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INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER – VOLUME 45 NUMBER 10
BY ROBIN OWENS AND ROB TIMMS
The majority of large Asian manufacturers use sophisticated database systems for their product design and manufacturing execution. The PDM (Product Data Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems have integrated tools to reuse data from database for a variety of engineering and planning functions. Most of the companies, the design and planning of assembly operations relyon disparate data and systems. This can be used to almost all companies involved in mass production, such as cars, tractors, electronics or home appliances.
Manufacturing Process Management (MPM) system is the future of assembly manufacturing as they focus on assembly process data into one sharable location and provide an integrated and advanced engineering analysis tool. MPM provides anorganised system for complex and interconnected functions such as process planning, engineering changes, work instructions, time and motion study, and assembly line balancing.
Product data can used be on MPM system from product design systems and process data exported from product design systems and process data exported from the MPM system to manufacturing execution systems, electronically bridging the gap that exist in many companies today. The benefits of MPM include:
- Improvement in production quality, output and reduced cost from accurate and up-to-date engineering data.
- Improved engineering quality, output and reduced cost from reuse of process data and advanced, integrated engineering tools.
- Assembly lines reworked and optimized to be in hours, instead of days or weeks, with automated reports and charts.
- Reduced direct labor costs from minimizing operator idle time on the line.
In MPM systems, the assembly process plan is stored in the central database. The master set of data is shared with various engineering departments and can be viewed and edited by all engineers for making changes in the process plan.
Engineers manage the official process plan in the MPM database. The MPM system is then capable of generating work instructions using the data in the MPM database. Work instructions can be created in the form of a printed report, which automatically pulls the process data into a standard or customized work instruction template. These instructions also can be communicated to the shop floor electronically through the use of monitors connected to the MPM system.
Process data is attached to the work activity, that includesthe parts consumed, tools required, process time, product models and options that require the task. Because these factors are kept in the database, this additional information can be turned into the model when performing a line balance. All of these data are linked to each work activity and then all of the information will be used on each work station. This allows the line balance result be produced more easily.