Ecrimesa digitises MIM workflow
March 22, 2023
Ecrimesa Group, based in Santander, Spain, has undergone a digitisation of its guidelines/process sheets in an effort to improve its efficiency and productivity. This is a project developed internally and led by Daniel Seco, MIM Process Engineer, and Julio López, Head of Industry 4.0. The development phase spanned six months; the company is now in the implementation phase.
In industrial environments, the applicable work standard – ISO / UNE, etc. – indicates that the operator must have a guideline for the process to be carried out. This guideline, also called process sheet or work standard, is a detailed document which describes the specific steps and tasks required to perform that process. At Ecrimesa, operators would need to print out the most recently updated version of these sheets and take it to their post as they worked. As each process worked might necessitate several of these work guides, Ecrimesa’s Metal Injection Moulding plant works with over 2,000 references.
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To undertake this project, engineers made use of the Microsoft Dataverse (which includes Microsoft teams, Dynamics 365 and SharePoint). Process engineers create, update, and modify the work guidelines. The operators, from the tablet that they have at their workstation, type the reference number of the part. The application tells them which patterns are active and they select the one corresponding to the task to perform. Currently, the company has six of these tablets in place, but intends to expand this to all positions.
To date, the project has enabled a reduction in paper, thus reducing cost and materials waste; a reduction in mistakes by ensuring operators have the most recent guidelines; and improved efficiency, as operators aren’t required to source the guidelines from outside their workstations.