Electrotechnology specialists Pfannenberg have developed Pfannenberg Signal Analytics, a plug & play solution which provides systems and machine operators and shopfloor managers with fully transparent views of their productivity. PSA allows the current status of even a heterogeneous machine park or various assembly areas to be determined on the basis of real time data, displayed on a dashboard or processed in an existing MES (Manufacturing Execution System). The new solution uses SmartMesh IP for straightforward connections between the individual production lines. PSA makes the full data history of the operating states available for continuous improvement, to raise the productivity of the machine park or the efficiency of an assembly area for example.
There is a fundamental problem for operators of heterogeneous machine parks and assembly area in that a purely visual display on a signaling tower only provides a snapshot of a machine's status. When the status changes, valuable data is lost and cannot be used as there are no recordings or data analysis tools. Furthermore, as there is no data history, there is often no overview of the status of the whole production area. Direct connection of machines and systems via the machine control system, for example is complicated and difficult as access might not be permitted (access rights or fees) or infrastructure (cabling) is missing.
PSA gives users transparency
PSA offers a simple alternative and provides a transparent view whereby the temporary information is not lost. "The key to more efficiency and greater productivity is in the current statuses and data of the entire production area. For example, systematic analysis of information from existing signaling towers is sufficient to reveal around 80% of the potential for improvement on varying levels in terms of processes and machine and assembly areas," explains Mark Egbers, Sales Manager Signaling Technology EMEA at Pfannenberg. "PSA works via plug & play, is easy to retrofit and uncomplicated to use. Operators of machine parks and productions are assisted in achieving significant competitive advantage in this age of Industry 4.0 by this easy-to-use approach and by the ability to tap into the potential for optimization offered by the data.
Realizing the potential for improvement on all levels
Broken down at individual factory, machine and operator level, this means that improvements can be achieved on every level. For example, at factory level, information and analyses, such as remote diagnoses or status transmissions, can be used to improve the workflow. The availability of production and assembly line statuses can significantly increase productivity at machine level, for example in setting-up and operation and in pausing and stopping the lines. Improved troubleshooting of faults or missing material also delivers considerable benefits. In terms of machine operator level, system operators have the opportunity to increase productivity on individual machines on the basis of machine-specific statuses and error messages. This includes taking remedial action, direct machine management and removing and filling individual units.
Networked via SmartMesh IP and visualization on the dashboard
PSA opens up numerous options for operators of systems and machine parks, particularly the easy connection of heterogeneous units within a production area with SmartMesh IP. Historical data can be analyzed on a dashboard, allowing users to find and exploit the potential for continuous improvement. In the basic version of PSA, users have 10 I/O connections available. The dashboard also visualizes in 2D the entire manufacturing area and allows signals and data to be configured. This can be done so that users are presented with the logical linking of different signals which means that they do not need to make a difficult evaluation of historical data. An example: a machine indicates with a blue visual signal that a planned tool change is taking place. However, if the same blue signal is blinking, the machine is signaling an unplanned standstill, due to a lack of materials, for example. These are two completely different sets of circumstances with significantly different implications and required actions which can be decoded and displayed by the PSA.
Machine park optimization and the premium functions of PSA
Captured machine and plant data can easily be integrated with PSA in higher-level systems such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), MES or OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) systems with the aim of systematically increasing productivity. The premium variant offers users more functions: unlimited I/O connections, messaging functionality with integration in mobile devices, for example, and data export in CSV and MQTT.
PSA at SPS IPC Drives
Pfannenberg Signal Analytics is already being used by key customers and will be presented at this year's SPS IPC Drives on the Pfannenberg Stand (115 in Hall C3) as a system with visualization and the dashboard.