- The MAST-SAIL project starts with the identification of most basic data.
- Start with a list of part numbers
- Then add a machine cycle and load/unload time for each part
- Establish a forecast demand for each part. This can be for any time period (Monthly to Annual)
- Use this data to begin building a MAST Model
MAST Modeling step by step External link:
Flow Route Data
- Flow Route data is a table of parts (rows) and work stations (columns)
- Work Stations listed from left to right define the routing for the part. When a column is left blank or 0, the part does not visit this work station.
- Fields in the table contain the cycle time (operation duration) for a single part. When multiple parts are processed simultaneously, MAST will multiply this cycle time by the number of parts per pallet to determine the pallet cycle time. All data is consistent containing the processing time per part.
- Add/Delete columns using a right click
- Delete rows by highlighting the row, the press Delete key.
- Table can be sorted using any column heading. Part order is maintained in Part Detail screen.
Part Detail Data
- Part Detail data adds the production demand, pallet, number of parts processed simultaneously, priority, and production period
- Note: The pallet cycle time is determined by multiplying the flow time by the number of parts processed simultaneously.
- Planning Horizon is defined by the hours per day and total number of days. Daily, weekly, monthly or annual planning horizons can be defined. Be sure that the production quantities are consistent with the planning horizon.
- Quantity is the number of parts to be produced in the planning horizon.
- Pallet is the inventory type to use when processing the part. Usually this is either a type of fixture or the specific pallet number.
- Number in Pallet is the number of parts processed simultaneously. For example, if the quantity is 100 and 5 parts in a pallet, then MAST will schedule 20 pallet loads. The process time will be the flow route table time multiplied by 5 for the parts per pallet quantity.
- Pallets or Fixture types are listed in the left hand table. A new pallet or fixture is added using the blank row at the bottom of the table.
- Number of pallets is the quantity of duplicates. When using pallet numbers, then the quantity is always 1.
- Number of Stations is quantity of duplicate stations. If each station is defined using its own column in the flow route table, then the quantity of each station is 1.
- Workcenter is used to create groups of stations. The group will provide an “OR” routing condition in the flow route in that the part will visit only one station in a workcenter. Use matching numbers to define a workcenter group.
- Labor teams are listed in the left table. A new labor team is added using the blank row at the bottom of the table.
- Number of Operators is the number of individuals in the labor team.
- Labor Team contains a drop list of the labor teams. Selecting a labor team for a station requires that an operator be available before the process can start.
- Step 1. Drag and drop all stations on the grid screen. Orient stations according to their relative placement in the actual layout.
- Step 2. Add a track section representing the bi-directional vehicle. Position on the left endpoint, click and drag to the right endpoint. Use the parameter settings in the right hand table to define the total length of track and speed of the vehicle. Be use to keep the settings using the same units including the time units set in the Part Detail.
- Step 3. Connect each station to a track point. Use the appropriate connection type, usually no Queue for load station, rotary Pallet for machines, and Buffer for storage stands. Be sure to set the transfer times using the parameter settings in right hand window.
- Error messages appear at the bottom of the screen. Layout is complete when no error messages appear.
Return on Investment uses the cost model feature of MAST to justify the capital expense for any automation project. The strategy is to model the current operation in MAST and assign machine replacement cost and direct cost of labor. Project the current operation using forecast demand to establish a base cost per part if the current operation were to expand to meet forecast demand.
Then build a MAST model of the proposed automated operation for the same product mix and forecast volume. This new model will have additional cost for automated handling and different labor configuration in the model.
MAST cost model will project a cost per part based on automated operation. The difference between the projected cost per part using the current operation and the cost per part for the automated operation defines the annual savings available for the project. The total savings is the cost savings for each part multiplied by the annual volume for each part.
This total savings compared to the annual capital cost required to implement the automated capacity. Divide the annual cost by the annual savings to determine the number of years required to return the capital investment.
Please see the following link for a template document for capturing MAST Cost Model results and determining return on investment for automated capacity.
The top portion of this document itemizes the capacity and cost of alternative operations. it is important that each of these is modeled with the same production mix and forecast demand. This is the reason the current operation must be modeled using for forecast mix and volume especially when new operation is considered because of a need to increase capacity.
The lower portion of the document provides an area to copy/paste cost model results from the MAST models. The annual mix should be the same for all parts so the savings is determined by the difference in cost per part and its annual demand.
Open the following link for more technical information regarding ROI based on future operation. Traditional standard cost methods use past performance to justify new capacity. With the high cost of capacity, automated operations must be justified based on future efficiency. MAST cost model provides an accurate means to determine the cost per part at various planned levels of efficiency.
The simulation lab provides a hands-on learning environment to become familiar with all MAST and SAIL software operation, check accuracy of all data, and debug all data sharing interfaces with ERP and other factory software. The lab is established prior to actual machine installations and is used for training and documentation of the Operation Plan.
Benefits of the Simulation Lab
- Hands on learning. Operators, schedulers, and managers become familiar with all software operation, screens, and menus. Confidence is achieved in software operation and become a knowledge base for the actual operation. This provides the ability to focus on the actual operation and not question software or data.
- Customize Software. The lab provides a opportunity to become familiar with performance monitor reports. These reports can be customized prior to actual operation.
- Test/Debug all Data Sharing Interfaces. Order import and reporting with ERP systems can be developed and fully tested prior to actual operation. Interfaces with inspection processes, part marking devices, and OEE reports can be fully developed and tested. This eliminates any delays in actual system startup and establishes all software operation as background to system start up.
Simulation Lab Configuration
The simulation lab is a local computer network with 5 computers on the network. Following is the list of computers and function in the local network.
- SAIL Watch Computer. This computer is running the SAIL Watch software and simulates the network server computer.
- Machine Watch Computer. This computer is running the Machine Watch software and a simulation copy of the actual cell control software. Most cell control software provides a test version that can be used as a simulator.
- SAIL Computer. This computer is running SAIL Software. SAIL is used to add and update part data, import orders, generate schedules, download schedules and view all performance reports. This is the primary user interface software.
- Inspection Computer. This computer is running the SAIL Part Inspection software. This software shows parts that are signaled for inspection and close loop the inspection process.
- Load Station Computer. This computer is running the SAIL LUL Software. This software shows the load and unload instructions for each load station. Assigned serial numbers and order number to fill are displayed and checked. Links are available to work instruction documents.
Another common characteristic of the MAST/SAIL project is the definition and use of paths. A path is defined as a combination of part number, pallet number, fixture, machine, and tool set. All available paths for a part number can be on-line (requiring no setup) or require a changeover to make it available. Also, on-line paths are always available anytime during the FMS operation. Changeover to provide an alternative path for a part number is allowed as long as the change over time is less than the typical process cycle time. These alternative paths are useful to offset the negative impact on production rate due to low and fixed WIP characteristics of the pallet handling system.
The use of these alternative paths is the primary benefit to flexible manufacturing and the outcome of the MAST/SAIL project. Alternative Paths are defined using the MAST modeling software. A variety of production mixes (forecast and other) are evaluated for performance using MAST. Paths are added to the model to achieve balance and optimal machine utilization. It is recommended that at least 25% of all machine hours have an alternative path. Once these paths are defined and proven, then SAIL uses these paths when generating daily schedules. Daily schedules optimize machine use and prioritize to order due dates. SAIL then automatically transfers all data needed to the cell control software. SAIL manages the large quantity of data needed to operate alternative paths in the automated operation.
A set of alternative paths for a part number can be designated as Exclusive. When a set of paths is designated as exclusive, the allocation algorithm will review alternative paths according to the priority set in each algorithm. When one path has been introduced for a part with exclusive path designation, then all other paths will be unavailable for the part. This will ensure that only one path is used to process an order for a part when alternative paths are available for the part. This feature is most beneficial with orders with low machine hours avoiding inspection of multiple paths.
Types of Flexibility
Part number. The components of a path define the specific types of flexibility utilized in FMS. Part Number flexibility allows different part numbers to share the same pallet, fixture, machine and tool set. The collection of part numbers into a part family allows the production of any family members without setup or changeover. Each part number receives a unique numerical control (NC) program and these will be automatically engaged using the CNC features.
Pallet. Another type of flexibility in FMS is pallet flexibility which allows multiple pallets to process the same part number using identical fixtures, the same set of machines, and the same tool sets. The differences of each pallet are adjusted using pallet offsets to provide for alternative paths. A fixture is the part-specific tooling attached to the pallet which positions the part-specific orientation for each operation. Fixture flexibility is the ability to interchange fixtures to fit multiple pallets. Fixture offsets can be used to adjust for the differences between where the fixture is placed on the pallet, moving the fixtures from one pallet to another would be considered a changeover event.
Machine. Machine flexibility is the most obvious type of flexibility in an FMS. Most FMS contain multiple machines that have identical characteristics. Because of the similarities of the machines, it is assumed any machine can process any part. This is true in theory but in practice it involves tool sets, NC programs, and pallet offset. Each alternative machine defines a new path that must be qualified and use the same NC program with adjustments limited to offsets. The biggest misconception of FMS is that any machine can process any part. In reality, machine flexibility in an FMS is one of the least utilized types of flexibility. The reason for this limited usage is the amount of data and planning that is required to support multiple FMS paths. Pallets and fixtures have subtle differences when located at one machine to the next. These differences are often adjusted within the NC program thus making a special program for each path. This special set of data requires special scheduling and tracking that eliminates on-line flexibility. Pallet to machine adjustments can only be accounted for using pallet offsets. In order to quality multiple paths using pallet offset alone requires extensive planning and coordinated data management.
Tool sets. The next type of flexibility in an FMS is the tool sets. All machines have a finite tool capacity. For multiple paths, machines must have the same set of tools. However, as new parts are added, tools are added to specific machines. Eventually, tool positions fill up and prohibit multiple paths because they do not fit tools sets on multiple machines. Tool set constraints are recognized as one of the limits to on-line flexibility and a variety of solutions have been tested and implemented. Today most of these solutions are as complicated as the FMS itself has limited applications.
Schedule. The last type of flexibility in an FMS is schedule flexibility. Schedule flexibility is implemented through the specific sequence parts are processed through the system and selection of exclusive or alternative paths. Exclusive path algorithm is used to select a specific path for a schedule from alternative proven paths. The path that is selected as exclusive is determined at the time of schedule generation and considers pallet availability, order due date, and machine balance loads. Schedule flexibility reduces the flexibility during run time by limiting pallet and machine selections but benefits with fewer paths to monitor for inspection signals. Schedule flexibility works best when parts have alternative paths and orders have somewhat equal machine load requirements.
Degree of Automation
Traditionally, automation and FMS have been synonymous, but they need not be. Automation in an FMS exists for the sole purpose to manage on-line paths. Consider the situation of four identical machines located near one another in a factory. A variety of parts can be processed on these four machines but moving one part to another machine requires the transportation of the fixture between machines. The actual transportation is not the issue; when to move the fixture and to which machine to move it to are the issues. The control system in the automation provides these management decisions. It is the timing of these decisions that manage the alternative paths which become the flexibility in the system.
Operations Plan Outline This document is developed at the beginning of the project and establishes a consensus for how the machine system will operate. The completion of this document involves all stake holders of the project and usually requires 4-6 weeks to complete.
- A. Configuration
- B. Labor Assignments
- C. Part Tracking and Quality Plan
-D. Daily Scheduling and Order Tracking
- E. Work Instructions
- F. Performance Monitor
- G. Tool Management
SAIL Watch Server
- Server computer can be Virtual or Physical Box
- 32 Bit or 64 Bit Windows Operating System
- All SAIL software requires .NET framework 3.5 or higher
- Local Drive (C: or D:)required to store local MAST model data
- SQLite is the default data base system with.db files stored in same folder as MAST model data
- When using a data server system, ODBC for Data Base Server must be defined in System Data Services
- Table scrips are available for SQL or Oracle data bases. see https://www.cmsres.com/projects/sail
- Network Data shares must be defined for access to ERP export/import files
- Email (optional) Some SAIL triggers will send notices using email server
- Estimated data storage requirements of 15mb per year of operation
Install SAIL Watch Software
- Install SAIL Watch Install.exe Use SAIL Watch Update.exe to update software and retain registry settings.
- Select a location to install in a local drive. Default is c:\Program Files\CMS Research\SAIL Watch
- Install SAIL Watch as a service
- Use Computer Management Services to locate SAIL Watch in list of services.
- Edit Properties to set service to start Automatic
- Create User account for SAIL Watch service to use as Log On (This user needs access network data shares)
- Note: if Log On user requires a password, be sure to maintain password due to expiration policy
- SAIL Watch stores the following data in the Application Data or Program Data folder.
- xml files contain the cell configuration information.
- Error and Trace logs are located in sub folders. New folder is creates when SAIL Watch starts.
- Error.log file contains any recorded errors and should be checked after SAIL Watch starts.
- Tracing can be turned on or off using the check box in the user screen.
- Review the error.log file when SAIL has any abnormal operation.
Start SAIL Watch Software
- Sail Watch GUI will appear in window
- ADD New Cell. Add button is enabled only when logged in directly to server
- Name of Cell: This name will appear in the SAIL Main screen and in lists of cells to select.
- Model Directory: Folder location where MAST base model is located. Suggestion to create a folder in a local drive call \saildata. Then create a sub-folder for each cell. Locate the MAST base model in this sub-folder before Adding a new cell.
- Database: SQLite is available or ODBC. SQLite is included with SAIL software and db files are stored in model directory with the MAST base models. IF ODBC, then use Data Sources to define ODBC settings for SAIL Watch to access the data server. SQL and Oracle scripts are available to create tables in the SAIL data base.
- SQLite Database Path: Only used with SQLite data base. Defaults to Model Directory location.
- License Key: SAIL Watch is a licensed software. Each cell requires an annual license. CMS provides one year or multiple year agreements. SAIL Watch will operate for a 30 day grace period after expiration while notices are shown in SAIL and SAIL Watch.
- Base Models: SAIL Watch requires one base model be selected to create a new cell. MAST models contained in the Model Directory are listed. Templates and versions of MAST models will be listed. Select as many models as required. Model must be selected for access in SAIL.
- Separate scheduling orders from tracking orders (Check Box) Check this box only when using MAST Capacity feature to import scheduling orders and use capacity analysis to create short term tracking orders for SAIL. When this feature is enable, SAIL uses the short term tracking orders from MAST to schedule instead of ERP Orders imported through a SAIL Watch trigger.
- Shifts Tab All days of the week are listed. For each day, select the number of shifts per day. Note the number of shifts and shift times are used in collecting data. All days must have some shifts and times. Use the generate schedule check box if the shift is to be scheduled for operation. Do not check the box for times that the cell is not operating. SAIL monitors all operation regardless if the shift is scheduled or not.
- Machine Watch Tab Every cell must have a least one Machine Watch connected. Machine Watch software is installed on the cell control or a computer in the non-automated cell to collect event data and distribute schedule instructions.
- Add Machine Watch Use Add button to add a machine watch location to this cell. Provide a name and the IP address for the computer machine watch is installed on. Special versions of Machine Watch are available for each type of cell control. With each machine watch, select from the list of machines and load stations that this machine watch monitors/ schedules. If machines are added or removed from a cell, be sure to update this check list.
Install SAIL Software
- SAIL Software provides the GUI to access to all software features
- SAIL requires .NET framework 3.5 or higher
- Windows operating system 32-bit or 64-bit
- SAIL.exe This is the stand alone version and does not require an installation. Copy to the desktop and launch using the icon.
- SAIL Install.exe This is the installed version and requires administration privileges to install. After install SAIL will be listed in Programs in a folder CMS Resarch. Use SAIL Update.exe for software updates to retain registry settings from SAIL installation.
Start SAIL Software
- First time. SAIL must connect to SAIL Watch software to start. First time the connection will fail and enter the IP address of the SAIL Watch computer when prompted. This location will be recorded in the registry and used when starting SAIL.
- Welcome to SAIL! SAIL home pages contains a menu in the left column and 4 windows. SAIL features are organized into 4 major areas: Planning, Scheduling, Monitor, and Material Tracking.
Machine Watch Cell Control Software
- Select the appropriate version of Machine Watch software for the version of Cell control computer.
- Machine Watch requires .NET framework 3.5 or higher.
- Windows Operating System 32 bit or 64 bit
- Install as a service. Use Computer Management Services to view list of services.
- Each version of Machine Watch requires special settings depending on the features available. All settings can be changed after installation by stopping and restarting the Machine Watch service. See SAIL Triggers and Settings by Feature
- Installs in Programs on computer. No launch icon is needed because Machine Watch runs as a service with automatic start
- Machine Watch stores all error and log data in the Application Data or Program Data folder.
- Error and Trace Logs. Logs are located in the Application Data or Program Data folder depending on the version of Windows. Error.log file contains any run time errors and Trace.log contains event log of all Machine watch activity. Trace is turned on or off from a setting the the MachineWatch.exe.config file located in the Program File folder.
- Review the Error.log file when Machine Watch has any abnormal operation.
Machine Watch Configuration and Settings
Machine Watch settings are contained in the Machinewatch.exe.config file located in the folder where of the Machine Watch software is installed. Default location is c:\program files\CMS Research\Machine Watch. Edits to the config file require a restart of Machine Watch to become active.
<appSettings> - <add key=“Mazak Use Starting Offset” value=“False”/>
- <add key=“Mazak Log CSV Path” value=“C:\saillog”/>
- <add key=“Mazak Web Version” value=“True”/>
- <add key=“Mazak Database Path” value=“C:\Mazak\NFMS\DB”/>
- <add key=“Mazak Load CSV Path” value=“c:\mazak\fms\lds”/>
- <add key=“Material Storage Path” value=“\\NetworkIP\c:\MaterialRequest”/>
- <add key=“Pull Only Storage Commands” value=“False”/>
- <add key=“Parker Serial Path” value = “c:\partprograms”/>
- <add key=“Ditch Witch parts with single fixture” value = “14000,100”/>
- <add key=“Output Trace Log” value=“1”/>
- <add key=“Makino ODBC Connection String” value=“DSN=MASMMC;UID=MASMMC;PWD=MASMMC”/>
- <add key=“Makino ADE Path” value=“C:\Makino\ADE”/>
- <add key=“Download Only Orders” value=“true”/>
- <add key=“Serial Offset Directory” value=“\\MAS-0145\Makino\SysData\Offset”/>
SAIL Load/Unload Software
- Displays the parts to unload and load while a pallet is at the load station. Displays the assigned serial numbers, order number, and inspection signals for each part. Option is available to override order assignment. Includes a link button to open Work Instruction documents for individual part numbers. Installed near the load stations.
- Windows Operating System 32 bit or 64 bit
- Requires .NET framework 3.5 or higher
SAIL Part Inspection Software
- Displays the list of parts signaled for inspection. Installed on computer in CMM room or inspection areas. Provides a close method to signal the inspection is complete.
- Windows Operating System 32 bit or 64 bit
- Requires .NET framework 3.5 or higher
SAIL Part Tracker Software
- Displays the Part information while a pallet is located at a load station. Provides a bar code scanner or manual input to assign serial numbers to the parts being unloaded. Multiple process parts scan the bar code assigned in the first process. Installed near the load station. This software is not needed when using Load Unload software.
- Windows Operating System 32 bit or 64 bit
- Requires .NET framework 3.5 or higher
SAIL Instruction Display Software
- Displays the work instructions from a daily schedule filtered to a single station. This software is used when SAIL scheduling of manual cells. Installed near the entry or exit of the material flow for the manual cell.
- Windows Operating System 32 bit or 64 bit
- Requires .NET framework 3.5 or higher
SAIL Unmanned Schedule Software
- Generates a schedule this active for a specific period of time. Parts included in this schedule are active for defined periods during the week. For example, parts running daily from midnight to 6am, parts run only on Saturday or Sunday, parts run only once a week for a specific quantity. Installed on the scheduling computer.
- Windows Operating System 32 bit or 64 bit
- Requires .NET framework 3.5 or higher
SAIL Watch software is install on a network server computer. This software controls all of the SAIL operation. Each cell is defined in the SAIL Watch software and is customized by use of Triggers. Triggers are sets of program tasks that are schedule to run on a time interval or through user request. A trigger contains a set of processes that execute in the order they are listed in the trigger definition. Triggers are defined to monitor event activity in the cell control, import ERP orders, report order status to ERP, generate a schedule using allocation methods, download work instructions and many customizable operations. Following is a list of trigger processes categorized by function.
Order Import Parameter Setting
File has only new orders: Check this setting when SAIL is to track the inventory of parts (parts scheduled but not assigned to an order)between schedule generations. This inventory tracking is needed when large quantity orders can not be scheduled complete in a scheduling period and when the order quantity does not evenly divide into the parts per pallet quantity. SAIL tracks these “leftover” parts and assigns these first to any order matching the part number. Then the balance due is determined for each order when generating schedules. When this parameter is not checked, the inventory of unscheduled parts is zeroed with every order import. No carry over of parts is applied to the next orders.
Add Sequence Numbers to Parts: Check this setting when parts in SAIL are defined with multiple processes and the part number in the order import contains only the part number. For example, Part 1000 has two processes that are defined in SAIL as 1000-1 and 1000-2. The order contains the part number 1000. Checking this setting will create orders for both 1000-1 and 1000-2 parts from the single order import. When this setting is not checked, the part number in SAIL must match exactly the part number in the order import.
Replace - with _ in part names: Check this setting when part numbers in the order import file contain - (dashes). SAIL does not permit -(dashes) in its part number because the -(dash) is used to designate processes for the same part number. Standard part naming in SAIL is to remove -(dashes) or replace -(dash) with _(underscore) keep the same part format. Checking this setting will match part numbers in the order file with part numbers in SAIL that have identical numbers with interchanged -(dash) and _(underscore).
First Column contains the order name: Check this feature when the order id is contained in the first column of the import data. When this feature is not checked, SAIL will create a unique order ID with every order import. When order numbers match over consecutive imports, SAIL will not create a new order and will update quantity and due date in some cases.
Import to Work Order Table: SAIL provides two types of orders: scheduling and tracking orders. Checking this setting will indicate that imported orders on this trigger will be tracking orders only (work orders). These imported orders will not be used for schedule generation. See SAIL Workorders section below for more information.
Traditional scheduling assigns capacity to demand. The schedule is work list for each machine. SAIL uses a different approach by allocating demand to capacity to generate a schedule. Allocation based scheduling is based on demand matrix and a demand period for each part. The demand matrix contains the daily demand in matrix format where each part number represents a row and calendar days are the columns. The following document defines these fundamental data and how allocation methods utilize this data to generate schedules.
SAIL Scheduling Strategy https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7_w4m760oRJZDE2SzlBOHhUMkk&authuser=0
SAIL Scheduling begins with the import of ERP Orders. These orders contain the part number, quantity, due date, and order ID. The MAST base model contains the production period for each part and defines the paths available in the flow route table. Daily demand is determined from the combination of due dates and demand period for each part. SAIL uses an allocation method to generate a schedule and the routing instructions for this schedule are automatically transferred to the control system. When scheduling non-automated processes, then work instructions comprise the schedule. The following document describes the data flow for SAIL Scheduling
SAIL Scheduling Guidelines https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7_w4m760oRJWGZDbUhzb2V5Y2M&authuser=0
Allocation algorithms each contain unique criteria for using the demand matrix data to develop a daily schedule. Some of these algorithms differ in only the priority assigned to parts and others use playbook definitions, and others are unique in data format and output.
SAIL - Tool Forecasting and Planning System Add tool list for each Part and Operation Use Tool Times to forecast tool use with schedule generation Set Tool use Target levels for tracking Report Actual Tool Use from Actual Production Counts Use Current accumulated tool wear to forecast tool replacements Audit Tool Replacements
SAIL - Quality and Part Audit System Assign Serial Number to each Part (or Path: all parts on same path have same serial with added letter in tag only) Mark Serial Number on Part Print Tag Send parameters to Pin Printer Set material values for Robot Control Deposit / Withdraw serial from part program parameters for marking in machine Track and Count Paths Signal Inspections Audit Quality Plan
SAIL provides two types of orders: Orders for scheduling and Orders for tracking. A setting in the cell info definition “Separate Scheduling orders from tracking/work orders” determines if the cell uses one type of order for both scheduling and tracking or two types of orders.
When using one type of order for both scheduling and tracking: This is the most common configuration for orders. No special designation when import orders or adding orders in the “Add Order” item in the SAIL scheduling menu is needed. This is the default setting.
When using separate orders for scheduling and tracking: This must be designated in the cell info setting by checking the separate order box. Once this box is checked, import order triggers can be designated as either scheduling orders or work orders. The default is all import orders are scheduling orders. A check box in the parameter setting of the import trigger must be checked to designate the imported orders as work order only. The “Add Order” menu item in the scheduling menu adds scheduling orders only. The “Add New Work Order” in the Work Order item in the Material Tracking menu will add orders for tracking only.
Examples when two types of orders are used:
Prove Out Paths is the transition of manufacturing processes from concept to production ready. A path is defined in the flexibility plan having a part number, pallet number, fixture, and machine number. The same part number of alternative pallets and/or machines is defined with its own path. The flexibility plan contains all of the paths necessary to satisfy the requirement for support at least 25% of all machine hours as having an alternative path.
The prove out procedure contains a sequential check list that every path must pass to become production ready. During the prove out process, many paths will be in various steps in the check list with need to coordinate between several engineers, operators, and managers. Therefore, a visual tracking document is essential to provide the communication and coordination for this highly variable set of tasks. Here is a sample check list for a path prove out.
The list of paths in the flexibility plan is ranked to define the sequence of what path is proven first, second, until all paths are proven production ready. As path are proven production ready, they are moved into a SAIL template. This template has SAIL triggers that will schedule production from orders. During transition, regular production is intermixed with path prove out. It is often that new part numbers are added continually so production and prove out are normal daily operation.
Sequence of Activities:
Continuous improvement is the addition and deletion of paths as production mix change over time. The objective is to maintain machine utilization at a target or planned OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency). The flexibility plan defines the minimum number of paths by percent of machine hours to meet a production mix at a planned OEE. A production mix is specific production quantity for a set of part numbers over a specific set of time typically a month. When the production mix changes, so must the flexibility plan to maintain planned level of OEE.
Capacity review is performed periodically using the MAST Modeling software. The frequency and timing for this review is determined by changes in the production mix. Most typically, the capacity review is performed at least once per month while relying on the flexibility plan to maintain target OEE between reviews. Here are the steps for capacity review using MAST.
With the new flexibility plan implemented, SAIL will maintain target OEE for the updated production mix. Having a capacity review at regular intervals will ensure that the flexibility plan is capable to maintaining a target OEE as production mix change. A flexibility plan with a high percent of machine hours having alternative paths will support OEE for wider variations in production mix. Regular capacity reviews will determine the relation between frequency and the flexibility plan.
Reducing Manufacturing Cost with MAST/SAIL software
Over the past 5 years, MAST/SAIL software has been implemented in a wide variety of manufacturing settings. These settings range from contract machine houses to major corporations. From these experiences, we have observed three outcomes that deliver significant (10-40%) reduction in manufacturing cost.
From our past years of projects, here are the top three items that reduce manufacturing cost. Note: these are outcomes from successful implementation of the MAST/SAIL software.
1. Flexible capacity - A minimum of 25% of all machine hours must have an alternative path. A path comprises a part number, process or operation, pallet, fixture, and machine. An alternative path is at least two pallets or two machines capable of process the same part number and operation. Most machine cells are planned with flexibility using alternative paths, but this benefit to reducing cost only when the flexibility is realized in daily decisions. MAST/SAIL software uses modeling to configure the minimum implementation cost that attains 25% flexible hours, and then uses this model to generate daily schedules. The combination of planning for flexibility and daily management is what delivers reduction in manufacturing cost.
SAIL Screen Captures: MAST – Flow Route showing alternative machines MAST – Part Detail showing alternative pallets Capacity Planning - configuring flexible capacity to match long term (more than one month) demand. SAIL – Routing Instructions
2. Daily Order Scheduling. Building to daily demand is a Lean Technique proven to minimize waste and reduce manufacturing cost. The difficulty comes in its implementation. MAST/SAIL software provides automatic data flow/sharing from the ERP system directly to cell controls. Orders automatically appear in SAIL Order list via data sharing or Kanban scans. An allocation process customized in SAIL generates a daily schedule and transfer these instructions to cell control computers. As the parts are processed, they are automatically assigned to fill orders as they are completed. MAST/SAIL reports order status every few minutes. This report contains quantity completed, standard hours and actual hours. Reporting actual hours required to complete an order results in knowing actual manufacturing cost. Knowing the actual manufacturing cost allows the adjustment to standard cost and quotations for contract work.
MAST/SAIL Screen Captures: SAIL – Unscheduled Orders SAIL Watch - Allocation methods and triggers L/U Process - Operator screen SAIL - Order Reporting SAIL – Machine Cycle Monitor (actual hours)
3. Part serialization based Quality Plan. Most manufacturers see part marking as adding cost without benefits. However, marking parts with serial numbers that reference an electronic record of its path and inspecting paths based on a frequency has delivered significant reduction in scrap. Linking consecutive CMM reports from each path provides a means to observe trends and intervene a corrective action before a quality issue arises. MAST/SAIL software assigns a serial number to every part, tracks the path of the part and interfaces with marking devices. These marking devices range from Zebra ™ printer to print a label, pin printers for robot handling, to depositing parameters in CNC programs for scribing in a machine. Inspection types and signals comprise the quality plan and MAST/SAIL sends signals to unload operator. Inspection data is collected and linked to the serial number of the part. MAST/SAIL software provides quality audit reports for each path where root cause quality issue is resolved. Reducing scrap is a common outcome of SAIL projects.
MAST/SAIL screen captures: SAIL – Station Log with serial numbers SAIL - Inspection Types and Frequency definition Part Inspection – Inspection List SAIL – Inspection Audit Report
Lean Manufacturing: Cost savings will only come from reduction in material, labor content, or machine content of a part. Savings associated from reduction of waste (Lean practice) will not have significant benefits for long term cost reduction. Also, this type of savings will not offset the cost pressure from different labor rates of different sources or transportation costs.
MAST/SAIL - Software that makes machine cells work for you.