Hydro-Air’s focus on product customization has brought with it the dual challenge of making sure production engineers always provide machine operators on the factory floor with the right CAD drawings, assembly instructions and programs; and that the operators follow those assembly instructions.
Over the years, engineers have released a large amount of paper CAD drawings to the operators. Unfortunately, this has often resulted in operators not having or not being able to find the correct documentation.
“There was no formal process for manufacturing employees to provide feedback of outdated or incorrect drawings and programs, causing inaccurate documentation to linger in the production environment,” says Andrew Lennartz, chief financial officer of Hydro-Air. “Despite the excessive time and money being spent to produce and update production drawings and programs, we found ourselves struggling to keep up with ISO standards.”
To meet these standards, Hydro-Air replaced its paper-based process with a paperless one based on manufacturing execution system (MES) software from Factivity Inc. The company was familiar with the software, having used it to collect shop floor labor data and apply it to work orders.
Factivity MES software features a touch-screen user interface that ensures operators at each workstation receive the correct drawings, assembly instructions, documents and programs from engineering. The software also automatically sends computer-aided manufacturing instructions to the production equipment.
Factivity MES allows work-in-process tracking, meaning engineers can make updates prior to a work order release, and these changes are reflected in real time on the shop floor. The software collects real-time data from the factory floor using modules for advanced planning and scheduling, time and attendance, shop floor management and machine monitoring.
Most importantly, Lennartz says Factivity MES helps Hydro-Air maintain production flexibility while implementing its growth strategy based on lean manufacturing practices.
For more information on manufacturing execution systems, call 800-369-6377 or visit www.factivity.com.