Composite component or part manufacturers use a variety of software to support their key manufacturing processes. This is usually an evolutionary result of software purchased over many years of developing and improving specific processes. Individually, each software package may perform well according to its designated purpose. However, seldom do they perform well together, requiring expensive integration or manual intervention to transfer relevant data from one to the other.
Focusing on the areas of the composite component or part manufacturing processes, we discussed this situation with dozens of manufacturers worldwide. Management seems to be increasingly worried about these “blind spots” or “painful gaps” during the production process which tend to cause issues such as material and asset loss, increased WIP, and a lower level of Quality Assurance. These gaps in process control are common in the areas of optimally selecting raw material from stock, monitoring the condition and tracking the position of raw material, monitoring the conversion of raw material into WIP kits, and tracking position of kits through the process.
In addition, tracking of expensive tooling is an issue. This whitepaper briefly discusses some of these challenges, and presents an alternative, holistic decision framework, that allows for increased visibility and process control as a basis for dramatic improvements of production efficiencies: from the freezer to the autoclave, and beyond.