The need to have real-time information about manufacturing operations on the factory floor makes Factory Information Systems (FIS) an integral part of today’s advanced manufacturing. Having factory equipment that easily integrates with FIS is now a necessity for modern manufacturing.

“Correct information obtained at the right time is priceless when every movement on the production floor matters,” said Dave Hofferbert, President of Bond Technologies. “I think every plant manager, President or CEO would agree that information received even a moment too late is already causing some damage – even if those repercussions are not immediately seen.”

Imagine a scenario where a maintenance person or engineer makes a repair or adjustment to a piece of production equipment. Subsequent parts produced by that piece of equipment are now being processed differently than before. Further down the production line, a regularly occurring quality problem is detected. Now there is a scramble to track down root cause and how many in-process parts are suspect. Loss of precious time and potential for high scrap could result.

Such events and losses become harder to miss when an FIS system is in place. FIS gives management a complete picture of what is happening on their factory floor, this helps better and faster decision-making – which in turn increases organizational flexibility and aids continuous improvement. Factory Information Systems help you better utilize your equipment, make better tactical plans, improve cycle time, locate and relieve bottlenecks, and achieve your true capacity.

FIS Integration for Effective Operations Management

Bond Technologies understands the importance of real-time data for effective operations management and makes FIS integration available with our Friction Stir Welding Machines. For example, tool-wear tracking makes it possible to understand when a tool needs to be replaced or is close to failure.

“Machine integration with FIS, machine-to-machine integration, and the Industrial Internet of Things are reinventing manufacturing as we know it,” said Hofferbert. “We are seeing the smart factory and its connectivity, intelligence, and real-time insights that allow manufacturers to reach new levels of productivity and predictability.”

Integrating equipment combines the benefits of real-time data collection and analytical capability with critical enterprise software. Without connected machines, shop floor systems force operators and managers to manually compile, upload, and analyze information.

Machine integration with your factory floor systems ensures each system has the most effective data it needs for either human managers to make decisions, or to enable the system to perform automated decisions based on the data.

The Bond Advantage

Bond Technologies offers a full line of friction stir welding (FSW) machines, FSW tools & accessories, custom engineering solutions, and a host of services to help manufacturers integrate FSW technology into production.

Further, Bond’s team of engineers has developed a custom user interface and other key features that make FSW of complex components in a production or research environment possible. Originally developed for researchers, Bond control systems provide up to 1250Hz data acquisition fully integrated, as standard. Bond delivers the highest built-in data acquisition rates in the industry.

Machine control and data acquisition are accomplished with a B&R CNC controller and a touch-panel human-machine interface (HMI) utilizing the custom FSW control software developed by Bond to meet the needs of complex-contour FSW work.

The CNC allows multi-axis interpolated motion using common NC programming (G-Code & M-Code programming). The system is capable of performing force control on the forge axis (spindle axis direction) regardless of spindle orientation while moving along a prescribed multi-axis profile. Additional process-optimizing controls are also available and continue to be developed for this robust flexible system.

Not only can the system monitor, analyze, and report weld process information, but there are tools that assist in confirming the correct tooling setup and correct part placement every time. In addition to the standard offerings, Bond will work with our customers to identify and customize pertinent information to pass with FIS systems enabling tight quality control and automated decision-making.

Why FIS integration is important

Researchers say IoT applications in operations optimization have the potential to create value of $633 billion to $1.8 trillion per year in the factory setting in 2025. Monitoring machines to harness and understand data allows manufacturers to optimize machine performance through more proactive, predictive maintenance. Monitoring can also deliver improved quality and production throughput through greater uptime and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), less scrap and rework, and lower operating costs. Additionally, these efforts can support continuous improvement initiatives and contribute to workforce engagement by keeping front-line workers and management informed for improved responsiveness, ownership, and accountability.

Get to Work with Bond

When you incorporate FSW technology and Bond’s FSW machines, the transition to production can be smooth with our team of experts at your side. Bond offers FSW consulting to help with welding procedure optimization, machine operation, technology training, and quality control support. Bond can also assist with supplying welding tools regularly. Contact us to learn more about what FSW and our FIS-integrated machines can do for your production process today.