Whole line functionality monitoring

Asked by:06YS3YE6
The converting lines are in most of the case completed using equipment coming from different manufacturers, specialized in their specific application, with automation and control system built on specific, customized platforms, with very little integration each other. As a consequence, the user have to take care himself about the collection of all the functional data form the different machines and sometime to their coordination. How do you obtain information about the overall line and production efficiency? cost of the energy consumed? time spent in real production or in stand by phases for different reasons? relation about reels number / meters of of paper entering the rewinder and the number of rolls pallettized at the end of the working shift?
A very good question. One easy way to is to specify the same PLC control platform when you purchase the equipment, i.e. Siemens or Allan Bradley PLC's. Most major equipment manufacturers will offer either control platform. When you specify the equipment and control platform include what performance data you want to capture and extract from the PLC so that the equipment supplier's control programmer can include this in the control program. Make sure the PLC has an Ethernet interface so that the PLC can be networked to a supervisory system. The supervisory system (such as Wonderware) can be configured to diagrammatically show the entire converting line and the production statistics for the individual line components and the for the overall line. You can also configure the supervisory system to have an Operator interface whereby the Operators can enter downtime reasons (using drop down boxes) for each and every stoppage allowing production management to analyse the line performance, perform pareto analysis on the downtime, etc. As I said earlier the key is to tell the equipment suppliers what data you want and how you want it presented when buying the equipment. Also ensure you have one or two control engineers on staff who are familiar with PLC's and supervisory control systems that can modify/update the programming and maintain the overall system.
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Thank you for the good answer.By the way, the risk is to start an unlucky loop when you wnat to install such a supervisory system: one can easily find a sw house able to handle such a products, whichever is the developing platform, but very often the reuqired paramters are not availbale, the guy writng the sw does not know which are the parameter a tissue produceer could be interested for, neither how to collect these data from the machines, especially when one have to deal with existing machinery.In fact to start such a project, a mill does not only need about automation and PLCs, but also about IT, and about quality policies, beside the obvous knowledge in tissue making.By the otehr way, no machines manufacturer, as my knowledge, offer such a service and then the risk is that the solution is much complicated and costly than the problem ... sometime.
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