Manufacturing Intelligence (Data Collection)
Within your plant we seek to access operation information from multiple sources, organize this information in a meaningful manner and present this information so that production efficiencies can be realized. There are opportunities becoming available in the data collection and reporting field – commonly referred to as “Manufacturing Intelligence”. While this technology has been available for a number of years, the size and complexity of these systems was cost prohibitive. Rockwell Automation (Allen‑Bradley) has recently introduced a suite of products to bring this technology to mid‑sized corporations. We have been working with Rockwell Automation to further understand their product offerings and determine where these products would be of benefit to our customers. As you may be aware we are a Rockwell Automation OEM partner. In recent years, all of the equipment items we installed have been equipped with Rockwell / Allen‑Bradley product platforms. This has positioned us to integrate these components and provide visualization at the desktop of your management team.
It is important to note that the data acquisition solution we offer is a plantwide solution for your facility. The products we offer are capable of providing data collection services from each of your processing rooms. It is our intention that we approach this technology in a segmented manner – undertaking those areas where we can gain the most favorable payback initially.
We seek to leverage plant floor data to enable process improvement. Through specific software modules, we can bring a corporations manufacturing data together from many sources for the purpose of reporting, analysis and visualization. The focus is to assemble this data and convert into real information that can drive business results. Each stakeholder in the process has specific information which is important to their area of responsibility. Providing this data, “across the plant”, can bring about real process improvement. Further understanding our process can assist in managing our costs.
Today’s challenge is to produce more goods with existing facilities ‐ while reducing costs. Improving the operating efficiency of existing equipment can improve the return on investment of the companies fixed assets. More importantly, increasing operating efficiency can enable facilities to meet the increasing demands of parts / man hour requirements to remain economically viable in the marketplace. Operating Equipment Efficiency or OEE is increasingly becoming the focus for manufacturers seeking to gain a competitive advantage.
For discrete and repetitive manufacturing processes, operating equipment at its highest efficiency can help meet current demand without expensive expansion projects. Having the information available to determine where the inefficiencies reside is crucial. Plant floor data collection can provide real-time feedback as well as storage of historical data for review of past performance.
- Each percentage increase in operating efficiency will increase the total output of the plant by an equal amount without increasing fixed costs
- Your control systems contain a hidden wealth of information—actionable information.
Our goal is to increase equipment performance while reducing equipment downtime. Increasing any equipment items performance in the process will increase the overall performance and efficiency of the total process. Data must be collected and analyzed in order to develop an effective program to improve OEE. These data points include:
- Planned availability
- Planned downtime
- Unplanned Downtime
- Operating Speed
- Required Manpower
- Production run effects
- Identifying equipment with greatest downtime
- Gathering true changeover costs
- Analyzing product effects
- Speed Effects
- Evaluate opportunities for improved safety
Collection of time series data is critical for having the ability to review process behavior over a period of time as well as re‐creating a series of events for a specific time period. Historical collection and storage of data allows reporting within standard desktop tools such as Microsoft Excel.
While data collection is the underlying element in evaluating the process, visualization of this data is equally important. Dashboards provide an at‐a‐glance view of key performance indicators relevant to the process. Simple Dashboards provide simplified viewing of data from disparate data sources and can identify sources of downtime and provide quick indicators of current performance.
The visual dashboard needs to communicate the process’ status with key trends, comparisons and summaries. Additionally, the dashboard needs to communicate the information most relevant to the key decision makers.
Dashboards provide an online indication of trends and issues as the occur rather than days or weeks after the fact. This drives the ability to react more quickly, providing a real impact on real time production costs.
Disaster Recovery / Risk Mitigation
Providing backup and disaster recovery of operational asset configurations is essential to maintaining reliable operations. That’s why you need a control system back up that is integrated with source control. By comparing the configuration file retrieved from the plant floor with the master file stored in source control, you can quickly determine any changes that have been made and restore your original configurations without missing a beat. Securing plant assets is a key component in any risk mitigation strategy. This includes reducing the potential for unauthorized system access and safeguarding your plant secrets and intellectual property. This is where your asset management applications can provide key risk management benefits including disaster recovery, source control, security enforcement and tracking of user actions.
To improve manufacturing performance, you not only need reliable data collection, but also accurate and streamlined reporting. Our advanced reporting and analytics solutions help you put data into context, allowing you to more easily monitor the key factors that impact performance, efficiency and quality. Displaying metrics in graphical representations and easy‐to‐read reports provides powerful insight into performance history and can then be used throughout the plant to support continuous improvement.