“All Machines in My Pocket…”
"I have access to the machines at all times and I can see what's going on and how things are going," says Karl Kletzander, company manager at Bayerwald Fenster Haustüren GmbH & Co. KG in Neukirchen vorm Wald, Bavaria, Germany. The company's staff of approximately 330 produce 85,000 windows and 8,000 front doors annually. "In the past, colleagues documented malfunctions on paper; today, the machine itself provides error messages automatically," says the company manager, as he describes how the world at Bayerwald has changed with the introduction of the Weinig Control Suite and the Weinig App Suite.
Simply speaking, the Control Suite is the software that interconnects all the machines; it is the control unit for the entire system and the manufacturing processes. For example, a production manager has an overview of individual jobs, he can detect idle time or overload, sees the live status and has data on every single part at all times. "Parts and batch management enables operators to track and locate each workpiece and even remove damaged ones," explains Dominik Fuchs, Technical Sales Engineer at Weinig. "The Control Suite does not need the Internet and runs locally on the customer's network," he says. "Establishing a connection to the in-house ERP system and thus taking all resources into account is no problem," he says.
"And using the Control Suite in conjunction with the App Suite creates the perfect symbiosis for controlling the entire system," says Fuchs. "With the app, I have all the machines in my pocket." As is the nature of an app, it is designed mainly for use on mobile devices, but also on local computers via a web browser. It is based on cloud technology and is therefore ready for use anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection. This provides the user with access to the status of the machines, the job data, a machine list, an evaluation tool and a digital maintenance manual. The user can choose to be informed about faults, idle times or other errors via push or e-mail messages, which can be individually configured in the settings. "The Weinig App Suite is the basis for extensive optimization of individual machines and entire systems because all the data flows together here and bottlenecks become visible," says Fuchs.
This is an observation that Kletzander can only confirm: "We have reduced the internal error rate from 25 to 10 percent. This translates into real savings," he says. "The shortage of skilled workers is getting worse. And although we are still a traditional workshop business, we see our future in continuous automation." The App Suite and the Control Suite are just two steps in this direction that have encouraged us to continue on this path: "Weinig has been very responsive to our needs and either has solutions already in place or finds some. It's a collaboration that is going really well."
"We are continuously developing the Control Suite and the App Suite," Fuchs reports from his workplace in Tauberbischofsheim. Each spring and fall, Weinig presents updates with new features. "And we always have an open ear when companies approach us with their own ideas for new functionality," says the engineer.