AWS implements Industry 4.0 systems
An ERP real time control system, developed by AWS, has been updated for use in the company's manufacturing plants in the UK and Slovakia. The AWS Control System enables the company to monitor activities and provide immediate feedback to customers concerning their orders.
The ERP system covers all key business processes from front end processing of enquiries, quotes, contract review and orders (including document control) through the manufacturing process with scanning route cards, work order tracking, with live ‘in process’ productivity, quality and test reporting. To prevent operators signing off jobs they are not trained for or jobs going through to the next station after missing an operation, the system features built in ‘fool-proofing’. The system even controls Engineering Change Notifications from any source, whether it be a customer, supplier or internal.
By handling all key business processes in the same way, the AWS Control System speeds up these activities, reduces errors and guarantees that actions are consistently performed. This ensures that quality and output are maintained at a very high level.
Paul Deehan, CEO, AWS, comments: “Obviously we have had our ERP software in place for many years controlling and monitoring numerous activities within our business processes from receipt of orders through to despatch to customers. However, we have been working on our vision for full shop floor control to supplement our current system for some while and we are now ready to enter the era of the Smart Factory or Industry 4.0. We measure our manufacturing performance in real time, at all process stages and on all machines through real time scanning and operator sign off.”
Deehan continues: “We integrate the data that is generated within our business environment. process stage. For example, operator information is linked to that individual’s training skills matrix. In this way we can ensure that we have the right people, materials and resources in place to be able to meet the needs of our customers.”
Deehan adds: “We are a technology-based company producing complex product assemblies for customers with very precise requirements. Therefore we need to have a real time picture of all our business operations so that we can continue to deliver excellence in service to all of our customers. The benefits are not only internal through improved efficiency and management control but also customers benefit from the improved quality of service - traceability, reduced manufacturing times, speed of response and continuous improvement programmes. This helps AWS differentiates itself from many other EMS providers.”