“Better, Faster, Stronger” – Joensuun CNC-Machining improves productivity with Fastems software upgrades
Joensuun CNC-Machining Oy is a local pioneer metal shops in Finland, thanks to their significant investments in flexible, automated, and intelligently controlled manufacturing. Fastems’ Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) and Manufacturing Management Software (MMS) have been the key enablers for Joensuu CNC-Machining to multiply the value of its multi-axis machining expertise for its customers and business. Read more about Joensuu CNC-Machining automation systems here.
Having experienced the benefits of automation since 2017, Joensuu CNC-Machining is convinced of the potential of such systems, that their capacity can further be developed and utilized. As a result, the company decided to extend their manufacturing potential with Fastems’ Software Maintenance Agreement. This decision aligns well with the company’s development-oriented mindset, as well as with their rising need to keep the IT security up to date for the MMS. With this Agreement, Joensuu CNC-Machining has signed up for optimizing their production through updating new features to their existing automation system.
Software Maintenance Agreement – continuous growth and opportunities
The Software Maintenance Agreement guarantees software updates to customers’ MMS controlled automation system when new features are available. Fastems is developing MMS constantly to match the various needs of its almost 5,000 customers, releasing new versions yearly. It is up to the customer when they think is the best time to implement such updates: depending on the size and variety of Fastems’ systems at the customer’s site, software updates take up anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days before all functionalities are verified. In this case of Joensuu CNC-Machining, Fastems has delivered 5 software updates (from 2019’s MMS6 to the current MMS8), each of which took approximately half a day.
Ever since the commissioning phase of Fastems’ automation system, Joensuu CNC has benefited from many MMS features; at the same time, they have been heavily involved in the development process of MMS through giving feedback based on their own needs of the software. Such close cooperation between Fastems and Joensuu CNC-Machining was established from the very start, which helped lay a sturdy foundation for the company’s decision to purchase the Software Maintenance Agreement.
“The agreement ensured us to be at the forefront of continuous software development and quick availability of new features” – said Mr. Juuso Herranen, Quality Manager at Joensuu CNC Machining.
Indeed, new, constant software updates provided by the Software Maintenance Agreement have enabled much more flexibility in managing Joensuun CNC’s production, allowing them to extend their operation possibilities and serve their customers better with higher quality products. For example, Joensuun CNC-Machining has been enjoying the new MMS Insights and EasyRoute functions that came with MMS version 22.214.171.124 (updated in February 2022): MMS Insights provides detailed analyses and visualizations of production data from MMS Database, which allows operators to quickly observe what is going on in the system as well as what actions can be taken to improve production efficiency. On the other hand, the new EasyRoute has been most beneficial for smaller end pallet automation systems such as Flexible Pallet Tower (FPT) and Flexible Pallet Container (FPC). Another outstanding software improvement was the visibility of the order date in work queues that came with MMS version 126.96.36.199 (installed on 30/3/2022). Such transparency to the production process has made it easier for Joensuu’s operators to do the right thing, at the right time.
Even though these software updates each took a few days of remote connection to ensure they were up and running smoothly, no production stop was required when the installations took place. In fact, during these sessions, Joensuu CNC could still utilize the working time of their machine tools as well as their employees without any unusual interruptions. Estimated duration for new feature installations was also calculated precisely beforehand, making it a trouble-free process for Joensuun CNC-Machining. Post-installations, Fastems also provided support through actively monitoring the functionalities, both onsite and remotely. According to the factory engineers, Fastems has exceeded their expectations regarding swiftness and responsiveness in software installations and material deliveries.
“The greatest perceived benefit is the simplicity of functionalities and clarity in communication that MMS offers. Employees’ work has effectively improved when there is no need to search for information, but the information needed is brought directly to the workstation by the system. Everything is where you want it to be.”
Further utilization of Software upgrades
With 5 software updates over the span of 3 years, Joensuu CNC-Machining has gradually developed their production process, making it not only more efficient for producing end parts, but also simpler and smoother for their employees to do their jobs. “Even though every feature has yet been utilized, the ones in use are already worthy of the company’s initial investments in the agreement”, said Juuso. If anything, the unused features will only open new possibilities and opportunities for better system utilization and management – as has been proven so far with the way Joensuu CNC-Machining deploys MMS.
However, keeping systems up to date does not only enhance production productivity and capabilities, but it also enables seamless utilization of Fastems’ newest digital service offerings; myFastems is one primary example. Indeed, Joensuu CNC-Machining has also become a pilot customer for myFastems – the brand-new digital service that allows the company to manage their Fastems systems easily and conveniently from anywhere, to report system errors and/or production stops immediately when they happen, and to receive quickest support from Fastems on the matter. To them, myFastems has enabled situational awareness to their systems’ statuses and errors, which are of crucial importance when it comes to taking timely actions for the malfunctioned device(s). With myFastems, Joensuu CNC-Machining has the chance operate their Fastems systems in the smoothest way possible, assured that whatever occurs to the production process, they would be able to solve it in a timely manner with Fastems’ support, from anywhere, at any time, all the time.
Apparently, investments in automation and constant software updates have been paying off for Joensuu CNC-Machining. However, with their development-oriented mindset, the current success is only a beginning. There is always room for improvement, and with the developing technologies, Joensuu CNC-Machining can expand their systems even further and be at the forefront of their industry. The future, anyhow, is bright for them.