Material Quarantine

FMS Insight provides an optional feature to help track and manage material that has been temporarily removed from the cell for re-machining, more detailed inspection, or some other rework. FMS Insight displays all the material currently on hold, allows a supervisor/manager to update the status of quarantined material, and finally allows the material to be re-introduced to the cell or scrapped.

The implementation extends the material tracking to also include whiteboard regions for quarantined material. By default, FMS Insight creates whiteboard regions for each pallet, inspection stand, the wash stand, and any in-process queues of material between processes. These are the "active" whiteboard regions and contain material which is flowing through the normal workflow. FMS Insight keeps these whiteboard regions updated automatically by recording the log of automated cell activity. In the server configuration, FMS Insight allows you to define a list of Queues and this list of queues must contain a queue for each "active" in-process queue defined in the flexibility plan and used to hold material in the normal workflow. Any queue which is listed inside the flexibility plan is treated by FMS Insight as an "active" queue.

To support quarantined material, you can create extra whiteboard regions/queues for the various tasks that might be performed on quarantined material. To the list of queues defined in the server configuration, you can add extra queues to represent the various quarantined material tasks. A queue that is not listed inside the flexibility plan is considered as a quarantined material queue and FMS Insight will not update the queue automatically. Instead a supervisor, manager, or engineer can manually move material between the various quarantined material queues to assist with tracking the material. The material can also be moved back into an "active" queue to reintroduce it into the cell or removed completely if scrapped.

The operations and quality webpages allow supervisors, quality engineers and others to manually move material between the various quarantined queues, view all the material, add notes, re-introduce material to "active" queues, or scrap material. In addition, the server configuration contains a setting QuarantineQueue for the initial quarantine queue. If this setting is given, the station monitor webpages will contain a button Quarantine Material: if pressed the material is moved out of the "active" whiteboard regions/queues and into the quarantine queue specified in the server configuration file.

FMS Insight allows arbitrary quarantined material queues, but we suggest you follow a scheme similar to the "TODO, In-Progress, Done" Kanban task management/project management technique.

  • Initial Quarantine: We suggest a quarantine queue called Initial Quarantine. When an operator removes material from a pallet/load station/inspection stand/etc. the material is initially moved into this queue to get it out of the "active" queues and allows the operator to continue with normal operations. A supervisor/manager should then decide what is to be done with this material and move it into a more specific quarantined material queue. The Initial Quarantine queue acts similarly to the TODO column on the task board. Most of the time the Initial Quarantine queue should be empty; if there is anything in the Initial Quarantine queue, it signals to the supervisor that a decision on the material is required and once that decision is made, the material is moved to a more specific quarantine queue, emptying the Initial Quarantine queue.

  • In-Progress quarantine queues: each potential action on the material should have a corresponding in-progress quarantined queue. For example, Rework on Standalone Machines, Sent to Foundry, Waiting for Customer Inspection, etc. FMS Insight allows notes to be attached to each piece of material, so you can keep a log or status on each piece of material. Material can move between one or more of these queues while it is quarantined.

  • Done queues: There are no specific done queues (unlike Kanban task management); instead, if the material is ready to be re-introduced into the normal workflow of the automated handling system, it can be moved back into an "active" queue. If instead the material is scrap, it can be removed from the quarantined queues.

Screenshot of Material screen

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