Manage Non-Automated Equipment

April 16, 2020

Fastems Manufacturing Management Software (MMS) has proven to be a powerful solution for planning, forecasting, controlling, visualizing, and monitoring automated manufacturing processes. The latest MMS Domain, Work Cell Operations (WCO), makes it possible to include all manual production tasks, work cells, and stand-alone machines in the IT-supported planning, control and monitoring of production. For this purpose, the solution can be used either separately for machines or manual workstations or in combination with an automated pallet and/or workpiece handling system.


WCO promises a whole range of advantages for work preparation, shop floor, and controlling, including time-optimized, automated production planning that takes the entire process chain, managed by WCO, into account, along with automatic detailed planning that allows production with smaller part buffers, among other parameters. In particular, employees on the shop floor have a clear view of what tools and materials are needed and which resources may be missing. Additionally, employees always know exactly which tasks are due in a shift as they are provided with clear, prioritized worklists. These various triggers improve the timeliness of resource ordering and transfer logistics so that tools and materials are always delivered on time to the machines, cells, or FMSs. If permitted, the employee at a machine or work cell also has access to all important production documents and instructions via the WCO module. Against this background, WCO also offers greater transparency with regard to current information on manufacturing capacities, production output, and order status.


These few examples illustrate the enormous potential of WCO, which has a direct positive influence on the key parameters for highly efficient overall production, including higher utilization of production capacities, increased production output, shorter lead times, higher delivery reliability (e.g., through automatic planning based on real production orders, due dates and quantities) and less WIP (Work-in-Progress). The result of detailed planning and the seamless transfer of information will translate to higher production quality.


Another compelling aspect of the WCO software is that it provides all the powerful tools needed to combine automated and non-automated production steps in a uniform production management system. Functions such as deburring and parts washing can now be incorporated into cells and monitored right along with CNC machine tools and the automation equipment integrated into the cell or FMS.