Siemens Manufacturing Provides High-Performance Mobile Data Capture for Shop Floor Operations
Manufacturing, Software Technology
Dynamsoft Barcode Reader
Web-based barcode scanning
- Mobile barcode scanning
- Browser-based barcode scanning
- Scan dirty, damaged, or tricky-to-access barcodes quickly
- Friction-free licensing
Siemens is a German multinational conglomerate corporation and the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe. The principal divisions of the corporation are Digital Industries, Smart Infrastructure, Mobility, Healthcare, and Financial Services.
Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) are software solutions that ensure quality and efficiency are built into the manufacturing process and are proactively and systematically enforced. Manufacturing Execution Systems connect multiple plants, sites, and vendors’ live production information, and integrate easily with equipment, controllers, and enterprise business applications.
The Siemens Manufacturing Execution System (MES) provides end-to-end visibility of production data across multiple sites or plants in a full supply chain. It empowers leaders to make rapid, informed decisions in fast-moving operating environments.
To ensure full traceability, shop floor operators need to scan every component during the assembly process. Many of Siemens’ customers wanted to migrate to mobile devices to cut costs, reduce their footprint and give operators more freedom to move.
Siemens needed to add mobile barcode scanning to their browser-based app. It was vital that data capture was sub-second and could deal with low light, dirty, and blurred barcode labels. Since scanning is embedded, it was also essential that licensing was friction-free for Siemens’ customers.
The test proved that Dynamsoft Barcode Reader could consistently deliver the speed and accuracy needed in this demanding environment and could be integrated quickly. Close to 50% of Siemens’ customers have already adopted the mobile scanning capability.
For manufacturing companies, it is vital to proactively define and enforce quality and efficiency throughout the manufacturing process. For those who are regulated, there is the added obligation to have a complete and immutable audit trail of the history of units and devices that have been built. Manufacturers need a system that can define, monitor and enforce highly complex manufacturing workflows.
The Siemens Manufacturing Execution System (MES) does exactly this. It provides end-to-end visibility of production data across multiple sites or plants in a full supply chain. It empowers leaders to make rapid, informed decisions in fast-moving operating environments. Siemens Operations Execution Core (formerly Camstar), serves three specific industries: medical devices, semiconductors, and electronics. Customers typically are manufacturers assembling complex devices, who need to track every step of the build process.
On the shop floor, assembly operators are building devices, for example, medical defibrillators. Operators need to identify and verify the correct component at every step. Traditionally they would have to key in the unit identification number manually, which was extremely time-consuming and prone to error.
You can’t have traceability if you have inaccurate data. Dynamsoft is key to ensuring reliability and integrity of data captured within our MES.– Silvio Saouaf, Product Director, Siemens PLM
Mobile Scanning on the Shop Floor
Barcode scanning quickly became an absolute necessity for the assembly process. Siemens developed a browser-based scanning application, which would typically be used with a desktop or laptop and a plug-in USB scanner. This transformed the process. For instance, an operator building a defibrillator would start with a chassis and then insert a motherboard, scanning the barcode serial number to validate against the bill of materials and build instructions. This is repeated for every single component that is added during the build process. The barcode data is passed to the MES for validation and the operator will be flagged if they add an incorrect or expired component or use a wrongly calibrated tool.
Many Siemens MES customers wanted to migrate to mobile devices to give operators a smaller footprint at their workstations and let them move around more freely. Mobile devices are also less susceptible to dust which affects desktop fans and less costly to replace. So, Siemens needed to add support for barcode scanning from mobile devices to their browser-based app.
Dynamsoft has been an essential part of our mobile strategy. It’s had a strong impact on adoption with our customers who need mobile scanning.– Silvio Saouaf, Product Director, Siemens PLM
Siemens wanted a mature barcode scanning solution with support for a wide range of barcodes and high performance under demanding factory floor conditions. In manufacturing, it is absolutely critical that data capture is done in a sub-second time. Shop floor lighting may be low-level or yellowish and barcode labels are often dirty, damaged, or tricky to access. It is vital that data is captured and populated in the browser in a split second time.
Siemens tested the free trial version of Dynamsoft and very quickly proved that it could be easily integrated into their app and would perform consistently well in these exacting conditions.
The final requirement was making licensing seamless for their customers. Barcode scanning is embedded in the Siemens MES solution, so it was important to make licensing friction-free for their customers. Siemens’ customers are now able to simply select the scanning option and start using it without any software or third-party licensing setup.
Dynamsoft is key to ensuring integrity of data within our system for traceability within the manufacturing process.– Silvio Saouaf, Product Director, Siemens PLM
Achieving Complete Traceability
In manufacturing, it is mandatory to have complete traceability throughout the entire manufacturing process. The FDA calls this a Device History Report (DHR). It is a complete genealogy of how the device was manufactured. Each device has an unalterable history and audit trail – and a unique device identifier (UDI). The MES manages this device history.
This DHR is vital if there is ever a recall on a unit or individual component within it. With the device history, it is possible to do a deep root cause analysis, identify the batch, and limit the recall to the precise subset affected.
Ensuring Supply Chain Transparency
Typically, a supply chain is a black box in that manufacturers receive components and then perform incoming inspections. Some Siemens MES customers also manage their suppliers with the MES, which means that they have visibility into the manufacture of incoming components too.
After verifying speed, accuracy, and ease of integration with the trial version, Siemens was able to integrate the SDK and roll out the mobile version within just a few months. So far, close to 50% of Siemens’ MES customers are using mobile barcode scanning, and that is expected to grow with the increasing adoption of mobile devices on the shop floor. Dynamsoft has been an essential part of Siemens’ mobile strategy for the Opcenter Execution Center Suite. It has been key to ensuring Siemens’ customers have full traceability within the manufacturing process.
Using Dynamsoft helps ensure reliability and accuracy of data capture by shop floor operators.– Silvio Saouaf, Product Director, Siemens PLM
About Dynamsoft Barcode Reader SDK