Factory Automation Solution for Existing Machine Equipment

Posted by Kari Grosser on Jul 16, 2018 9:45:00 AM

factory automation solutionIncreasingly more enterprises need to transform and upgrade their production lines to intelligent manufacturing. The biggest problem for enterprise equipment monitoring is how to complete signal acquisition and establish communication between devices from different brands and different types. This customer required the status of each of their machines to be monitored, including power on/off times, production quantities and stack lights. Without the additional costs of purchasing new machines, Advantech offers an integrated solution that achieves factory automation with existing machines. 

System Requirements

This customer mainly produces precision molds, mold standard parts, and related injection products. Their production line has a total of 19 machine tools from three different brands and several of these machines have been in service for more than 20 years. The following issues required consideration:

  • Machines made by different brand manufacturers use different communication protocols, thus necessitating protocol conversion
  • Some old machines do not support communication interfaces, meaning that external sensors must be used
  • The workshop has many metal items that can cause signal interference, and its cramped space is inconvenient for wiring; therefore, the new system must have simple and convenient wiring

The new system was required to monitor the status of different brands and generations of machine tools while also generating daily production reports, intuitively displaying the utilization of production line equipment and providing information for shift handover.

System Description

The customer wanted to monitor the machines' operating status. however, most old machines do not have communication ports, and for those that do, it is difficult to obtain the communication protocols for suppliers. Therefore, various sensors were installed in the machines for signal acquisition, with the ADAM-6250 utilized to obtain the status of the machines (e.g., running, shut down, idle, breakdown) and stack lights.

  • ADAM-6250 modules were installed on each machine. A daisy chain configuration was adopted to connect neighboring modules in order to minimize on-site wiring. Collected data was then aggregated on a local UNO-2184G automation computer.
  • Because the workshop was far from the control center, an EKI-2525 switch was adopted to forward the data to the control room.
  • Advantech's professional service integrators were able to refit machines so that signal data could be collected via sensors. The machines' operating status can then be collated into reports in order to view the efficiency of on-site equipment. 

factory automation solution system diagram


Advantech can provide rugged, stable, and cost-effective total solutions that include remote I/O modules, switches and industrial-grade computers. For this customer, the system enhanced production efficiency by more than 30%. Furthermore, the system has an alarm mechanism, and fault button so that the health of the equipment can be monitored; this has facilitated timely repair and maintenance planning, thus improving the equipment can be monitored; this has facilitated timely repair and maintenance planning, thus improving the equipment life span, reducing the number of equipment failures and saving more than 20% on hardware costs. 

Topics: Industrial Communication, Remote I/O, Embedded Automation Computers

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