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30 November, 2021

Low-cost kit allows anyone to monitor machine OEE levels

18 October, 2021

Turck Banner is offering a starter kit that will help factory managers to improve OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) levels at a price and simplicity that, it says, will allow anyone to reap the benefits. The Production Performance Monitoring (PPM) kit consists of a battery-powered wireless sensor, a controller and a three-month cloud connection. It is aimed at first-time users and includes everything needed to monitor a machine and receive warnings if its throughput falls.

“We’re putting people on the journey to capture data accurately,” says Tony Coghlan, Turck Banner’s UK sales manager.

No programming is necessary and an auto-dashboarding function delivers actionable information to users with minimal set-up. The controller performs data-logging, while the cloud is used to analyse the data and generate dashboard displays.

To use the kit, the wireless sensor is mounted on a new or existing machine where it counts the number of parts passing per minute. This data is transferred wirelessly to the controller, which logs and interprets it. The data can be shown as a graph of parts per minute over time, highlighting planned and unplanned stops, small stops and slow cycles.

If the data reveals that production is slowing, alerts can be sent to shopfloor personnel, helping them to identify the cause. If this is not obvious, the problem may be upstream, in which case the sensor can be moved and the monitoring process repeated until the fault is identified.

Alternatively, one or more extra sensors can be installed upstream from the first. This provides comparative data, making it easier to identify the reason for the lost production.

Up to 47 of the wireless sensors can be connected to the kit. The controller can expand into a large-scale monitoring system, which can integrate into existing local and cloud networks. The sensors can be left attached to a machine to perform long-term monitoring.

When the origin of any lost production has been identified and corrected, the kit can be used to quantify the improvement.

Turck Banner’s PPM kit can help to improve OEE levels in factories easily and at a relatively low cost

The current performance is shown on a colour-coded Web display as a green, amber or red icon. Historical data can be shown by touching the icon. The Web interface allows the machine condition to be displayed remotely on a smartphone, tablet or PC. Combined with text alerts, this gives personnel instant access to the monitoring system.

Users are not locked into the pre-programmed cloud configuration. The controller can be connected to local networks, Scada, PLCs or other cloud systems, supporting external data-gathering, analysis and integration into existing systems, such as DCS or CMS.

Turck Banner says that the low cost, simple set-up and flexibility of the kit will allow first-time users to investigate the benefits of OEE, without having to commit huge resources. It adds that return-on-investment is usually measured in days and can be reinvested to expand the system.

Coghlan suggests that using the kit could help to boost productivity even if it does not identify any machine problems. He says that research has shown that line workers’ efficiency improves by 3–5% if they know they are being monitored.

UK prices for the kit start at around £600, while if users want to keep using the Turck Banner cloud after the initial three-month period, it will cost from £300 a year.

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