When downloading jobs into the cell controller, OrderLink needs to know which programs to use. The programs can either be imported as part of the bookings or can be defined in either SeedTactic Designer or SeedTactic Planning.
OrderLink requires separate programs per process (when multiple processes are on a single pallet at once). Separate programs per process simplify enormously the operations and allow the system to run much leaner. To operate the system efficiently and run lean, OrderLink eliminates batching by using daily part schedules (see the whitepaper for more details). To keep the system busy and take advantage of the flexibility, the system might switch part types several times per day. Also, OrderLink requires the cell controller to maintain an accurate count of completed parts to make sure we produce the correct part quantities. When switching part types, we need to load the second process onto the fixture while leaving the first process empty, and the cell controller must accurately count this occurrence. The cell controllers from Mazak, Mori, Makino, and Cincron support this configuration and will run only the program for the second process when the pallet visits the machine, and more importantly accurately count the completed parts. FMS Insight can be used at the load station to show the operator which parts to load or leave empty, assisting with the operation. In our experience, even if the cycle times become a little bit longer when the programs are separated per process, the overall cost-per-piece goes down because the system runs much more efficient and has much higher part throughput. Don't be afraid to lengthen cycle times a little bit; focus on the overall cost-per-piece.