“The plant had experienced a number of ‘after the event occurrences’, where operational difficulties had been encountered which led to valuable production losses. [...]”
Ibstock is the UK’s leading manufacturer by volume of clay bricks sold and offers a wide range of clay facing bricks. The company operates 19 factories across the country using a wide diversity of clays and manufacturing techniques.
Ibstock’s Aldridge site in the West Midlands, approached Opensoft systems to look for a solution to provide plant data from the sites extensive PLC’s (programmable logic controllers). The aim was to collect key production data to help drive continuous improvements in these areas.
The plant had experienced a number of ‘after the event occurrences’, where operational difficulties had been encountered and led to valuable production losses. The aim was to capture data on a continuous real-time basis, in key areas across the plant.
Opensoft Systems first surveyed the site taking into account the areas of interest, the PLC’s and volume of data in each area. The production areas were networked to a local Ethernet network switch located in the management offices.
An Industrial Data Historian was installed to enable the real-time collection of all defined plant data. The data compression provided by the historian enabling a higher volume of data to be logged over a conventional Relational Database. The benefit being the ability to enable data from any period of time to be retrieved quickly, to enable fault cause analysis to be performed in any time period, as required.
To further drive improvements across the site it was important to make key performance indicators (KPI’s) visible to all operational staff across all areas of the plant.To enable this, the data historian was used to stream ‘live’ performance data to a series of dashboards providing operations staff with a real-time view of their production environment.The dashboard displayed key perimeters in real-time to help the site drive continuous improvement.
The dashboard connects to the historian and reads incoming data within the Runtime database, this, in turn, outputs the result to the dashboard for display on monitor displays around the site using thin clients which are run a standard Internet Explorer web browser.
The Factory Manager commented:
Since implementing the system it has provided us with a real-time insight into the factories status at any point in time.
This has enabled us to react quicker to downtime situations and given us the ability to better understand faults to help drive improvements.
The historian provides an extremely useful feature in giving us the ability to better analyse past faults and understand the root cause
Opensoft Systems Summary
The system can be implemented for the majority of production facilities without the need to remove or replace existing infrastructure or PLC controllers.
Configured with Opensoft’s philosophy of deploying open and scalable solutions, the system can easily be scaled up to accommodate data points from additional plant areas without rework, thereby protecting a sites investment.
For further details on how this solution could work for your site contact us today by visiting www.opensoftsystems.co.uk or by calling us on
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