Innovation: OGSiD MMS mold management software

Operators of concrete block production plants are facing the challenge of having to ensure the smooth, error-free and predictable manufacture of concrete blocks. One of the essential prerequisites to achieve this goal is to keep molds in usable condition at all times and to make sure that they are directly available for use in the block machine.

Molds are usually expensive, and their location and condition is subject to continuous change. For instance, they are cleaned and stored after use in the machine. Visualinspections (i.e. checks for signs of wear) must be carried out at regular intervals, and repair and maintenance activities may become necessary. Costly, labor-intensive damage may occur if specified maintenance cycles are not adhered to.

Molds are currently often managed in Excel spreadsheets or by handwritten notes on paper. Documentation is thus frequently fraught with gaps and inconsistencies or subject to major delays, and requires a high amount of manual work. Many disruptions to the production process are attributable to this situation.

A second factor that enormously complicates mold management is the fact that individual molds are difficult to identify because their continuous use in a dirty environment makes it impossible to capture and read their plates or labels.

Mold Management System

OGS has been collaborating with Kobra Formen GmbH based in Lengenfeld, Germany, to develop a web-based software that covers the complete mold management cycle in a transparent manner and thus optimizes processes at block production plants in the long term.

To reliably identify each individual mold, Kobra, the mold supplier, has begun to equip its standard product range with RFID tags this year. Older molds can also be retrofitted easily and cost-effectively. OGSiD MMS enables the creation of entries for individual molds to include their complete range of technical characteristics, such as master data, maintenance cycles, maximum number of production cycles, allocation of finished product categories, mold components, and data sheets. Any mold-related event is transferred directly into the OGSiD MMS using specially designed scanning and mobile input devices. The software uses a traffic-light feature to proactively notify users of required activities.

The system guides the user through the individual stages of mold use, such as installation and removal, storage, and maintenance cycles. It is capable of creating a seamless data record for each mold, including related images and descriptions. The associated mold history can be viewed at any time.

The OGSiD mold management software suite is currently being tested at two concrete block production plants. Furthermore, molds fitted with RFID tags are being monitored in a real-life production environment.

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