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New level of production control for robotised machine tending

Source:International Metalworking News for Asia - June 2019

Date Published:8/7/2019 05:08:42 PM

Fastems’ new MMS combines three previously separate manufacturing worlds into a single, powerful software solution.

Integrating both automated and non-automated processes into digital manufacturing management, the new version of Fastems’ Manufacturing Management Software (MMS) brings together three application areas in a single manufacturing software platform: pallet-based automation, automation of direct part handling with robots, and work cell operations for standalone machines and other manual manufacturing operations.

The story of MMS as a pallet automation cell controller continues with an extensive set of features developed for the direct part handling solutions. Now MMS software platform offers the advanced production management functionality for robotised machine tending applications.  Easy introduction of the new work pieces is the key for achieving todays’ manufacturing requirements. For this, the new MMS platform includes functionalities for part process plan definitions through the graphical user interface. Together with parametric robot programs and coordinate based part location management the need of robot programming is minimised, and the PLC programming can be avoided totally.

It also delivers the predictive and adaptive scheduling for the automated production by industrial robots. This is the base for the whole production planning and on top of that MMS adds the manufacturing resource planning with the indication of missing resources as cutting tools, raw materials, NC programs etc. This gives the full look ahead view for operators to execute the planned production to enable proactive operation leading to greater output.

The software manages the order-based production in robot cell with manufacturing batches. Flexibility is brought in by having possibility to produce several different work pieces simultaneously in different order lot sizes. Also, the information about the required fixturing and clamping elements on the machine tool are now available and the new it manages these as setups. It can schedule the setup changes for the machine tools and depending on the application is even capable of changing the setup automatically with robot.

Planning, control and monitoring of non-automated processes                

With the latest software version, it’s possible to plan and control also the part of manufacturing which is not automated with robots or FM-systems. As a result, the software closes the gap between the automated and manual manufacturing processes. For example, the operator of a standalone machine tool receives precise work list and instructions via the MMS on which steps are required for production and in this context receives timely information, e.g. when a set-up, materials, tools, etc. must be available.

Complete overview of the entire manufacturing process

This version combines three previously strictly separate manufacturing worlds in a single, powerful software solution that links all relevant processes. The manufacturing processes in the individual areas can be planned, forecasted, controlled and monitored separately or in combination as required. This allows the full transparency of manufacturing by providing a detailed overview of the entire production process. MMS users will therefore not only find it easier to plan the production and the resources required for it as a package, but also to control it more effectively and react very flexibly to future orders.

Topi Judén, Head of Product Management, Digital Products, said, “With the new version of MMS we are proud to introduce the new level of control for direct part handling automation. Also, we are offering an easy way of scheduling the work queues and resource needs for non-automated production phases and thus extending the full transparency, control and visibility to all manufacturing operations.”


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