To reduce losses in the manufacturing process, manufacturers apply digital technology and lean manufacturing principles to optimize production and control risks and equipment downtime. The Epicor MES system will help businesses improve production processes and limit waste.

General introduction

With the purpose of sharing insights on issues of applying physical and digital technology in the industry 4.0 era, which have created new achievements in production thanks to the connection of machines, equipment (testing…), and tools (weighing, measuring temperature, humidity, noise, light…) at factories, workshops, testing rooms, raw material warehouses, etc. Accordingly, digital technologies and lean manufacturing principles are meeting in what is called “digital lean manufacturing”—a strong and coherent combination of lean manufacturing principles with digital technologies.

Lean manufacturing principles have long been used in manufacturing to increase efficiency and reduce waste, but the addition of digital technologies to lean manufacturing has been pushing businesses to the limit. completely new, but the end goal is still what was said above.

The following illustration shows the specific numbers of a plastic factory: The factory has a total of 200 plastic injection machines, producing 3 shifts per day, 7 days per week, and 50 weeks per year. Each machine has a cost. Average of 100–150 USD/hour. For various reasons, these machines often lose 1 second in a 20-second production cycle. Let’s try to calculate how many hours per year the loss is for 1 shift of 1 machine with 200 machines.

A huge, small number for many years! But how do you eliminate these costs in your factory? What tools should you use, and how effective is it?

Digital lean manufacturing

For lean production, it is necessary to mention the concept of OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), which is the gold standard for measuring production productivity. Simply put, it determines the percentage of production time that is truly productive. If OEE is 100%, it means we are only producing good products as fast as possible with no downtime. In OEE terminology, it means 100% quality (quality = 100%)—only good products; 100% performance (availability)—no machine downtime.

By measuring OEE and baseline losses, we gain important insights into how to systematically improve our manufacturing processes. OEE is the best measure to identify losses, benchmark progress, and improve the productivity of manufacturing equipment, which means eliminating waste.

What can the Epicor MES system solve for the factory? In general, the system supports three types of online monitoring, as follows:

Production monitoring: counting the speed at which products are being produced, thereby recording losses.

Machine status (running, stopping, preparing…).
It indicates how much of the product has been produced and how much remains to be produced.
The machine is running too slowly or too fast.
The running machine produces too much scrap.
When will the production order be completed?

Process parameter monitoring: measure variables at the time of production, including temperature, pressure, vibration, compression, velocity, etc. Process monitoring is essential to analyzing the root cause of problems. production problems, thereby recording losses.

Why is the product so thin?
Is the filling time enough?
Is the pressure too high?

Quality monitoring: Check the condition of manufactured products, including size, weight, appearance, etc., thereby recording losses.

Process parameters (temperature, pressure, etc.) can be recorded at the moment a product is being manufactured.
Warnings and notifications can be sent when products manufactured exceed specifications.

The connected factory is a manufacturing environment where machines can communicate with other machines and devices across the entire factory. Using an MES system to collect information from machines is an important part of analyzing efficiency and waste.

The illustration above shows connecting a computer network system to production machines. Can take the following forms: The machine is equipped with a compatible PLC that connects directly to the machine using a suitable RJ45 cable. If the device is not compatible, use Epicor’s CF-MIU box to connect. The rectangle on the right shows machines and equipment connected directly or through Epicor CF-MIU boxes. In the left rectangle are HMI (Human Machine Interface) devices used to enter additional data for production orders. For example, the amount of loss, time, and reason for the machine stoppage…
The top part is the server system containing the MES program and data analyzed by the program to serve related departments such as production, QC, scheduling, etc. MES Realtime Display, …

The system answers questions and concerns for departments in the factory. Departments in the factory or company can monitor everywhere; quick installation; Clear production data and detailed consumption information such as production time, materials, operators, energy, and waste products Return on investment (ROI) within 6–12 months

Implementation time and average standard implementation cost will be 4-5 months, including connection and integration with ERP for a system like the plastic company mentioned above. The average cost of licenses, deployment services, and connection devices is 2000–3000 USD for one machine.

Digital lean manufacturing with the online Epicor MES System for the plastics industry (rated as the leading solution) will help with the following issues:

More production capacity without needing additional assets such as machinery and equipment…
Reduce downtime for more parts and lower costs.
Improve machine speed (throughput)
Analyze and show losses: output rate, cycle time, and line speed.
Improve product quality and reduce scrap.
Indicate the losses and reasons.
Improve overall OEE.

3S Software Co., Ltd.  

3S Company is the leading and longest-standing partner in Vietnam of Epicor Software Company (USA) since 2004, one of the five largest business management software solution providers globally. 3S not only brings software or a program to customers but also a comprehensive, flexible management solution suitable to the scale of each business. Along with compliance with the Epicor Signature Project Implementation Methodology, it will help businesses increase production efficiency and improve profits at a very reasonable cost. 3S believes that it will always bring the most satisfaction to customers.  

The five main solutions of 3S include:  

Epicor ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning  

Epicor MES – Manufacturing Execution System  

BPM XSOL Solution – Business Modeling Solution  

ECM DOCSTAR Solution – Digital Content Management Software  

Epicor CADLINK solution – The solution allows transferring information from CAD drawings such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks to Epicor ERP



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