All in good time

All in good time
All in good time

Major advances in Javelin production control system from Vero Software are leading to significant time savings in CNC machining operations.

Javelin 2016 r1's new Advanced Scheduling function can work to the nearest second, giving an accurate sequence of operations, instead of the daily capacity bucket in earlier releases.

The more accurate planning that is now available can save up to half an hour a day on each work centre, according to Javelin senior consultant Ian Cartwright: “The new function means office staff and shopfloor workers can see a step by step flowchart of the operations, second by second. Previously the system simply showed all the work that would be done that day.

“The daily capacity bucket is fine for many applications, but where a company is performing a large number of short operations which have to be carried out in the correct sequence, errors can creep in if the system only shows that day's work and not the specific order it should be done in.”

He says second by second scheduling is even more important where companies are using CAM software which gives accurate timings from their CNC programming.

The new system is also more efficient in handling nested operations, treating each one as a single step. This means the next operation in the sequence can't be started until all components in the complete nest have been manufactured.

However, the overlap function that allows a following operation to start before a previous one ends has been extended between components and assemblies. “This works particularly well where, for example, you're making 100 components and you want to start the assembly process before they're all finished,” Mr Cartwright explains. “You can plan the assembly to begin after the first 10 or 20 have been produced.”

With the new Advanced Scheduling comes the Advanced Planning Board which not only shows the load going onto each work centre but also gives the option to put operations into a different order, either by drag and drop or by keying in the start date and time.

Consultant Chris O'Mara says this is particularly important if there is a requirement to schedule something onto a different machine: “You may realise that a job is going to finish late because the machine it is scheduled for in the existing sequence can't take it when you need it to. But you can simply drag and drop it to another machine that has spare capacity – so it's finished on time and you make full use of your machine tool resources.”

And the system will validate the new position, warning if a necessary prior operation has not yet been carried out: “It gives you the ability to move any operation from the planning board and work-to list, freeing up capacity in that time slot,” Mr O'Mara affirms.

Another benefit of Javelin 2016 r1's Advanced Planning board is that it shows real time. With the previous release each daily period was the same width, irrespective of the actual work centre's shift pattern Now an operation bar taking 24 hours will triple in length if moved from a 24/7 work centre to one running a standard eight hour shift.

Multiple screens can depict a variety of details – including a weekly or monthly view – along with other limiting factors such as labour. Ian Cartwright says it is important to show all factors which are restricting operations: “If you need certain tools for a particular operation, and they're currently being used on another job, that will affect your planning.”

Javelin 2016 r1 provides a direct link to Vero's powerful sheet metal CAD/CAM software, Radan, allowing Radan nested material optimisation to be applied to a Javelin nest.

While Javelin has been able to group nested operations together for many years, export the nest content out and reimport as a sequence of program nests, the new link takes it to a higher level.

It automatically interfaces the nest export and import with Radan optimisation. Once operations for the same material have been grouped together in the nest, they can now be passed directly to Radan which will then work out the most economical way of laying the associated components out on the sheets. Sheet sizes can also be passed across – anything from standard sized sheets to offcuts stored in Javelin.

The system gives full visualisation of the proposed sheet layout, allowing manipulation of the nest contents to improve material utilization prior to committing to CNC code.

“Once the user is happy, they confirm the final layout and Radan produces the CNC programs,” Mr Cartwright states. “What comes back from Radan are a series of individual program details making the most efficient use of the material available.”

The information can be used throughout Javelin Shop Floor Data Capture to book against.

Changes to the MRP approval procedures make it simpler for users to process MRP output – an example being the ability to filter on a number of different fields within the same screen. This makes it easy to look ahead for a week, pick out particular parts for a supplier or a specific product group, and approve them all within one screen.


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