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Software pinpoints production hold-ups

01 September, 2004

Software pinpoints production hold-ups

ABB reckons that a new software package could help manufacturers to recover up to 40% of their production capacity that might otherwise be lost through stops and interruptions. In some applications, the system - which costs upwards of £12,000 - could pay for itself by avoiding as little as two hours of wasted production.

The Real-Time Production Intelligence (Real-TPI) package collects and analyses production data from PLCs and sensors, and uses this to identify ways to boost efficiency. The software eliminates the effort and the inaccuracies involved in keeping manual logs. Instead, it analyses the data and detects and records production losses automatically in real time.

The software makes it easy to track daily progress and to identify and react to hold-ups on the production line, such as tool changes, restarts, reduced speed working - and even lunch breaks.

Real-TPI consists of a data acquisition module, a data manipulation and storage module, and a module for visualisation and reporting. Each module can be distributed over a local area network from almost any PLC or DCS (distributed control system). It can also be accessed via the Web to provide remote reporting.

The system is expandable. A manufacturer can start with one machine or line and expand gradually to monitor the performance of a whole factory.

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