Downtime Monitoring Manufacturing efficiency can often be greatly improved by identifying the real reasons and true extent of production stoppages, constraints or bottlenecks caused by machine downtime. Prodigy's Downtime Monitoring facility automates machine downtime data acquisition, reporting and analysis for optimisation of uptime, output and return on investment. Specifically designed for the automatic capture of machine performance data in real time it minimises labour input and makes management information available instantly on demand. Prodigy software runs on low cost PC hardware and Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7 operating system. It offers a comprehensive range of integrated facilities for industrial monitoring control and automation making it highly flexible and adaptable to any application.
Typical System Overview A typical downtime monitoring system is based around a single centrally located PC. Specialised keypad terminals are situated adjacent to the machines to provide an interface between operators, machines and PC. Existing computer networking or dedicated wiring is used to connect between the terminals and the PC. Any number of machines or production lines can be connected and monitored simultaneously with the status of each machine continuously recorded. The collected data is used to accurately calculate downtime, production rates, scrap counts & reject rates, machine speeds as well as machine efficiency and OEE - Overall Equipment Effectiveness. The PC display acts as a 'shop floor overview' visualisation that provides an instant picture of the status of every machine. Colour is used to give a clear indication of the current state of each machine. For instance, running machines are represented in green, stopped machines in red, out of service machines in grey and slow machines in amber. Clicking on any machine 'zooms in' to a full screen display of that machine showing more detailed information such as the current reason for stoppage, machine efficiency, estimated time to end of batch, number of products manufactured this shift/day etc. Displays are fully customizable, interactive with animated graphics and can incorporate real time and historic trend graphs. Any number of display screens or levels can be provided to represent even the most complex of operations. For fast response to problems any monitored parameter can have alarm limits set to trigger a siren, beacon, printer, email or send SMS text messages to mobile cellular phones. Alarms are versatile and can be used in various ways to reduce downtime such as alerting when stoppages occur, when bottlenecks slow production or when materials need replenishing.
Distribute Information Enterprise Wide System information can be viewed wherever needed, throughout the plant and offices or remotely over any distance. This allows access by a head office, overseas division or even a production manager from his home PC. User passwords and privileges assure secure access with all user actions being recorded by the system.
Relevant information is key to maximising efficiency and Prodigy provides powerful tools and reports to extract the information you need.
Downtime Viewer Downtime Viewer allows you to analyse and manage the downtime events of any machine. All events for a selected time span are displayed in a text table. Event type is displayed in coloured text with downtime highlighted in red. For fast analysis data can be sorted on time, duration, type and reason. Editing facilities allow downtime events to be assigned, split, combined or amended. Comments can also be added to events or amended. 'Quick Statistics' is a tool within Downtime Viewer that displays the main statistics for the machine data being viewed. This includes totals and percentages for downtime plus top downtime reasons by duration, by number of events and by level - concise information at a glance. Downtime reports can be run straight from Downtime Viewer at the click of a button. Pareto analysis options can generate reports in “Greatest Time” or “Greatest Count” order. Ranking downtime in this way focuses attention to those areas that will produce optimum returns.
Downtime Over Viewer Downtime Over Viewer lets you quickly compare machines, highlighting patterns and anomalies in performance that otherwise are difficult to identify. This is achieved by displaying the state of any number of machines as coloured time lines. The colour changes with the state of the machine, green for running, amber for short stoppage, red for long stoppage etc. Left clicking on any event on a time line displays the details, including the reason, of that event in a popup box. A sort option allows the time lines to display the accumulated time for each type of event as solid blocks of colour. This allows a powerful direct comparison machine against machine and at the click of a button across consecutive time periods.
Downtime and Production Reports Flexible report options provide the management information you need, how and when you want it. Downtime or production reports across machines, shifts, production lines, products, operators, reject rates etc. are available instantly. Fully customisable, reports can combine text, graphics and trends and cover any time period, shift, day, month etc. They can be produced on demand or at preset times and can be sent to a printer, email, fax, pdf, published to the internet or via SMS message to mobile cellular phones.
Accurate Downtime Calculation Machines will typically suffer short stoppages of just a few seconds when operating ‘normally’ and long stoppages of minutes or hours when major disturbances occur. Prodigy Downtime Monitoring records every machine stoppage, no matter how short, as an individual event. This allows every downtime event to be analysed and offers a high level of detailed and specific information not always available in other downtime systems. Each downtime event can be assigned a reason and also a comment. In practice a time allowance is set for each machine to differentiate between a short and long stoppage. When a machine has been stopped longer than the preset time a reason must be assigned to the event. A machine interlock can be used to prevent the machine from being restarted until a downtime reason is entered. This ensures that the operator enters the reason for the stoppage at the time it occurs and not at the end of the shift when they may have forgotten or feel tempted to alter it. Over-rides allow for changeover, maintenance and setup periods.
Short stoppage time is often viewed as negligible but when it is recorded accurately can be surprisingly large and is frequently found to be a major factor in lost production. Reducing short duration stops not only increases efficiency but also eases the burden on operators resulting in improved manmachine ratio. Downtime reasons are selected from scroll lists on the terminal display or keyed in as a short code. Where possible downtime reasons are also captured automatically from PLC's and associated control equipment. Each machine has unlimited user defined downtime reasons stored and edited from the central PC. This makes it easy to manage downtime reasons with any changes made appearing instantly on the relevant shopfloor terminals. This allows great flexibility to continuously improve machine efficiency. Prodigy's ease of use means that you are not reliant upon the system suppliers whenever you want to make changes, saving both time and money. Downtime reasons are multi-layered allowing any upper level reason to have multiple sub options. Multiple reasons can be assigned to a stoppage if the reason for the downtime changes during the stoppage. Comments can be added to downtime events, either when the stoppage occurs or at a later time. These can provide specific information about a stoppage to aid fault identification, diagnosis and repair etc. As well as monitoring individual machines or processes, Prodigy can monitor linked production lines, handling the more complex requirements of inter-machine buffering, materials re-stocking and cascaded interlocks.
Machine Speed Optimisation For any machine there will be an optimum running speed. Continuous monitoring allows you to closely manage machine or line running to determine optimum speed, which may vary, depending upon products and materials. Prodigy will trigger an alarm if a machine is running below its target speed and a reason must be entered for the slow running. This event information can then be viewed, analysed and reported with the system tools just like downtime.
Shopfloor Downtime Terminals Shopfloor terminals feature multi-line alpha numeric LCD displays with customizable wipe clean overlays and user configurable function keys. As well as entering downtime reasons terminals can be used to input batch / order / operator codes and view information such as current / target production rates reducing the need for operators to leave the machine area. A range of terminal hardware is available to suit any application as well as peripheral hardware including; Barcode scanners and swipe cards - for data input and product tracking. Large format shopfloor displays - to show actual and target production rates, informing and motivating staff to what must be done to achieve shift or daily targets.
Improved Maintenance Scheduling Prodigy provides additional facilities for improved maintenance efficiency. As the machine run / cycle times are continuously recorded the system can be set up to automatically alert when maintenance is due. The system can also store information files for easy retrieval when they are needed. These could be emergency contact numbers, parts lists, schematic diagrams etc. in the form of text, image, audio or video. Having crucial information readily available can reduce stoppage times as well as being an aid for maintenance and training.
Fast Return On Investment Prodigy Downtime Monitoring has been applied successfully to most types of manufacturing operation, discrete machines, production lines and automated test systems. With a system typically costing just a fraction of the value of the machines it monitors, implementation makes real financial sense with fast return on investment. Also, capital expenditure on new equipment can often be eliminated by increasing the utilisation of existing assets. To help you estimate the savings that you can make by implementing a downtime monitoring system we have prepared a supporting document and spreadsheet, which is available free on request. Prodigy is available through a network of authorised resellers, fully trained to provide complete systems and on going support and maintenance. For details of your nearest reseller please contact us - details overleaf.
Downtime Monitoring Features & Benefits Targetting Machine Downtime Understand and quantify the causes of unplanned downtime. Respond to problems more quickly and identify and eliminate recurring issues. Gives managers the tools needed to exercise better control. Reduced Paperwork and Administration Eliminates the need for manual data collection and inputting. Downtime information is accurate and can be easily analysed saving more time. Optimisation of Machine Speeds Accurate indication of machine speeds, machine speed optimisation and prevention of under speed production. Improved Planning and Scheduling By predicting the completion time for each production run, production planning and sales departments can be kept informed of the forecast delivery times for every order. Reduced Change Over Times Reduced change over times by predicting batch ends, alerting changeover crews and minimising idle time. Change over settings and information stored on the system in the form of â€œrecipesâ€? can be downloaded to machine controls for each new production run, saving time. Automated Raw Materials Scheduling Reduces lost production due to raw materials running out by automatic monitoring of materials usage and provision of time ordered schedules for restocking. Improved Maintenance Efficiency Saves time by allowing fast access to vital information when it is needed. By storing documents and files on the system as a central resource spares lists, schematic diagrams, emergency contact numbers, maintenance or training videos etc. can be easily viewed by clicking on screen icons. Routine Maintenance Scheduling By recording machine run times or total machine cycles the intervals allowed between routine machine maintenance can be pre-programmed with the system warning when machine maintenance is imminent, due or overdue. Automatic Job Costing The relative profitability of any job or production run can be automatically calculated based on cost of raw materials, energy, labour rates and finished goods. Improves Staff Motivation Collected data can be used to provide staff feedback on their performance against target production rates etc. The awareness by staff that production is monitored effects behavioural patterns and reduces bad practices.
Published on Oct 3, 2011
Brochure outlining the machine monitoring & OEE facilities available within the Prodigy industrial automation software package.