A Business System That Enhances Efficiencies

Jan. 23, 2012
Foundries will benefit from a business system that will measure productivity, maintain on-time shipments, and managing profit margins

Guardian Software Systems develops business-integrated solutions for the way foundries operate. The company believes in offering choices to ensure that customers find the right fit to meet their foundry needs, and for that reason Guardian provides three versions of the Guardian Foundry System: The Xpress Version, the Professional Version, and the Enterprise Version. Guardian strives for customer satisfaction and assures customers that one of these versions will meet their demands.

The Xpress Version is an entry-level system that offers smaller foundries a cost-effective introduction to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP.) The Xpress Version encompasses the core features and functionality that are expected from an ERP system, including Guardian’s support team to address any questions or concerns that may arise.

The Professional Version is designed for foundries that want to replace a legacy system, or are looking for ways to improve operational performance and efficiency. This version is the logical next step from the Xpress Version, and offers the heightened functionality to meet the more complex requirements of the mid-sized to larger foundries. All of the Guardian Foundry System modules are completely integrated, granting customers significant improvements in productivity and utilization of company resources.

The Enterprise Version is the most sophisticated system, designed for the forward- thinking companies that seek to move beyond conventional ERP. Guardian’s Enterprise Version is an innovative, multifaceted, fully integrated foundry specific system, including a real-time Paperless Routing and Touch Screen Data Collection module. The Enterprise Version takes advantage of technological advances to offer enhanced operational efficiencies and easier accessibility to information to fully optimize your investment in an ERP system.

Guardian Software Systems also offers a variety of practical modules that are beneficial extensions to any version of the Guardian Foundry System. The Financial Module, including Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, General Ledger, and Human Resources may be added to any of the versions.

Guardian’s Paperless Routing and Touch Screen Data Collection module can be added to the Xpress and Professional versions, but comes standard with the Enterprise version. The following features are included in the standard data collection side of the Guardian Foundry System, but the Paperless Routing and Touch Screen Data Collection module now brings all of these features to the operator at the floor level.

Online dispatching — Operators can view the work centers’ daily dispatching schedule defined by the scheduling module directly from their workstation, reducing the time spent ‘walking around’ to get to the next task, and ensuring that operators are working on the right job at the right time.

Online process instruction documents — Operators can view real-time process instructions along with all images, documents, AVIs related to dies, patterns, gages, tools, and specifications, directly from their workstation, thus reducing or eliminating errors due to outdated paperwork, such as drawings, specifications, and routings.

Online counter — Operators have access to an online counter that tracks the number of pieces or the number of molds, as well as the number of scrap pieces and their associated reason codes going through each operation. At log-off, the value in the counter is transferred automatically to the logging off procedure for more accurate data tracking.

Real-time labor collection — At the time an operator logs in or out of the Touch Screen Data Collection module, the transaction is immediately updated, making the transaction available for the next process, whether it is logging out, proceeding to the next operation, viewing records, or running a report.

Alerts — Integrated into the entire system is a powerful, real-time event-driven or on-demand messaging system, so managers and operators can communicate throughout the manufacturing process. Alerts may be sent via email or cell phone for off-site access.

MSDS searches — This feature allows material safety data sheets to be maintained in one location, yet allows every work station to be a MSDS station, with the ability to search and view the data sheets.

Quality data update — During manufacturing, products are produced in accordance with a standard set of quality characteristics designed to ensure quality parts for customers. The Quality Module provides the ability to define quality attributes tied to routing sequences. Then, characteristics are defined for each attribute, such as a serial number, specification, and check percentage, and are graded as qualitative (pass/fail) or quantitative (min/max). An Alert minimum and maximum can be sent to notify Quality Control when the part reaches the established Alert minimum and maximum ranges, signifying that the parts are nearing the outer edges of the part acceptance range.

Scrap history — Based on the part number and operation an operator is logged-on to, he/she has the option to view scrap history for the preceding five jobs. This scrap history includes the scrap reason code, scrap quantity, and the scrap percentage accumulated. This provides the operator with the ability to see where problems have occurred and to help prevent future ones.

Optional interface to machine statistics – Currently, Guardian is working with metalcasting machine vendors to establish a seamless exchange of data between machines and the Guardian Foundry System. Data will be captured automatically, and machine settings will be stored as a process instruction for the next time that job is run.

Time and attendance — By logging in and out of the facility for daily attendance and for your direct and indirect labor tickets, a multitude of labor efficiencies reports are available as well as an array of scrap reports and daily attendance reports.

HR functions —- Operators have secure access to basic Human Resource information, such as accumulated vacation days, efficiency reports, personal work day calendar, and personal attendance records, which can be viewed from their work stations.

The Guardian Foundry System provides an integrated approach to business software, and offers first-class support to its existing client base. No matter which version you choose, successful data collection cannot be made without enlisting the help of your employees. Conduct a discussion about what should be accomplished with the collected data, and educate employees on the critical role they play in this process. Gaining employees’ support will enhance the accuracy of your foundry’s data and promote a cooperative atmosphere that will lead your company to success.

In today’s economic climate, there is increased pressure on foundries to supply quality parts at a lower cost. Foundries will benefit from a business system that will improve all efficiencies, such as measuring productivity, maintaining on-time shipments, and managing profit margins. A resourceful business system also helps to reduce lead times, and eliminate unnecessary waste, such as discarded time and excess paperwork.

More information is available online at www.guardiansoft.com