When it comes to manufacturing, minor deviations from the norm can have a significant effect on product quality and machine utilization. Fixed maintenance intervals can cause losses in two different ways: First, a company may fail to identify malfunctions in time and/or incur unnecessary costs by servicing machines prematurely. Second, product quality may suffer due to suboptimal machine settings.
The Production Rules Configurator offers a graphical approach to rule modeling that enables you to monitor adherence to specified parameters in your manufacturing environment. The software detects any deviations that occur and immediately notifies the person responsible, allowing them to take the necessary steps to keep the manufacturing process running smoothly.
The starting point for this rule-based analysis is provided by production data (process and machine data), which is forwarded to the Production Rules Configurator from existing systems such as a Manufacturing Execution System (MES). Data can be incorporated from individual machines or from the production line as a whole. The production experts at each plant can then use a flexible and tailored method of configuring the rules to be applied to this data in order to create an optimum production process.
Production managers are faced with the daily challenge of ensuring their production process runs smoothly while fulfilling all statutory requirements and meeting all the stipulated targets regarding deadlines, quantities, and quality standards.
The Production Rules Configurator is a software tool that can be tailored to the specific needs of each individual user in their production environment. The tool makes it easy to translate know-how into rules for evaluating production data (process and machine data) in order to trigger the required action in the event of deviations or trends. This software solution makes it possible to achieve a fully transparent production process while simultaneously increasing production output.
From a technical point of view, installation of the Production Rules Configurator requires minimal effort. The software can simply be integrated into the existing IT infrastructure. The measured values required to process the data in the rules system are transferred from the Manufacturing Execution System (MES), databases, and other existing systems through a built-in connector.
The production data is analyzed in real time. Analysis can be carried out for multiple machines or production lines at the same time. This helps detect trends at an early stage, enabling a fast response. Various methods are available for the analysis, including threshold detection, Nelson rules and trend analysis. Bosch Software Innovations is continuously developing further methods that can be installed via software updates.
Modular rules and real-time monitoring enable the targeted sending of notifications for each analysis to the people responsible for specific activities in the plant. They also allow the system to trigger other specified actions.
The graphical modeling system provides an intuitive means for production experts to configure rules in the Production Rules Configurator. Users can choose from a range of functions that allow them to model, document, and test rules without requiring any programming skills – so even if you’re not an IT expert, you can still individually apply multiple rules to a machine’s production process. The Production Rules Configurator is easy to use, fast, and flexible, making it perfect for everyday use.
Rules are defined and modified for each machine and production line on an individual basis. Additional machines and production lines can be integrated in the Production Rules Configurator at any time. Once rules have been created, they can also be duplicated and applied to new machines.
Extra functions can be added to the software by integrating externally developed Java extensions into the rules system – for example to apply more in-depth rules-based analyses, or to implement the option of visualizing rule results on the production line.
In addition, the Production Rules Configurator can also be combined with additional software solutions from the Bosch IoT Suite.
Electrical discharge machining (EDM) is a manufacturing process that is used to remove metal from a surface without any direct contact between the tool and the workpiece. The ablated material is removed from the working zone by a dielectric liquid, allowing extremely precise machining of the workpiece. Early detection and management of deviations in the manufacturing process is particularly important in EDM machining. This case study involves a small metal plate that is machined by multiple EDM machines in a row in order to produce two high-precision holes by the end of the manufacturing process. The Production Rules Configurator is incorporated into the existing production IT environment with the aim of analyzing the production data of the EDM machines in a single line.