Automotive production plants often prove a challenging environment for the deployment of shop floor software. Data demands are robust, legacy systems must be considered, changes to production processes and software interfaces require costly retraining, deadlines are tight and affecting production efficiency is not an option. Despite these very real challenges, the mass production of precision engineered goods simply cannot happen without an MES solution.
In order to remain competitive with foreign goods produced with low cost labor, production enterprises must squeeze every bit of efficiency and quality from their machines and from their workforce. To be sure, success in such situations requires careful planning and the contributions of knowledgeable personnel with years of experience. Hyla Soft employs consultants with a wealth of experience installing a variety of MES solutions for some of the world’s leading automotive and parts producers, leveraging our Big 5 automotive solutions to improve production control and profitability.
By tracking downtimes, quality loss, and productions speeds, one can quickly identify and eliminate bottlenecks that leach the profitability of a production enterprise. In the Automotive Industry, however, this often means tracking large amounts of data from high speed machines, enforcing operator data entry, and establishing a system of checks and balances to ensure data integrity. Our OEE products and consulting can provide all of this in an integrated solution with thorough analysis capabilities.
It is crucial, and indeed difficult, for a large production plant to have accurate visibility on incoming raw materials/purchased parts, intermediate parts in process, and finished goods for shipping. Having an accurate count of available goods, as well as an accurate manufacturing history of every assembled part, can save a production plant the high costs of warehousing and recall that can potentially destroy the profitability of an entire fiscal year.
Defect and quality tracking in the automotive industry is one of the most demanding fields in enterprise software. A quality suite must be flexible enough to conform to various plants’ inspection, rework, and scrapping procedures but remain rigid enough to enforce the process and collect the required data. It is not enough to simply classify, repair, and track defects; quality data must be collected and contextualized in a way that allows for the identification of preventable issues.
Statistical Process Controls provide trend analysis tools that can work hand-in-hand with Quality Control software to detect and classify a drifting process. These tools are by no means new to the automotive industry; however, modern MES software provides advantages with which the statistical analysis of the past cannot contend – real-time drift detection and corrective action. By collecting data from the automation layer at a high speed, and plotting data in real time, plants can now detect a process that is drifting out of specification before defective parts are produced. Moreover, corrective action management allows for a systematic handling of these drifts to allow top quality production to continue more quickly.
Producing at high volumes requires the use of heavy machinery, making the cost of change-over high. With accurate Work In Process reports and scheduling algorithms provided by a quality MES system, a plant can reduce downtime and increase the profitability of each run.
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