Open source comes to the factory
German manufacturer of building components with a branch in Lombardy: we considered for this project 10 automated product packaging lines (3 production shifts).
Early detection of stops and microstops.
Starting with an Arduino prototyping board, we have designed and developed a hardware board compatible with our MES solution, jpiano®, already used by the company for the control of the factory. The measures taken make Arduino compatible with the industrial environment and have allowed us to mount it on the packaging lines to monitor production during all three shifts.
In these lines, the production rate may be up to a workpiece per second: our tab, thanks to an optical sensor, detects the passage and records it in the centralized database for tracking and for any subsequent reworking. Since we are talking about highly automated lines it becomes essential for the company to promptly intervene in case of shutdown of the machines.
In general we could observe two types of blocks:
- Microstops: temporary block lasting up to a few minutes, normally managed by the operator in line.
- Unexpected stops: this is a block that requires the intervention of a specialized operator.
To do this, we calibrated the system to detect and report both microscopes and production stops. The board, in addition to acquiring the data directly from the machine, also recorded the statements of the operators on the machine such as production time and tooling.
The presence of such devices allows constant monitoring of the plant and allows management to promptly contact the synthetic data production in a given period, with a very high level of reliability. The analysis of the production periods and standstill of the lines, allows to identify the deviations existing between what is expected and what was actually observed in the plant.
Added value of proposed solution
The decision to opt for an open source technology has proved successful as it has supported installation costs lower than those that would have been involved in the application of proprietary hardware solutions.
In addition, the ability to use our software within the Arduino boards, has enabled the creation of a centralized communication system, consistent and complete.
Finally the use of a board on the machine for the acquisition of the main parameters of operation allowed the identification of technological problems of packaging lines, previously unknown, and which affected negatively the productivity.
Infine l'utilizzo di una scheda a bordo macchina per l'acquisizione dei parametri principali di funzionamento ha permesso di individuare problematiche tecnologiche delle linee di confezionamento, precedentemente sconosciute, e che incidevano negativamente sulla produttività.