Efficient Plant May 2019 - 33

feature | solution focus
Left. With an eye toward increasing manufacturing efficiency, JMA Wireless
began leveraging the Ignition software platform from Inductive Automation
in 2017.

JMA wanted to increase the efficiency of its manufacturing operations. That's why it began using the Ignition software platform in
2017. Ignition, from Inductive Automation, Folsom, CA (inductiveautomation.com), is an industrial application platform with
numerous tools for building solutions in human-machine interface
(HMI), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), and the
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
"I use Ignition every day," noted Greg Jasek, manufacturing engineer at JMA. "I look at how our manufacturing processes are doing,
our test results, our build logs. Are there any issues that could come
up soon? Are there any issues that are already happening that we
need to take action on?"
According to Jasek, the company leverages Ignition for all troubleshooting in the manufacturing area. "It gives us a lot more agility
when looking at problems, and issues," he said, "and it gives us a
faster response time."

EXPANDABILITY
JMA has built more than 20 applications on top of the Ignition platform, and plans to create even more. The software's flexibility allows
the company to quickly design whatever it needs. The software also
provides JMA with numerous options when it comes to absorbing
and analyzing data. The result has been a rise in productivity.
At its Syracuse plant, the company uses Ignition for data acquisition, historical analysis, overall equipment effectiveness, product
testing, part tracking, and reporting. It is also able to collect more
data than ever before, which improves analysis of root causes and
trends, and helps employees make faster, better decisions.
Analysis of that collected data is providing valuable insights.
"We can track each person who has touched a particular antenna,"
said Jasek. "So, if something has gone wrong, we can go back to
that operator and correct things. Maybe they need more training,
or maybe they need a tool. Ignition gives us a lot of power on that.
And we can compare measurement data to our build log, and see
that particular operators maybe have a higher average test yield than
other operators."
As Jasek emphasized, Ignition makes his job much easier. "It
allows me to look at data much quicker, compile data much quicker,
and take action much quicker and more effectively. It's much better
than looking at paper and asking people what their opinion is, or
trying to form theories without having data to back them up."

MAY 2019

Jasek is not alone in his appreciation for Ignition. Connor Maynes,
a JMA automation engineer, described his reaction to the software
the first time he used it. "I was completely blown away, by both the
simplicity and the power," he said. "Ignition's WYSIWYG editor
makes it extremely easy to build HMIs. It takes no time at all. There's
no programming every single button, no making each component
individually. It's just drag and drop. And then write the code. It's very,
very simple. And making changes is a breeze."

BETTER, FASTER
Francis Blanchard, automation manager at JMA, is also impressed
with the software and its interoperability. "One of the reasons we like
Ignition is that it's really easy to integrate with a database system," he
explained. "And it's also easy to exchange data with PLCs. We do a lot
of data acquisition on the factory floor. We have more than 30 PLCs,
so we collect a lot of data on a daily basis."
Prior to implementing Ignition, JMA was compiling data on paper,
and the amount of that paper was causing a space issue. The digital transformation associated with the software is cutting down on
paper, and will continue to do so. It's part of the company's desire for
constant improvement.
"Ignition is really the foundation of our manufacturing-improve-

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Efficient Plant May 2019

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