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Eschenbach Optik increases its effective production times with an MES

Eschenbach Optik has achieved a clear boost for productivity with the intro- duction of an MES system for real-time production monitoring and machine data acquisition (MDA). Order-related data pro- vides an overview of the actual status in manufacturing, and scrap lists prepared daily enable a fast response if there are deviations. At the Nuremberg firm, which specializes in plastic optics, the system constantly reports the machine perfor- mance, the current order status, scrap rates, and key performance indicators to production manager, Stefan Sperber.

The lenses, which are injection molded at Eschenbach, are separated from the sprue, and in some cases provided with a hard coat- ing, and are subjected to 100 % inspection. The cycle times, quite long in some cases, due to the thick-walled products, are un- usual: Cycles can take up to 45 minutes. Thus changing from one product to another with the inspection and cleaning of the tool from good part to good part can take several hours, for complex tools and sensitive prod-
ucts it can even take up to 40 hours. Togeth- er with lot sizes between 1000 and 5000, production imposes special requirements on processes and planning, and offers signifi- cant potential for systematic improvements.

The introduction of the MES system ten years ago had a clear objective: To make runtimes and scrap measurable, to evaluate order-related data and facts, and to increase machine runtimes. An additional criterion for Sperber’s predecessor was that a system should not require any in-house developed hardware, but rather should rely only on in- dustrial standard hardware and harmonize well with the ERP master system, since there was a good dialog and a practical supple- mentation, but no overlap of ERP and MDA or fine planning. At that time the choice was made for the Includis system from the Berlin software house of the same brand.

Eschenbach Optik involves employees from all hierarchy levels in the MES: Traffic lights in the production hall visualize the current status quo on the individual injection mold- ing machines. Also the employees at down- stream workstations see how high the lev- el of scrap is, and thus obtain transparency
over the entire order or respective produc- tion lot. “The ERP system is connected with the MES in such a manner that we also see the downstream workstations, and thus we see what is going on with coating, sawing, and in the inspection”, explains Stefan Sperber.

The ERP system assigns a time ticket, as well as a time target, to each employee in pro- duction. Moreover, a fault pattern catalog is available to the production worker, with which he can categorize possible injection molding errors. Thus the firm eliminates typical molded part error such as striations or black spots on optical parts. […]

Text: Dipl-Ing. Markus Lüling and Stefanie Camin, editorial staff, K-PROFI