Software Overview

SAIL is a software package that transitions from manual scheduling to automatic scheduling. SAIL interfaces with current control systems for scheduling, monitoring, and rescheduling. SAIL schedules are based on cell capacity, machine requirements, and operator assignments. SAIL updates current orders, import new orders, and accounts for current conditions in adjusting the daily operating plan.

This allows for the planning of current conditions and corrections to the production schedule. SAIL is appropriate for all types of machine systems. Today's production cells have become an effective method for reducing inventory and SAIL provides the management of the daily operation of these cells. With SAIL, you can maximize the benefits of reduced inventory in high variety production systems.


  • Performance Monitoring System
    • Production counts and compare to plan
    • Machine cycle times in a control chart to engineered level
    • Pallet cycle times in a control chart to planned level
    • Record machine hours and utilization
    • Activity Log
  • Scheduling and Allocation System
    • Import daily demand from ERP system
    • Daily Scheduling
    • Order downloads to cell control
    • Send shift by shift instructions to shop floor
    • Electronically for automated cell controllers
    • Screen displays for manual cells
  • Tool Management System
    • Part program and tool list definition
    • Common tool and tool groups
    • Tool use based on forcast production
    • Monitor tool purchases from vending machines
    • Automatic tool life adjustment
  • Quality and Part Audit System
    • Part serial numbering and tracking
    • Inspection signals by count or percent
    • Quality plan auditing

Performance Monitoring System

Daily Schedule / Actual Production

The daily schedule records actual production counts by shift and compares these to planned levels. Machine/Station utilization levels are reported, and machine hours are calculated. The process of "hitting the numbers" is the primary performance metric.

Shift Monitor

This bar graph displays current production amounts as the shift elapses. Visualization provides an easy to use indication of actual progress against the plan. Corrective action can be taken as soon as performance deviation is detected.

Machine Cycle Monitor

The machine cycle monitor provides the first step for investigation when production counts are missed. Longer machine cycles indicate interruptions in the automatic cycle.

Pallet Cycle Monitor

The pallet cycle monitor provides the second step for investigation when production counts are missed and machine cycles are normal. Each schedule in SAIL includes a planned cycle time for each pallet. Pallet cycle longer than the target level provided in the schedule indicate interruptions to planned operation.

Load Station Monitor

The load station monitor provides the third step for investigation when pallet cycles are longer than the target level and machine cycles are normal. Timely attendance to pallets at manual stations is recorded and displayed

Actual Cost Monitor

The actual cost monitor absorbs daily costs of machine replacement, labor wage and benefits, overhead, and automation. These absorption costs are reported for all parts produced in the operation. Lower production means higher actual costs. The schedule includes a planned cost per part.

Scheduling and Allocation System

Part Route Definition

The part route definition contains a list of part numbers, pallets, estimated cycle times, machine / station assignments, and efficiency levels. This defines the specific capacity allocation or play to use in generating the schedule.

Machine Assignments

Machines are assigned to parts based on demand and qualified paths. Alternative allocations can be reviewed for capacity.

Production Demand Schedule

SAIL keeps track of start and end time of shifts, number of shifts per day, and operating days per week. Scheduling can be generated for one day, one week, or an entire month. Planned downtimes are allowed for each machine. The production demand quantities are imported or entered to correspond to the scheduling period. Priorities can be set using start and end dates and daily run quantities.

Review Schedule / Check Capacity

The proposed schedule and machine burden is available for review. Alternative capacity allocations, part priorities, machine assignments, pallet assignments, and number of active pallets can be reviewed prior to generating the schedule.

Generate Schedule and Instruction Download

Generating the schedule "hands off" the plan to operations. The monitoring reports are updated with the plan, and instructions needed to execute the plan are created.

Tool Management System

Tool Definition

Part Number, part program, tool list, tool time, and Tool life threshold are collected in the base model data used in SAIL.

Forecast Tool Demand

Long term tool demand. Use Long term demand with SAIL Base Model tool data and calculate total tool use. Divide total tool use by tool life to determine number of tools required during the forecast period. These results will help determine amount of duplicate tools for each machine.

Short Term tool Demand. Use SAIL schedule to determine daily / weekly total tool use. Divide total use by tool life to determine daily / weekly number of tool needed.

Accumulated Tool Use

Option 1. Record accumulated tool use directly from CNC data. Use data access to collect and retain actual accumulated tool use directly from CNC.

Option 2. Use SAIL production counts and machine cycles to calculate accumulated tool use.

Show comparison between CNC collected data and SAIL calculated tool use.

Monitor Tool Replacements and Purchases

When tools are purchased from a vending machine, use the vending machine log of tools purchased. Compare the tools purchased to the forecast of required tools. Use this comparison to adjust tool life to align actual tool replacement with forecast tool demand.

Automatic Adjustment of Tool Life

Use the gage data and current accumulated tool use at the time of gage collection. Establish deviations allowances and set tool life when these deviations exceed limits.

Quality and Part Audit System

Serial Numbers and Tracking

SAIL provides part serial numbering and, with SAIL monitoring, records the machine path (fixture, pallet, and machines) of each part. SAIL reports provide serial number query by machine, pallet, and part number.

Quality Plan

The quality plan contains the list of process steps, the part feature, the tool(s) used to create the feature, and tolerances. Formal method and templates are provided that define inspection types and their dependencies. These dependencies are used in inspection signals and resetting counts of dependent inspection type's once one type is signaled for inspection.

Once a part has been signaled for inspection, the gage data is electronically or manually collected and retained in a data base. This data is collected by inspection step. This allows the data to be cross referenced by part number and tool. Methods are provided that relates control chart data of gage results to tool life.

Inspection Types and Frequency

Use SAIL triggers to define inspection types. An inspection type is a subset of the entire auditing process of a part. These types might relate to part features, tool groups, or dimensional characteristics. With each inspection type, SAIL can set a trigger level by count or percent. If percent, the SAIL uses a random number process to determine individual signals. SAIL tracks parts on each path, counts the occurrences of each, and triggers in inspection using these counts. SAIL provides optional rules for resetting path counts that ignore part numbers, pallet numbers, or machine numbers. This resetting options allow for inspection by machine only, pallet only, part number only, machine and part number, machine and pallet number, pallet and part number, or path (machine, pallet and machine).

Adjust Inspection Frequency

An algorithm determines a Tool Life State for the collection of tools in an inspection type. This state ranges in value from 0 to 100 with 100 indicating all new tools and 0 indicating all tools have accumulated wear exceeding tool life. When the Tool Life State is 100, the count must exceed two times the frequency to trigger. When the Tool Life State is 50, the count to trigger equals the frequency. When the Tool Life State is 0, the count to trigger is 1 (100% inspection).

First Piece Inspection Signal

When a tool replacement is detected, its accumulated use is set to 0 and counts to trigger are set to 1 (100% inspection) for all inspection types that include this tool. Once one inspection is completed, inspection type dependencies will be used to reset counts and Tool Life State will be updated.