CAO – the most comprehensive MES system for the cutting area ever [Sep 2011]

DiIT’s Cutting Area Optimisation, CAO, has become the most comprehensive MES system for the cutting area worldwide. In use by major corporations of the wire processing industry, the extension of the CAO system is driven largely by its users, leading to an ever-increasing penetration and standardisation of the overall process in the cutting area.
Integrated manufacturing for the cutting areaIn keeping with the principles of integrated manufacturing, one of the reasons for this welcome development is the system’s ability to reconcile the separate worlds of management and production in its twofold function as mediator and control instrument. As a mediator, it provides for seamless information flow in both directions and with its optimised production control and bi-directional connection of machines and test systems to the system, it opens up new potentials for standardisation, quality assurance and process safety, transparency and efficiency.
As the central database for production, with its own data management for production and process related parameters, complementary to master data transferred from SAP/ERP, the CAO system prepares the ground both for the standardisation of process parameters, as for the process itself. The direct connection of machines in the system allows for the automatic transfer of job data and process parameters directly into the machine controllers, and furthermore for a far-reaching process control, in which setup tools and materials are identified with their batch and inventory numbers, and process and quality data are electronically recorded and instantly evaluated. This way, wrong assembly can be widely avoided, quality assurance measures can be integrated into the process itself, and the collection of data for process analysis by the management on one side, and for traceability and process documentation on the other side, is done automatically and consistently at the source.
CAO further improved and expandedThe recent expansions in the CAO are again all about standardisation, secure processes and further improvements in transparency and traceability. Thus, with the much expanded and improved tools management and with the implementation of measures for Statistical Process Control (electronic control cards and automatic calculation of process capability indices Cpk), the system continues on the path to ‘zero-defect production’.
Since the integration of the micrograph-process into CAO production control, all processes in the cutting area are now being mapped in one homogeneous system enabling comprehensive and exclusive quality documentation in the CAO Production Archive. With respect to traceability in the cutting area, the archive has become the central source of information, answering also to the needs of material batch tracking.
Global Access and Control with the Central Management ServerThe introduction of the CAO system in several production sites creates a company-wide standard, with big saving potentials and a large increase in flexibility that also provides a means to objectively compare the different sites.
The additional introduction of a central data server for the company-wide specification of process parameters (e.g. crimp parameters) and company-wide management of key resources (such as machines and tools) is yet another step towards global quality standards and process control. Also included in the package is a central management report that has been implemented as a web application. A series of automated reports reveal the most important figures and developments of selected production sites and present them graphically. In addition, a web-based plant image informs about the current states in production, so that the management is informed at all times both for long term analysis and when quick action is required.

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