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"Plex Online provides an extremely strong Shop Floor Control System (also known as Manufacturing Execution System (MES)). Many ERP software companies claim to support manufacturing companies, but they do little more than accounting, order entry, and other office tasks. "Source: Plex Systems
What's Happening on Your Shop Floor?
is also known as : Shop Floor Management
, Shop Floor Operators
, Strong Shop Floor Control System
, Manufacturing Execution System
, MES System
, Shop Floor Personnel
, Robust Shop Floor Reporting
, Shop Floor Introduction
Powerful User Interface for Shop Floor Personnel, Shop Floor Technology, Flooring Shop, Shop Floor Software, Shop Floor Data, Shop Floor System, Shop Floor Project, Shop Floor Control, Production Shop Floor, Shop Floor Solutions, Shop Floor Manager, Shop Floor Automations, Shop Floor Tracking, Manufacturing Execution System Software, Manufacturing Execution System Definition, MES Advantage, Shop Floor Advantage, Factory Floor, Machine Shop, Manufacturing Software, Production Tracking.
Until recently, it was difficult for manufacturers to obtain a true picture of what was happening on the shop floor.
Real-time, accurate data reflecting production activity, planned production schedules, quality checks, machine breakdowns, inventory levels or a shortage of materials made it a challenge for shop floor management to keep track of resources, monitor the throughput rate and make instant decisions for problem solving. Integrated ERP and manufacturing technology address these challenges, and offer manufacturers a clear view of what is happening on their shop floor, since shop floor operators themselves monitor and track the data.
This integrated information lets manufacturers increase productivity; decrease scrap; reduce total working- process inventory; reduce premium freight charges; and gain dramatic increases in production throughput.
Today's manufacturing enterprise gains a key competitive advantage by implementing an extremely strong Shop Floor Control System, also known as Manufacturing Execution System (MES).
It's noteworthy that many ERP software companies claim to support manufacturing companies, but they do little more than accounting, order entry, and other office tasks. They are not suitable for use on the shop floor and they provide little value to the manufacturing department.
Many manufacturers indicate that traditional ERP software actually hinders manufacturing, rather than helps it.
The key is to implement a solution that includes job/ production management, process instructions, production scheduling, ultra-detailed real-time inventory control, tool tracking, production tracking, traceability and part genealogy, labor tracking, PLC machine integration, and much more.
Base requirements for a Manufacturing Execution System include:
- Simple, easy-to-use design for use by shop floor personnel
- Real time
- Built-in bar code labeling
- Built-in support for mobile/wireless handheld units
- Built-in integration with machine PLCs
- Built-in integration with weigh scales, packaging machines, and other equipment
Looking deeper, the following areas are critical when determining exactly what is happening on your shop floor.
- Part List
Robust shop floor reporting must track a master list of Parts, including all associated part data, such as part description, part type, and revision. This includes an easy-to-use mechanism to upload small digital photos of each part. The part list also provides links to many other areas of the system, where applicable, such as key part dates, customer part numbers, APQP checklist, inventory, shipment history, problem history and so on.
- Process Routings
A process routing is the series of steps required to manufacture or process a given part. This module defines those steps. Includes the operation number, operation name, approved workcenters and suppliers, crew size, weight, container type, and other key routing data.
- Bill of Materials
Each manufacturing process has a distinct Bill of Materials (BOM) which defines the components that make up a part. A flexible BOM function offers indented BOM, exploded BOM, drilldown BOM, and a variety of other methods for visualizing and editing BOMs.
- Multi-Out Production
An IT system must identify and control manufacturing processes where multiple different parts are produced from a single operation. This is a critical capability for stampers, multi-part die forgers, injection molders, and other manufacturing processes.
- CAD Integration
Many manufacturers benefit from a special feature within your CAD system to number and name each dimension on the part drawing. Then, whenever the drawing is saved, it synchronizes the dimensions and their tolerances to the part specification list, which in turn drives the control plan, checksheet, and data collection systems. The CAD integration subsystem saves you from having to type dimensional data and adds a high degree of advanced integration between engineering, quality and manufacturing.
- Production Tracking
Robust production tracking provides tracking of machine production, including detailed and summarized reports. Data is more valuable when highly integrated with inventory, tool tracking, and scheduling.
- Control Panel
Control panels offer a simple-to-use, yet powerful user interface for shop floor personnel to track and control machine status, labor hours, production, inventory, tooling, and much more.
- Workcenter Tracking
A workcenter log provides a detailed history of all events that occur at a machine, including all production, maintenance and downtime. This module provides reports on uptime, availability and machine efficiency. Far-reaching benefits result when integrating this function with other business processes including production tracking, inventory, labor tracking, tool life tracking and control plans (Inspection Instructions).
- Job Tracking System
This system tracks jobs and work orders within the manufacturing facility. It depends on the situation, but usually a job represents an instruction to the shop floor to produce a certain quantity of a certain part number by a specific due date. The system is the foundation for production scheduling, and can be used for simple scheduling on its own.
- Job Tracker
Job trackers offer a simple-to-use, yet powerful way for shop floor personnel to retrieve instructions, track activities, and record production against jobs as they are processed.
- Setup Tracking
Setup Tracking provides a place to record workcenter setup times and issues, including detailed data on reasons for setup delay. This helps shorten setup times and improve setup consistency.
Visibility of Information
In addition to IT systems covering engineering and production tracking as noted above, a robust MES system must give a manufacturer visibility and management of materials, quality, scheduling, tool tracking and inventory management in order to track individual containers or individual parts on the shop floor.
For example, where full process traceability is critical such as in high-precision, highliability manufacturing such as automotive or aerospace, advanced features automatically track the complete genealogy of all inventory containers, providing both an upstream and downstream trace, even in complex assembly and manufacturing environments. This is ideal for tracking down and isolating all parts created from a defective lot or tracking down exactly who/what/when/where a defective part was produced. This module is used extensively in the automotive industries where traceability is critical.
Other advanced technologies for shop floor control include integrated bar code printing and reading capability for inventory, gage control, time and attendance, and user log-in cards.
Wireless networking; touchscreen functionality; integrated radio frequency identification, and automated notification capabilities are also key for shop floor control.
About Plex Systems
Plex Online, built on a "Software as a Service" (SaaS) model, offers more than 350 functional modules, providing manufacturers instant access to vital information and management functions using a simple Web browser.
The on-demand solution features product life cycle management (PLM) functions such as program and change management, enterprise resource planning (ERP) functions such as accounting and finance modules, customer relationship management (CRM) features such as order entry and tracking, manufacturing execution systems (MES) functions such as production scheduling and machine integration and supply chain management (SCM) functions such as supplier quality and traceability.