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Flexible and modular software framework as a solution for operational excellence in manufacturing
Flexible and modular software framework as a solution for operational excellence in manufacturing
Flexible and modular software framework as a solution for operational excellence in manufacturing
Flexible and modular software framework as a solution for operational excellence in manufacturing
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Flexible and modular software framework as a solution for operational excellence in manufacturing

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  • 1. SCHULZ, Thomas: Flexible and modular software framework as a solution for operational excellence inmanufacturing. In: Proceedings of Factory Automation 2012, Veszprém : University of Pannonia, pp. 8-11, 2012 Flexible and modular software framework as a solution for operational excellence in manufacturing THOMAS SCHULZ GE Intelligent Platforms Europe S.A., Landwehrstr. 54, 64293 Darmstadt, GERMANY t.schulz@ge.comAbstract: Continuous improvements in key areas of manufacturing operations can help reducemanufacturing costs, protect profit margins, and increase yield while maintaining product quality. With aphased approach to Operational Excellence, it is able to apply a continuous improvement regimen,delivering value-added results. Open and layered Software Solutions deliver information that enables theoptimization of manufacturing activities from order launch to finished goods and allows manufacturers toreact effectively to changes in demand, to compete at a high level, and to enhance profitability. Theability to adapt to flexible requirements and frequent changes has emerged as a new paradigm forsuccessful implementation of Operational Excellence Solutions. Hereby common information systems aremostly not able to fulfill the requirement of adaptability for manufacturing changes. The purpose of usingopen and layered frameworks is to establish incremental and iterative development of reusable softwarecomponents and models based on an industry standard architecture for complex manufacturing systems.Keywords: Operational Excellence, Manufacturing Executions Systems, Software Framework1 Introduction section. The finally conclusion in Section 4Today’s manufacturers operate in an increasingly concludes this paper.demanding environment that includes globalcompetition, increasing pressures for cost 2 Operational excellencereductions and new products, quality-driven Solutions for operational excellence incompliance, and improvements in on-time. Rapid manufacturing require a large amount of data.technological advancements provide operations Small changes in the manufacturing environmentmanagers with tremendous opportunities for can produce many different changes to the dataimprovement. Pressure of intense competition input for the framework model. As arequires organizations to seek out new tools for manufacturing system progresses from a concepthandling their current processes and also gaining to a detailed design to an installed and operatingaccess to new markets. facility, the data model of the software framework The growing complexity of information must change.technology landscapes in manufacturing is a Typical small changes include equipmentchallenge for many companies. A large number of selection and location, control rules and operatingstandard software packages - mostly extended and procedures for equipment and material handlingmodified – individual software solutions, legacy systems, arriving material and customer orderapplications, and different infrastructure characteristics, and operating hours. Somecomponents lead to high cost and limited ability examples of changes that have a broader impactto respond quickly to new business requirements. are new products that are being made, complete The paper is organized as follows. The next new production processes or even changes to thesection describes operational excellence in plant layout. The speed of these will increase inmanufacturing, the challenges that manufacturing the future and will have continuous impact on theoperations and manufacturing software systems commercial success of companies in severalare facing nowadays. Section 3 introduces a manufacturing areas [1].software framework for modular and flexibleapplications bases on a service-oriented 2.1 Manufacturing operationsarchitecture. The illustration of the flexible and The ability to adapt to frequent changes hasmodular solution path is given in the end of this emerged as a new paradigm for successful business operations. Hereby common information8
  • 2. systems are mostly not able to fulfill the • Product flexibility enables a manufacturingrequirement of adaptability for business or system to make a variety of part types withorganizational changes. However, the ability to the same equipment.adapt to changes is crucial for business • Operation flexibility refers to the ability toorganizations and the support of business produce a set of products using differentprocesses by information systems plays a crucial machines, materials, operations, andpart. sequence of operations. According to [2], the challenges that • Capacity flexibility allows a manufacturingmanufacturing organizations are facing nowadays system to vary the production volumes ofpresent are wide ranging and include: intense different products to accommodate changescompetition, global markets, global financing, in demand, while remaining profitable.global strategy, enhanced product variety, masscustomization, service businesses, quality 3 Software frameworkimprovement, flexibility, advances in technology, A framework is the realization mode of theemployee involvement, environment and ethical configurability of information system. It includesissues. an integrated collection of components that Several articles on manufacturing flexibility collaborate to produce a reusable architecture forlike [3] and [4] describes several types of a family of related applications (see also [8] andflexibility such as machine, labor, material [9].handling, routing, operation, expansion, volume, Implementing software frameworks used formix, new product, market, and modification. In operational excellence in manufacturing is still athis paper, we define manufacturing flexibility as challenging task due to the heterogeneity of datathe ability of manufacturing to adapt its structures and information systems. Traditionalcapabilities to produce quality products in a time techniques approach software design andand cost effective manner in response to changing implementation as if a system will remain staticproduct characteristics, material supply, and and have a long and stable life. The problemdemand, or to employ technological process stems in our case from dynamics.enhancements. The cornerstone of operational excellence journey is tightly integrated Framework of Proficy2.1 Manufacturing software systems software solutions, which enable the criticalManufacturing shop floor information and control capabilities needed to meet improvement goals. Inflow management is still a challenging task due to this section we introduce the core conceptsthe heterogeneity of data structures and needed to implement our approach of modularinformation systems. The objective of vertical and flexible application systems.integration from the enterprise application (ERP)to the production control level (DCS, PLC) is still 3.1 Service-oriented architectureunrivalled. The exchange of data between these Software architecture is the fundamentaltwo levels is done either manually or semi organization of a system, embodied in itsautomatically. Most of the existing solutions are components, their relationships to each other andmissing needed flexibility and scalability. the environment, and the principles governing its In the context of manufacturing systems, there design and evolution architectural description is aare many publications of literature that deals with collection of products to document an architecturedefining and measuring the flexibility of these [10].systems. Buzacott states in [5] that the definitions A Service-oriented Architecture (SoA) isof flexibility, action flexibility, and state defined from Barry and Krafzig specific softwareflexibility apply well to the manufacturing architecture based on services as fundamentalsystems environment. Setchi and Lagos explain in elements for integrating and developing[6] that manufacturing systems of the next applications [11, 12]. Key concepts of SoA aregeneration must provide increased levels of service components, services data and service busflexibility, reconfigurability and intelligence to embedded in the application frontend with theallow them to respond to the highly dynamic service repository. Services are specific softwaremarket demands. components and communicating with each other For practical purposes it seems advisable to by sending and receiving messages. When actingconcentrate on three objectives of flexibility as as a service provider a service publishes itsdefined by Chryssolouris in [7]:11
  • 3. Factory Automation 2012interfaces that can be invoked by other services • Process Visibility gain visibility into yourthat play the role of a service requestor. process by automating real-time data SoA provides an opportunity to achieve broad- collection for visualization and delivering thescale interoperability while offering modularity level of insight required for intelligentand flexibility to adapt to changing requirements. decision making.A SoA is characterized by the loosely coupling of • Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)the services involved. Using SoA in an accurate regimen helps you shift the focus fromway Zaigham and Erl reporting the following runtime efficiency to throughput efficiency.benefits [13, 14]: By contextualizing data from several • Seamless connectivity of applications dimensions such as equipment availability, • Location transparency and High scalability performance, and product quality, and • Enhanced reuse of modules and applications performing trending and correlation analysis, • Parallel and independent development you can gain deeper insight at all levels of • Flexible at maintenance and requirement the business, as well as critical process changes parameters. • Reduced cost of development • Process Reliability builds upon the OEE regimen and focuses on manual processes3.2 Flexible and modular solutions and scheduling with the greatest impact onThe Proficy software framework from GE consistency and repeatability. It also enablesIntelligent Platforms has helped many companies demand-driven supply chain agility.develop a solid understanding of potential • Partial Operational Excellence involvesOperational Excellence improvements that exist understanding and controlling the impact thatwithin their operations today, and where different suppliers of raw materials have onadditional value can be found in the future [15, process quality and yield, the main drivers16, 17]. for local Operational Excellence. Being able to predict and react to changing materials and process dynamics ensures first-pass quality every time, and helps determine the ideal conditions from which to generate maximum yield. • Enterprise Operational Excellence is the final step across the enterprise with seamless integration from the plant floor to the ERP system, including Warehouse Management, Production Planning and Maintenance. It is critical to drive supply chain excellence by coordinating the real-time status of orders, inventory changes, and overall process Fig.1: Cost-effective project development performance.Figure 1 shows the main components of cost- A popular method for driving rapid operationaleffective project development. Key issues are: improvement is to measure overall equipment • Reduced implementation costs and time effectiveness (OEE). The OEE measure attempts • Minimize downtime for deployment of new to reveal these hidden costs [18] and when the or modified services measure is applied by autonomous small groups • Faster time to solution on the shop-floor together with quality control tools it is an important complement to the • Flexible service deployment options traditional top-down oriented performance • Minimized modification time after change of measurement systems. These projects rely on technical requirements obtaining information about availability of equipment, throughput of the equipment and theThe Operational Excellence journey from GE quality of what is actually produced.Intelligent Platforms offers a continual process for There are a variety of ways to perform thesecapturing data, analyzing information, making calculations but the most efficient and reliableprocess changes, and validating the improvements way of performing the calculations is to base themto meet expectations. It includes five key steps: on automatically collected data as opposed to10
  • 4. manually entered information, which is more Manufacturing Systems: State-Of-The-Artprone to operator error. Automated systems and Review. In: Industrial Informatics, Proceedings ofplant historians provide an excellent foundation the 2nd IEEE International Conference onfor automatically collected data and a secure Industrial Informatics (INDIN 04). Berlin, 2004,storage mechanism to ensure accuracy. pp. 529-535. [7] Chryssolouris, George: Manufacturing4 Conclusion Systems: Theory and Practice. Springer-Verlag,Modularity and Flexibility are fundamental need 2005.for manufacturing companies seeking to react to a [8] Johnson, Ralph; Foote, Brain: Designingrapidly changing landscape that includes Reusable Classes. Journal of Object-Orientedemerging competitive threats, shifting compliance Programming, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1988, pp. 22-35.and regulatory requirements, and evolving [9] Yu, Dongjin; Ruan, Hongyong: Generaltechnology. Achieving flexibility and better framework of profession software supportingalignment of business and IT objectives requires rapid development. Computer Engineering,executing IT projects with a high level of Vol.35, No.20, 2009, pp. 47-49.coordination, accuracy, and clarity. [10] ISO/IEC 42010:2007: Systems and software Service-oriented Architecture (SoA) is an engineering - Recommended practice forarchitectural paradigm for developing systems architectural description of software-intensivefrom autonomous yet interoperable components. systems. International Organization forManufacturing process driven development of Standardization, 2007.services-oriented solutions helps create solutions [11] Barry, Douglas K.: Web Services andthat truly meets operational excellence Service-Oriented Architecture: The Savvyrequirements today and are readily adapted when Managers Guide. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers,those needs change in the future. It is important to 2003.first establish a target architecture and direction so [12] Krafzig, Dirk; Banke, Karl; Slama; Dirk:that projects can be planned as steps towards that Enterprise SOA: Service-Oriented Architectureeventual goal. Best Practices. Prentice Hall International, 2005 [13] Zaigham, Mahmood: Service oriented architecture: Potential benefits and challenges. In:References: Computer Science and Technology, Proceedings[1] Kühnle, Hermann; Klostermeyer, Axel; of the 11th WSEAS International Conference onLorentz, Kai: A Paradigm Shift to Distributed Computers. Agios Nikolaos, 2007, pp. 496-500.Systems in Plant Automation. In: Proceedings of [14] Erl, Thomas: Service-Oriented Architecture:the International NAISO Congress on Information Concepts, Technology, and Design. Prentice Hall,Science Innovations (ISI 2001). Dubai, 2001, pp. Upper Saddle River, 2005.463-469. [15] Hilger, Marcel; Schulz, Thomas: Energie,[2] Russell, Roberta S.; Taylor, Bernard W. III: Dampf und Pressluft unter der Lupe - GezielteOperations Management: Creating Value Along Verbrauscherfassung. IT & Production, Vol. 12,the Supply Chain. Cambridge University Press, No. 10, 2011, pp. 52-53.2008. [16] Bloss, Richard: When your assembly system[3] Sethi, Ajay K.; Sethi, Suresh P.: Flexibility in controller can be more than just a controller.Manufacturing: A Survey. The International Assembly Automation, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2007, pp.Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Vol. 297-301.2, No. 4, 1990, pp. 289-328. [17] Robinson, Sean: Optimierung der[4] Gupta, Yash P.; Somers, Toni M.: 1992. The Betriebsprozesse. Packaging journal, Vol. 10,measurement of manufacturing flexibility. No. 6, 2011, p. 46.European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. [18] Nakajima, Seiichi: Introduction to TPM:60, No. 2, 1992, pp. 166-182. Total Productive Maintenance. Productivity[5] Buzacott, John A.: The Fundamental Press, 1988.Principles of Flexibility in ManufacturingSystems. In: Proceedings of the FirstInternational Congress on FlexibleManufacturing Systems. Amsterdam, 1982, pp.23-30.[6] Setchi, Rossi M.; Lagos, Nikolaos:Reconfigurability and Reconfigurable11

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