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Is it worth using working time registration (RWT) together with Manufacturing Execution System (MES), even though you already have a cards/fingerprints check-in system?

Is it worth using working time registration (RWT) together with Manufacturing Execution System (MES), even though you already have a cards/fingerprints check-in system?

Even before a company has a Manufacturing Execution System (MES), most of them use some working time registration (RWT) module. It is usually in the form of a simple fingerprint check-in box at the front door. Once a month, the data is downloaded and used for checking attendance / calculating salaries. But once a proper RWT system and MES are connected, you get a solution, which offers great possibilities for manufacturing companies.

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working time registration try

1.The difference between working time registration module (RWT) and MES (Manufacturing Execution System):

  • In MES / manufacturing control software, we measure time workers spent on different operations, etc. However, it practically replaces paper notebook/paper orders at the production hall, where people used to write everything.
  • Working time registration (RWT) shows clearly how much time somebody was present in the company – it is useful when you calculate salaries, overtime, etc. It’s a kind of register, where you can see employees’ attendance.
working time registration
Working time registration integrated with MES – mobile app view.

2. The reasons why it is a good idea to integrate MES and the working time registration (RWT) modules;

Working time registration and MES: everyday benefits

In your production system, you can see who is currently at work, what they are doing, and who is just “lazing around”, what time employees checked in/out. Thanks to that information:

  1. You can flexibly assign tasks on your online production schedule – because you know how many people turned up at work, and which machines they can work on;
  2. When somebody checked in but fails to start working, it is visible on the production schedule (and you don’t need to go to the production hall to see that), so even when you work from home, you can react.
  3. Spot lateness/workers leaving early. You see straight away who checked out before the end of their shift. There is no need to wait till the end of the month to deal with it. The information is direct and clear from the dashboard, where you see the progress of orders and operations. 
  4. Minimize mistakes/lack of clicks and check-ins in both systems – there are special double locks in the software which make sure that:
  • No-one can start to work the order as long as they don’t check in at work (it is a common problem, that people start work before logging in, which proves difficult to  monitor progress, working hours, etc. and creates chaos and lack of organization);
  • No-one can check out without finishing their work on the machine – this is another common issue. People rush to go home and forget to end the last operation. This disrupts productivity and efficiency calculations.
  • It is possible to track in real-time view for all breaks at work and their reasons (this is a new functionality).

Working time registration and MES: global benefits

You can check the percentage of time spent on working.

  • It often turns out that out of 200 hours spent in the company, only 140 hours were productive, spent on operations, etc. This is another great functionality and you can use it:
  1. to discuss a pay rise/bonus,
  2. check where the money leaks appear, because every single hour which is not productive cost you extra money and time,
  3. you can update your calculations adjusting them to tracking software, including machine set up time, preparations, changeovers, etc.

3.  It is effortless to start the integration of systems. All you need is :

  • Employees check things on the production schedule by clicking operations/ activities,
  • Inexpensive equipment: tablet / mobile phone by the door.

Grab the mp3 of this article to listen about integration of working time registration with your MES system.

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An update: bar codes /NFC tags and printing production orders to organize production better

An update: bar codes /NFC tags and printing production orders to organize production better

Using bar codes and printing production orders for faster registration of production

PRODIO'S AUGUST UPDATE

Using bar codes to register work faster

Description: When you have really many orders and wish to make registering orders easier to facilitate work at the production hall, you can use a bar codes reader and speed up the whole process.

TIP: A detailed description of configuration and tips when it’s best to use bar code readers you can find below in video tutorial:

Filtering production orders by bar codes 

When an employee presses the button “Click and scan the code” and scans the bar code from the headline, orders on the production plan will filter only to this particular order.

The order opens automatically after scanning the bar code  

When an employee presses the button “Click and scan the code” and scans the bar code of the particular operation, the order opens itself and it will be possible to start or finish work using a RFID key-fob or a bar coded ID .

 

Filter quickly tasks assigned to a particular production employee

Description: From now on it’s enough to put RFID key-fob or scan a bar code, to narrow down the list of taskes assigned to a particular worker.

Using bar codes to register start and stops in operations as well as check ins/ check outs

Descritption: When you wish to use bar codes to ID your employees (analogically to how it’s done by RFID readers).

Obviously you can use both solutions simultaniously  – you can have connected to your computer bar code reader and RFID reader at the same time. It is even possible to clock everything using RFID readers at one production hall, and at the other use only the key-fobs.

How does clocking starts and stops of operations work with the bar codes?

Everything works excatly the same as if you were using RFID key-fobs or cards  – only instead of scanning a key-fob the reader scans the code from employee’s card.

Visualization – how do you clock registration of the start of an operation using bar codes:

How does clocking in/ out work with bar codes?

Everything works excatly the same as if you were using RFID key-fobs or cards – the only things is that instead of putting key-fob to the reader, you scan the code from employee’s card.

Visualization – how does clocking in/ out work with bar codes:

 

Where do I get bar codes, to give them employees if I don’t have RFID key-fobs?

You can download a ready-to-use PDF file, use any printer to print it, cut to required size – CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Generating bar code cards based on RFID key-fobs

For the time being (until Prodio’s generator is extended) we shared a very comfortable tool in the software, which allows you to generate labels, then cut them out and place inside employees ID badges.

Here is a link to the generator based on Google Docs (the file is accessible to everybody, so let us know if it doesn’t work) – CLICK TO OPEN.

Assigning bar codes to particular employees

If you want to assign a bar coded card to a particular employee, just follow the steps used for assigning RFID key-fob. Go to “Settings”, next choose the panel “Employees” and click a “pencil” symbol next to an employee. After that click “NFC RDF code” box, so to see a flashing cursor and finally clock the code with reader.

 

Printing of production orders (they can be also used as products ID cards at production)

Description: From now on, to make eveything easier for employees with limited access to computer, you can provide them with printed production orders containing all product parameters and necessary information.

TIP: Paper cards can also work very well and identify a product at the production hall when you attach them or put inside the box together with the order.

How to print a card:

1) If you want to print a card for only one item from the order, use the cog symbol in the line of this item on the list of orders.

2) If you wish to print cards for more items, check them on the list of orders, then choose “Checked” and click “Print”. 

Other changes increasing the comfort of your work:

  1. After solving problems with server’s efficiency between 1st-2nd of August (caused by the increased number of new accounts), we optimized software efficiency over 4-times more, rewriting key functions and connections  with database.

     

     

  2. There is a new status filter on the list of production orders and possibility of hiding ready orders also from a tabular list.
  3. There are additional statuses on the list of production orders,

  4. …and many more small adjustments 🙂
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Which equipment will work best to register production at the production hall? Computer, tablet or something different?

Which equipment will work best to register production at the production hall? Computer, tablet or something different?

Which equipment will work best to register production at the production hall.

One of the questions often asked concerns equipment used  to register production, namely where is it better to run the software: on a traditional computer or on a tablet? To help you dispel the doubts and make a decision, we prepared a micro-manual, where we try to solve dilemmas and guide you through the best and the most economic choice. 

How do you use a computer / a tablet at the production hall?

Before we answer this question and make the most optimal choice, let’s remember how a comuter is used at the production hall.

The computer is mailnly used for displaying an updated list of tasks for indicidual machines with a possibility of registration of work progress. Additionaly each employee can check in / check out on entering the manufacture, so you know their exact working times. 

The software is using a web browse, that’s why all actions can be done on tablet/smartphone, and Prodio’s servers are responsible for majority of calculations. 

 

Tablet or laptop – what is better?

Using tablets fo registering production:

Tablets have great advantage – they are very easy to install at indivdual machines. They can simply be mounted on the handles and you don’t have to worry about  the space need for traditional computer. On top of it, tablets are quite inexpensive, which makes that choice economical. 

However if are only at the testing stage of equipment at your production hall, please bear in mind: 

  • using a tablet isn’t always as comfortable as it looks, because of protective gloves your employees wear very often. It is also very easy to get your device dirty and in that case it might not work properly.
  • visibility and clarity – on the bigger computer screen things will be easier to read, then on the small tablet.
  • when your employee accidentally minimizes the browser, at the computer the closed window can be brought back with one click of a mouse.
  • it is very important to remember a possibility of entering comments into the software ‒ using a cable keyboard connected to a computer guarantees speed and ease.

 

Using computers to register production:

Stanowisko do rejestracji produkcji i wyswietlania planu produkcji

  • Using a computer means having a bigger screen, which results in greater clarity of displayed content.
  • One of the indisputable advantages of the computer is an intuitive operation, almost anybody can use it without bigger problems.
  • Installation and configuration are easier in comparison with tablets and mobile phones.
  • Attachments – if there is a photograph or technical documentation attached to a product, it is much easier and faster to open it on the computer then tablet.

Which equipment you should choose to start with at your production hall? 

When there aren’t many working stations at the production hall (only one or two) or when you are not sure what would work best, a computer (not a tablet) seems to be the pefect choice.

There is of course a dilemma: should you use a laptop or a traditional desktop cimputer with an additional monitor?

A desktop computer: it is more efficient and faster, but it seems to be more economical to invest in laptops.

Laptops: one of the main advantages is very easy configuration, because of its buil-in wi-fi module, so getting online it’s is much faster. In case of power cuts at the production hall. laptop’s battery can last for a few hours until, the electricity is back on and a restart won’t be necessary.

OUR VERDICT:

 

A laptop connected to a keyboard and a monitor – it is an ideal solution, which you can use at your production hall.

A valuable addition to the above set will be a standard keyboard and a mouse connected by cable. Considering the conditions at the production hall (dust and dirt) it will be easier and cheaper to replace, then notobook’s keypad.

 

When shall you use tablets?

It is recommended when you want to save the space and when your workers are able to register work fast. Tablets work best when the production plan is displayed at the TV screen. 

Bar codes are a perfect complemet to tablets – next to machines are bar code readers and each time when the procedure is finished, the workers can scan the code to register progress in the system.

 

Once you made your choice, what exactly you should buy?

Technical requirements for computers

Technical parameters for computers are not excessive, because their main task is limited to displaying a website, as all calculations are done on sever. For the web browser to wor smoothly is needed:

  • 4 GB RAMi processor Intel i3 (when at the computerare going to be displayed many machines, minimal requirent is 8 GB RAM and i5)
  • Windows 7 or newer (recommended Windows 10)
  • Updated Google Chrome browser
  • Notebook’s screen (the bigger, the bettter – the best is 15,6 HD+)
  • external monitor (recommended) 22” or bigger (optymally FullHD 24”)
  • CABLE KEYBOARD +  CABLE MOUSE

Where to buy? After-lease laptops, which fulfill these requirements, usually cost between 600 – 800 zł PLN gross (ex. allegro), computer screen more then 200 zł PLN.

Technical requirements for tablets and mobile phones

Regarding laptops technical parameters, the most important is OTG support funcion for USB, so any type of USB reader could be connected.

The safest way is to buy second hand, flagship models  ex. Samsung Galaxy Tab. The same regards mobile phones – it can be even 5-year old model, as long as it has OTG function.

Specific solutions for some industries:

Difficult working conditions and equipment 
In case of difficult working conditions at the production hall (it’s dusty and dirty) the best solution is to put the laptop in the drawer or cupboard (to protect it) and leave out at the desk a computer monitor only.

Mobile workers
What about field work, assembly team, repairmen? The system we described works online. Thanks to mobile phones with an easier acces to the Internet then tablets, you can use it while working in the field, not just at the manufacture.

Do you have any questions?

We are glad to help ?

Let’s chat (the right-hand corner of the screen)  or talk on the phone, call us: +48 32 746 61 62

We are happy to hear from you from Monday to Saturday 9.00 am to 5 pm

How to monitor production better, using RFID readers?

How to monitor production better, using RFID readers?

We decided to introduce another functionality, which is typical for worth thousands of euros production systems,  but now you can use it in Prodio! RFID readers will help you to monitor your production better and faster register tasks by your employees. Check what you need and how easy it is:

 

Watch a tutorial:

 

 

Download a manual:

— online version —

What do you need?

 

  • Any RFID reader (USB with keyboard and “enter” emulation)

It sounds as some kind of engineering operation, but in fact it is the most popular RFID readers standard, and even though there are many different models available on the market, it would be hard to get one below this standard.

Czytnik RFIDTIP: For your convenience the whole kit: tested with Prodio readers + cards / key-fobs you can order FROM US / or get as a bonus with your annual subscription package.

  • Cards/key-fobs/RFID stickers

The situation is analogical to choice of readers, there are only to standards RFID 125kHz / NFC (depending on a reader you choose).  125kHz readers are cheaper, but fully workable and enough. NFC readers are a good choice if you wish to register production using a smartphone.

 

 TIP: When choosing your kit, think which one would be more convenient and safer (ex. neck key leash isn’t suitable for someone leaning over machines. Our favourites are: key-fob + SKIPASS holder or silicone hand band).

 

How to set up registration at the production hall?

  • Assign cards/key-fobs to employees
  1. Connect a card reader to a computer (where you have your manager’s account opened).  99% of USB readers install automatically.
  2. Assign cards / key-fobs to particular employees.
„Settings” -> “Employees”. Next, you edit the employee, whom you wish to give a card. Set a cursor in the box Code NFC or RFID (as if you wanted to enter information manually), the “line” symbol should pulse. Put a card to the reader. The software should read a code from the card and you take you back to the list.
   

 

 

Optionally: sign a card with a marker before giving it to an employee.

 

  • Connect a reader to a computer at the production hall.

Now, you can connect your reader to a computer with opened production module and…. it works, doesn’t it?

 

TIP: we recommend using the newest version of Google Chrome browser.

  from now on, an employee can skip the first 2 steps – it is enough to choose:

Manual for the employees.

  • Check-in registration:
An employee chooses on the production plan CHECK-IN button Without choosing anything in particular, an employee nears their card to the reader Check-in has been registered.

 

TIP: In case an employee wished to leave comments regarding their lateness, we recommend to use manual registration with PIN code.

  •  Check-out registration:
An employee chooses on the production plan CHECK-OUT button. Without choosing anything in particular, an employee nears their card to the reader Check-in has been registered
   

 

 

 

TIP: In case an employee wished to leave comments regarding their early leave, we recommend to use manual registration with PIN code.

 

  •  Start work on a particular machine
An employee chooses a production order they wish to produce at the particular machine / working station. After opening an order view, without choosing anything in particular, they near their card to the reader. Start of work has been registered.

 

TIP: In case of some older versions of Internet browsers, the computer might block reading the cards – it is enough to click RFID symbol and try once again to near the card to the reader

  •  Finish operation on a particular machine
An employee chooses a production order they wish to finish and give the number of pieces made. After opening an order view, without choosing anything in particular, they near their card to the reader. The software recognizes, that this particular employee was working on the order and shows a production registration view. After entering parameters, the employee clicks STOP

TIP: In case of some older versions of Internet browsers, the computer might block reading the cards – it is enough to click RFID symbol and try once again to near the card to the reader 

FAQ – Most frequently asked questions

 

  • Is it possible to use both PIN number and card system to log in?

    Yes, it is – the most important is to choose a system which suits your company best.

  • What if an employee forgets their card?

    They will be able to log in manually, by entering their PIN code.

  • What if an employee loses / damages their card?

    You will issue a new card / key-fob, registering them in the system beforehand, the same as if it was the first registration. It will not affect working history in any way, etc.

  • In our company there is already working time registration system / access control system based on RFID key-fobs – can the same key-fobs be used in Prodio?

    Of course, there aren’t any contraindications – just register in Prodio currently used cards.

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Try Prodio without any commitments - you have 14 days to check all of it’s functions in practice. After your trial period ends you can simply leave your account or continue to work as our Client.

credit_card Start a test - no credit card needed call Schedule free Demo
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