Worker Or Work Station Efficiency Patents (Class 700/111)
  • Patent number: 10520928
    Abstract: Different cores of a multicore processor are used to provide diagnostics of sophisticated hardware without full redundancy by static assignment of the cores during individual cycles of the control program and comparison of the outputs. A method of automatically generating diverse programs for execution by these cores may modify one program to compile two different instructions without functionally changing that program through the use of DeMorgan equivalents and diverse compiler optimizations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: Rockwell Automation Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph P. Izzo, Michael J. Viste
  • Patent number: 9354630
    Abstract: Embodiments of flexible laser manufacturing systems are disclosed herein. A flexible laser manufacturing system configured in accordance with one embodiment includes a plurality of laser processing stations. Each laser processing station can include a laser source configured to generate a laser beam for processing target material, and a first controller coupled to the laser source. The flexible laser manufacturing system also includes a second controller coupled to the first controller of the individual laser processing stations. The second controller is configured to monitor and instruct each of the first controllers for processing target material of each of the corresponding laser processing stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2016
    Assignee: Universal Laser Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Yefim P. Sukhman, Joseph T. Hillman, Miesha T. Stoute, James W. Rabideau, Christian J. Risser
  • Patent number: 9354627
    Abstract: A control method for a work machine, includes: acquiring a correlation between identification information for identifying operability for the work machine and operational information of the work machine, and generating a correlation between an operator who operates the work machine and the operational information by using the correlation between the identification information and the operational information and a correlation between the operator and the identification information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2016
    Assignee: Komatsu Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshiyuki Takemoto, Kazuhiro Yoshida
  • Patent number: 9250280
    Abstract: Technologies are generally described for multi-resolution based power spectral density estimation. According to some examples, a first power spectral density (PSD) of a signal may be computed to determine a first frequency resolution and a first error variance (EV) value associated with the PSD. The first PSD may be computed using fewer segments of the signal to achieve a higher resolution. The higher resolution is associated with a higher EV because of the fewer segments used for the computation of the first PSD. Next, a second PSD may be computed using the signal while sampling more segments to determine second resolution and EV. The second PSD may be associated with a lower EV because of the additional segments used for the computing of the second PSD. Missing frequency variables of the second PSD may be determined using the first resolution and the second EV through an expectation maximization technique.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2016
    Assignee: UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA
    Inventors: Yasin Miar, Claude Denis D'Amours, Tyseer Aboulnasr
  • Patent number: 8938314
    Abstract: A method for optimizing energy efficiency in a manufacturing process includes monitoring power consumption of each of a plurality of manufacturing entities of the manufacturing process using a power metering device assigned thereto; collecting, from the power metering devices, a first data stream that includes information about the power consumption; collecting a second data stream that includes information about the manufacturing entity and process; determining an optimized product routing of products to be manufactured by the manufacturing process from one manufacturing entity to another manufacturing entity, based on the collected first and second data streams, by simulating different product routings and determining the optimal product routing with respect to the overall energy consumption of the manufacturing process; and adjusting, via a manufacturing control system, the manufacturing process based on the optimized product routing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2015
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Rainer K. Krause
  • Publication number: 20140364987
    Abstract: An operation item in which a period of manipulation by an operator makes up a dominant part and some of the procedures of another operation item in which a period of system actions makes up a dominant part are allocated in parallel to enhance the efficiency of operation. Information that discriminates whether each manipulating procedure of an operation item is dominated by a period of manipulation by an operator or by a working period of a system is stored into an operating procedure DB on a storage. Processing of operation allocation by an operation management server that supports allocation of operation items to operators utilizes the distinguishing information to multiply allocate some procedures of another operation item defined in an operation item management DB, and the already allocated procedures are presented to the operator at the operator's terminal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2014
    Publication date: December 11, 2014
    Applicant: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventor: Hiroaki SHIKANO
  • Patent number: 8793008
    Abstract: A method determines setups for constant tables of automatic placement machines in placement lines at predetermined table locations by mixed integer linear optimization based on input data describing the placement infrastructure and input parameters that can be specified by the operator or user. The method can be used regardless of the mounting technique used (for example, plug in mounting technique, surface mounting technique, or a hybrid technique). The method can be advantageously used with other methods, for example, cluster methods for forming setup groups or line balancing for cycle time optimization.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2014
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Petra Bauer, Alexander Pfaffinger, Christian Royer
  • Publication number: 20140188261
    Abstract: A system for preventing an unsafe operation of at least one machine communicatively coupled to a computing device. The system includes the computing device which includes a processor coupled to a memory. The memory contains processor-executable instructions that, when executed, cause the computing device to perform the steps of storing, in the memory, a first state of a first machine of the at least one machine, generating a first pending output to be issued to the first machine, determining whether an unsafe condition would result if the first pending output is issued to the first machine in the first state, and issuing the first pending output upon determining that issuing the first pending output would not result in an unsafe condition and blocking the first pending output from being issued upon determining that issuing the first pending output would result in an unsafe condition.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 27, 2013
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Inventors: Benno Orschel, Mike Wolfram
  • Patent number: 8768503
    Abstract: The invention concerns a method for the creation of addendums (4) of tools for sheet metal formed parts (2). In the case of this method, fill surfaces (7) for the smoothing of irregular zones of a component edge (3) are generated. Initial directions (31) of sectional profiles (10) are determined in such a manner, that sectional profiles (10) at a distance from one another are arranged along a component (3, 8) with utilization of these initial directions (31) and that an addendum (4) is creatable by the connection of these sectional profiles (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Autoform Engineering GmbH
    Inventors: Matthias Hillmann, Waldemar Kubli
  • Patent number: 8620467
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for assembling a complex product in a parallel process system wherein a collection of components are provided for assembling the complex product. The present invention involves transferring the collection of components to one of a plurality of similar computerized assembly cells through the use of a transport system. The collection of components is automatically assembled into the complex product through the use of the computerized assembly cells. The complex product is then transferred from one of the assembly cells to a computerized test cell, where the complex product is tested to ensure for the proper dimensioning and functioning of the complex product. The complex product is then transferred from the test cell via the transport system to either a part reject area or conveyor, if the product is defective, or to an automatic dunnage load or part return system, if the product is not defective.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: Comau Inc.
    Inventors: Richard A. Wallace, John Graham, Theodore Robert Brown
  • Publication number: 20130338811
    Abstract: A matrix production system for a production line includes a plurality of processing units, a controller, and a plurality of detectors. Each processing unit covers a plurality of stations having the same or similar functions. Each station has a detector. The controller sets an initial flowchart during process of industrial production and a known first reference capacity for each station. A current number of workpieces at each station is detected. The controller compares the current number with the first reference capacity to determine an overburdened station or otherwise and then analyzes a running state of overburdened station determined as being overburdened to establish a malfunctioning station, and if malfunctioning, switches the flow of workpieces from the malfunctioning station to a station with the greatest amount of available or free capacity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 18, 2013
    Publication date: December 19, 2013
    Inventors: HUAN-HUAN ZHANG, YU-YONG ZHANG, XUE-SHUN LIU, XIN LU, SHIH-FANG WONG
  • Patent number: 8600537
    Abstract: The invention discloses a real-time production performance improving method comprising a real-time monitoring step, a performance satisfaction determination step and a real-time performance improving step. The real-time monitoring step monitors an operation status of a production machine via a monitoring unit, records the monitored operation status into a database and determines whether the operation status of the production machine has changed. The performance satisfaction determination step determines whether the change in the operation status meets a required performance level. This involves the monitoring unit monitoring the at least one production machine to detect a next change in the operation status of the at least one production machine, and the performance satisfaction determination step determining whether the next change in the operation status meets the required performance level. The real-time performance improving step sends information illustrating the problem to an assigned task team.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: National Pingtung University of Science & Technology
    Inventor: Chee-Cheng Chen
  • Patent number: 8583433
    Abstract: A system and method for efficiently transcribing verbal messages to text is provided. Verbal messages are received and at least one of the verbal messages is divided into segments. Automatically recognized text is determined for each of the segments by performing speech recognition and a confidence rating is assigned to the automatically recognized text for each segment. A threshold is applied to the confidence ratings and those segments with confidence ratings that fall below the threshold are identified. The segments that fall below the threshold are assigned to one or more human agents starting with those segments that have the lowest confidence ratings. Transcription from the human agents is received for the segments assigned to that agent. The transcription is assembled with the automatically recognized text of the segments not assigned to the human agents as a text message for the at least one verbal message.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Intellisist, Inc.
    Inventors: Mike O. Webb, Bruce J. Peterson, Janet S. Kaseda
  • Patent number: 8573021
    Abstract: A metal blank that includes a binder trim component having at least one cut edge with a non-linear section. The creation of the non-linear section simultaneously forms a corresponding section in a binder trim component of an adjacent metal blank so that binder material can be shared therebetween. This reduces the amount of scrap metal, as the binder trim component is subsequently cut off and discarded. Furthermore, the non-linear section can include one or more strategically placed formations, such as projections, recesses, flat sections, etc., that cause it to be non-uniform along its length and to be specifically tailored to the manufacturing requirements of the part being formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Shiloh Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: John R. Ewolski, James W. Walther, Stephen A. Fetsko
  • Patent number: 8547220
    Abstract: A system is provided for establishing a compliance zone and monitoring interactions therewith. The system includes a compliance zone designator and a wearable device. The compliance zone designator transmits an ultrasound signal to establish the compliance zone. The ultrasound signal may be encoded with information on the compliance zone. The compliance zone designator is configured for placement at a location in which the compliance zone is desired. The wearable device is separate from the compliance zone designator. The wearable device includes a compliance zone recognition component configured to recognize the compliance zone and identify one or more pre-defined interaction criteria for the compliance zone. When the wearable device is within the compliance zone, the compliance zone recognition component recognizes the compliance zone and identifies the interaction criteria of the compliance zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: The General Hospital Corporation
    Inventors: Michael Dempsey, Ronald S. Newbower
  • Publication number: 20130253685
    Abstract: A system and method is provided for determining the variability induced on a process output. The method includes the analysis of input variable values to determine the total variability. A series of processes may be analyzed and ranked so that a process owner may gain an understanding of how a target process performs relative to the processes of other process owners. The method includes the generation of graphical process comparisons and advice regarding asset performance. The method also includes the estimation of cost impacts due to changes in induced variability.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2013
    Publication date: September 26, 2013
    Inventors: John P. HAVENER, Gregory D. MARTIN, Russell F. BROWN, William HORNER, Richard B. JONES
  • Patent number: 8515569
    Abstract: The content of an operating instruction to each worker in a manufacturing process is controlled in the following way based on a manufacturing direction to the worker and on manufacturing achievement, work proficiency, and the like of the worker for the manufacturing direction. A deviation between a manufacturing direction and manufacturing achievement is calculated. Manufacturing direction parameters acting as factors of the calculated deviation are specified for each product to be manufactured. The above information is stored in a deviation factor database. For a new manufacturing direction, manufacturing direction parameters therein are checked against the deviation factor database to determine alarm information to be given to a worker on a manufacturing line, and the determined alarm information is outputted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shinichirou Hanawa, Hitomi Arai
  • Patent number: 8509936
    Abstract: A sensor net system including: a plurality of sensor nodes, where each sensor node is held on a person of a differing worker, and each sensor node includes; a sensor which obtains sensor data of a worker; a radio frequency circuit which notifies a server of the sensor data; and a server which includes: a unit for storing a relation list for correlating the sensor data with a work category of the worker; a unit for confirming location of the worker based on the obtained sensor data; and a unit for confirming a work category in which the worker is engaged based on the confirmed location and the relation list.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Koji Ara, Norihiko Moriwaki, Kazuo Yano
  • Patent number: 8504186
    Abstract: The throughput of complex cluster tools of a semiconductor manufacturing environment may be determined for a desired manufacturing scenario on the basis of automatically generated throughput models. The throughput models may be established on the basis of rule messages with high statistical relevance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: GLOBALFOUNDRIES Inc.
    Inventors: Kilian Schmidt, Roy Boerner, Jan Lange
  • Patent number: 8478525
    Abstract: Methods, apparatus, and systems for monitoring a technician's performance of a marking operation to indicate the presence or absence of an underground facility, wherein the technician uses a marking device. Operating information representative of motion of the marking device during performance of the marking operation by the technician is analyzed to determine a pattern of motion. In one example, the pattern of motion is compared to at least one previously-identified pattern of motion associated with at least one technician. In various aspects, the operating information may representative of an acceleration, a velocity, a distance traveled by, and/or an angle of inclination of the marking device. In another aspect, the previously-identified pattern of motion may be a technician signature representing a pattern of motion unique to a technician.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Certusview Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Steven Nielsen, Curtis Chambers, Jeffrey Farr
  • Patent number: 8423159
    Abstract: A method for synchronizing a first machine of a manufacturing process section arranged to carry out a production cycle including a working part and a non-working part. The first machine is operated in conjunction with at least one second machine. The first machine carries out a process during the working part of the cycle on a workpiece that is loaded into and/or unloaded out of the first machine by the at least one second machine during the non-working part of each process cycle. Also, a system for carrying out the method and a computer program.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: ABB Research Ltd.
    Inventor: Sjoerd Bosga
  • Patent number: 8417368
    Abstract: A computerized system for scheduling a plurality of work orders in a manufacturing process. Each work order specifies operations to be performed using a plurality of resources and materials. Data including resource availability information for each resource used in the manufacturing process, material availability information for each material used in the manufacturing process, and work order information is received and stored in a computer. The work order information includes a release date for the work order, a want date for the work order, operations information, and material requirements information. Resource capacity and a start date/time and a finish date/time are assigned to each operation based upon the resource availability information, the material availability information, and the work order information. The assigned resource capacity, the assigned start date/time, and the assigned finish date/time for each operation are displayed on a computer screen in a graphical format.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Infor (Veenendaal) B.V.
    Inventors: Richard T. Lilly, David V. Layne
  • Patent number: 8400309
    Abstract: A system and method of monitoring compliance with a hygiene protocol is disclosed. The movement of person within or otherwise associated with a facility may be tracked and hygiene requirements may be imposed based on the movement. In monitoring hygiene compliance, a number of hygiene levels may be defined that are associated with difference hygiene requirements. A hygiene level may be associated with an individual and that level may be raised or lowered based on hygiene related activity associated with the individual. An individual's hygiene level and/or his compliance with multi-level hygiene requirements may be tracked through the use of monitored hygiene stations and/or location tracking stations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Resurgent Health & Medical, LLC
    Inventors: James Glenn, Paul R. Barnhill, Timothy Prodanovich, Thomas M. Johannsen, Stephan Jerome Heim, Douglas W. Swartz
  • Patent number: 8373618
    Abstract: The invention relates to an augmented-reality system having a mobile apparatus for the context-dependent insertion of assembly instructions. The context-dependent insertion of assembly instructions with process-optimized allocation of the necessary work steps provides situation-related support by for work sequences.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2013
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Wolfgang Friedrich, Wolfgang Wohlgemuth
  • Patent number: 8295969
    Abstract: A combinatorial processing management system is described, including determining an identification for a substrate, retrieving data from tools operating on the substrate, generating an analysis of the data in response to the retrieving, and storing the data and the analysis in a database indexed by the identification. The analysis may include comparisons between multiple processes performed on multiple regions of the substrate. The multiple processes may process at least one region of the substrate differently from at least one other region of the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Assignee: Intermolecular, Inc.
    Inventors: Yoshiki Ashizawa, Heng-Cheng Pai
  • Patent number: 8294585
    Abstract: A complete hand hygiene station and method of monitoring a complete hand hygiene station are provided. The complete hand hygiene station may include at least an automated wash cylinder or chamber, a sanitizer dispenser and a lotion dispenser. The wash chamber and/or the sanitizer dispenser may be used to provide a user with a hand washing. The lotion dispenser may be used to moisturize a user's hands after the usage of the sanitizer dispenser. The complete hand hygiene station may be monitored to ensure compliance with one or more hygiene protocols. A particular hygiene protocol may specify hygiene requirements such as daily hygiene station usage, lotion usage subsequent to sanitizer usage, and/or mandatory wash chamber use subsequent to a predetermined number of lotion usages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Assignee: Resurgent Health & Medical, LLC
    Inventor: Paul R. Barnhill
  • Patent number: 8239197
    Abstract: A system and method for efficiently transcribing verbal messages transmitted over the Internet (or other network) into text. The verbal messages are initially checked to ensure that they are in a valid format and include a return network address, and if so, are processed either as whole verbal messages or split into segments. These whole verbal messages and segments are processed by an automated speech recognition (ASR) program, which produces automatically recognized text. The automatically recognized text messages or segments are assigned to selected workbenches for manual editing and transcription, producing edited text. The segments of edited text are reassembled to produce whole edited text messages, undergo post processing to correct minor errors and output as an email, an SMS message, a file, or an input to a program. The automatically recognized text and manual edits thereof are returned as feedback to the ASR program to improve its accuracy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Intellisist, Inc.
    Inventors: Mike O. Webb, Bruce J. Peterson, Janet S. Kaseda
  • Patent number: 8229586
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for assembling a complex product in a parallel process system wherein a collection of components are provided for assembling the complex product. The present invention involves transferring the collection of the components to one of a plurality of similar computerized assembly cells through the use of a transport system. The collection of components is automatically assembled into the complex product through the use of the computerized assembly cells. The complex product is then transferred from one of the assembly cells to a computerized test cell, where the complex product is tested to ensure for the proper dimensioning and functioning of the complex product. The complex product is then transferred from the test cell via the transport system to either a part reject area or conveyor, if the complex product is defective, or to an automatic dunnage load or part return system, if the complex product is not defective.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2012
    Assignee: Comau Inc.
    Inventors: Richard A. Wallace, John Graham, Theodore Robert Brown
  • Patent number: 8198987
    Abstract: A radio tag reading device has a target tag storage unit, a non-target storage unit, and an antenna. The target tag storage unit stores the tag data of any radio tag held in a section from which to read data. The non-target storage unit stores at least the identification data of any radio tag existing outside sections and sections that surround the section. The target tag storage unit stores all tag data read from radio tags via the antenna, except the tag data containing the identification data stored in the non-target tag storage unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2012
    Assignee: Toshiba Tec Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yuji Iida
  • Patent number: 8185226
    Abstract: By defining a section-related WIP limit or a throughput-related WIP limit, an efficient “look ahead” characteristic may be established to efficiently control the WIP in a complex manufacturing environment, such as a semiconductor facility. The respective critical WIP values may enable efficient reduction of priority of products moving towards an increased WIP queue, thereby reducing or substantially avoiding the release of products that are expected to run into the WIP queue. In this way, the efficiency of shared tools may be increased, since process capacity no longer required for the processing products running into WIP queues may be allocated for other operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Assignee: Globalfoundries Inc.
    Inventors: Joerg Weigang, Robert Ringel, Steffen Kalisch, Thomas Quarg
  • Patent number: 8170704
    Abstract: The throughput of complex cluster tools of a semiconductor manufacturing environment may be determined for a desired manufacturing scenario on the basis of automatically generated throughput models. The throughput models may be established on the basis of rule messages with high statistical relevance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: GLOBALFOUNDRIES Inc.
    Inventors: Kilian Schmidt, Roy Boerner, Jan Lange
  • Patent number: 8164439
    Abstract: A system is provided for establishing a compliance zone and monitoring interactions therewith. The system includes a compliance zone designator and a wearable device. The compliance zone designator transmits an ultrasound signal to establish the compliance zone. The ultrasound signal may be encoded with information on the compliance zone. The compliance zone designator is configured for placement at a location in which the compliance zone is desired. The wearable device is separate from the compliance zone designator. The wearable device includes a compliance zone recognition component configured to recognize the compliance zone and identify one or more pre-defined interaction criteria for the compliance zone. When the wearable device is within the compliance zone, the compliance zone recognition component recognizes the compliance zone and identifies the interaction criteria of the compliance zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: The General Hospital Corp.
    Inventors: Michael K. Dempsey, Ronald S. Newbower
  • Patent number: 8164464
    Abstract: A method and system are disclosed for assessing the capability of a pilot to operate an aircraft. The system senses the value of at least one operator information parameter for assessing the fitness of the pilot operating the aircraft and at least one aircraft information parameter relating to the position and motion of the aircraft. The operator information parameters include electroencephalogram information, electrocardiogram information, heart rate information, respiratory rate information, eye motion information, eyelid position information, eyelid motion information, expired gas mixture information, blood oxygen content information, blood oxygen saturation information and blood pressure information for the person operating the aircraft, and/or information about actions taken by the person operating the aircraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Inventor: Jeffrey A. Matos
  • Patent number: 8108250
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for business consulting are described. An input interface enables designated personnel to enter data in pseudo-real-time into the system. An analysis logic calculates key values for the business based on the pseudo-real-time data entered and enables the display of the relationship of the key values to projected goals. A user interface provides a visual display of an immediate identification of an overall business state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Intelligent Business Tools
    Inventors: Larry Creston Moore, Cecil J Bullard, Micheal Kent Shallop
  • Patent number: 8108061
    Abstract: According to one aspect of the invention a system and method for minimizing assembly line manufacturing including an override is provided. Each workstation is equipped with a docking station. A first database is in communication with the programmable controller and the docking station, and the docking station is also in communication with the workstation tools as well as the programmable controller. The override is disposed on a docking station. The system includes a checklist of tasks that each workstation tool is to perform. Accordingly the first database will receive the checklist for each part and will record whether or not each particular part had each of its tasks performed properly. The override may be actuated so as to allow a part to flow downstream the assembly line even though the all the tasks were not completed properly, thus minimizing manufacturing disruptions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary Lee, Bruce Peter Fleming, Chris Rudolf Loates
  • Publication number: 20110282482
    Abstract: A system and method to fabricate three dimensional objects. A set of fabrication tools include at least a coarse deposition head and a fine additive head, a fine subtractive head or both employed concurrently within a single housing. A scanner may also be used within the housing to perform interleaved scanning of the partial fabrication during the fabrication. The process may be adjusted based on the scan results.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 17, 2010
    Publication date: November 17, 2011
    Inventor: Mark S. Knighton
  • Patent number: 8032248
    Abstract: A method for finding the correlation between tool PM (prevention maintenance) and the product yield of the tool is disclosed. The method uses a moving average method to magnify a curve trend that is formed by the product yield data that is captured during a predetermined days before PM and after PM. The magnified curve trend is shown by a Cumulative sum chart. The Cumulative sum chart is analyzed for informing related workers of the effect between the tool PM and the product yield, so as to accurately estimate PM timing. Thereby, via the method, the effect between the tool PM and the product yield may be determined, which serves as an important reference for workers to execute further PM.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2011
    Assignee: Inotera Memories, Inc.
    Inventors: Yi Feng Lee, Chun Chi Chen, Yun-Zong Tian, Wei Jun Chen, Tsung-Wei Lin
  • Patent number: 8027745
    Abstract: A non-linear, animated, interactive assembly guide, and a method and system for creating, using, and managing non-linear, animated, interactive assembly guides to facilitate the assembly of one or more articles of manufacture. The method includes identifying the parts, tools, and test fixtures necessary to create a particular article; creating a three-dimensional graphic representing each said part, tool and test fixture; annotating said graphics; combining said graphics according to a sequence to create a non-linear, animated, interactive assembly guide; displaying said assembly guide where an assembler can observe it while assembling an article; and managing access to said guides.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2011
    Assignee: Electrical Controls, Inc.
    Inventor: Wayne S. Freeze
  • Patent number: 8000946
    Abstract: A computer implemented method, apparatus, and computer usable program code for simulating a process. Data is received describing a process to form received data. A current discrete event simulation model is formed from the received data in a discrete event simulation engine, wherein the current discrete event simulation model includes a current schedule having a plurality of ordered tasks. A simulation of the current discrete event simulation model is performed in the discrete event simulation engine, wherein results are generated from running the current discrete event simulation model. Finally, a new schedule is generated from the current schedule and the results using schedule analysis tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2011
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Martin C. Haas, Thomas G. Stauder
  • Publication number: 20110166683
    Abstract: A method identifies a real time downstream to processing capability within a production environment using a computerized device. The processing sequences perform operations utilizing one or more tools. The method also determines if an upstream tool capacity is greater than a downstream tool capacity. When the upstream tool capacity is greater than the downstream tool capacity the method calculates an overlap value. The method then adjusts the run rate for the upstream tool to by dividing the run rate of the upstream tool by the overlap value. The method is a centralized system that references tool processing parameters to determine processing capability. In the cases where the upstream tool has a significantly shorter processing time than the downstream tool, the system is used to determine if value should be added at the upstream tool to avoid WIP build up at the downstream tool.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 7, 2010
    Publication date: July 7, 2011
    Applicant: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Vincent Vazquez, Jeffrey Paul Gifford, Dmitriy Shneyder
  • Publication number: 20110166687
    Abstract: A method to evaluate, determine and optimize production parameters for a coating application of a UV cationic polymerizable coating system to a substrate is provided. The method is based on a simulation model which includes both shadow and dark cure processes. Both of an active center generation process and the active center diffusion process are mathematically described. In the model, the two processes are considered separately since they are driven by different fundamental phenomena and occur on different timescales. Evaluation or prediction of the effect of process variables on the curing of a cationic coating of a complex substrate according to the described method allows characterization and understanding of process variables which may save set-up costs and improve production efficiency.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 6, 2010
    Publication date: July 7, 2011
    Applicants: Toyota Motor Engin. & Manufact North America, University of Iowa Research Foundation
    Inventors: Cynthia Gazepis Templeman, Alec B. Scranton, Beth Ann Ficek, Cynthia Hoppe
  • Patent number: 7965179
    Abstract: An operation instruction method includes: an operation detecting step of detecting a manual operation; an operation detail displaying step of displaying the details of a manual operation detected at the operation detecting step; and an operation occurrence notifying step of, in response to detection of a manual operation at the operation detecting step, notifying the occurrence of the manual operation to another operation instruction device over the communication line. The operation instruction method further includes: a notification receiving step of receiving a notification of occurrence of a manual operation sent from another operation instruction device; and an operation occurrence display step of, when a notification of occurrence of a manual operation is received at the notification receiving step, displaying the occurrence of the manual operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2011
    Assignee: Fujitsu Limited
    Inventor: Masatomo Maida
  • Patent number: 7962235
    Abstract: An operation instructing system includes an individual process information obtaining section obtaining, each time a production element is entered into the system, the process information about one of the production lines to produce the entered production element; a state information obtaining section obtaining, on the basis of the process information, state information about remaining production processes the production elements currently in the production system; a determining section determining, each time operation completion report is obtained, the next manual step by the operator completed a manual step as a next operation step on the basis of the state information; and a notifying section notifying the operator of the next operation step. Accordingly, even when preferential degrees of operations randomly vary, operation shares of respective operators are clearly determined and the next operation steps are accurately notified to respective operator, so that the production efficiency can be improved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignee: Fujitsu Limited
    Inventor: Masatomo Maida
  • Patent number: 7920935
    Abstract: A manufacturing process for automatically delivering an appropriate level of instructions to a manufacturing operator on demand based on the manufacturing operator's level of activity and performance, the particular characteristics of the product being manufactured, and the particular production environment. Responsive to receiving an order for a product, the manufacturing process identifies an authorization level assigned to an operator performing a particular manufacturing activity on a part in the product and assigns a default level of instructions to the operator based on the authorization level. The process collects and models characteristics about the manufacturing environment, performance history of the operator, and knowledge decay of the operator to determine an appropriate level of instructions to provide to the operator performing a particular manufacturing activity. The manufacturing instructions associated with the appropriate level of instructions are then provided to the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2011
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Ivory Wellman Knipfer, Eng Hin Koh, Ser Huay Tan, Matthew H. Zemke
  • Publication number: 20110066275
    Abstract: A monitoring system includes a control circuit configured to determine scrap values, yield values, and remainder values for at least a first operation and a second operation. The control circuit is configured to transmit one or more display signals. The one or more display signals include instructions to display a first operation status bar and a second operation status bar. The first operation status bar includes a first operation yield value, a first operation scrap value, and a first operation remainder value. The second operation status bar includes a second operation yield value, a second operation scrap value, and a second operation remainder value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 11, 2009
    Publication date: March 17, 2011
    Inventor: Arne Manthey
  • Publication number: 20110040399
    Abstract: A method includes receiving first input data from one or more first process control system components. The method also includes receiving second input data from one or more second process control system components. In addition, the method includes performing an iterative process that includes identifying one or more adjustments to at least one target quantity using the first input data, identifying one or more contribution values using the one or more adjustments, and identifying one or more estimated product yields using the one or more contribution values and the second input data. Each target quantity is associated with at least one intermediate or final product to be produced. Each contribution value is based on an intermediate product's contribution to each of multiple final products. Each estimated product yield is associated with an expected quantity of one of the intermediate and final products to be produced.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2009
    Publication date: February 17, 2011
    Applicant: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph Z. Lu
  • Patent number: 7890201
    Abstract: A production planning system creates executable an production plan for a production workplace while adjusting production capacity giving consideration to a period where production capacity is fixed in each workplace, a period where management of workers between workplaces is possible, and a period where it is not necessary to consider production capacity because of new employment of workers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hidenori Ueno, Hiroyuki Kaneko
  • Patent number: 7835812
    Abstract: An apparatus for assisting decisions for improvement of environmental loads has: environmental load per-process collecting means; proportional distributing condition per-parts storing means for storing conditions to proportionally distribute the environmental loads every parts; parts attribute storing means; manufacturing condition storing means; parts attribute calculating condition storing means for storing environmental load calculating conditions to calculate the environmental load per parts; environmental load per-parts calculating means; environmental load per-parts/process storing means for storing the environmental loads every parts/process; bill of materials (BOM) storing means; product manufacturing amount storing means; contribution degree per-product/process evaluating means for collecting the environmental loads per parts/process and calculating a contribution degree of each product to the environmental load amount of each process by multiplying the collected environmental load amount by the numb
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2010
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Miyako Hotta, Norito Watanabe, Hiroyasu Kato, Tomoyo Aoyagi
  • Patent number: 7818081
    Abstract: A process to control product throughput in a multi-station manufacturing system is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2010
    Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Company
    Inventors: Matthew Bernard Overley, Brian Kelly Bell
  • Patent number: RE42077
    Abstract: A computer system (10) is provided which includes an electronic cash registers (11) electronically coupled to a cooking station monitor (12) and input (13), and a manager's station monitor (15), input (16), and printer (17). The system instructs the cook to initiate a cooking process in response to the number of items on hand and items currently being cooked in view of the number of items typically desired to have on hand at a particular time of the day.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2011
    Inventor: John K. Savage