ELPLC Smart Factory - effective management of production processes and industrial infrastructure

Damian Zabicki, 2021.06.22, Smart Factory

ELPLC Smart Factory is a dedicated, flexible and scalable, and most importantly easily adaptable to the needs of a specific application, a system for monitoring and controlling production processes in a factory. This is called digital reflection of the physical state (digital twin) collecting, storing and analyzing data from production processes and industrial machines. It allows, among others to improve OEE, locate failure sites and poor quality, as well as overproduction or waste of material and components.

ELPLC Smart Factory

The ELPLC Smart Factory system was created based on the Industry 4.0 concept in accordance with the assumptions of Internet Of Things, Augmented Reality, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Automation, Additive Manufacturing, Connectivity and System Integration. All this translates into ongoing control of the production line with quick response to changes in production parameters and simultaneous monitoring of media consumption. Failure analysis and the decline in machine performance play a key role in this.

Application flexibility (Connectivity & System Integration), enables integration with other factory systems & ndash; ERP, MES, CMMS, WMS, SCM, etc. ELPLC Smart Factory is able to bi-directionally communicate with PLCs from various manufacturers. Data is collected in real time, enabling immediate implementation of preventive actions in the process being carried out.

ELPLC Smart Factory (Web application) can be operated locally: touch panels, computers, and remotely: from a web browser or mobile devices (Android, iOS). It is worth mentioning the user authorization management - e.g. by logging in with RFID cards, which translates into monitoring, control and security of the production process.

The system is based on four functional modules (blocks): data collection, line status preview, diagnostics and historical analysis as well as line efficiency and failure rate analysis.

Data collection module

The ELPLC Smart Factory hardware infrastructure collects data from all PLCs, servers and IT systems. The information thus collected is saved in the local MSSQL database.

An important functionality of the system is the analysis of the consumption of media, electricity, compressed air, water, technical gas, etc., which translates into the optimization of production costs and their precise allocation (e.g. for each item produced). In addition, you can quickly react to possible losses of the medium (e.g. leaks) and break down the production costs. When analyzing the consumption of media, their consumption is forecast, e.g. based on trends, with the possibility of examining the relationship between the consumption of media in production and downtime.

Line state preview module

The functionality of the ELPLC Smart Factory system allows you to view data that is sent on an ongoing basis from production lines. As a result, the manufacturing process is tracked in real time, both for the entire production line and for individual stations. Thanks to the charts, the parameters are presented very clearly. A preview of the items currently in production is available. Both the uptime and the alarms on the line or individual stations are summarized. The system provides centralized recipe management, which in addition can be exported and imported from various systems. In addition, recipes can be compared - eg. in terms of the amount of raw materials and synchronized between different machines. In this way, a drop in the quality of production is prevented.

Reporting screen Reporting screen #2

Diagnostics and historical analysis module

Thanks to this module, reports with selected criteria are created, which guarantees quick analysis of a large amount of data collected from the process.

The system is able not only to list the materials used in production, but also to control their consumption. In addition, the correctness of the use of materials in the component is verified. An important role is played by the analysis and modification of stock levels.

The ELPLC Smart Factory system supports the management of historical data. The history of the entire production as well as of each piece can therefore be analyzed.

If necessary, the results for multiple stations are collated. In addition, the relationships between production parameters, as well as line performance and operators, and causes of downtime are analyzed.

In the field of serialization of production, ELPLC Smart Factory allows you to set production and production tables and track the progress of production in real time on any designed charts and lists.

There is a preview of the parameters in the reference changed by the user. A very useful functionality is the Pareto Status Diagram broken down into references for stations in a given time interval. Production can be summarized according to the pallet / slot number. In addition, global parameter reports and station status reports are created. Collected data can be exported (CSV).

Line performance and failure rate analysis module

This module allows you to define the relationship between alarms on production modules, as well as define bottlenecks, the most common reasons for downtime, delays, jams, etc. From the ELPLC Smart Factory level, all machine parameters are not only registered but also configured. Taking into account the working time of the production line and other machines, the maintenance department can plan maintenance and repairs, which translates into a reduction of the risk of unplanned downtime.

Optionally, the so-called KPI module, which allows to analyze the efficiency of operators' work, including their average working times. The functionality of this module is strictly adapted to the needs of users.

Summary

ELPLC Smart Factory is a flexible system that allows you to monitor the production process in real time. It is a dedicated solution, designed from scratch by an engineer at ELPLC S.A., which guarantees functionality strictly adapted to the specific needs of the factory. The possibility of integration with already operating production lines, machines and IT systems, such as ERP, MRP, MES, CMMS, WMS, etc., is important. It is about data exchange both at the IT and OT level. At the implementation stage, ELPLC S.A. engineers are able to make software modifications to already operating control devices.

The implementation of ELPLC Smart Factory brings financial benefits for the factory. They result from the possibility of effective management of raw materials used in the production process, ensuring the appropriate quality of production and supervision of production, taking into account the analysis of the efficiency of machines and operators. It is important to detect bottlenecks, the most common causes of downtime, lagging, jams and reduce the risk of unplanned downtime in machines.