Today’s sophisticated CAD/CAM design and production applications drive automated equipment with seamless precision. They can also provide near-photographic quality renderings of projects before the first board is cut.
But most shops miss out on an even greater capability, one that is hiding in plain sight: CAD/CAM files can help stoke efficiency throughout the plant, by replacing something everyone loves to hate: the paper job ticket.
Paper Job tickets are seen as a necessary evil. One or more sheets of letter-sized papers, they carry invaluable information, continuously gathering more as they are checked, notated, colored and scribbled upon while accompanying jobs through a cabinet shop.
Most of the time job tickets work well enough, but their information gathering function varies in consistency who is marking up the job sheet at various work stages and work cells along the way. Often the individual work adds nothing more than a check mark to indicate that a step toward the finished project has been completed. Paper job tickets falter in two ways: when a job is split – for example, a cabinetry project whose boxes are in assembly, while its doors are in finishing. Or even more confounding: when a sheet or an entire job ticket goes missing, with all the work status data lost.
Because of these and other challenges, many shops are adopting a more modern approach, replacing the old-fashioned job ticket with a paperless version. Called a “Manufacturing Execution System” or MES for short, it starts out with an information-rich electronic job ticket, automatically importing and interpreting engineering data from CAD/CAM design files. These are the same ones that direct your automated machinery, but are also capable of intelligently itemizing all work orders and providing powerful information for each production step.
Production Assistant, offered by WEB-CAB, Inc., is such a system. It incorporates an electronic job ticket that is largely filled in automatically at each production stage, with a simple scan. It provides continuously updated information, components location and job status reports – information that can also be analyzed continuously to help you understand how conditions and processes in your factory can be optimized to improve production output and quality. Production Assistant works in real time to give decisions maker the control of all elements of the production process such as machinery, personnel, assembly and performance.
Besides offering an elegant paperless alternative to the old-fashioned job ticket, Production Assistant also includes real-time status and live locations for all workpieces in progress, as well as outsourced components and hardware required for each job.
With Production Assistant, data from the CAD/CAM file can guide employees on manual and automated production steps at each assembly work station. Production Assistant can even generate interactive visual guides, also powered by CAD/CAM files, to instruct workers in assembly steps.
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