Plastics Technology

DEC 2018

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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a qualified process from the ALS server to the molding machine. Roechling can do the same for its small number of Arburg robots, and potentially could do that for a range of auxiliaries—dryers, chillers, etc.—that Arburg offers under private label, Lenhardt says. Roechling also uses the ALS maintenance module to schedule P.M. for presses, robots, dryers, etc.—even for plant utilities such as the rooftop air conditioner and central water system. The main- tenance module automatically generates P.M. work orders based on operating time—except for molds, which are scheduled for mainte- nance based on number of cycles run. Roechling's ALS server is connected to its Infor SyteLine ERP system, so that SyteLine "pushes out" the production schedule to ALS, and from there to each press. "In the past, we just had a master schedule for the whole plant," says Lenhardt. In turn, the ALS tells the ERP system to reserve time for machine maintenance when formulating production schedules. Echoing Plastikos's pre-ALS experience, Lenhardt recalls, "Before, we had separate P.M. software that was monitored by the maintenance manager. He would say, 'I'll need this press today,' which caused conflicts with production." The maintenance module fills in a record-keeping gap that plagues many molding shops: It logs every maintenance work order, notes when it is completed, allows maintenance personnel to add notes, and also records unanticipated maintenance. Lenhardt cites an example, "If the maintenance records show us that we had to replace a switch three times in the past year, we would start to wonder if we were getting defective switches." Roechling also uses Engel's e-factory MES system for its handful of Engel presses. This is connected to the Arburg ALS so the ALS can send setup programs to e-factory and from there to the Engel machines. Roechling has no comparable capability for its few Toshiba presses. Both Plastikos and Roechling have monitors strategically located throughout their plants to access and log both production and process data. At Roechling, the Arburg Selogica machine controller offers visibility to all "the nuts and bolts of the process," as Lenhardt puts it; only selected data are sent to the ALS, based on a standard list of parameters used for all machines. All Roechling administrators can access ALS on their PCs. The production manager can access it on his phone and receives automatic text alerts or emails if a press goes down unexpectedly. And, as at Plastikos, Roechling is installing new shared computer kiosks with ALS access for all machines. These kiosks also allow manual data input. As Lenhardt describes it, the ALS documentation module avail- able at each kiosk ties each production job to a file folder that includes workcell setup diagrams and settings for auxiliary equipment (which must be set up manually at present). In addition, Roechling has one large, 90-in. display on a wall in the molding shop, which displays the status of all machines, with an indicator that starts flashing if any press wanders outside its process limits. Both firms are pushing to go "paperless" for better process control and traceability. At Plastikos, this is accomplished through having critical setup parameters and process optimi- zation records accessible directly at each machine. Roechling accomplishes this with the new kiosk displays, where it is now implementing electronic work instructions—setup, operating, Plastikos's Bentley with shared screen for every eight to 10 presses, here showing a mold sample sheet—part of the company's push to go "paperless." One of six shared "kiosk" screens for every seven to eight machines at Roechling Medical Rochester, showing the ALS shop overview screen. Soon each machine will have a kiosk to access ALS. "Electronic information helps us gain insight into efficiency and what's happening on the factory floor—automati- cally. We didn't have that before—just hand- written records and human memory." 40 DECEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology Plastikos, Inc.; Roechling Medical Rochester On-Site

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