Taking Businesses From Analogue To Digital

PSL Datatrack is a modular production control software system, designed specifically for small to medium subcontract precision engineering companies.

One of the major trends among the user base in the past couple of years has been the desire to transition from an ‘analogue’ to ‘digital’ method of running their businesses. This switch (typically away from manual methods such as Excel spreadsheets) has resulted in more powerful, digital management information and the shift to paperless shop floors.

From a management point of view, one of the major enhancements in the last full release of PSL Datatrack was the ability to click into any of the 57 key performance indicators (KPIs) displayed on the system’s Statistics dashboard screen. Doing so runs a report homing in on the details behind the values.

These reports can stay open wherever you are in the system (particularly useful when two screens are in operation) and can be refreshed from the viewer without having to spend time recreating them. With PSL Datatrack’s vast parameter and filtering options, this is a real time saver.

These reporting enhancements are especially useful in the Sequential Scheduler module, which contains numerous planning reports including a Gantt Chart and cost centre ‘Work To’ lists. A new update to the scheduler now allows management to control machine setter availability, to create a more precise schedule and provide customers with more informed delivery information.

Powerful scheduling data has been a popular Status Board use for a while now, but recent enhancements to the technology behind these powerful displays provide even greater management and shop floor information at a glance.

Visual grouping of cost centres and details such as whether the required materials/correct gauges have been allocated to the works order are now available, as is a new production cycle feature which displays and compares actual cycle times with pre-estimated times defined in the associated quotation. The quantity of components that are known to be scrap can also be displayed as an overall percentage of the total batch run.

From a shop floor viewpoint, the facility to display scanned/saved documentation, including issue-controlled drawings for traceability and audit purposes, is becoming another hugely popular feature. The system automatically retrieves supplier and mill certificates when raising delivery notes and process layouts can be called up on screen and read by barcode scanners as part of a paperless environment.

Digital storage of crucial documents and images is also proving particularly useful where several SMEs within a group utilise one another’s production and other resources. A new development within PSL Datatrack allows closer cooperation between these companies through automated interfacing of their separate PSL Datatrack systems.

When seeking business improvements, it may seem obvious to invest in the latest CNC machinery or tooling but we would argue a business that is still in the analogue age of production control is unlikely to be ready to reap the rewards of this investment.

It is no good having the latest equipment if you are not yet in a position to use it, or use it to its maximum capabilities. By having a designated production control software system in place, however, all of the key business information outlined in this article will be at your fingertips, allowing you to make informed decisions that will benefit the business in the long run. Go digital with PSL Datatrack!

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