Shop Floor Control or SFC, is an application to automate, structure and manage the desk and workshop environment of the robotic welding process.
SFC automates the process from planning to operator instructions. The platform takes advantage of the Panasonic robots' ability to retrieve and send live data. SFC is certainly a valuable addition for those companies with multiple workstations or welding robot installations.
SFC ensures clear and transparent communication within the company. Production can be fed through barcodes or pre-scheduled products to be produced. The operator then uses the barcode or scheduled production batch to automatically provide the robot installation with the correct and most recent set of robot programs. By using a chat function, improvements can be passed on to the programmer if necessary. These chats are automatically linked to the relevant production. This means that the programmer does not always have to be present on site. Everything is recorded transparently, on time and in the correct context.
In short, SFC takes care of these 3 pillars:
A managed factory control:
- Simple grouping of similar robot installations.
- Generic programming at group level.
- Automatic program conversion and verification between group members.
- Version control for installation definitions and robot programming.
A structured workflow:
- Bar code for product selection and verification.
- Phasing of production.
- Checklists and feedback verification.
- Direct communication log between operator and programmer environment.
Automating the process:
- The desk environment prepares the programs, books them in and associates them with a barcode.
- The Workshop environment scans the barcode, performs the checks and starts the process.
- SFC provides direct communication with the robot, keeps track of the entire process and ensures that the correct programs automatically enter the robot.
SFC provides a large cost and time savings, with additional quality control and feedback which fully fits within the Industry 4.0 philosophy.