IT in Manufacturing


The power of data

October 2019 IT in Manufacturing

We can collect this data, but are we able to get to it? This is key to using equipment information to make informed business decisions that can help lower maintenance costs, optimise production, and reduce support and travel expenses.

Two of ProSoft’s solutions released this year show users how to access the data they need to add value.

Making data-driven decisions

The gateway brings together three major industrial automation protocols – OPC UA, EtherNet/IP, and Modbus TCP/IP. This gateway to the IIoT sends production information to the MES or ERP. From there, it can be acted upon to make the changes necessary to achieve corporate goals. The benefits of analysing equipment information include reduced maintenance, energy and overall operating costs.

The gateway works by enabling fast data transfers from EtherNet/IP and Modbus devices to OPC UA clients, thanks to an OPC UA server connection. The EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP/IP equipment can also communicate with each other. The gateway enables 10 simultaneous OPC UA sessions, which is ideal for larger applications.

By connecting equipment that use these two protocols to the MES, one takes the first step to streamlined access and analysis of data that can help to optimise resources.

Access historical data

You’re at your desk, it’s almost time to go home, and you find out you need to go on-site for an issue with a piece of equipment. You’re not quite sure what the problem is, and now you’re looking at a later end to the day and hoping you can troubleshoot the issue quickly.

For applications that involve remote access equipment, the data logger avoids costly network enhancements, storing 16 million time-stamped records.

OEMs can also benefit from using the data logger. The module’s records can indicate whether equipment was tampered with or if the maintenance schedule was followed, helping to determine if a warranty claim is valid. Knowledge gleaned from devices can help to improve a company’s Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). Studying how equipment performed in real-time applications can help determine if a design can be tweaked.


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