The interplay between Opticloud and iFix from General Electric
The first step towards a complete visualization of production starts with data capture.
It’s our home ground. We work to create accurate data across many machines delivered by many manufacturers.
Today, industrial machines often have a PLC built in, and some machine manufacturers also offer a system that can visualize data from their own machines.
It’s a start, of course, but an overview across everything is a much stronger tool. Here’s the Opticloud solution – or the first part of the solution.
With Opticloud, data can be collected and visualized – but in some projects the need is one step higher. Here we are talking about SCADA, which is short for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition.
SCADA are control systems that can create and visualize data across computers, network communications, and graphical user interfaces. The result is a system that can monitor very complicated processes.
In this context, data from a PLC is often used – either a mini-computer built into each machine, or a data logger from Optipeople. Our data logger is also a PLC.
When the OEE measurements from Opticloud are to be used as part of a larger monitoring project a SCADA system might already be in place. It may be iFix from General Electric which we have already integrated to.
Think of our Opticloud control panel, which is the operator’s access to view data about the machine’s operation. Here the operator can also specify stop reasons, take notes, write in the machine’s logbook and so on, so it is also HMI.
When we integrate between Opticloud and iFix (or similar systems), Opticloud’s data collection is done.
Data is then aggregated in a uniform format that is passed on to iFix. Opticloud can handle the more difficult scenarios – for example, a machine can have multiple tracks, and different item numbers can run on each track on the same machine.
When a track stops, Opticloud will know that the machine partially produced, and create the correct data that is then passed on to iFix. Opticloud can also handle the fact that the production has machines with their own PLC mixed with machines that do not have a PLC at all.
iFix uses several additional data sources that are not related to OEE measurement, and the result of the two systems combined is that the factory gets a complete monitoring solution.
The effect is that a complete SCADA solution can help each user to respond correctly in a given situation. “What should I do when…?” can be answered by the system.
This creates the basis for an effective alarm strategy when something fails, and it shortens the time for misdirection. Guess whether it also saves money in the long run.
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