Production Management System

Production Management System

Embien technologies is a well-established leader in the industrial domain with many solution and services offerings especially for the automation segment. Embien has helped customers by developing customizes solutions for the unique problems they face. We have done industrial gateways, large display units, HMIs, customized micro-PLCs, dedicated control systems, data loggers, data acquisition kits etc. This page put forth one of the recent success stories of our industrial automation domain services. In this case study, we will explore our solution and various technologies used to modernize an existing production system and improve the overall plant efficiency.

The customer, a leading manufacturer of automobile spares, approached us with a requirement of a complete automated production monitoring system. They mostly use manual compression type machinery to produce the parts and wanted to monitor the process of production without affecting the existing machineries. It is needed to provide complete of the job, operator undertaking the job and any emergencies/events occurring in the plant.

Further to the requirement understanding, Embien designed and developed a Production Management System (PMS) and installed them in a retrofitting model. Apart from meeting the customer requirements, Embien also added value to the system by applying analytics and generating various report.

Production Management System :

Once the work is commissioned, Embien spent many days understanding the whole process in the factory. We spoke with workers and managers and understood their problems and expectations. We took inputs from them on how they think the whole process can be improved both in terms of efficiency and time. We spent time watching how they work and created an independent view of the factory operation, in alignment with the expectations of the management.

Based on analysis of various factors such as machinery/operator data acquisition, location of the machineries, etc the project management system is incorporated with four custom-designed units as a retrofitting. They are a as follows

  • Sensors
  • Press Monitors
  • Line Integrator
  • Central server with Database

The following figure depicts the setup for 15 number of manual compression presses.

Production Management System

The machinery at fitted with Sensors, from which the Press monitor unit collects information about the current state of the machinery. This unit is connected to a Line Integrator over RS485 which accumulates the data and graphically presents them. Further the collected data is sent to the central server over Wi-Fi, where the intelligence resides and reports generated. Each of these units, designed to operate in touch and rugged industrial conditions are explained in details below.

Sensors

The challenging and the most important task of the PMS was to sense the machine operation concerning time and operator. All the necessary parameters to monitor the production were collected by the use of sensors in and around the compression press. Since the existing machine should not be affected, more care is taken during the placement of the sensors.

Press Monitor

Press Monitor is a data acquisition unit interfacing with the sensors to collect the machine and operator parameters. The main heart of the unit is the NXP's Kinetis series microcontroller based on ARM Cortex M0+ core. A suitable sensor conditioning circuit is incorporated inside the unit. With the support of MCUs internal high-resolution ADCs the parameters are converted to digital in high precision. Inbuilt RTC is supported to maintain the date and time information of the unit. RS485 communication interface is supported to transfer the acquired data with time information to the main unit i.e. line integrator. Around 15 compression presses are armed with the press monitor at the top enclosed within an enclosure made of ABS plastic. The enclosure is capable of withstanding the tough and rugged industrial conditions and protruded flange in the enclosure supports rigid placement.

Line Integrator

Line Integrator is a graphic enabled unit powered by high-speed MCU. It supports the TFT LCD interface with a capacitive touch panel enabling local configuration settings. It is enabled with WiFi connectivity with which the unit updates the acquired data from the press monitor to the central server. GUI design is based on Embien 's Sparklet for highly intuitive graphics and a fast responsive user interface. The rapid data acquisition is performed irrespective of the number of press monitor unit. In addition to the data update, the unit also includes local audio and visual alert respective of the local configuration settings. The unit is designed with a compact enclosure supporting better human interface suitable to the industrial environment.

Production Analytics

It is important not only to collect data but to extract insights from them and present them in a user-friendly way.

Central Server

Central server includes a program running in the PC available in the office. Wireless connection to the line integrator is established through a wireless router connected to the PC through LAN cable. The server program is designed such that it receives the data sent by the line integrator and logs the same in the database. Apart from logging of acquired data, more intelligent analytics are performed which in turn facilitates the following

  • Increased operational efficiency such as uptime, asset utilization through predictive maintenance. For example prior prediction of available raw material by monitoring raw material in and out of each compression presses
  • Increased product manufacturing by improving industry supply chain and purchasing decision efficiently
  • Expected production time and material consumption

Following reports are generated in addition to the logging of data's and analytics

  • Tracking of performance of production personnel and comparing with their past performance
  • Tracking of raw materials
  • Factors affecting production performance and production goals
  • Manipulation of production key figures such as production speed, material waste, run time, make-ready time, throughput times, etc
  • Classification of downtime, fault diagnostics and benchmarking of machineries

With this Production Management System, Embien changed the way the factory was operating and bringing in significant improvements. Our efforts resulted in a more than 15% increase in operational efficiency. Feel free to contact us for your requirements and be part of a success story such as this.