Saturday, January 25, 2020

Bar Code Scanners for shopfloor Control

Examples of barcode scanners for factory data collection

Data Collection terminals today come in many form factors and can be in form of traditional bar code scanner for receiving and shipping, aterminal with a gun handle.  Costs are often $2000.00 - $3000.00 but you can get same features for factory data collection terminals that range from $500 and up. 

Any tablet is great for Quality Control to scan data and pull up drawings and prints for inspecting parts but are awkward to scan bar codes - there are small bluetooth scanners the size of a garage door opener you pull out of your shirt pocket that scan to the tablet screen.

Any Android smartphone can be used by shop floor employees to scan bar codes and enter quantities of parts completed and non-conforming parts. Hence all three form factors would be included for an MES System.

Below are three ruggedized data collection terminals that have push to talk feature (walkie talkie) and scanner that will work with Omega Cube

The TC70/TC75 Series, available from Advanced Automation is the professional-grade device built from the ground up for the enterprise: ... 4G/LTE (TC75 Series Only) and 802.11a/b/g/n connectivity for anywhere, anytime access to information. Zebra's Mobility Extensions (Mx), a layer of features that transform Android from vendor for pricing

This Sprint phone is built with the same durability you
would expect from CAT equipment for $500.00

New Horizon has a competitive ruggedized terminal that functions like a walkie talkie and scans bar codes SonimXP8 for $675.00

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Machine Interfaces for Data Collection to ERP manufacturing

ERP Software for Manufacturing

OmegaCube includes MES to solve manufacturing problems and includes data collection from factory machines.

Example of Direct Machine Interfaces to MES

Scotts Note: I have reviewed the website that is recomended by Omega Cube and the MDT-20 should work on Power Brace (PB) machines for collecting and transmitting data to OmegaCube.  That's good news.  However they are on the East Coast with I assume no local support.  There may be finger pointing between third party machine interface (MI) vendor hardware and Omega Cube software when interface problems arise.  Production Process and Omega Cube need to assure seemless integration with PB machines. 
This is a RED FLAG and should be thought out carefully
MDT 20

MDT-20 costs $1,200 (quantity one) as shown without tablet and is supported with three levels of system software:  OEE Manager, Production Manager or Job Manager.???... firmware or switch selectable?
Scotts note:  Production Process trys to sell the tablet option with the MDT-20 interface to create MES information from data collected from each machine.  

1. Omega Cube can collect data and perform MES functions without optional tablet......all you need to purchase is the MDT-20 and associated interface cables which are different for Mills, Saws, Robots, and Tables, etc.
2. Could use MDT-20 optional Tablet with bar code wand and eliminate use of 3rd party bar code tablets or hand helds planned for shopfloor control.

Since finger pointing always exists. I have included local vendors from my website The vendors listed below sell similar machine interfaces who we can negotiate with to get assurance that they will help get system up and keep running.  Below are couple ways to proceed.

DIY Approach (need network guy)

If you want a DIY approach to getting all PB machines interfaced wirelessly to MES you can buy WIFI serial interfaces for all PB machines for closer to $100 each machine - plus associated cables and connectors found at these three companies listed below.

Contact local vendors (Integrators)

I would encourage you to contact local companies for machine wireless interfaces similar to Production Process.  Costs are $500.00 +/- 25%.  Choose local vendor wisley because they could become partners with PB well into future and salesmen can often do work of consultants.  I have included links to the products to interface to PB machines

 Braas - DSM  

Banner Engineering - Cedar Rapids

PowerMation - DSM

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Project Management Tools and Techniques

I created this 12 Step or 12 month Project Management graphic image, also available in spread sheet format, from reading Edward Demings work and copying his PDCA (Plan,Do, Check, Act) model.  As almost all religious books are derived from the Bible.  All Quality, Lean, Six Sigma, Toyota Way, Smart Manufacturing thinking all derived from Deming, Juran and Crosby thinking.
If you’ve been preparing for a Project Management exam, chances are the vast majority of what you have studied is directly or indirectly derived from the work of these three Quality and Project Management thinkers and theorists:
  • W. Edwards. Deming
  • Joseph M. Juran
  • Philip B. Crosby
This article presents an overview of their contributions to the field of Project Management.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Visual Management

Benefits of LEAN and Visual Management program

... and continuos improvement

Have you ever walked into a place of business and been affected negatively by the lack of cleanliness and disorganization?  If the environment is in disarray the customer may decide not do business with you.  World Class manufacturers understand they have to reinforce their culture or brand with LEAN methods.  5S is a Just-inTime tool or LEAN tool that provides higher product quality, better productivity,  a more pleasant workplace, greater job satisfaction and the potential for improved quality of work. So what is 5S?

You can hire 5S or lean consultants, coaches & trainers to help increase efficiency in your company. Skilled Experts  charge $294 per hour on average, while an entry-level consultant goes for $175 per hour. 

I was in a classroom with an association of manufacturing excecutives learning 5S techniques.  "The Visual Workplace", Productivity through simplicity on the shopfloor, visual controls, visual Standards, Visual Order in 1997 knowing how much these consultants were making ....

....I thought to myself that I learned these visual management techniques from my Grandparents when I was 10 years old.  My Grandpa Olson had a pegboard for his tools and would ask me to go down the basement to find him a hammer or a saw.  He always knew if I put it back and he knew it was cleaned when the job was finished.  My Grandma Olson would ask me when I stayed overnight to get my own breakfast in the kitchen.  I would get a stool, climb up and open the cupboard to see Corn Flakes, Cheerios and Wheeties all in their place nice and neatly.  Everything was in order and easy enough for a 10 year old to find.  

The other Grand Parents showed me an environment in disarray.  You couldn't find any tools in the garage.  It was a mess and my other Grandmas cupboards would be a mess, not clean and just plain disorganized. 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

What is Standard Work?

One of the first steps in improving any manufacturing operation is identifying the best way of performing tasks and operating machines and developing a standard work procedure for everyone to follow. A standard work procedure is the result of organizing tasks in the best sequence of steps to operate machines, make the best use of people, tooling and materials.  More about standard work procedures.

The core idea of standardized work is to determine the most efficient (as in: “muda-free”) work sequence and to repeat it exactly in the same way so that operators avoid unnecessary motion and wasted effort. Standardized work guarantees quality and precision, saves time, maintains safety and prevents equipment damage.