Banning paper from production to the greatest extent possible had been the objective of the company BE Beton-Elemente in Steisslingen in Germany. As a result, 15 large-format TV screens and six monitors are in use in their production as of late. The rationale behind the modernization, as well as the configuration and the new process flows, are as follows:
Status quo and modernization projects
The modern production plant in Steisslingen comprises a pallet circulation system with 22 workstations, a combined shuttering and demolding robot, a reinforcement-processing plant, a laser production system for quality control, an automatic concrete spreader, turning equipment and a curing chamber with 65 compartments served by an automatic stacker crane. The continuous-control concept was developed by Unitechnik. The production management processor is UniCam.
Work instructions and paper consumption
Previously, every pallet was provided with a printed overview of the project and with an individual page of paper for every element. These shop papers were printed in the engineering office. Next, work scheduling added text markers on some individual pages of paper. “We used to mark, for example, ISO cages in color to facilitate allocation in production,” explained Carlos Gaspar, master-computer specialist at BE. The pages would then be placed on the production pallet and accompanied it on all workstations up to the concrete spreader. Approximately three to four pages per pallet and day would pass through production. These amounted to 200 pages daily and nearly 5,000 pages per month, which were disposed of after completion.
However, these ecological aspects were not the only motivation for consistent digitization of the processes. “In economically good phases, we must optimize the productivity of our entire production plant,” explains Plant Manager and Registered Corporate Signatory Dietmar Notz, who adds another aspect: “In times of shortage of skilled labor, creating a modern and future-oriented work environment is also important.”
Information in production made available just in time
The individual pages are displayed as PDF documents. At BE, these PDFs are generated by a Nemetschek CAD system. In the former paper process, Production Planning entered notes for production on the extract of the individual pages. This function was also emulated in the digital version. Now, a PDF editor integrated in the master computer enables the staff in Production Planning to add comments and markings. These additional notes are saved together with the PDF. However, unlike the old process, the notes are not discarded together with the pages of paper, but archived in the master computer.
Separate panel-PC with touch screen
A separate panel-PC with touch screen is an especially convenient possibility for controlling the screen. The PC is installed in a robust industrial housing and mounted directly at the staff workplace. The elements on the pallet being processed can be allocated to the screens per touch. As soon as the work on the station has been completed, the next pallet can be requested: e.g., to place the required embedded parts in readiness.
The casting station is another application case. Here the task is to display all elements on the pallet at one glance. Therefore, the individual pages of all elements are faded in side by side. This monitor is mounted at right angles, to make as much room available as possible over its width.
Large-format screen as master computer monitor
Some of the large-format screens are not used for displaying the individual pages. Certain masks from the master computer are displayed on them. At the stacking place, this is the swapping list. Plant visualization runs on a different screen and on another additional screen at a central station the dashboard with the production parameters. No one needs to walk to the control station to request required information. The staff receives all information directly, which is displayed to them exactly where needed. This eliminates unnecessary walking and inquiries.
Staff supports process optimization
Unitechnik Systems GmbH
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