Implementing Industry 4.0 can seem daunting for sheet metal companies. However, Lantek has some software tools which provide the first steps, aiming to deliver practical and relevant solutions at an affordable cost, to produce an immediate impact on efficiency and customer satisfaction.
With Lantek MES Manager manufacturing execution system, engineers can upload a bill of materials for the products being manufactured including parts and subassemblies. Parts are then filtered according to material type and thickness ready for nesting in Lantek Expert CAD/CAM software. At this stage additional parts from other jobs or remanufactured parts can be added to the nest, optimising material utilisation.
Within Lantek MES Manager, the full sequence of operations required for the manufacture of each part or subassembly is stored. This can include for example, laser cutting, punching, bending, assembly and painting.
On the shop floor Lantek MES Wos resides on standard touch screen computers or tablets for data capture and to provide operators with details of the sequence of manufacturing operations. Links to the machines record start and finish times for cutting, while for other tasks employees can log on to jobs and operations recording the progress of each part around the workshop in a paperless environment.
Links back to Lantek MES Manager make this information available in report form so that managers can see exactly where parts are in the production process in real time. With this live information, companies can assess and improve the efficiency of machinery and processes, ensure parts are delivered on time, quickly detect delays and cost overruns and provide customers with accurate information about the progress of their orders.
For manufacturers with an existing ERP or sales order processing system, data can be transferred into and out of Lantek MES Manager, making use of the investment in existing technology. However, companies also have the option of expanding the system with Lantek’s Integra software. This system provides wide ranging functionality including quotation and CRM capabilities, highly accurate costings, using the intelligence of Lantek Expert CADCAM, as well as stock management, documentation and invoicing and control of multi-site operations.
Lantek hopes that taking the first steps towards Industry 4.0 with Lantek MES Manager and Lantek MES Wos will be easy, and will deliver traceability and transparency in manufacturing. Areas for efficiency improvement will be easier find and test for effectiveness, customers will be kept better informed and hence more loyal and the headache of controlling production will be a thing of the past.