The Marwin Machine Tools Ltd company manufactures small hand tools for a variety of applications. For the purpose of producing their products, the company uses a variety of manufacturing equipment which demand to have set processes in place to insure of the proper operation of the machines. In addition, the machines used in the company demand several alterations during their life-cycle in order to maintain a high level of product quality. Presently, the many alterations required by the machines involved in the production of the small hand tools demand the regular supervision of the shopkeeper.
The shopkeeper insures that that the company has proper equipment inventory and also handles staff safety clothing. However, the current process of supervising the manufacturing inventory at the Marwin Machine Tools Ltd company is outdated, manually intensive, and becoming obsolete; which in the long term would have adverse effects on the production capacity of the company. 2. Project Mission Statement The Marwin Machine Tools Ltd company is therefore undertaking a project management plan to enhance the quality of the processes involved in the supervision of company manufacturing operations.
The main objective of the plan is to arrive at automating the tasks handled by the shopkeeper in order to fuel production capacity, while being able to provide a safer environment for workers. In order to attain such objective, the various processes coordinated by the shopkeeper are to be reviewed, analyzed, and improved on in order to sensibly facilitate the daily tasks handled by the shopkeeper, but also in order to provide a robust process for workers in the maintenance and acquisition of new inventory.
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To facilitate process automation and information dissemination in the manufacturing setting, the company is considering the use of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology combined to a client-server database implementation that would allow the shopkeeper and other workers in the manufacturing department to substantially enhance their productivity level (Rockwell, 2004).
3. Project Objectives The intended objectives for the implementation of the project are three fold:
1. To provide the shopkeeper with an automated tool to aid in the tracking of inventory.
In effect this objective comes as the realization that the tasks handled so far by the shopkeeper were too manual and thereby highly intensive to allow the company to improve its level of productivity. From this viewpoint, it came out as imperative to plan for the implementation of various interlinked systems allowing to reduce the manual nature of the tasks handled by the shopkeeper in helping to decrease error-occurrence in the shopkeeper’s duties, and subsequently improve the quality level of maintenance, and updating of the key materials and elements required for the optimum operation of company manufacturing equipment. Read the discuss a new inventory tracking system
2. To provide a networked solution that can be accessed outside of the shopkeeper’s office. For improving access to relevant information stored on the main manufacturing database, the company is also looking into implementing a company wide computer network that would allow the shopkeeper to have access to the inventory database outside of his office.
The project team in this regard is wanting to extend this capability to the implementation of a hybrid wired and wireless network, where the shopkeeper could have access to the main inventory database via tethered computer interfaces, but equally via wireless portable devices. Extending the range of access to the database allows the shopkeeper to have an added degree of mobility within the work environment and therefore renders the person more apt at reacting to eventual manufacturing equipment issues in quasi real-time fashion.
The combination of a company wide intranetwork with the capabilities inherent to RFID technology could prove essential in improving information flow between the main manufacturing centers, keeping inventory up-to-date at all times, and thereby sensibly improve the ability to reduce the time required to complete various processes handled by the shopkeeper.
3. To provide an application that provides flexible reporting capabilities. In addition to the afore mentioned objectives, the application to be use should offer a wide array of tracking and reporting capabilities.
Monitoring information is key to the ability to guarantee a certain level of quality in manufacturing processes (Timken, 2008). Therefore, the application being the main user interface between the manufacturing machines and the shopkeeper, it is a main company objective to implement a solution that is robust, upgradeable, and scalable; while offering the user the ability to create manufacturing and inventory reports in a seamless manner. Also the application should be implemented in such fashion as to allow access from several terminals including desktop, laptop, and wireless handheld devices.
4. Project Work Objectives System Design and Analysis o Hardware o Contact equipment manufacturers to obtain relevant information on monitoring devices for each of the machines used in the manufacturing of small hand tools. o Create a comprehensive list of necessary monitoring and sensing devices to be installed (EMS 2008, Timken, 2008)
Consult with vendors on pricing and installation cost of the various monitoring and sensing devices. o Design an RFID system (tags, antennas, readers) to operate in tandem with the monitoring and sensing devices to provide real-time status and inventory of tools created.
Design a company wide network to operate with the RFID and monitoring subsystems.
Consult with technology firms on the cost of implementation of the network.
Search suitable software applications to be used on the network by the shopkeeper.
Consult with software implementation firms to ensure of the proper compatibility of software with monitoring system, RFID system, and internetwork. The software system is likely to have several independent modules, however it is imperative to insure that they can function in a seamless fashion to provide the necessary tracking, reporting, and alerting capabilities.
Get an overview of necessary software enhancement/development to provide a robust and user-friendly solution capable of interacting with the monitoring subsystem, the RFID subsystem, and the intranetwork.
Establish a list of necessary documentation for the use of the overall system
Estimate the advantages of the system in providing a comparative analysis of the new system versus the old manual system o Plan for implementation and testing measures of the subsystems and of the overall system (Six Sigma, 2006)
Identify areas needing improvement or needing targeted software development to work with the rest of the system.
The development of the hardware subsystems is to be done with a custom hardware development company specialized in the implementation of monitoring and communication systems geared toward inventory control and management.
Preliminary testing of the hardware system is to be done at the vendor’s premise.
Secondary testing involving the monitoring and sensing subsystems is to be done at the company’s manufacturing site during off-production hours.
o Software development and implementation is to be done at the software vendor’s site
Preliminary testing will be done at the software development site as well
Secondary testing will occur at the manufacturing site in tandem with secondary hardware testing
A list of bugs and necessary fixes will be compiled upon completion of secondary testing
Bugs fixes are to be implemented both from the hardware and custom software vendors at their respective sites.
Adequate hardware and software documentation will be provided upon conclusive testing of the overall system at the site.
Installation o All monitoring and sensing devices are to be installed on their respective manufacturing equipment
A layout for RFID tagging and communications will be designed and implemented according to the manufacturing facility requirements.
An IT firm is to be hired to implement a company wide network which will entail of a wired network (Ethernet), and a wireless network combining Ultra High Frequency (UHF with a range of about 100m) communication for RFID devices, and Wi-Fi network capability for interfacing between the RFID subsystem and the computer network subsystem.
The software vendor will install the application of the main server and configure all necessary clients to access the main server. o Vendor will send install disks for the application.
The IT firm will configure the network system in collaboration with the hardware vendor and software vendor.
The IT firm will then perform various tests to insure that the overall system is operating according to the company performance parameters, and interacts seamlessly with the distributed systems (sensing, monitoring, bar code reading)
The IT vendor will import all necessary data from the old database to the new system.
Overall testing of the system shall be conducted first with the collaboration of the hardware vendor, software vendor, and IT firm.
The shopkeeper will be trained on using each major subsystem and interact with it
The shopkeeper will then be responsible for testing the overall system, its performance, its functionality, its configurability.
The shopkeeper will also be responsible for outlining any problems or issues with the system so that the adequate vendor may revise according to company demanded level of usability and performance.
The hardware and software vendor will be on-site for 2 days of training.
The training environment will be prepared with the assistance of the IT team.
They have the responsibility of providing minimum training to the shopkeeper and to the persons susceptible to directly interact with the inventory monitoring, control, and management system.
The vendors will provide finalized training and operating documentation on the overall system. is responsible for providing training documentation.
The user acceptance testing procedure shall be the responsibility of the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper will insure that all the logistics of the systems are in place and working according to requirements in order to begin implementing the overall system in the manufacturing capacity of the company.
The shopkeeper and company management together will be responsible for the final approval of the application following testing, improvement if needed, and final system delivery.
5. End-item Specifications The end-item specifications in the project will contain several documents for the training, operation, and maintenance of the overall system. The documentation is to include the sensing, monitoring, RFID, network subsystems, and software application. Most of the documentation is to be delivered under user’s manual format. The sensing documentation will allow the end users to familiarize themselves with the basic functionalities of the sensor systems as they relate to each machine.
However, the end user has minimal need for directly interacting with the devices. The sensing system documentation is meant as a means to meet accepted standard for industrial manufacturing. The monitoring system documentation will be presented in a user’s manual format meant primarily to be used by manufacturing workers and the shopkeeper. The manual emphasizes the function of each monitoring device as it relates to each of the machines in the manufacturing facility.
The RFID documentation provides a detailed explanation of the interaction between RFID tags, antennas, and readers. The documentation is primarily to be used by the shopkeeper, and by manufacturing workers as well. The documentation will also provide a detailed plan of all the fixed RFID devices within the facility along with their primary function. The network documentation is meant for the shopkeeper only or any other employee required to have direct access to the database application for inventory and management control.
The documentation will outline the security measures to insure continued network integrity. The software documentation is a detailed document provided as a user’s manual. It will contain detailed information on how to operate the application for the purpose of process tracking, inventory tracking, inventory control and management, and will also inform the user of the various methods for creating reports and setting alerts levels for each machine within the manufacturing facility.
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