Manufacturing Systems Inc.


  Recipe And Batch Projects

The other end of the spectrum from the "test station" are machines that utilize a “recipe” data base for setting up and controlling the machine process.  (Another picture of one of these machines can be viewed under the Mechanical section, under the Tube Punch Picture). 

When a machine performs a number of processes with various sequences and parameters, these "recipe" software packages draws the appropriate settings from data base tables.  This has the advantage of extreme flexibility that can be selected by the operator who only needs to specify a unique part number.  One examples of this class of custom software is for a project that  punched holes in metal bases.  A second example is the milling of custom members for vinyl windows.  There has been several projects that have utilized this type of custom software packages.

One of the hidden challenges for these projects is that because there are typically a number of functions that these machine can perform, and because there is the probability that new part numbers will be generated in the future, there is a need for the operator or setup up person to be able to add and edit individual part numbers.  Such custom "editors" introduce a number of software design challenges.  Most importantly, the need to prevent errors.  Therefore, these projects have incorporated a number of "behind the scene" data base tables that only allow appropriate values to be entered or selected during the definition activities. The results of these built in design "guidelines" has been higher yields and easier setups for the Clients.

Another aspect of these types of projects is the management of “batches”.   (An example is shown in the picture above).  When these machines are connected to the companies intranets, orders can be down loaded directly to the machine.  The operator then only needs to work through the orders.  These application not only help the Clients to be able to track the progress of orders but a number of other important measurements can also be collected automatically.  The production rate, the number of rejects, various critical process parameters, the amount of downtime and many others can all be easily time stamped and recorded.

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