The series of tests at the end users have shown that the general approach of PLANMAN works. The expected benefits can be summarised in:
- Improve the quality of process planning and the process itself
- Comparability of resources: best resources for further use
- Pre-process cost estimate capabilities (more precise)
- On-line, real time and accurate information means better process and production diagnostic and better knowledge about process behaviour
- Integration with other systems to work with the most actual data reduces errors derived from the lack of process information
The main objective of the TI is to improve the quality of process planning. By the feedback of actual process data from the shop floor level to the process planning, the process planner is informed about the accuracy of his previous planning activities. This will lead to a better efficiency of the existing production environment because critical points of a production line can thereby be monitored and (if necessary) optimised.
The monitoring of selected machines or operations by feeding back actual production data will also enhance the comparability of resources. Main influences on the execution of production processes like different tools, workpiece materials, etc. can be evaluated. The process planner is enabled to analyse which resources have better behaviour. By choosing only the best resources for further use, their number will probably decrease. The visualisation of technological relationships (with the aid of process models) supports process monitoring and off-line control. Based on the results and experience gained by the process analyser, processes with enhanced performance can be designed.
Algorithms for cost calculation will be implemented within the TI and can be used for pre-process cost estimation and/or post-process cost calculation. Post-process calculations based on actual values (and not on nominal or estimated values) are more precise.
PLANMAN covers the development of a software system which improves the exchange of information between process planning and manufacturing. In order to achieve this aim a technological information system (TI) will be developed. The TI covers, stores and processes relevant technological information from the shop floor in addition of operator's manual tasks like inspection and correction of process parameters.
The main objectives of this project are :
- development of a process independent object-oriented model of data. This model leads to a database which stores any relevant technological information (nominal and actual parameters) and allows the exchange of technological data within the company.
- development of a self-adjusting process model for milling operations to support the operator to improve the process parameters
- integrating the operator's experience by storing any corrections and inspections of the process
- development of the appropriate functions integrating the developed models and the knowledge of the operator
The Technological information system enables the operator to improve the quality/productivity of the process and ensures correct(ed) feedback of technological information to the process planner.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
RG5 4SN Reading