"Shop-Floor Work Instruction" ? How important they are?

D

dmytry

#1
"Shop-Floor Work Instruction" – How important they are?

Hi All,

My name is Dmytry Mykhaylov and I’m a software engineer. The thing is... I sort of "inherited" one project and I need to make a qualified decision about whether to shut it down or continue up to some final product. The objective of the project is to create an on-line service for "Process Plan" or the "Shop-Floor Work Instruction" generation. It may be considered as a light-weight web-based CAPP system for small workshops or, if my understanding of MES is correct, it may be considered as a part of MES.

Unfortunately, I'm absolutely unfamiliar with the problem area of the project. I mean... I do know how to do this project as a software developer, but I have no idea what it is all about! :) This is the first time in my practice when I have an absolute zero of knowledge, but have to use only my common sense. This is why I started to surf the Internet and eventually founded this wonderful forum.

Why does my common sense keep me searching? One moment about the core algorithm of this application tells me that it might be a really helpful and useful for somebody else:

• The algorithm doesn't depend on any specific equipment, tools, instruments, fixtures, coolant, etc. etc. – anything what might be needed to "perform" the proper work. Technically, if stone axe will be put in the "knowledge base" of the system – it will be treated as a regular "tool" and used appropriately when needed.
• First implication: user never refers to any "shop-specific" data when describes the future process (may be only except information regarding material, which may be in the shop-specific format or classification).
• Second implication: the same "process description" may be run against different sets of equipment (or "knowledge bases" of different shops) and every time the "shop-specific" process plan or work, instruction will be generated.

Limitations:

• It has nothing in common with ISO 10303, STEP/STEP NC etc. It doesn't require shop to have any specific equipment on the floor. It can work with _any_ equipment/tools/fixtures.
• It doesn't generate CNC-code. It is not the goal. The goal is to provide _detailed_, readable "work instruction" for shop-floor personal and generate the proper data about equipment/tools/fixtures usage on every step of this process (after that these data may be transferred to the appropriate MES or MES+ERP systems for further analysis).

The purpose of this post is to ask one question about how useful such kind of service might be for today’s manufacturing. Is it important to have a formal description of the process on the shop floor?

As an illustration to my question, I would like to attach an example of one of the documents which might be generated by the algorithm. Here is the meaning of some columns in this document:

For example, record "R":

• "PI" - # of the position
• "D or В"- design size of the diameter or width
• "L"- design size of the working stroke
• "t"- cutting depth
• "i"- number of cuts
• "S"- feeding
• "n"- spindle’s speed
• "V"- cutting speed
• "Т aux"- auxiliary time (min)
• "Т main"- main time (min)

The terminology and grammar of the document might be slightly inaccurate, but I hope it demonstrates the general purpose of the service.

I'll be thankful for any advice, comment or information of any kind,

-dm
 

Attachments

AndyN

A problem shared...
Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Run that one by me again..........

I'm not sure I understand the question - as it pertains to the info you've provided................:confused:

Andy
 
D

dmytry

#3
An example:

- design engineer provides the drawing of "what should be done"
- manufacturing engineer uses this new application and gets all
geometrical information from the working drawing + adds/edits
his own data if needed
- the application generates the document I've provided earlier
- the document contains:

+ the list of all manufacturing operations in the right sequence
+ all equipment/tools/fixtures etc. needed to be used for every
step of the process
+ all settings for the equipment for every step
+ time duration of every step
+ qualification of working personal
+ info about material
+ etc.

If you know that in a particular operation you need specific equipment
for XX number of minutes - you know how much you should pay for the energy
bill. You know how much coolant you need. You will find out how long your instrument
will work for these specific settings etc.

My question: do you need all these as an owner of a workshop? Will this
service make your work easy? Do you need documents like this (in any forms or formats)?
 

CarolX

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#4
dmytry said:
The purpose of this post is to ask one question about how useful such kind of service might be for today’s manufacturing. Is it important to have a formal description of the process on the shop floor?

I can answer this question with a resounding YES. But that “formal” description can vary widely based on such factors as company size (20 man shop may have hand written instructions, 250 man shop would have documents electronically), product to be manufactured (example might be sheet metal cabinets versus aircraft parts), and customer requirements could be some of the variables that would dictate how detailed instructions should be.

dmytry said:
My question: do you need all these as an owner of a workshop?

Again, depends on many variables.

dmytry said:
Will this service make your work easy?

Not sure about this question, is this a “service” you are developing?

dmytry said:
Do you need documents like this (in any forms or formats)?

Absolutely, we use documents like this every day for every job we run.

I hope this helps to answer your questions.
 

Caster

An Early Cover
#5
This wheel aready exists

dmytry said:
My question: do you need all these as an owner of a workshop? Will thisservice make your work easy? Do you need documents like this (in any forms or formats)?
Hi Dmytry

These capabilities already exist as large mature applications. Look at these for ERP based approaches.

Visual Shop
http://www.ask4csi.com/

Vita/Vanatge
http://www.epicor.com/www/products/manufacturing/vantage/?ExpLeftNavigation1ExpandValue=MainLeft1_ExpLeftNavigation1{D365FAF0-D47F-46B7-91E0-777F39C20302}

And these for Quality based approaches

Cebos
http://www.cebos.com/APQP.html

Mpact
http://www.datamyte.com/content.aspx?id=105

If you are trying to develop a commercial app, you have strong competition. If this is for in house use, it may prove faster, cheaper and easier to buy rather than make.

There are hundreds if not thousands of these packages....does this help?
 
D

dmytry

#6
Thank you CarolX,

CarolX said:
I can answer this question with a resounding YES. But that “formal” description can vary widely based on such factors as company size (20 man shop may have hand written instructions, 250 man shop would have documents electronically) ...
I've been surprised by the fact that "20 man shop may have hand written instructions". I expected to see the picture when small shops doesn't have instructions at all (because they "know how" to do their job), or all instructions are in electronic form. Why do they work with paper docs? Is it possible to see an example?
 
D

dmytry

#7
Hi Caster,

Thank you for you response. I rather will not compete with "big guys" in their field. I understand that "hundreds if not thousands of these packages" exist on the market and dozens of them proved robustness and reliability. I don't want to create another one.

But could you refer me to some application which will generate detailed "Operation Sheet" for the process and will not require you to enter any information about equipment/tools/fixtures/order of operations when you describe the process? This application should work like this:
- you install the system
- you enter the information about your equipment/tools/fixtures/shop structure into the database. if you remove/update/buy some equipment - you should update the database
- you get the order on something and you decide that you may need a "Process sheet" for this
- when you are entering information into the system, _you never tell the system how to make_ it (I mean in which order what equipment/tools/fixtures to use). You just enter the info about _what should be done_ (80% is geometry and you can get it from the file with drawing)
- you press the button and you get the process sheet I've attached above (the format is not important - I can do it any way you like! the data is important. imagine for a sec. that you like the format :)
- if you disagree with the process (the result), you edit the data (you make imperative suggestions to the system) and system will regenerate the process. In fact, you can tell to the system: "Idiot! use this one!"... and it will ;-), but you will do it only in 5% of cases

I'm not talking about "my" system here. I'm just asking you advice where to find this one...

Thank you,
-dm
 

CarolX

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#8
dmytry said:
I've been surprised by the fact that "20 man shop may have hand written instructions". I expected to see the picture when small shops doesn't have instructions at all (because they "know how" to do their job), or all instructions are in electronic form. Why do they work with paper docs? Is it possible to see an example?
Sorry, I do not have any examples.

Why would you find it hard to believe that a small shop would have work instructions, but they are hand written.

15 years ago, before we tripled in size and computerised our system, all work instructions we hand written and delivered to the machines on paper. It gave details on what tools to use, and which program to call up. I am sure there are thousands of small shops that still operate this way. Why wouldn't they?
 
D

dmytry

#9
CarolX said:
Sorry, I do not have any examples.

Why would you find it hard to believe that a small shop would have work instructions, but they are hand written.

15 years ago, before we tripled in size and computerised our system, all work instructions we hand written and delivered to the machines on paper. It gave details on what tools to use, and which program to call up. I am sure there are thousands of small shops that still operate this way. Why wouldn't they?
Hi Carol, :) off course I believe you!

I just thought that as a side effect of computerization all papers should eventually disappear. But that was just an "emotion".

thank you,
-dm
 

CarolX

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#10
dmytry said:
I just thought that as a side effect of computerization all papers should eventually disappear.
I think eventually, paper will be obsolete, but, IMHO...that is still several years away.
 

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