3YOURMIND vs AMFG: Which Additive MES software Is Right For My Company?16 July 2021
Order management is all about receiving, tracking, and fulfilling orders. The ability to process and organise orders is the backbone of MES software, as it keeps order data in one place and helps track progress on orders throughout production.
Both AMFG and 3YOURMIND offer extensive order management solutions for additive manufacturing.
In 3YOURMIND software, order management is a part of its Agile ERP platform. With this platform, users can collect order information and part requirements through a special app.
The software is said to accept over 25 different file formats. Once the data is in the system, you can instantly price parts, compare materials and technologies to find the best way to manufacture the parts.
3YOURMIND also provides the design file optimisation and printability checks, while also allowing users to automatically generate documentation, like quotes, invoices and shipping docs.
An additional feature of 3YOURMIND’s software is the ability to communicate with customers through the platform and send quotes and order status updates automatically.
With AMFG order management solutions, you can do all that is offered by 3YOURMIND software and much more.
You can provide internal users (e.g. engineers) or external customers with an online ordering portal, where they can place orders, track their status and reorder parts.
The portal can accept the widest range of over 50 file formats while offering integrated printability analysis, file repair and instant price calculations. It’s also powered by a material selection wizard, which provides AI-driven recommendations of materials. This feature is particularly useful for users who are not familiar with AM.
In addition to the web portal, you can collect 3D printing requests through emails. AMFG’s email integration feature enables the platform to integrate directly with your preferred email system. This makes it possible to import AM requests into the platform as soon as they are received, without the need to manually re-input data from emails into the software.
In addition to importing emails, you can also set up the process to send out automatic emails to confirm requests and update customers on the status of their orders.
When you receive requests, the platform stores them in a ticketing system that allows you to track, manually quote, assign them to a particular member of your team and add priority levels.
Additionally, the platform provides a communication widget. It enables you to add production notes and comments to files, keeping relevant order information in one place.
With a digital part catalogue, you can store 3D printing models alongside their production parameters and price.
Both AMFG and 3YOURMIND offer a digital inventory accessible internally and to your customers. You can search through the catalogue and order parts with a click of a button.
Integration with production sites and suppliers
Both AMFG and 3YOURMIND also provide the opportunity to link chosen suppliers or other production sites to a centralised platform and route orders to manufacturing partners. This helps to expand additive manufacturing capacity, and provide additional services that might not be available in-house.
Production management is at the heart of any efficient additive manufacturing operations. With the right production management and planning processes in place, manufacturers can successfully integrate AM into their wider manufacturing strategy, gain visibility into their operations and significantly increase the productivity of the AM department.
In AM, production is managed by scheduling jobs to different AM systems based on machine availability, materials, job priority, and other factors.
To plan AM production with 3YOURMIND’s Agile MES software, you need to configure workstations (3D printers and post-processing equipment) and establish workflows. The workflows describe a sequence of steps each part must go through before it’s delivered to customers.
Once configured, you can start creating production jobs by assigning parts to certain workstations based on multiple factors, including material type, delivery date and machine availability. The schedule recommendations feature further automates this step by recommending job assignments to available machines and operators.
At this stage, parts can also be assigned to specific employees, adding to accountability in production.
Once scheduled, operators and planners can track AM jobs in real time on a schedule chart.
While the AMFG’s production scheduling process looks similar to 3YOURMIND’s, the differences lie in build preparation – the process of grouping parts and assigning them to specific AM systems according to their production technology, material requirements and priority levels.
AMFG has a feature that allows orders to be assigned to build jobs only when they meet the requirements of that build. This means that schedulers won’t be able to add, for example, parts to be produced in PA 12 to a build using PA 11. This feature ultimately helps to prevent potentially costly mistakes and rework.
Furthermore, when assigning parts to builds, the software lets you track if the machine’s build space is full or can accommodate more parts, helping you optimise machine capacity.
As a fundamental feature, AMFG’s MES software also provides a visualisation of all scheduled, in-process or finished jobs on a calendar-style chart, known as the Gantt chart.
To get the most of AM, companies operating AM systems need to move away from people having to manually monitor processes and toward machines having the ability to report data to the MES automatically.
Both AMFG and 3YOURMIND provide the possibility to connect your AM systems to the MES platform, for example, through MTConnect and OPC-UA industry protocols or APIs.
It should be noted that 3YOURMIND is also a part of the umati (universal machine tool interface) working group, which aims to provide a universal connection that can link different AM system types and software applications.
Currently, both AMFG and 3YOURMIND’s software solutions allow you to collect real-time data on machine status and production data, as well as log and notify about any in-process errors.
The next step for the 3YOURMIND’s Agile MES is to enable direct data transfer from MES to AM system.
On the other hand, AMFG enables data transfer to AM systems by integrating with machine build processors that translate 3D information into machine-specific instructions for printing. This allows you to send 3D files for production without switching between different applications.
The management of the post-processing and QA workflow is an essential feature of advanced MES solutions.
When it comes to post-production and QA management, 3YOURMIND’s software can provide a digital documentation trail with a timestamp, a user name, the production machine used and the material batch, which can be used for audits.
Compared to 3YOURMIND, AMFG offers more comprehensive post-production tools. In addition to the ability to collect and store quality-relevant data, with AMFG, you can:
- Identify items post-print using tablet-optimised large 3D viewer
- Mark items as finished or failed and return the failed ones to the production queue
- Plan and coordinate post-processing tasks (e.g. sanding, heat treatment etc.)
- Conduct QA checks to make sure that the part meets the required standards
For AM to work efficiently within your organisation, you must be able to integrate it with your IT ecosystem.
Both AMFG and 3YOURMIND offer integrations with enterprise software, like SAP, ERP, PLM and BI systems, as well as CAD software solutions.
In addition to management and design software, AMFG can also integrate with logistics (UPS, DHL, FedX, and more), and generate tracking labels for parcels.
Deployment & security
Depending on your requirements, an MES vendor should be able to offer either cloud, on-premises or a hybrid solution and ensure its security.
Cloud and on-premise infrastructure are common for both AMFG and 3YOURMIND. The two solutions also support single sign-on – an authentication method that enables users to securely authenticate with multiple applications and websites by using just one set of credentials.
Choosing an additive MES vendor for your needs
At the end of the day, AMFG and 3YOURMIND each have a proven track record of success with their clients: the deciding factor really comes down to hands-on experience with the solution.
If you think AMFG might be the right fit for your AM department or facility, we’d love to have a chat with you and demonstrate how our software can benefit your AM operations in practice.
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