Companies in the highly competitive manufacturing sector need to find points of operational advantage in all business endeavors, including on the shop floor. Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) – the use of computerized systems to control machining operations – is a frequently implemented improvement.
By utilizing software applications that define batched, predefined manufacturing configurations, companies are able to improve reliability, reduce errors and execute projects more easily. Use of automated processes in manufacturing enables delivery of products to market within shorter time-frames, leading to greater business opportunities, reduced costs and heightened profitability.
Case Study Background
Our client is an industry-leading manufacturer of components sold to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the building products industry. In their daily operations, floor operators use tiger saws to make precise cuts for the creation of window and door frames.
Although they had been utilizing a home grown system to facilitate job management, it required significant manual configuration for each job, thus increasing time to completion and cost. They sought to improve their cutting quality accuracy, reduce mistakes and product waste, and enhance overall productivity and efficiency with an updated infrastructure.
SRI Infotech worked with the client to help develop a state of the art computer aided manufacturing system, built on ASP.Net. The user interfaces – from the shop floor to the management suite – utilize Microsoft Windows workstations.
Details and operations
The developed system is divided into 4 hierarchical components, based on user access and functionality.
Floor operators utilize the software in the day to day course of operations. Managers & reviewers establish critical settings and define configurations. System administrators not only determine settings and configurations, but also have access to overall data, and the ability to set user permissions.
Each saw within the plant is connected to local web services. Particular attention was paid to developing an intuitive user interface, allowing floor operators to initiate the production sequence by selecting the job checkbox. Job details – previously entered into the system by the system administrator – including material length, cut angle and other technical specifications – are then sent to the particular saw through web services, initiating the production process. Operators additionally have the ability to cancel or pause individual jobs as necessary.
In addition to sending instructions out, the bidirectional system also collects information about the order, including status, length of operation and completion.
Jobs data is subsequently collected in a central Oracle MS SQL database, and is used in various business processes, including, quality control, operational efficiency calculations, alerts, business intelligence and accounting. Each job is subsequently archived as well.
Access to aggregated project data enabled to the client to gain insight into prevailing market trends, enabling quicker strategy changes for better profitability. Additionally, by conducting meta-analyses of previously siloed data, the client was able to recognize opportunities for improved efficiency across seemingly disparate operations to reduce costs.
By investing in computer aided manufacturing, SRI Infotech’s client was able to improve reliability, reduce errors and execute projects more easily. Moreover, the client was able to collect data pertaining to market demand, allowing them to better capitalize on business opportunities in shorter timeframes.
As a result of embracing new technologically aided manufacturing processes, the client saw improved production, profitability and future potential.
If your company is interested in learning how they can use technology to maximize their earning potential, please contact SRI Infotech today.