It is a well known fact that to achieve the necessary competitive efficiencies in todays manufacturing environment, operations and management must have real time access to plant floor data, as well as the analytical tools to distill raw data into useable information. Just having a mechanical cycle counter on a press is no longer sufficient for todays world!
Designing automation systems years ago simply meant mounting a PLC into a control panel, adding a small operator interface, programming a sequence and you were done. In other words, the automation structure was strictly application oriented, and was not designed to interact with other systems. Today Information Management must be integral to a modern process or automation control system, and the Systems Integrators supplying these systems must be proficient in Information Management Technologies. Some of the more important design challenges and requirements of todays systems, and the integrators that provide them are:
Each dedicated plant floor automation system (called Level 1) needs to be designed up front with the hardware and software ability for higher level systems (Level 2, Historians and SPC) to be able to easily collect real time process and production data. In particular PLC software needs to be designed up front to support these functions, rather than it being an after thought add on.
The SCADA system (Level 2) needs to be integrated across all Level 1 systems in the plant, not only providing the operator HMI function and real time display functions, but also collecting, archiving and displaying data for time based or history analysis (trends, SPC, production reports, yield analysis etc.).
The Level 2 system needs to be designed up front to easily interface to the Level 3 (business systems) in order to exchange information such as order requirements/fulfillment, production and yields, raw material usage for inventory control, etc. This usually requires interfacing to other high end systems such as those supplied by SAP or Oracle.
EAE Techs Information Management Group has extensive experience in the development and implementation of such systems, either in conjunction with our process control systems, or specifically for your unique application. Following are is a sampling of a number of successful solutions that we have provided to our customers:
Level 1 Batch System SQL Data Collection and Reporting.
Plant wide Level 2 process control systems with HMI visualization for all Level 1 Systems, including those provided by other vendors.
Plant wide Data Collection system collecting to SQL Data Bases from all Level 1 Systems, with Web based reporting.
Level 2 to Level 3 interfaces to allow the exchange of ERP and MES data between EAE Tech provide systems and the customers business systems (included SAP, Sage and others).
OPC interfaces to move data between process systems that were not designed to communicate.
Custom developed Data Collectors to gather data from non-standard plant floor Level 1 systems.
Historian (Proficy iFix, and Citect) implementations for high speed compressed process data collection.
Discrete Manufacturing machine interfaces to SPC systems.
At EAE Tech we are fluent in a wide range of operating systems, software development tools and data base implementations – and are your best source for your tough Industrial Information Management needs.