Fastems Software Combines Palletized and Direct Part Handling Functions
The new version of Fastems' Manufacturing Management Software (MMS) integrates three application areas in a single manufacturing software platform.
The new version of Fastems' Manufacturing Management Software (MMS) integrates three application areas in a single manufacturing software platform: pallet-based automation, automation of direct part handling with robots, and work cell operations for standalone machines and other manual manufacturing operations. The manufacturing processes in the individual areas can be planned, forecasted, controlled, and monitored separately or in combination as required. This allows the full transparency of manufacturing operations by providing a detailed overview of the entire production process.
As a pallet automation cell controller, MMS provides a set of features developed for direct part handling. Now, the software platform also offers advanced production management functionality for robotized machine tending applications. New functionalities for part process plan definitions through the graphical user interface support this development. Together with parametric robot programs and coordinate-based part location management, the need for robot programming is minimized, and PLC programming can be avoided totally, according to the company.
MMS also delivers predictive and adaptive scheduling for automated production with industrial robots. The software also supports manufacturing resource planning by indicating missing resources such as cutting tools, raw materials, NC programs and the like. The new version manages order-based production in the robot cell with manufacturing batches. It can also produce several different workpieces simultaneously in different lot sizes, boosting flexibility.
Information about the required fixturing and clamping elements on the machine tool are now available, and MMS manages these as setups. It can schedule setup changes for the machine tools and, depending on the application, is even capable of changing the setup automatically with the robot, the company says.
Finding a way to fixture contoured marine propellors proved to be this shop’s biggest challenge in developing an effective automated machining cell.
Turning automation helps this shop produce parts more efficiently.
After watching a machinist take four hours to set up a part on a VMC, Dan Olsen of Mach Machine knew he had a problem. The solution seemed clear: horizontal machining. The automation system wasn’t expected; but the novelty was well worth it before long.