Track’n’Trace – The triumph of the planned economy
The fight against defects and overproduction enters the next round
Honestly, isn’t it a shame that year after year entire forests are mowed down and processed into paper, only to be discarded as production waste in the end?
However, it is not so much environmental considerations that drive the fight against waste than economic optimization driven by lean manufacturing. Waste reduces added value, its elimination directly improves the bottom line.
Printing companies are struggling with two types of waste: overproduction and defective production. Overproduction is usually even intended. For many companies, it is their practice to prevent production underruns. In other words, overproduction is employed to preventively compensate losses down the production process. Defective production, on the other hand is, of course, undesirable. It results from misconceptions in production planning (goods produced by mistake) or due to glitches in the production process itself (defective or duplicate products).
Production tracking systems come to the rescue
Tracking system help to avoid defective products and overproduction by upgrading existing production control systems to ‘closed-loop’ production management systems, as shown in the figure.
While the production control system transmits the production orders to the individual devices, the tracking system collects feedback on the actual production output. The matching of this feedback with the order data then allows the definition of corrective measures, e.g. reprinting of lost documents.
The interaction between production control and production tracking can be illustrated using a basic management policy:
- Command (target definition):
Production control sends production orders to the production devices.
- Check (Performance analysis):
The tracking system collects feedback on the execution of production.
Production control determines corrective actions based on target-performance comparison.
Hunkeler Control Platform offers a flexible and modular base for turnkey production management solutions
Hunkeler has a proven track record for production tracking systems, but until now these have been of particular interest mainly to customers striving for zero-error production, for example in the financial sector.
With Generation 8 Hunkeler changes the game!
Tracking becomes affordable to a wide range of customers and enables them to further optimize their production. This is made possible thanks to Hunkeler Generation 8 production equipment which comes fully prepared for integration into a tracking system. The Generation 8 devices come readily equipped with the necessary sensor devices and Generation 8 controllers make production progress information directly available to the Hunkeler Workflow Manager (HWM), which collects this data and stores it to a central database. Implementation effort for a tracking system is thereby greatly reduced and existing installations can easily be retrofitted with a tracking system at any given time.
The Generation 8 product portfolio in the field of tracking offers a flexible system of modular building blocks to create production monitoring and tracking systems tailored to specific customer needs.
Building on the basic functions contained in the control system of each Generation 8 standard solution, tracking can be implemented on three concerted levels:
1. Basic Integrity Control
Without the need for additional sensory hardware, a Hunkeler line is able to ensure integrity of each product. Defective documents (e.g. with missing or duplicate parts) or documents produced in the wrong order are identified and can automatically be diverted.
2. Production Logging
Using the Hunkeler Workflow Manager (HWM), customers can collect detailed production data for comprehensive reporting and in-depth performance analysis.
The production control loop is closed by the Hunkeler Site-Manager server. It collects, consolidates and processes data of several production lines, compares performance against target and can initiate corrective actions.
With its new Generation 8 product line Hunkeler unlocks the power of closed-loop production control and makes its potential available to a wide range of customers.
Hunkeler production tracking with Generation 8 helps Hunkeler customers to improve their bottom line and to strengthen their market position against the ever-tougher competition in the digital printing universe.
Christian Schär, Head of Workflow Software Development at Hunkeler AG