Ryobi Die Casting, a tier-one supplier of cast aluminium parts to the automotive market, recently implemented FactoryTalk ProductionCentre software on a new manufacturing line at its Indiana facility. The software was installed in order for Ryobi to meet its customer’s demand for complete serialized part traceability.
Implemented as part of a comprehensive tracking solution, Ryobi is using the software to track each part by serial number as it progresses through the plant’s 12-station production process. The system allows visibility and tracing across each operation, including a heat-treating process that is performed at an off-site location. Tracking and documenting the date and time that individual parts are produced will help Ryobi verify that all product specifications are met and all required production steps are completed.
“We knew we needed a reliable traceability solution that would allow accurate documentation and could be easily integrated into our plant database,” says William Baker, IT/NT manager, Ryobi Die Casting. “In addition to its superb traceability and reporting capabilities, the FactoryTalk ProductionCentre software also drives operational improvements by allowing us to monitor and track the entire sequence and history of the production process. This lets us identify production variations and benchmark progress to ensure that we’re meeting throughput and quality goals.”
At each of its production stations, machine vision systems are used to scan the serial number of each part as it exits the process, along with a time-stamp and operator identification. This data is stored by the FactoryTalk ProductionCentre software, which is connected to a Microsoft SQL database, allowing the plant to easily track and log thousands of production records in a fast and completely automated process.
According to Deon Engelbrecht, business manager at Rockwell Automation Software: Africa & Middle East Region, the ability to improve process visibility and quality is an increasingly important capability for manufacturers across multiple industries.
“With FactoryTalk ProductionCentre, manufacturers like Ryobi are able to reduce business risk and improve process visibility, while providing customers with the on-demand traceability they need in today’s information-intensive manufacturing environment.”
With the tracking system in place, Ryobi not only leverages data to improve production processes, but can quickly respond to the demands of its customer to gather and report production data on short notice.
“A key requirement for today’s automotive suppliers is the ability to meet product quality standards across production processes and throughout the supply chain,” says Engelbrecht. “By incorporating better information flow from the plant floor to the rest of its enterprise, Ryobi is at the front end of addressing these issues and meeting the production goals of its customers.”
The FactoryTalk integrated production and performance software suite delivers distinct business benefits across six production disciplines common to most manufacturing operations. The scalable software applications are designed for seamless integration with the Rockwell Automation ControlLogix platform, as well as extensive connectivity to third-party and legacy systems.