All manufacturing industries face increasingly difficult trading conditions due to a depressed economy ,in South Africa this is compounded by rising input costs (particularly electricity and labour costs). In order for them to respond to the market and be globally competitive they need to ensure that they get the maximum out of their assets and plant equipment. Pending environmental legislation to contain harmful emissions will add to the difficulties faced by these companies around accurate recording of activities and efficiencies in real time . The opportunity to increase productivity and lower costs of production lies in using a locally designed and developed specialised monitoring solutions that provide live as it happens MES and Energy efficiency systems to provide local companies with live insight into their production process and provides them with a competitive edge.
Live Monitoring is a South African software house that has specialized in the development of real-time production, asset, power and related manufacturing software .They have developed a number of monitoring applications that are successfully deployed and in daily use in South Africa . These include Produmax,IPMon ,MiniMon ,FileMon ,OrderMon and Powamon.
Often companies have implemented multi million rand financial systems and ERP packages that provide them with financial reports and stock control but lack insight into the actual production process status the engine of a manufacturing concern .Companies that have looked into these have found many solutions that are very expensive to purchase , configure and operate .By utilizing standard PC terminals and low cost industrial PLC and power recording meters and developing a local set of MES solutions that provide the manufacturers with as it happens visual displays of production status ,efficiency and power usage enables the operations staff the ability to react when there is any variance from the planned status stopping any knock on problems with processes further down the line .
The Produmax system is connected to the machinery production pulse or a sensor that provides this pulse .This data is collected onto a standard PLC and the data is uploaded to the Produmax server where it is stored into a SQL database .The live windows and web interfaces provide real-time insight into the efficiency and status of the process .If operations staff are shared or on call a messaging engine is used to distribute status messages of problem areas directly to staff using SMS or email messages .
The PowaMon system connects to standard power meters installed at the main incoming points and main distribution board points around the factories. The software records the power consumption and power quality readings . PowaMon has a built in flexable tarrif engine and tarrifs can be uploaded and used for reporting and displays of Time of use graphs .
When the data s integrated deeper insight is gained into the production process this gives details such as the amount of power consumed per item produced .Power consumption per runtime of machinery and various other metrics . Aditional systems will be completed soon that linkes the Power and production into carbon and environmental impacts.
The IPMon system collects data from various devices
ROI can be very rapidly gained if the systems are utilized .A simple calculation of loosing only 5 minutes per shift per machine on a site with 20 machines can quickly multiply into a production loss of X minutes a month .If the machine cost is only Y rand per hour the loss time is equivalent to RRR per month . Produmax allows manufacturers to keep tabs on lost time and try to make efficient use of available resources .
Produmax® and PowaMon have been successfully deployed on the shop floor in a number of manufacturing industries.This is especially the case in injection molding , printing and textiles where some clients have indicated they have improved production efficiency by 11 % and managed to get a ROI in a matter of months . Produmax® is a key tool that helps to improve manufacturing efficiencies, reduce downtime and visualize production data live as it happens. PowaMon is a live power consumption data collector, billing, alerting and reporting engine that helps companies visualize their power consumption ,set goals and get alerted to issues .
Produmax is a Visual Performance Management system that enables manufacturers to monitor their production process in real-time .This enables the operators and management to view their efficiency in real time and adjust or report on issues as they occur .The data is logged for historical analysis and reporting .This enables the bridging of manufacturing processes between the shop floor and the management processes an often overlooked link in the manufacturing process. The Produmax system also has an alerting engine that can alert the users to events such as machine downtime or performance issues. This allows the correction of issues and improves production output before it affects downstream processes and ensures that targets are met or issues documented .
PowaMon is a specialized module of our flexible asset monitoring platform IPMon .It is design to collect data from Smart meters installed onsite .The data includes live data useful to monitor real-time statistics on Power factor , frequencies and power quality as well as collecting the profile data used for billing recording .The software has a billing engine built in that can accommodate the tariff in use onsite to provide billing and costing details . As it uses the IPMon core various displays have already been designed such as Time of Use graphs , Power Consumption Displays and graphs , Live data views . New displays are being added on request these include displays that show historic average consumption data vs current consumption that assists to attain targeted reductions . Alerts can be set using the IPMon core to be sent via SMS/Email if live data is out of thresholds i.e. Low power factor correction etc .
PowaMon and ProduMax provide powerful web services that allow further data integration and interrogation and these are being utilized to produce real data on power consumed per item produced. Allows for finer details to be examined on the impact of energy efficiency projects .Identify wasted energy used during downtime or shutdown time on plants .Visualize and plan startup power draw impact on time of use tariffs or the reduction of consumption during peak periods .
The ProduMax display consists of a linear graph of current to historical machine performance .It uses color coding to represent the machine status during the historic and current monitored period. Where the status of the machinery is displayed historically in a color coded linear graph .Each color represents the machines status during a period in history i.e. if the machine was stopped the color would be white, if it was running within the expected speed it would be green and if it was running bellow budget it would be red. Should the machine be stopped or down the system would record it by the color that is represents by that down code in the legend . This means that after a minimum of training personnel are able to tell the status of their entire production floor from a single display.
The system interfaces to new and legacy machinery by using a single to numerous Ethernet PLC’s Operators use standard Windows based servers ,databases and terminals to access the system and using the web based interface enables remote and non-windows mobile devices to access and view the data.
Live monitoring have designed the system to be easily customized to suit a number of different industries .Live Monitoring have also had experience with integrating to existing ERP or control systems that a number of manufacturers have already and are able to interface to these to collect data and return data. The reports in Produmax can easily be altered to suit the individual customer’s industry needs.
The PowerMon time of use graphs display the power used in Kwh units over a color coded time scale from Green being off peak to Yellow standard and red as Peak periods with the highest charges.
At Smiths plastics our PowerMon module integrated with ProduMax data allows real-time power usage monitoring of power used by machinery and allows for individual average power consumed per item produced .The CO2 emissions can also be calculated using this data .