COMES Configuration and Production Preparation

COMES can be configured for a particular use using classifiers (people, shifts, machines, forms, procedures, technological procedures etc.) and built-in MES functions

Fundamental functions of technical production preparation are usually dealt with in the enterprise IT system (ERP). COMES system takes over thus created information and uses it for scheduling, management, monitoring and tracking of production.

Production Scheduling

A detailed production scheduling, usually weekly, is a key element in management of discrete technologies. COMES APS is able to calculate an optimum plan based on input criteria, respond quickly to possible changes in the states of the customer orders even during a shift, or insert an urgent order. The system creates a suitable sequence of production orders for individual machines and lines, product exchange and machine adjustment schedules, as well as plan for human resources – operators. Thanks to the installed production data acquisition, it shows plan-like status vs. reality status in real time. Plant managers can promptly respond to situations so as to meet agreed deadlines.

The administration of below stated agenda is related to detailed planning of production with subsequent processes (with respect to the scope of an article, only the basic points are mentioned):

  • Production orders administration – required production
  • Products – parameters specification
  • Consumption of raw materials and other resources
  • Manufacturing facilities – standard performances, production rate, number of workers needed for operation
  • Line adjustment – adjustment of the technology needed to switch the product
  • Restrictions on materials – maximum amount of available raw materials and intermediate products in time
  • Limitations of storage areas for products and intermediate products
  • Outages – planned shutdowns of production facilities
  • Optimum production plan build-up with respect to applicable means of production including workforce planning

Some of the input data can be imported from the enterprise-wide system (ERP), other data sources or can directly be created using COMES planning software.

The production plan calculation in COMES application is based on the input information entered through an automatic planning function or manually. The automatic planning is a complex function which uses the optimization algorithms to create the plan usually with the following objectives.

  • Maximum utilization of production capacity
  • Minimizing time between product exchange
  • Minimizing the number of workers
  • Optimizing the availability of raw materials for production
  • Spreading the production evenly over time (optional)

The plan is computed out of many possible variants while the most suitable ones are offered. The planner picks up the best option, modifies it, if needed, and releases it for production. The plan is now available to all users in tabular form and is electronically assigned to the production workplaces. On doing so, data is automatically added to individual reports e.g. table of scheduled workers, number of required packaging for dispatch and others.

Allocation of the Plan to Production and Feedback

By using the information on actual state of production a plan completion status is graphically displayed (picture). The plan completion visualization serves as a feedback for planners and production managers, who can promptly change the plan so as to meet the deadlines of orders.

Production management, data collection and production evaluation

COMES OEE is used for control and discharge of production, for collecting the production and technological data, production rendering with the possibility of optional download of control programs to machines, e.g. CNC machines or recipes and parameters of presses, special-purpose machines within the COMES database.

Acquisition of technological parameters (temperatures, pressures, operation times, etc.) is performed on each machine operation, including the possibility of monitoring enviromental parametrs (humidity and temperature) of related production and storage areas. The values of selected parameters are checked on tolerances and, if exceeded, the worker in charge is notified (SMS, e-mail). It is therefore possible to display how the parameter developed in time (trends).

Production data such as number of pieces, machine cycles, downtimes, breakdowns, non-conforming products and kinds of nonconformities are collected. A subject of data acquisition there are also other equipments and processes such as materials preparation technology, assembly workplaces, utillities and others.

Operator Terminals

Operators prefer a well arranged touch like control. The terminal can control either single or multiple machines. The operator terminals may be differentiated by degree of protection and are equipped with barcode readers or RFID and/or label printer. They serve the following purposes:

  • User log-in (operator, service engineer,..), consequently all terminal operations become auditable (traceable to a specific user) 
    Barcode readers can be used to identify both employees (attendance cards, RFID chips) and packaging materials, materials, machines and tools.
  • Part of the functionality may be checking on the training of operators in terms of their skills, health and safety and other union regulations (i.e. automotive ind.)
  • Allocation of production orders or operations
  • Viewing production documentation (instructions, drawings, adjusting directions)
  • Startup of electronically assigned process, Startup by manual scanning the production order
  • Display of statuses (plan vs. reality)
  • Data input (downtime classification, nonconforming products, operations and activities)
  • Calling for maintenance (SMS, e-mail)
  • Production rendering – Manually completed or nonconforming products may be added to automatically counted products
  • Data input – Production administration
  • Transfer to ERP – Data can simultaneously be transferred to ERP system
    In order to assist a service engineer, actual machine control program, documentation, maintenance information can be downloaded/uploaded

Supervision Management and Production Evaluation

By using their PCs, the managers at all levels, have access to information on the performance of production orders and production statuses in the form of graphically displayed technology. COMES helps positively affect production.

Configurable statistics of operation data, machine cycles, downtimes, reports on production order results, utilization, production statistics KPI (i.e. OEE) are available.

Simultaneously the maintenance staff is notified about planned tasks and requirements for potential faults rectification. This gives the production team at all levels the opportunity to optimize results of its production.

Material Preparation and Warehouse Management

COMES WMS contains functions for receiving raw materials and managing warehouses of materials, products and their expedition. A part of the application is a mobile interface for warehouse operators (barcode reader with a display) who can process real-time data. Integrated Material Preparation functions, together with internal logistics, support overall optimization of the enterprise in collaboration with its own production management.

Maintenance Management

Maintenance management is provided by COMES Maintenance, which contains functions for managing the maintenance of machines and equipment. Data can be entered through terminals while all operator or maintenance like inputs are registered thus creating an electronic data record system, which also records operating hours and number of cycles.  It is possible to plan preventive maintenance and keep history of repairs of the equipment. Maintenance and adjusters are notified of activities scheduled and are provided with documents (descriptions, drawings, sketches, photographs) which are kept up to date due to a single repository of documents.

Tools and Molds

COMES system records history of each mold, its usage for pressing, maintenance, overhauls. To identify the mold, RFID chips or operator terminal mobile barcode readers can be used (similar to storage terminals). It is therefore possible to keep files of the mold’s location, number of cycles, notes on mold’s usage.

Communication with ERP System

Data is imported to COMES from ERP system which remains the primary source of data. Data, which ERP system does not include, is entered through COMES system. COMES allows the data that had to previously be manually input into ERP system, to be entered or automatically processed and consequently sent to ERP.

Benefits of COMES to Discrete Manufacturing Management

COMES system serves to plan capacity of discrete manufacturing, control raw materials and products warehouses, production logistics, monitor progress of orders, optimize quality, operatively control and document production and render it to economic/accounting IT systems and, at the same time, manage maintenance of machines and their parts.

The users appreciate the complexity of the solution, a rapid return on investment and the support of the COMES manufacturer strong team.

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