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Connecting people with machines

January 2022 - Lantek Systems Inc. provides CAD, CAM, MES and ERP software solutions for the sheet metal and structural steel industry. Anupam Chakrabory, commercial director, talks with FFJournal about optimizing manufacturing processes with cloud-based technologies, AI and machine learning.

Q: What are some current innovations in the digitization of business processes at metals companies?

A: Traditionally, there has been a gap between processes—estimation, engineering and fabrication. This gap was the result of the inability to access machine data in real time, and it often led to lower visibility of key performance indicators (KPIs) to management.

The evolution of sensors, instruments and devices interconnected with computers has bridged the gap, providing much better control and visibility of multiple processes. The adaptation of cloud-based technology along with AI and machine learning has largely contributed to converging, coordinating and controlling the various processes, along with developing mechanisms to provide real-time feedback for improvements.

Q: What is the difference between ERP and MES?

A: ERP is a business management software system that spans many different business processes. MES works in conjunction with an ERP system to provide better control and visibility of the manufacturing process, along with other peripheral processes, such as design and engineering.

Q: Why do metals companies need an MES?

A: An MES system connects ERP with the various facets of manufacturing. It provides real-time visualization on important KPIs, like OEE, capacity utilization and productivity. With AI and machine learning technologies, along with big-data analytics, MES can also provide real-time feedback on activities that can improve process parameters.

Before implementing an MES, every company should ask itself what it has, what it doesn’t and identify gaps.

Q: How does an MES improve visibility throughout a manufacturing operation?

A: MES connects the ERP and shop floor to create a real-time and accurate stream of data which, when combined with the right analytics platform, gives great visibility of the manufacturing operation. At the same time, the feedback loop updates parameters that are based on individual shop floor conditions, which creates a more advanced MES.  FFJ

Sources

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SecturaSOFT

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

PRESS BRAKES

STEEL

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

Automec Inc.

TUBE & PIPE

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

SafanDarley HGG Profiling Equipment Inc.

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc.

PUNCHING

Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

WATERJET

Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

SAWING

Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

T. J. Snow Company

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