Page 32 - MetalForming March 2016
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                                                        Transparency: A New Age in Metalforming
 —not just presses—via wired or wire- less Ethernet communication to display real-time machine status on a web browser. It can detect when a machine is running, count machine cycles and part production, and, in the event of a stoppage, it can even prevent a machine from restarting until the oper- ator has entered a code specifying a downtime reason.
For Wiegel, the main concern was the reasons being cited for downtime. “We had to stress to operators the need for accurate data,” he says. “When we first implemented ShopFloorCon- nect, right from the start we learned a lot about what was really going on at the presses, and we have been able to address numerous issues. As a result, we’ve decreased changeover times by 20 percent and increased OEE by 10 percent.”
It’s important to note the difference in how ShopFloorConnect calculates OEE as compared to the traditional approach. That difference revolves
around defining the performance of the machine when it’s running, i.e. the number of parts produced over the measurement period compared to the machine ideal rate (MIR)—the theo- retical maximum number of parts pro- duced at the highest possible speed. A traditional OEE calculation does not account for part complexity, instead using the same MIR for every job that runs. ShopFloorConnect allows a met- alformer to apply a specific MIR for each job segment or machine combi- nation in the process.
Improved Visibility
Brings Plenty of Surprises
Wiegel notes that his team was sur- prised at some of the issues that became low-hanging fruit when it came to completely grasping the various causes of unscheduled press down- time. While he expected to find that maintenance-related issues were lead- ing to downtime—slug marks, for example—instead it was more of the
procedural things that had press oper- ators struggling. Among them, accord- ing to the new downtime codes his team put into place with ShopFloor- Connect: timely staging of coils, tooling and packaging equipment and addi- tional labor. A good lesson in 5S strat- egy and implementation, he says, was just what the doctor ordered in order to drive down inefficiencies.
“We also attacked our die changes— not only setup of new tools but also the process used to remove dies from our presses,” says Wiegel. “We found that we were using 130 different tools out on the shop floor, which really complicat- ed our processes and led to inefficien- cies. We have since reduced that to 35 standard tools. We also added shadow boards at every press and color-coded the tools to ensure that they remain at their assigned press.
“We also enhanced our kanban sys- tem for packaging,” Wiegel continues, “to address another downtime issue identified by ShopFloorConnect. This
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