the benefits of modern shop floor control?
One of the most important benefits of operator guidance is being sure that technological processes have been carried out as expected, using modern software on the shop floor. A clear, quick operator guide ensures that no step in the production process is overlooked. This functionality has the further important advantage that relieves the user from having to think about the task at hand, which significantly reduces production time and delivers better results.
The system also makes it possible to measure and compare the time it takes to complete a particular task and use this data to optimize changeover times.
Monitoring production in real-time allows the rapid detection of potential hazards and their prevention. The immediate defects detection enables the elimination of factors that cause faults, thus ensuring high-quality products. Updating activities based on current data facilitates more accurate production planning and timely completion.
Real-time data collection also triggers automatic signaling of maintenance activities in production, which helps to maintain operations, ensure continuity and make the most efficient use of machine operators’ time.