Advancements in industrial technology has created more goals for manufacturers other than just productivity. Now speedy response, flexible scheduling and customized production are key factors that are sought after.
For example, a well-known panel manufacturer who supplies various sizes of thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels and touch panels wanted to transfer their passive factory to a Smart Factory. They were also actively seeking to improve their factory's production and management.
In the past, the factory used manpower to manage all production equipment. Any equipment failure would need to wait until the operator logged the problem and arranged maintenance and repair. There was also no detailed record of the machine status so managers were less aware of the production line situation, such as the status of the equipment.
To eliminate these problems, the manufacturer decided to take advantage of Advantech's networking equipment and data acquisition to implement a production line monitoring system. By collecting the information of the machine's three-color warning light and adding counting and timing sensors, managers were able to master the production quantity and operating speed of each machine, while the collected information can be used as a basis for improving production scheduling and overall productivity.
In addition to watching machine status, the data needed to be sent to a monitoring station. However, the factory had a complex environment that would be inconvenient to have a wired network. The solution required utilizing the factory's existing wireless network to gather and transmit the on-site signals to the management center.
Advantech offered a production line monitoring solution with a simple architecture by combining the WISE-4050 IoT Wireless I/O Module with HMI/SCADA software WebAccess. In the production site, the multi-channel digital input/output WISE-4050 is in charge of connecting the three-color light and counting/timing sensor, and then wirelessly uploading the data to the system. In the control center, WebAccess immediately displays the front-end information on the computer screen, so that managers can monitor the equipment status of the production line without the need to go to the scene of the problem, while the recorded data and the periodically generated reports can help users to analyze equipment utilization.
Advantech's WISE-4000 Wireless I/O modules provided the foundation, the EKI wireless AP provided reliable Wi-Fi connectivity and Advantech's WebAccess software provided a powerful interface. This solution has improved their response time, allowed for flexible scheduling and the ability to customize their production. You too can accomplish a Smart Factory by equipping your factory with a wireless tower light monitoring system!