Trakware Defines Ways to Identify Mes for Moldmaking

By: Thomas Cutler

In the current issue of Moldmaking Technology magazine, leading manufacturing solution provider Trakware is profiled as the MES solution for plastics and moldmaking manufacturers. The article may be read at its entirety at http://trcutlerinc.com/1007%20Feature%20--%20SOFTWARE--cutler.pdf.

According to Randy Richel, President of Trakware, "MES for moldmakers is distinct because two molds are seldom the same. Commonality in metals processes, designs are somewhat repetitive, but variances (such as cavity and core configurations) often play a major role in production time and costs."

According to manufacturing journalist Thomas R. Cutler, author of the feature, properly suited moldmaking MES technology must ideally provide the following:

&bull An accurate method for estimating, job costing with a closed-loop estimate to actual
&bull Progress reports for clients, progressive billing and shop scheduling
&bull Part tracking
&bull Shop floor data collection
&bull Purchasing and receiving / material management
&bull QA reporting
&bull Accounting and CAD links

Nearly 100 percent of moldmakers are ETO (engineer-to-order), which requires that MES solutions are capable of a tight integration between projected (estimated) and actual costs; engineering and production management (purchasing, job costing); and, CAD/CAM and production. Ironically, despite the central and vital role an MES system should take in moldmaking, the way most moldmakers currently work without an MES solution includes:

1) An MRP system.

2) Estimating on a one-by-one basis, using an Excel spreadsheet.
&bull Using time estimates extrapolated from previous and similar jobs.
&bull Pre-engineering the job and using CAM-generated machine times.

3) An accounting package "altered" to suit manufacturing. The limitations of MES not designed for the moldmaking environment have a poor allowance (if any) for job variation. They lack parametrics: the ability to adjust or change based on parameters.

Founded in 1995, Trakware's partners include Microsoft, Oracle, ADP, Sage, and SolidWorks, Dell and TouchSystems. TRAKware software allows any manufacturer with unique requirements of a custom engineered-to-order business, in any industry, to have total control of each and every order through the plant. Trakware is the leader in delivering innovative Manufacturing, Planning, and Control (MPC) solutions for project-based manufacturers.

Trakware Systems is the worldwide leader in manufacturing execution system (MES) solutions for engineer-to-order (ETO) and project-based manufacturers maximizing both profitability and productivity. Trakware specializes in lean business-critical functions such as estimating, advanced scheduling, job costing, production management and labor as well as material shop floor data collection. TRAKware software fully integrates with existing ERP systems, as well as major software providers for financials, engineering design, optimization, payroll and wireless interaction for mobile workers. Trakware recognizes ETO manufacturing as a process and includes a wide range of industry sectors including Architectural Woodworking, Cabinets, Store Fixtures, Doors and Windows, Furniture, Oil and Gas Fabrication, Solid Surface, Metal Fabrication, Yachts-building, and Custom Electronics.

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