Efficient Plant February 2018 - 38
column | industrial internet of things
This screen display, created by
The Aquila Group, alerts operators
of scheduled maintenance events
within their area of responsibility for
their respective machine.
HE BUZZ AROUND digital
platforms in manufacturing
has a lot to do with advanced
automation and the ability to move
machine data to human-machine interfaces (HMIs) or to enterprise systems.
However, successful asset management
also involves dependable work processes,
along with technical solutions.
Total productive maintenance (TPM)
aligns nicely with IIoT's (Industrial Internet of Things) mission statement of more
actionable data on the plant floor. TPM
provides an operator with the ability to
perform basic maintenance routines for a
work center and, in theory, relegate larger
reliability issues to the maintenance staff.
Taking on more predictive/preventive
maintenance routines, reporting on deteriorating machine conditions earlier, and
providing more support in specifying new
plant equipment are examples of this shift.
One company facilitating this type of
solution is The Aquila Group Inc., Sun
Prairie, WI (the-aquila-group.com), an
automation solutions and consulting company providing a range of manufacturing
solutions, including a manufacturing-execution system (MES)
called the Dynamic Machine
Management (DMM) platform
and the Green Light Monitoring
data acquisition platform.
DMM makes it possible
to create, collect, distribute,
and manage manufacturing
information, instructions, and
performance metrics in real
time. "The system enables management to create customizable
dashboards that alert operators of scheduled maintenance events (within their
area of responsibility) for their respective
machines," explained David Wilmer,
vice president of manufacturing systems
design at The Aquila Group. "The operator
completes the events, and then a digital
maintenance record can be shared with
multiple departments or technicians."
Green Light Monitoring is a software
platform that manages and automatically
performs OEE calculations. In conjunction
with the DMM platform, the monitoring
system can feed machine data to business
systems for long-term trend analysis and
record maintenance data in one action
with little to no operator involvement.
For example, the monitoring system can create a cascade of questions
in real-time to operators experiencing a
micro-stoppage for a machine, such as
a failure alarm for low oil. The system
will then generate a series of questions
around the low-oil alarm and cascade
these questions, such as how much oil was
added to that machine. "You can acquire
micro-stoppage data for OEE calculations,
but now you're also using that microstoppage data as a maintenance component," added Wilmer.
This national consulting company
works with many sheet-metal manufacturers, such as Eaton, Siemens, and Fiat. In
addition to these large companies, Aquila
can also create customized, data-monitoring solutions for small- and mid-sized
companies looking to modernize operations with minimal capital outlay.
"Predictive-maintenance solutions are
now in reach for smaller companies due to
lower implementation IIoT costs over the
past ten years," said Wilmer. An essential
ingredient of machine data visibility is interoperability between devices. Third-party companies, such as The Aquila Group,
are providing this much-need expertise for