First Line of Defense for Traceability

First Line of Defense for Traceability

Background

A leading manufacturer of high ballistics helmets uses advanced molding technologies and composite materials to produce a superior helmet that provides maximum lifesaving protection.

The Seamless Ballistic Helmet (SBH) is designed to protect against fragments, small arms, and rifle bullets. Due to the unique nature and chemistry of the materials used, the helmet can withstand extreme environmental conditions such as seawater, temperature shock, high altitude, salt-fog and field agents without degradation.

Challenge

The high ballistics helmet manufacturing company was expected to deliver cutting-edge technology with zero defect quality and complete traceability. To do this, the company needed a sophisticated work-in-process (WIP) system that would meet extreme production demands that included:

  • Real-time tracking of composite materials at every station
  • Enforcing time control limits on time and temperature sensitive raw materials
  • Automated data collection of all test measurements
  • Traceability &genealogy of all materials throughout the production process

 

Solution

MASS Group developed a comprehensive traceability solution by integrating TME MES software with barcode and OPC technology.

The company’s production line consists of automated PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) located at each processing step (e.g. cutting, kitting, forming, molding, bonding, trimming, painting and final assembly). At every station (step) TME generates a barcode and the PLCs capture all test data such as weight, pressure, time out of freezer expiration, operator certifications, tool certification, etc. All recorded data is sent to the OPC Server. The TME Client communicates with the OPC Server to take requests from the PLCs and provide the data needed to insure proper procedures are followed. When the station completes its program then TME takes all of the data andwrites it into the TME database. If the product fails any test TME will place a hold to prevent the product from moving on and send an error alert to the operator.

TME then verifies that:

  • Data (e.g. weight, pressure, time) is within tolerance
  • Product has not skipped any operations
  • Time limits between stations are valid (too little or too much time has expired)
  • Raw materials have been release for production and have not expired
  • Operators are certified
  • Tools are certified

 

Results

Paragraph text: By leveraging barcode technology, TME automates data collection and accurately captures a complete genealogy of each helmet down to the raw material level. This digital audit trail ensures easy rapid compliance to federal requirements mandating total traceability. TME’s built-in error-proofing mechanisms insure low rejection rates, high product integrity, and quality control. By providing critical real-time visibility into raw materials, work-in-process, test data, labor and resources, TME enables the company to reduce waste, increase efficiency and cost savings.

  • Easy, fast accessibility to complete genealogy of helmet
  • Low rejection rates, errors
  • Decrease in waste, scrap materials
  • Exceptional product quality
  • Increases in operational efficiency
  • Compliance with federal mandate for full traceability