Understanding your plant by gathering live process data and more importantly making it available for others (whether it is a supplier or another system) to use is a great introduction to Industry 4.0.
Remote monitoring is a simple yet effective method of understanding your plant and there are many different ways to achieve this. We have decided to demonstrate a very safe and cheap solution to remote monitoring. In this example the manufacturing site have used a system that permits suppliers along with purchasing staff to monitor feedstock levels in various silos. The benefits are simple, allowing a supplier to monitor a stock levels along with operating staff is provides an extra pair of eyes to ensure stock levels can be maintained in the most efficient manner ensuring minimum wastage or limiting excess ordering.
A live working example is a great way to show what is possible and we hope provides a perfect visual to questions you maybe asking.
Below is actual site data.
In this example we have a series of Silos and the levels are being monitored on an hourly basis:-
- Load cells are used on each Silo to determine the weight and therefore the Level
- Readings are taken from the Load cells every hour
- Once this reading has been taken, a message is sent via text message to a central server
- The data is log providing historical trends of each silo
- This data can then be accessed and viewed on a web page (such as this)
In this example the system offers the following benefits:
- Suppliers have access to this data and can monitor the Stock levels ensuring in advance that they also have material ready to be supplied, and can pre-plan delivery dates
- Early Warning e-mails are sent to the relevant stakeholders when levels get to critical levels.
- Feed rates are extrapolated from historical data; these are then used to provide an actual product Bill of Materials which is then compared against the scheduled Bill of Materials
- Plant Maintenance is planned according to Stock Levels and feed rates from historical data
This method of remote monitoring is simple and extremely cost effective. Contact us if you would like to know more or understand how we can help you and your business.