Efficient Plant October 2017 - 50
column | industrial internet of things
Teel Plastics (teel.com) can now easily
access run parameters, such as motor
load, speed, and process temperature
with new monitoring solutions.
RANSITION IS BEING felt
in large and small ways for
most manufacturers, with the
level of challenges varying substantially
for different industries.
Some companies are pushing for
better operational and maintenance
procedures on the floor, while most
manufacturers are moving toward better
data visibility within the plant and
The days of manufacturing silos are
fast disappearing due to the promise of
and relatively inexpensive investment
in open industrial network standards to
move data just about anywhere in the
A new case study from Wisconsin-based Teel Plastics Inc. (Teel), a
manufacturer of extruded plastic tubing
and profiles, reveals a new initiative to
implement an IIoT gateway solution that
allows the company to use existing plant
hardware while providing a new operations and maintenance roadmap.
The Baraboo, WI, plant has 10 manufacturing lines that produce multiple
products at various times throughout
the day. Each line requires a custom
recipe for every product, i.e., material
inputs, equipment, heating components,
and other variables. Recipes can change
several times in one day, and some that
haven't been used in months can resurface when new orders are received.
The other challenge involves the
multiple types of programmable logic
controllers (PLCs)-from multiple
vendors-controlling different product lines. Teel turned to the OPC
UA based-KEPServerEX product to
communicate recipes to different lines
and lessen operator complexity.
"We've been able to take something
that previously required memorization,
30 to 40 clicks, and bring it down to a
single click of a button for the operator,"
explained Owen Gwynne, senior programmer, Teel Plastics. The server solution receives data from disparate plant
devices and leverages OPC UA technology protocol-an industrial networking
standard-to produce a single-source for
Besides operational efficiencies, Teel
is now able to access more machine run
data and analyze mobile web-based
devices, including parameters such as
motor load, speed and process temperature, from mobile devices.
"The in-depth plant floor data enables
engineers to test different variables,
which has led to decreased downtime,"
Gwynne noted. "The setup now provides
us the ability for our extruders to contact
operators via email based on run-time
for preventive maintenance."
In addition to a more responsive
preventive-maintenance process, Teel
is working on connecting machines
directly into its Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) for
more condition monitoring. The current
hybrid approach is a good fit with the
(TPM) routines, where operators play
a critical role in scheduling machine
As Gwynne pointed out, "We have
connected our equipment database to
the line setup and will be able to pull
more accurate records of wear on specific items shortly." EP