Visibility on the move: ALS

Modules boost planning, reporting and mobile work

The desire for more digitalisation through visibility and mobility in managing the mould shop is boosting interest in ARBURG host computer system in the UK and Ireland. Customers are seeing big benefits in ARBURG’s host computer system especially its modular, select-as-you-go approach, quick overview of machine OEE and the Planning and Document management modules. The agnostic system can work with ARBURG and other machines.

Benefits of ALS are being recognised in UK and Ireland
More UK and Ireland customers are enquiring about ALS, ARBURG’s host computer system. ALS is accessible on a modern web browser and provides a detailed overview of the status of the factory. It gives greater, instant visibility of the metrics of your shop: OEE, machine availability, downtime, scrap rates and more. ALS is modular so, starting with a basic package, users can build their system to suit their needs.
A growing number of customers are using ALS. ARBURG is offering the opportunity to trial modules, if the user keeps it thereafter, a service contract can be set up for the ALS system which is paid by subscription.
Each primary function or feature is available as a module. Some of the most popular modules are reviewed here.

Planning is clearer and better with ALS
Job planning is a primary benefit for busy companies. Planners, who are not always injection moulding experts, can now see which machine is available and can book jobs to avoid downtime. “Parts can be colour-coded or material specific, so planners can organise jobs more efficiently based on the colour,” says Derek Cheetham, Applications & Digital Services Engineer at ARBURG Ltd. “Rather than needing to clean the cylinder, they can group the same materials and colours for more rapid tool changes, giving less machine downtime and higher productivity.”

Similarly, planning is better for using and sharing essential ancillary equipment. For example, achines that need a hot runner controller often share one controller. ALS is instantly notified when the hot runner controller goes offline due to breakdown, and the planners can see the jobs they have scheduled that are affected. In additon, ALS can notify planners who book new jobs that need a hot runner that it is out of service – without ALS, such information is manually conveyed and often happens late. “Planners are notified if there is a certain technical issue before they schedule, so they can move the job to a new machine that is free,” Derek says.

Historical data for traceability, time saved in reporting
ALS also offers customers a brilliant resource for minimising the damage in a product recall. If a car manufacturer, for example, must recall thousands of parts from an assembly because of defects, ALS can dive into the precise order, view the individual cycles and data to identity a process change that might have led to the defect. “ALS records this process data in a long term archive so it is accessible to anyone logged in, saving time. This would not be accessible on the normal machine controller,” says Derek.

Another important benefit of ALS is the time saved from preparing reports. ALS will email the user the previous day’s machine production reports each morning, ready for any production or client meeting. “Often customers have had to spend time collecting data and creating graphs before their production meetings, killing time. Now its emailed to them at 8am, potentially saving an hour or more a day,” Derek adds.

In an increasingly mobile world, a new ALS module is the “ALS Machine Terminal”, that is expected to be a customer favourite. Read more about this module here.