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  • Writer's pictureUsman Wajid

Achieving Production Optimisation

The need to find new customer segments to increase turnover pushes manufacturers to diversify both production systems and supply chains. The furniture manufacturing pilot in EFPF envisions creating a Lot Size 1 Consolidation Centre to control small scale stocking and consolidation points for furniture manufacturers. The pilot involves LAGRAMA, a furniture manufacturer from Spain, as a prominent manufacturer/supplier and responsible for receiving and realising customer orders and coordinating various suppliers. A particular pilot scenario is about LAGRAMA receiving an order for the furnishing and decoration of a thematic hotel using different decorative concepts. Such a business concept is typically known as a Boutique Hotel and is a growing demand in the furniture marketplace. LAGRAMA is expected to manufacture all furniture for hotel rooms (beds, bedside tables, wardrobe, bathroom furniture, etc.) and supply and coordinate the installation of the other elements required in each room (lighting, bedding, curtains, carpets, and decoration objects). A Lot-Size-1 Consolidation Centre is envisioned at LAGRAMA.

This blog describes a specific solution developed in the EFPF Furniture Pilot to address the user requirement about achieving efficiency in the production and reducing time to serve the customer. To address this requirement the EFPF project has developed an Error Proofing Production Optimisation solution that supports optimising a production process in real-time. The solution involves interfacing with production systems and displaying essential production guidance to Operator staff. This information aids the operator and ensures that they know the correct production actions and avoid unnecessary mistakes.

The primary components are installed within the LAGRAMA factory include an EFPF Factory Connector (Industreweb) located within an electrical cabinet connected to the Industrial vision system via Ethernet/IP to capture the barcode values of products entering the machines. The barcode value is retrieved as a byte of strings and converted to a single string to be passed to the next step. The ERP system is then interrogated with the barcode value to retrieve the Production schedule and associated metadata for the product. The returned value is checked to ensure it is valid and complete, and suitable for visualisation. This is then rendered asynchronously in the Industreweb Display asynchronous HTML operator screen located by the machines. Barcode and product metadata is passed to the EFPF Data Spine to validate the barcode format and to capture valuable production metrics from the process.

The overall solution optimises the production process by avoiding human error when attempting to interpret a barcode label on a product, which can cause mistakes and production delays which can impact quality and performance production metrics.

The deployment of the solution in the user facilities was followed by extensive testing and evaluations that revealed the following benefits for the users:

  • Time-saving in the redirection of the pieces to their proper destination at the production plant

  • Reduction of mistakes in the pieces’ classification process

The Production Optimisation solution is currently being used to evaluate its performance and benefits over a longer period of time.


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