Lean Series Part III: Determining the Amount of Motion Waste in Paint Production Process

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Motion waste refers to the extra physical steps taken by employees and equipment to accommodate inefficient process layout, defects, reprocessing, overproduction or excess inventory. Additional and unnecessary motion takes time and adds no value to the product or service.

Moving and adding value is called work. Moving and not adding value is adding costs to your company and is motion waste.

IntelliFinishing removes motion waste simply by its technology and design. We know we cost more than an average Power and Free system. We are okay with that, because we know the value our completely automated finishing system adds to our customer’s production processes and profit margins.

Here is how we add value and help our customers remove motion waste:

  • SMALL FOOTPRINT
    Many of IntelliFinishing’s system layouts result in a smaller footprint than systems that use overhead monorail conveyors or power and free conveyors. A smaller footprint ultimately means less conveyor to maintain, less floor space operators have to cover and a reduction in the space requirements of your building. An Intellifinishing system can be designed within a smaller footprint because:

    • the conveyor does not have a chain so you don’t have to plan for the return chain
    • our conveyor moves forward and backward allowing you to spur parts to a masking area or load/unload area
    • we use shuttles or deadheads for large parts eliminating the need for large bulb turns
    • we give you flexibility within zones, allowing the conveyor to run faster or slower based on the process, eliminating the need for a large oven
  • LAYOUT DESIGN FLEXIBILITY
    When we are designing systems, we look for ways to share operators and resources between stations. In one system, we were able to position the mask and unmask stations next to each other, allowing for one person to perform both tasks. Frequently, the same resources may be used for loading and unloading since the system can stop in a zone without affecting other areas.
  • SYSTEM OVERVIEW DISPLAY AT ALL HMIs
    Operating stations track each carrier within each zone allowing you to quickly identify any issues and exactly where it is located, saving time and money in motion waste. Work instructions may also be displayed at stations and are useful for masking and labeling instructions.
  • SPEED UP THROUGH NON-VALUE ADDED ZONES
    IntelliFinishing complete paint systems give you the ability to move at variable speeds within zones, along with the value added option to stop the line within a zone or process without affecting the rest of the line, eliminating unnecessary movement of equipment.
  • DECREASED MOVEMENT EQUALS FEWER INJURIES
    With less overall movement by workers and equipment, the chance of injury decreases. Have you ever wondered how beneficial decreased movement can be to your bottom-line? For example, the average back injury (sprain/strain) can cost more than $10,000 in direct costs (National Safety Council Statistics) and anywhere from $30,000 up to $100,000 in indirect cost. The direct cost for all U.S. workers out of work due to Musculoskeletal Disorders or MSDs is estimated at $13-20 billion annually with indirect costs between $26-110 billion annually.

Using Big Data To Track Your Parts

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When it comes to capturing big data to track and market your future business, Konnection software allows you to use a variety of collected data from your plant floor to make decisions for your business. Imagine being able to use PLC, equipment, process and ERP/MRP data to see past trends and analyze root cause and energy use over your entire process.

Production data is key to making sure your system is efficient and profitable. Konnection software turns your data into easy to read graphs detailing the information you have in a reviewable database created by your real-time production. This allows you to monitor production like never before. Recognize trends, view your total number of jobs and carriers, maximize shift productivity and track unproductive aspects of your floor.

Process tracking allows your company to ensure quality of your work and provides your operators detailed work instructions, the ability to compare shift reports and closely monitor energy and resource usage. Ensure that your parts went through the finishing system in the same amount of time every time. Use our software to check coating times, or when carriers entered and exited the system. With this information you can answer questions about what’s happening at every point in your process. With Konnection software, you’ll know everything about the process — even down to if your operator held or released the carrier within the allotted time.

systemreport
Production data is key to making sure your system is efficient and profitable. Konnection software turns your data into easy to read graphs detailing the information you have in a reviewable database created by your real-time production.

Tracking your parts is essential to making sure you are getting the most out of your process, and ultimately your business. With this level of system reporting, you can easily locate parts in the finishing system, and have their data accessible at a later date via serial numbers. An overview screen gives a visual representation of your stations and are color coded for quick detection for status review. You can see what is loaded on each carrier, where that carrier is in your system and then quickly export the selected data via spreadsheets or .csv files. Data can also be filtered by any field, allowing you to look at the production of a single part over a month or at all parts produced in a day.

Our Konnection software connects to your factory floor to your upper level software like SAP and your ERP seamlessly with the format of the data translated to read E-Net, DeviceNet, ProfiBus, ModBus, Serial and many more. The core of our software is SQL server that utilizes redundant servers, and is capable of using your existing hardware. This web-based software is visible from mobile devices and can even send text messages and alarms fault to the screens.

For more information on how you can maximize your plant floor, contact IntelliFinishing with your request for Konnection software.

Part IV: Detailed Recipes Make More than Grandma’s Brownies

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picture of brownies
Grandma’s brownies

Going beyond our technologically advanced components and space saving design, a large part of our job at IntelliFinishing is working with our customers to solve their problems and challenges. There are usually a few key hurdles that lead a customer to consider purchasing a system or renovating their existing setup. As part of a four part series, we will look at the specific challenges one of our recent customers faced, and the solutions provided by IntelliFinishing.

The final major challenge presented to us by our customer was the desire to integrate technology and traceability into the new paint system. The parts being produced at their facility often ended up in military applications, so the more data they could track, the tighter their process controls – and thus quality – could be.

IntelliFinishing’s solution was to introduce our Enterprise Automation Software technology which provides detailed part tracking, parameter monitoring, and full system traceability. Using this system meant that every part was set up with a recipe to define paint spec, masking instructions, curing time, and all other information tied to that specific product. Products can be grouped so items that follow similar processes can be put together.

In operation, parts are scanned with a barcode reader when racked on a carrier, instead of hand-writing a job traveler. Once the parts are scanned onto a loadbar, interactive touch screens at the load station can notify the operator of incompatible part families and diagrams of how to hang or mask the part. As the loaded carrier moves through the system, the touchscreens can show the status of each carrier, such as how long it has been in the oven. This information can also be accessed from a secure desktop log-in elsewhere in the plant. For this customer we were able to provide product logging that showed items like time and date stamps for when the product was painted, who the operator was, the temperature and humidity of the curing chamber. These and all other information is tracked and logged in a secure server so if a quality issue arises it can be traced back to the source of the problem.

The beauty of IntelliFinishing’s Enterprise Automation Software is that it is virtually limitless in the data and information it can track, log, and show. Passwords and user ID’s can also be set up to restrict editing capabilities, etc. The system can also be used for labor tracking and efficiency studies.

Call us today and let us show you how we can track your success!

Read Part I

Read Part II

Read Part III

 

Part I: The Walls Are Closing In

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Part I of Solving Our Customer’s Challenges:  The Walls Are Closing In

Going beyond our technologically advanced components and space saving design, a large part of our job at IntelliFinishing is working with our customers to solve their problems and challenges. There are usually a few key hurdles that lead a customer to consider purchasing a system or renovating their existing setup. As part of a four part series, we will look at the specific challenges one of our recent customers faced, and the solutions provided by IntelliFinishing.

The first concern for our customer was how they were going to replace their existing manual paint shop with an automated, state-of-the-art IntelliFinishing system in the same space, which only measured 74 feet across and 55 feet deep.

IntelliFinishing’s solution to this challenge was to make use of our unique conveyor design that allows our product carriers to flow forwards and backwards, independent of other carriers in the system. This allowed us to “dead head” or “spur” into areas like an inspection platform and a washer to reduce space. In the curing oven we used our variable speed drives to speed up or slow down dwell times based on the part recipe. This, along with in-depth part tracking, allowed our curing oven to be much smaller in size, while allowing the wide range of flexibility required by the variety of parts being coated. Finally, since our system is truly decoupled, we could incorporate short motor breaks for inspection and masking areas without affecting the effective line speed throughout the rest of the system.

As a result of our innovative equipment and controls, IntelliFinishing was able to successfully design a system that met all of the customer’s goals while not exceeding the 4,000 square foot area of the outdated manual system. Find out how our use of shuttles and lowerators can reduce your system footprint while maintaining or exceeding your expectations for performance and flexibility!

Read Part II

Read Part III

Read Part IV