VIDEO: Muratec Processnet MES Uses IoT to Maximize OEE
James Anderton posted on November 27, 2017 |

When you’re managing process machinery in an industrial manufacturing operation, uptime is everything, and downtime is the enemy. Production managers are always looking for ways to maximize capacity and drive production numbers up. Don Angel, Applications Engineer at Murata Machinery, demonstrates how Processnet, a software tool from Muratec, can help pinpoint time management problems and laser in on maximum OEE.

“Murata recognizes that companies that have our machines want to know what the machines been doing. So, one of the biggest challenges is finding out what the machines are doing during the day. Is it running or not running, and how much? this tool allows the machine operator or management to do that,” said Angel. “With our controls, now we can pull data from the machine, manipulate it, and see what is going on.”

Processnet is a manufacturing execution software, or MES. For manufacturers looking to leverage the analytical power of the industrial internet of things (IIoT), MES is a critical part of your IIoT ecosystem. This is because enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can help organize the process flow of your production, but lacks the capability to gather data directly from machines. This means that ERP is ultimately based on the input of the operator, which can be imperfect.

The Web-based software can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and a connection to the plant network. For companies running a secure intranet that is not connected to the internet, this could mean a front office, boardroom or other location accessible to management. Otherwise, the platform can be accessed worldwide. Angel told us of plant managers who used Processnet on their smartphones to keep an eye on production back home while they travelled abroad.

The system collects data according to many parameters. Certain parameters are more popular than others:

In general, seeing what the machines are currently doing is a commonly used feature. In addition, the software collects historical data for up to five years. By viewing machine uptime by date, Angel showed us how the software can analyze percent capacity of machines, by cross-referencing uptime to total shift time, or in the case of an automated cell, the scheduled uptime of the cell. For example, if your plant runs three eight-hour shifts each day, but the software only shows eighteen hours of uptime per day, you know there is room for improvement.

For those experienced in manufacturing management, it’s a common occurrence that one operator or one shift may be more productive than another. If a machine isn’t running at capacity, the trends in Processnet make that obvious. For example, if productivity is low on Mondays and Fridays, there could be an issue with employees clocking in late and out early. With this software, you can target those types of areas to improve production.

Once you start targeting machine uptime, you can pull up additional information, such as information about standby time and alarm time. The alarm analysis screen can determine highest-hitting alarms, and start targeting those alarms to improve uptime.

Processnet is essentially a time-management tracking tool. It can help you determine if operators need more training, programs need tweaking, and consumption information: using the machine uptime, the software can create power, time, gas, etc. consumption. This can help to determine true cost per part.

For more on MES, check out VIDEO: Tawanese Manufacturing: Machine Tools and MES.

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