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 which led to valuable production losses. The aim was to capture data on a continuous real-time basis, in key areas across the plant.

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.