Sony UK Technology Centre has installed Seratel's Reel aMounts component counting system at their plant in Pencoed, Wales. Sony in Pencoed already use IT systems that record the expected usage of components based on bills of materials, together with losses reported by production equipment. However, a lack of knowledge of components lost in handling meant that inventories could not be accurate. Hence there was a risk of unexpected component shortages leading to production delays.
Counting all reels used at the end of each production run was simply impractical using traditional component counters. It would have used an excessive amount of employee time and delayed the availability of components for other builds. The resulting count information would have had to be recorded by hand and inventory adjustments entered manually - a further time consuming and potentially error prone process.
However, Reel aMounts makes this counting fast and simple. With Seratel's help Sony have also closely integrated Reel aMounts with both their Automount MRP manufacturing system and Oracle ERP.
Reel aMounts provides high speed counting for tape and reel components by linking a computer, electronic weighing scales, bar code scanner, bar code printer and a database of component types. Patented technology, unique to the system, is used to provide accurate results in a field where weigh counting has otherwise failed.
When a reel is returned from production, the operator places it on the Reel aMounts scales and scans a bar code on the reel. The system counts the reel instantly and also warns the operator if this is moisture sensitive material that needs returning to a bag.
The operator then simply scans a Reel aMounts "command" bar code. This one action has the effect of recording the count details in a database, printing a new label for the reel, logging the material back into the warehouse, updating the reel quantity in Automount MRP and posting the material usage (including attrition) to Oracle, in a transaction which identifies the individual reel involved.
Sony keep some commonly used material permanently in feeders. This is not a problem for Reel aMounts. The feeder and reel are placed together on the scales, the operator scans an additional bar code on the feeder and the system calculates the correct quantity, as it would if the reel was on its own.
Reel aMounts allows the user to design their own reel label formats. Seratel and Sony have worked together to take maximum advantage of this. The label used shows:
– Sony's part code and the component description
– The new quantity on the reel
– The Automount MRP ID for the reel, both in human readable and bar code form
– The type of feeder to be used with the component
– Whether the material is moisture sensitive
– Whether the material is RoHS compliant
– The employee who processed the reel
– The unique ID assigned to the reel by Reel aMounts
– The proprietary bar code that allows Reel aMounts to count the reel instantly without further operator input.
Pencoed is one of two Sony plants worldwide producing the company's video cameras for broadcast and professional use. In addition, the plant also offers a Collaborative Manufacturing Solutions (CMS) service, producing products for other companies.
Because of this, Sony has to manage two separate material stocks. Reel aMounts allows new reels of components to be tagged as belonging to either the camera or CMS division. From then on, the unique reel ID placed on all reels by Reel aMounts is used to ensure that the appropriate inventory is automatically adjusted - in one of two Automount MRP systems, and for the correct owner organisation in Oracle.
For every counting transaction, Reel aMounts generates a database record with over twenty items of information about that individual count. Reel aMounts Reporting Centre – an extensive, web-based reporting system – then provides both management statistics and detailed analysis of the data, including traceability down to the individual reel. Information can also be forwarded to an ERP system, printed as reports or exported to Excel for further analysis.