Two new software applications aim to improve automated material handling and processing. The Fastems MMS5 for flexible manufacturing and Fastsimu for offline robotic programming will expand users’ expectations for flexible manufacturing systems (FMS), to encompass a factory-wide manufacturing execution system for total control over automatic warehousing, tool management, and robotic cell integration.
Fastems LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fastems Oy AB, a Finnish automation program and software developer.
“MMS5, which we’re introducing at EMO in Hannover, is the culmination of the company’s 30 years of experience in FMS integration,” according to Richard Bodine, Fastem’s v.p. of Sales and Marketing. “It promotes and allows for the highest level of machine utilization rates with proactive scheduling, provides for quick and easy access to all production data with a standard web browser, and gives the user an unprecedented level of usability with simplified touch-screen programming.”
The MMS5 graphical user interfaces (GUI) are optimized according to the applications of the intended user: MMS Dashboard GUI for managers; MMS Data Manager GUI for supervisors; and MMS Station Commander GUI for shop-floor operators.
MMS Dashboard is a user-configurable reposting application that can also be supplied on info-screens. Users display the specific on-line reports, and a 3D control room window can be contained in the reporting view.
MMS Data Manager presents tools for production management. The worklist screen displays automatically reserved machining capacity for each machine tool. A fine-planning tool creates job lists for loading stations and machine tools, and also decides which tools and materials will be needed during the schedule. Rescheduling takes place automatically, either when the schedule accuracy is out of its set values, or per input from the supervisor.
MMS Station Commander consolidates all loading-station operations within an ergonomical, touchscreen operating panel. The operator has access to instructions and documentation, can see what jobs to perform during the day, and can control station movements and commit loading jobs using a single panel. Fastems FMS Autopilot automatically selects the optimal jobs for loading stations and machines.
“Thanks to the MMS5’s predictive scheduling,” said Bodine, “the needed resources are known well in advance. As a result, outstanding machine tool utilization rates can be reached, with the realized spindle times exceeding six thousand hours per year. MMS5 facilitates the understanding of dynamic production states by providing transparent and on-line data on all user interfaces. Better process knowledge enhances productivity and helps manage unexpected situations. MMS5 is the fastest, easiest-to-use and best-in-class automation software available to manufacturing industries today.”
Fastems also will introduce an offline robotic programming system: Fastsimu is an advanced, user-friendly software application that provides robotic production features, especially for machining, grinding and de-burring operations. The software can be used in conjunction with 3D CAD models or by using toolpaths created in CAD/CAM. It makes it possible for users to program a robot just like any other multi-axis machine tool.
Fastsimu provides several easy-to-use features for direct 3D CAD model-based programming, too, including:
• Near-miss and collision inspections;
• Monitoring of robot joint limits, speeds and accelerations;
• Singularity detection;
• Tool change simulation; and
• Cycle time inspection.
“Fastsimu is unique Fastems software,” Bodine said. “It is based on 3DCreate and has been developed to enhance our line of RoboFMS products. Essentially, Fastsimu allows you to fully simulate a cell before you spend any money or even before a final part design is determined.”