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PrintManager Connector

Product Description

PrintManager Connector is a system enabling integration of machine facilities in a printing enterprise through enabling electronic communication with the machines. The system is of modular construction including the area of: production order, production material logistics, tools and products, JDF integration with production machines, production resources planning and analysis of production.  The system was designed and produced exclusively for the printing industry based on Job Definition Format (JDF) standards and in compliance with the ISO quality requirements. It helps in preparing such production task performance plan which offers full satisfaction of the customers demand with regards to the range of products, amounts and deadlines. Strategic benefits resulting from the universal characteristics and compatibility of the solution as well as from its conformity with JDF standard will include: faster machines changeovers, shorter production cycles, better quality control, human error elimination, minimising waste.

Problems and Challenges

The machine facilities of printing companies and of packaging producers include equipment of various brands. Integration of these machines into one system is a very demanding task and none of the machines suppliers are able to guarantee its success. Their machine integration services are limited to connecting only the equipment of their own make. However, print shops with machine facilities from only one supplier are very rare. No data or data available only from part of the machines complicates the machines work monitoring and therefore cost monitoring in the whole production part of the company.

Solution

Basic objective of the PrintManager Connector system implementation is the integration of data from various suppliers in one system (of machines supporting JDF standard), the data handling and using it for monitoring company operation in real time. The system is made of the following modules:

  • JobTicket - description of the production order in the form of a JDF file
  • RealTime Planner - planning the production resources in real time
  • Terminal – registration of data from the order processing in real time taken directly from the machine
  • JobResources - materials, tools and goods production logistics
  • JobAnalyser - production analyses based on information taken from machines (JMF) in real time.

JobTicket

JobTicket, a module for technological description of job order, enables generation of full technological product description in the form of JDF file.

It provides enhancement of cost estimate servicing and cost approval for many products, many expenses from various outlay groups in one calculation. It enables cost evaluation broadened by the additional cost and by preview of technology specification from the level of cost estimate calculation.

JobTicket means also enhancements in process chart such as copying the elements between the charts of products, general change of price lists for  the given products chart, recalculation of price lists of the product charts in accordance with the current hourly rates and norms or creation of preliminary order immediately from the level of the chart.  It is also possible to edit process chart of the product using the technology diagram or technology creator (one method depending from the configuration).

The module enables creation of process charts sets for which the price in the order position will be calculated for summary expense of several products from one order.

The module provides a mechanism of temporary orders allowing for reservation of materials, production resources within the production plan without official notification of an order by the customer.

JobTicket also delivers useful data using several registers:

  • SCADA module preview of operations implementation.
  • Register of orders for post-production verification – preview of the registered operations as well as errors and breaks parameters.
  • Register of products in accordance with the orders (all products without division into orders)

RealTime Planner

RealTime Planner is a module for planning the production resources in real time.

The planning specialist may follow the real progress of production and react to the events of breakdowns or downtimes directly in the module. Comparing the planned time to the real time on Gantt’s chart is possible using the table of real values. The user can filter the table according to machines. The table includes ToolTips and planning operations bookmarks on which data regarding the operations is displayed. Each user may personalise them in accordance with their needs.

The planner has access to print outs. This includes print preview of the real values table and its print out.

It allows for detailed control of timely performance of production orders occurring in real time. The module is also a very helpful tool helping in monitoring all the performed production orders. Easy data filtering, sorting and grouping are the features which make the module transparent and easily applicable.

Terminal

The production terminals module enables entering data from the order processing in real time, taken directly from the machine. The module gives machine operators the insight into technological details of production orders and allows for registration of work in real time during performance of the production order which leads to more efficient organisation and work control. The machines operators also have the possibility of reporting the errors and breaks in production occurring during the production process.

The system provided integration with equipment and machines through data exchange format JDF enables automatic machines preparation. On the other hand, collecting information on orders performance directly from the machine using JMF files allows for detailed post-implementation settlement of finished goods production. The module also provides for manual registration of information by the operators.

The additional option is presenting data on the current status of order performance to the operator in the form of KPI indicators. Similarly, the manager sees data regarding the current status of orders performance. The data is presented collectively for the given section or company.

The module allows for configuring mail notifications for the manager on production risks and problems.

Each operator has an insight into the process chart of an operation and process chart of a product.

Having proper authorisations the operator may perform operation dump from a machine or change the machine from the module level.

The interface personalisation guarantees that each machine operator may be projected the information needed for work in the optimal way. For ergonomic servicing and saving the space occupied by the equipment the module was adjusted to work on touch screens.

JobResources

The JobResources module enables creation of material and raw materials requirements from the level of production order and this on the other hand helps in planning supplies and effective materials and substrates management.

Its basic functions are:

  • Automatic generating of materials list necessary for production based on the approved order technology
  • Connecting materials from production price list with the warehouse registers of the specified materials
  • Cumulative reservations and material orders mechanism dividing amounts into orders.
  • Monitoring order performance from the level of the PLM and Planner modules using special registers
  • Placement of order for production of tools from the production order level
  • Placement of repair order from the production order level, internal orders mechanisms for prepress performance related to the production order

Additional module includes shipping order mechanism. For product shipment it offers specification of date and time of shipment, date and time of delivery, company name and address for delivery, name of contact person responsible for receipt of goods, means of transport, transport payer, type and number of pallets, number of packages, costs of transport, delivery notification and limitations. Shipment order and its items are automatically set up by the system at the moment of job order creation. The shipment order items may be edited later. The system automatically issues delivery note document and connects it with the shipment order item.

Moreover, the module includes tools management mechanisms, e.g. blanking dies, where the tools status is monitored together with their availability for planning and production.

JobAnalyser

A module of production analyses operating on the basis of information taken from machines (JMF) in real time.

According to the Balance Scorecard concept, the BusinessAnalyser module enables defining and following the Key Performance Indicators.  Example KPI indicators:

  • Machines efficiency ratios
  • On-line orders profitability ratios

Solution Advantages

  • Integration with equipment and machines through JDF data exchange format enabling access to data in real time in many modules simultaneously.
  • Data from the performed operations is entered directly from the production machines to eliminate errors of operators during entering data.
  • Significant improvements for any user in system operating on its many levels.

Implementation Benefits

  • Faster adjustments of machines;
  • Shorter production circles;
  • Better quality control;
  • Human error elimination;
  • Minimizing waste.