Mistakes Happen! CIM for Mistake Prevention in Roll Forming

Mistakes are a part of life. This is especially true when it comes to data entry.

Professional data entry firms typically rely on a double- entry system to achieve a low error rate. With this system, two people enter the same data and the results are compared. If there are any differences a referee (often the second person) decides which entry is correct.

On a roll forming machine with manual data entry, operators are on their own. Even the best will make mistakes. For example, say an operator is 99.9% accurate – how often will he make a mistake? If he is handling 10 orders per day with 5 items each, there are a minimum of 100 numbers he must enter each day (quantity and length for each item). While 99.9% accuracy rate is exceptionally good, it still means an average of an error every 10 days in this case. Many operators have a higher error rate. The urgent question is what is the cost of these mistakes?

Roll forming machines are wonderful at mass producing profiles. Unfortunately, they can also create scrap at a frightening speed if incorrectly programmed or if the wrong tooling or material are used. The cost of such mistakes can vary widely, but the important distinction is whether they were discovered by you or by your customer. If caught internally, there is sometimes an opportunity to use the bad parts on another job (perhaps with some rework) or to sell them as seconds. If the problem is found at the customer or job site, the situation can turn ugly quickly. Not only do you need to rapidly replace the incorrect or missing materials, but you also have to incur potentially high costs to expedite the shipment. More importantly, you are jeopardizing your customer’s project or production schedule. This can cost you their future business.

The best way to prevent mistakes is through the use of Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) system such as Eclipse Production Management Software. With CIM, job data is entered once and electronically transmitted from that point on until it reaches the machine controls. All related equipment, such as packaging systems, profile configuration, inkjet printers, bundle labelers, etc. are automatically updated. The machine operator is no longer burdened by data entry, paper shuffling or manual production reporting. For best results, your customer should have an opportunity to verify the order before it is released to manufacturing.

Eclipse also provides robust coil verification to ensure the correct coil is always used on each order. As a new coil is loaded on the machine, the operator scans the bar code for that coil. The XL200 controller checks with Eclipse and the ERP system to make sure the coil identifier is valid and that the coil’s material type matches the requirement for the order. Until this information is verified, the operator is prevented from running the machine (of course, this can be overridden by a manager if needed). This coil validation can prevent a very expensive type of mistake which is unfortunately, all too common in our industry.

A relatively small investment in AMS’s CIM solution, Eclipse, can prevent expensive and potentially damaging mistakes. Although mistake elimination can be difficult to quantify when putting together a financial justification, it is often the most significant factor when reviewing post CIM-implementation results.

Please contact us today to find out more about how the Eclipse production management system can eliminate mistakes in your operations.