Bespoke control systems specialist, ALS Controls, has used Product4 Automations’ low cost Movicon 11 SCADA to deliver two OEE downtime tracking systems on bottling lines for a global producer of food products. Thanks to the statistical information provided by the systems, the end user is able to analyse production effectively to remove production bottlenecks and improve overall productivity.
“The Movicon SCADA platform is incredible value for money,” said Andrew Steward, a Director of ALS Controls. “It integrates all the features a developer requires at no extra cost, yet costs – in some cases – around a tenth of more well known SCADA packages. We also like the fact that Movicon is easy to use and develop – and that there are no development fees associated with the package; a factor that really helps improve our competitiveness in tight quotation situations.”
ALS Controls is a specialist in the design, build and installation of bespoke control systems, factory automation systems and robotics. The company has a worldwide customer base that spans many different industry sectors, including food and beverage, air filtration, material handling and packaged products.
The success of ALS in bringing projects in the food and drink sectors in on time and within budget led to the awarding of the contact for the OEE downtime tracking system.
“The client called us in because he wanted to determine the specific efficiencies and downtimes of each piece of equipment on his production lines,” said Andrew Steward. “He needed to find out what were the worst performing pieces on line, and then put them right. In addition, another requirement was to provide a production monitor of the number of good products produced for invoice purposes. All of this data had to be archived and presented in reports. Both of these requirements were easy to fulfil with Movicon, because the package has both historian and reporting functions built-in.
The system that we provided uses PLCs at the machine level, interfacing to a three-client, multi-point Movicon system with full reporting, and web access facilities for remote analysis. The only problem that we had with the new system was installing it under demanding customer production schedules. However, by flexible working we were able to fit into these, and bring the first system in on time and on budget. The success of the first system is evidenced by the fact that the customer subsequently ordered a second system, which has now also been installed.”
“The ALS projects demonstrate that Movicon delivers the perfect solution for OEE systems,” said Paul Hurst of P4A, Movicon’s UK distributor. “The SCADA provides a fully featured, modular and flexible software platform that is designed to connect to any product line machine, irrespective of type or number employed, to obtain the necessary information on production status and provide analysis on productivity efficiency.”
Movicon was also the chosen platform for another OEE system recently commissioned by a global confectionery manufacturer at one of its Italian factories. In this application the SCADA provides a standardised supervisory system, delivering OEE data across all different client product lines. It records all production data – in real time – in database archives (Ms SQL Server 2000 was chosen from the various formats provided by Movicon) for performing statistical analysis that allows the end user to obtain historical information in order to evaluate critical areas and intervene appropriately to improve production, reduce machine downtime and increase the overall productivity index.
Products4Automation (P4A) is a specialist supplier of new and innovative software and hardware solutions to the UK market. Product ranges available from P4A include the latest touch-screen HMI’s and flat panel PCs, SCADA software and plug-ins, a wide range of SCADA enabled hardware, Alarm plug-in software for large automation systems, and a full range of Production Intelligence software solutions.