2022-03-17

How We Integrate Industrial Tools (and why)

Our objective: Improved process control, with less time spent on the system and more on the operations.

MBrain is a no-code MES platform that caters to the end-to-end process in manufacturing. We come from a manufacturing background, and therefore we put particular emphasis on making things really simple to use. More importantly, whatever we do, we focus on the aspects that enhance and improve the control, traceability, quality assurance and speed in manufacturing – with added flexibility. At MTEK, connecting things that don't add value is nothing but one more form of waste.

This is the approach we take with everything we do, and this is why we build our entire platform in a no-code approach. The benefit from that software design is that we deploy the system in days or weeks - which of course reduces the set-up time and cost.

More importantly though, it also means that you, as our customer, will retain control over your processes over time. We expect you to run continuous improvement exercises and Kaizen events. We don't expect you to call us when you need a revision to a process or a product after that event - or when you want to integrate a new screwdriver.

The same is true to how we work with integration of tools, adjacent IT systems, sensors or other industrial machinery. It's simple, no-code and provides enhanced process control - and real help and support to your operators.

Movie time: Atlas Copco screwdriver integration

In this short demo, we will show how we work with an Atlas Copco screwdriver, which is fully integrated to MBrain:

A few things to note:

  • Everything starts with the instructions being displayed to the operator. This is the key, since that means the actions performed with the tools will also be part of the traceability on an order, product, process and component level.

  • The tool is integrated not only with the data, but also with the visual display, providing easy-to-understand instructions for the operator, which allows shorter takt-times and lower risk for error.

  • The system will react if the operators selects an incorrect tool or bit.

  • The system will not allow you to proceed if the right value has not been registered by the tool.

Sounds complicated? Nope. This is all built with drag-and-drop tools in MBrain, very likely the world's only no-code manufacturing execution platform.

What else can we do?

MBrain integrates easily to, well, pretty much anything.

MBrain integrates with and speaks to machines, sensors, tools, PLCs, I/Os. The data is easily aggregated into what we call "requests", where each data parameter becomes an individually identifiable object, which is then available for analysis and manipulation throughout the system. The platform also speaks with adjacent IT systems, like the ERP and PLM environments, and marries data from these with data from machines - and puts it all in the context of the process.

To take a concrete example, using the screw driver above;

  • The end-customer places an order on the website of the manufacturer

  • The order from the ERP is translated to a configured Manufacturing Order with the right work instruction for the right configuration displayed to the operator

  • The correct takt time is displayed with the information for the correct process step

  • The work instructions tell the operators what bits to chose on the screwdriver and what torque to use

  • The data is validated and sent back to the system and added to the traceability log

  • …and is then available in the context of each order, product, process, line or factory...

Simple, but extremely powerful.

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