Industrial Controls & Automation

We are using the case of a client in order to explain our work. A fictitious name will be used for privacy reasons.

Company: Plastic +. A company that has 120 plastic injection machines to manufacture plastic parts.

Situation to improve:

The machine performance reports, indicating its status, were carried out manually by the operator and/or the area supervisor with each shift change. This practice brought with it the following drawbacks.

  • Human error in data feed.
  • The reports arrived every 8 hours, reducing the efficiency of the corrective actions.

Our Solution:

Design, creation, and implementation of a real-time data acquisition system. The data is accessible to authorized plant personnel, from their computer or telephone, through a commonly used tool such as an Excel file, where the information is updated every second. Likewise, all the information is stored in a SQL database for its analysis and study.

The system allows users of each machine to access the following information: in real time

  1. Times, accurate to +/- 1 second (Hours: Minutes: Seconds).
    • In continuous production.
    • In preparation and adjustment of the machine to go into continuous production.
    • In failure.
    • In availability to produce.
  2. Individual Metrics for each shift
    • Average Time Real Cycle vs Average Expected Time (Historical), to calculate the efficiency of the machine.
    • Number of cycles successfully completed.
    • Machine efficiency.
  3. General Metrics
    • Global efficiency of the machines in operation (Machines in Continuous Production / Machines available).
    • Global Efficiency of Machine Availability (Available Machines / Total Machines).

 Among other things, the system has contributed to:

  • Allow the competent personnel to have the information immediately available and thus the facility to act to correct / modify the machine (s) where the performance tends to go beyond what is stipulated.
  • Have information fed without human intervention, eliminating all the errors associated with the manual data feeding process.
  • Have a database of the operation of each of the machines, self-powered, available to all authorized personnel, with which to plan based on actual past performance.

On the other hand, it is important to highlight the fact that most of the data acquisition system was carried out on a wireless infrastructure, therefore it could be implemented with a basically zero impact on production scheduling. Simply put, no production had to be stopped to implement this new system.

If you are interested in implementing a system like this, have a problem on your production line, or would like to improve your process, do not hesitate to contact us!