by Michael Riehn
What is a PC HMI Control system and how does it compare to a Panelview HMI?
Panelview HMI with Productivity Package and job storage
This system includes a touchscreen operator interface with job storage and recipe handling. All cycle parameters are programmed and saved for recall, significantly reducing operator set up time. Additional features are available, see below. System is programmed for application specific requirements to suit user needs.
Common adjustable features include:
Other Features may include but are not limited to adjustable:
PC HMI with Productivity Package and job storage
A PC based system includes all of the features of the Panelview with the following additional attributes:
Additional options may include:
“If we don’t take care of the customer maybe they will stop bothering us.” This sarcastic line comes from a company whose website, www.despair.com offers “de-motivational” posters. Similar to those motivational posters you see if offices, theirs uses sarcastic phrases with the same kind of artwork that make you think from a different perspective.
In today’s manufacturing environment, customer service is what can set you apart from the competition and customer service is not just about friendly conversation when a customer calls. It starts from the moment the salesman opens his mouth, to the way the product is made, to the quality that is instilled, to delivering on time, to the support the customer receives after the product is delivered, to maintaining financial stability so the customer can call on you for years to come.
There is a strategy in lean manufacturing called “closest to the customer”. It’s a method to look at your process in reverse, from the customer back to raw materials. Process improvement initiatives have a way of showing themselves when you work backwards through your process.
Another method is called “closest to the worker”. In a nut shell it’s all about removing non-value added efforts. Think about your press room. Do you have a S.M.E.D. (single minute exchange of die) program? Are you staging the next tool, pre-heated if the process requires, so it’s ready to go once the current job runs out? Does the worker have hand tools designed for quick change? Is your press equipped with quick change clamps, markers and guards? Does your set-up team attack the moment the previous job is finished, focusing on getting the next tool in and running before the previous tools are put away? These types of initiatives will do wonders for your up time and go a long way for on time delivery.
Do you have point of use storage? Do your workers have to travel across the plant to get tools, boxes, or raw materials? By staging these items near the worker you minimize travel time, which sometimes also leads to idle chit chat with other workers, compounding your problem and decreasing productivity.
Do your presses have up to date controls and safety devices? Controls have come a long way over the years and simple upgrades may lead to a faster process. New safety devices, such as light curtains may also help where older manual gates or doors add seconds to your process and contribute to ergonomic strains.
By reviewing your process, eliminating waste and containing cost you are making sure your customers have a strong and stable vendor they can rely on for years to come. That’s what customer service is all about and it goes much further than just a friendly voice.
by Michael Riehn
Imagine two hot dog stands at a ballpark. The first hot dog stand has a few workers grilling hot dogs and putting them on the heat warmer as they are completed. You tell the person at the counter that you want a hot dog and a semi-warm, smashed hot dog in a wrapper is presented to you for three dollars. You are quickly hurried out of the line where you find a couple of options (ketchup or mustard) that you can add to your hot dog before heading to your seat. Total time was 5 minutes.
Now imagine a smaller hot dog stand. This is a one person operation where the vendor is grilling the hot dog and cheerfully asks you how you want it made. This person is engaging and friendly and customizes your hot dog for you. Not only do you get the perfect hot dog for your hunger, you’ve connected to the person to where you feel they really know what you want. It took almost 8 minutes to get your order, and the cost was $4.50, but the extra 4 minutes and $1.50 was well worth the result.
Which stand will get repeat business?
Hydraulic press applications take time to engineer and build the right way. An experienced hydraulic press engineer will take time to find out what you really want so that you are ultimately happy with your decision. While a standard design (or used equipment) can be quicker to order and may save you money in the short term, building relationships and knowing your customer’s wants and needs are paramount to a great product (hot dogs or presses).