Several manufacturers have reached out to us recently wanting to implement Manufacturing Intelligence in their facility. This has been called lots of different names – Industry 4.0, IIoT, cloud computing, etc. – but we don’t care much for just the next trendy topic, or implementing new tech just for the sake of it. What’s interesting to our Systems department at EDC is finding solutions that help our customers solve their problems.
Manufacturing Intelligence is not just gathering data but doing something with that data. Manufacturing Intelligence projects contextualize the data so that it is meaningful and helps manufacturing teams make better decisions.
Alerts for Consistent Product Quality
A recent project featured collection of process data for a company that extrudes a non-woven web of absorbent padding, then cuts it into sheets for use by industrial customers. A data historian was created to capture and store 200 data tags for temperatures, line speed, motor speeds, and the status of safety devices such as interlocking door switches, e-stops and cable pulls. Alerts were set-up for out-of-range process parameters, which will trigger e-mails and text messages to warn key plant personnel. Actionable information such as this can be used to prevent product scrap, downtime and component failure. For this customer, a simple blower air temperature that was too low was their largest concern. The project was so successful that it was implemented across their other three production lines.
A metals converting customer wanted to easily monitor and display their production rates. EDC utilized encoders and variable frequency drive (VFD) data from our previous slitting line upgrade to calculate line speed in feet per minute and display it on large character rate meter so it could be seen from across the plant floor. The cloud-based solution also made the production rate and other contextual process points available wherever the plant manager had internet access and the proper authentication. Production managers use this information to help them monitor their plant by simply walking around. They also receive text alerts if downtime is more than they expect so that they can troubleshoot in a timely manner.
Critical Sensor Monitoring and Alerting
A NYC high-rise needed to alert their maintenance staff when the level of their domestic water tank was too low. Usually, the facility will utilize a building management system (BMS) to perform the monitoring function. However, this building’s BMS was obsolete and adding the necessary system upgrades to accomplish this seemingly small but important task proved to be too costly. EDC installed a Samsara cloud-based data collection gateway and set-up text and email alerts for the low-level condition. A trend line graph was created so the facilities personnel could check the tank level anytime, anywhere they had internet access. The project was performed at a fraction of the cost of the BMS upgrade.
Ready to Implement Manufacturing Intelligence?
The above are just a sample of manufacturing intelligence projects EDC has performed as an end goal or as part of a larger systems integration project. EDC is adept at utilizing a variety of platforms and techniques including Samsara’s cloud-based gateways, Rockwell’s Factory Talk or simple data arrays in customer HMIs that operators can view or download. These solutions provide actionable information that can help you increase uptime, reduce scrap and transform your production facility, no matter how large or small, into a state-of-the-art efficient operation.