Berlin-based 3YourMind in November unveiled new manufacturing execution system (MES) software that automatically recommends production schedules for additive manufacturers based on ordered parts.
The company’s Agile MES software manages the scheduling and prioritization of parts production. Two significant features of the new software are Smart Part Prioritization and Agile Production Scheduling.
“Our focus is specifically on the challenges of additive manufacturing,” said Brian Crotty, marketing and product positioning specialist with 3YourMind. “You have different challenges when you think about additive manufacturing vs. traditional manufacturing.”
For example, additive manufacturers more frequently produce small runs and often change the types of parts they produce. Many produce small quantities of prototypes.
“There’s a much higher demand on switching scheduling and optimizing scheduling quickly,” Crotty said. “That’s not really how traditional MESes were built. They can do it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just not what they were optimized for.”
In addition, Agile MES software is designed to focus on the type of conditions specific to additive manufacturing that can affect print quality, he said.
When an additive manufacturer enters new print jobs into the computer system, the system automatically recommends which parts to assign to a particular 3-D printer and suggests when to print them.
“Our next priority is to create a strong direct connection from the Agile MES to individual machines,” Stephan Kühr, co-founder of 3YourMind, said in a prepared statement. “The collection of real-time production data will further enable accurate production tracking and quality assurance. We are determined to generate a fully integrated and automated platform that can serve as the data infrastructure for the factory of the future.”
The Smart Part Prioritization feature of the Agile MES software collects data from incoming orders for parts and, by analyzing delivery dates and production specifications, the software prioritizes jobs based on deadlines and machine availability.
Agile Production Scheduling looks at each order for specific production steps and the post-processing and quality-control requirements for each part, and then helps production engineers schedule jobs based on machine and workstation availability. The software makes it easy to adjust production when new orders are added, according to the company. It recommends which parts should be scheduled in each job to meet deadlines and maximize machine utilization.
The software also assists in rescheduling failed production builds and managing maintenance.
Agile MES can adjust the entire production schedule with one click. This includes rescheduling failed prints or shifting jobs between machines to respond to machine maintenance or scheduled downtime, according to the company.
Agile MES also allows precise production tracking. It allows users to see the real-time status of each order and part sequence along the entire manufacturing process.
Agile MES includes an automatic notification system that lets the production team know about special events that affect production. For example, when a build job fails or a machine encounters processing errors, status updates can be sent to anyone who needs to know. Users control who receives specific messages.
The Agile MES dashboard provides an overview of workstations, processing steps, employee allocation and key performance indicators. The information allows users to quickly determine the processes and workflows that are most efficient and those that need improvements.
Users see the effectiveness of the entire shop floor in one report, which helps them to make decisions about whether adding personnel or equipment is warranted.
Bruce Geiselman, senior staff reporter
3YourMind Inc. San Francisco, 628-252-9422,