“PAC Engineering is well respected and trusted at our facility. We know they will provide us with solutions that meet our needs at the time while helping us down the path of operational excellence. In all areas of automation at our facility, these guys are both fully knowledgable of the technologies in place and go out of their way to share the knowledge with any of our staff. This trust is key in our relationship.” – Food Client
“When we have plant intelligence questions or need to bounce technical issues off a trusted resource, we know we can call on PAC Engineering to listen and offer pros and cons for the various options on the table. They are affordable and implement their services with integrity.” – Food Client
The client had been aware of the need to dramatically improve line operation. The facility was comprised of numerous islands of automation with little to no connectivity to a centralized data repository. Their primary production lines were running in the low 405 efficiency levels and they had been depending on an end-of-shift downtime summary entered into a custom SQL database. Downtime data was subjective and often missed. Our challenge was to provide a dependable, cost effective, and easy to manage MES platform based on current industry hardware and software standards that would meet their need for accurate and real-time downtime reporting which incorporated an open and highly configurable reporting platform.
Our solution called for the installation of GE-IP’s Proficy Plant Applications Efficiency Module for downtime analysis and reporting, a Proficy Historian as a plat wide data historian, and Proficy Real Time Information Portal was installed allowing the client thing client access to all plant real-time and relational data from any location with a browser and web access. A specific line noted for poor performance was targeted for the initial deployment. A system architecture was configured and developed to allow for future growth into the remainder of the plant. Downtime screens were configured allowing for downtime reporting independent of operator input. Manual downtime entry was also provided for downtime reasons such as scheduled maintenance.
Our solution provided our client with a solid, verifiable downtime and production metrics that were available from any facility web browser, including users outside the plant given the correct security credentials. Metrics reported included Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) comprised of waste, throughput and line availability metrics, product weight packaged and other pertinent KPIs on a line or equipment basis based on shift, day, or any other time period selected. As an added bonus, these metrics were also made available on smart phones for review 24/7.
The client had been utilizing antiquated TCP HMIs/Controllers tied to an outdated Allen Bradley PLC-2 with very limited capabilities and could no longer find replacement parts or product support. Downtime had been an issue when replacing any part of the old system. In addition, the client needed access to production and downtime metrics to better manage floor operations while improving line efficiencies. Our challenge was to provide a dependable, cost effective, and easy to manage system based on current industry hardware and software standards.
Our solution called for the installation of an Allen Bradley Control Logix PLC and the conversion of the old PLC-2 code to the new ControlLogix format. The HMI platform was replaced with a GE Fanuc Proficy iFix SCADA system in a Hot Backup configuration. Two line-located workstations were installed, each connected to a 17” touch screen for line control and graphical presentation. To support the need for collecting plant data and production metrics, a plant historian (Proficy Historian) was installed. To meet the needs for data analysis, the Proficy Real Time Information Portal was installed allowing the client thin client access to all plant real-time and relational data from any location with a browser and web access.
Our solution provided our client with a solid, scalable hardware and software solution that could be supported for many years to come. The Hot Backup configuration gave our client a seamless transfer of SCADA functions in the event the primary SCADA server failed allowing the client the ability to recover without incurring any crucial downtime. The new HMI application also provided a helpful and user friendly interface with minimal operator training. The Historical Server eliminated the need to use antiquated and expensive chart recorders that could now be removed providing cost savings and needed production space. The RTIP Web Server could be connected to from many locations to view all real-time and historical data.