The idea of digital factory is to give more and more control of manufacturing process to a computer system. It depends on the level of automation and production technology, so this solution always be deeply customized.
Main benefit from implementation of Digital Factory System is production speedup and reliability.
Digitalized production flow:
- Import of production orders from ERP system or from Excel or other source, but the most important is to do this automatically. The production plans can change sometimes several times per day, and no person should be engaged in importing the orders manually.
- Orders allocation to production assets – imported orders are automatically allocated by ANT system to free production resources (machines, lines). Free meaning ready to take an order. Machines status is registered directly by PLC or machine’s signals connection with additional manual data from operators.
- Automated changeover and machines setup – immediately after current order execution is finished, new process parameters are remotely set (load new parameters/recipes to PLCs or machine’s computers) and new order is being started without delay. Of course, on most production lines it is required to do some manual operations: cleaning, mechanical settings, preventive maintenance, that cannot be done remotely by the system. But each setting that could be done remotely is worth to digitalize because of: speedup and reliability that proper setting is applied. All product related parameters are stored in the system database. All changes of parameters are registered and passing through approval process.
- Traceability – each cycle of machine is registered by the system. For each operation it gathers either settings or measurements (sensor values, tests, barcodes, photos…)
- Paperless – in digital factory there is no paperwork. All kinds of documents, sheets and manual writing is done in the system.