CIM brings it to you 'live.' (computer-integrated manufacturing; blow molders monitoring)(includes related article)In the last few years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time number of blow molders monitoring process and production conditions in real-time has grown from a few pioneers to at least 100, and more are joining them all the time.
Computer-integrated manufacturing computer-integrated manufacturing
Data-driven automation that affects all systems or subsystems within a manufacturing environment: design and development, production (see CAD/CAM), marketing and sales, and field support and service. , or CIM (1) (Computer-Integrated Manufacturing) Integrating office/accounting functions with automated factory systems. Point of sale, billing, machine tool scheduling and supply ordering are part of CIM. , is popping up in a wide range of blow molding operations that make everything from small bottles to big bins. In those plants, CIM lets molders watch production "live" on screen of dozens, and soon even hundreds, of machines at once. And all that real-time information is increasingly open to access from office computer networks.
CIM can be used in virtually any blow molding process. Blow molders put CIM on old machines to improve productivity, on new machines to guarantee quality, and into big multi-plant operations to unify production reporting.
One of the earliest installations is a 13-year-old parts-counting program written in-house by injection-blow molder Wheaton Plastic Products in Millville, N.J. The trend began to pick up in the late 1980s when a handful of custom extrusion blow molders converted CIM for production and process monitoring (see PT, May '90, p. 48).
Now CIM is spreading. Besides applications in extrusion-blown bottles and large industrial parts, there are several injection-blow and stretch-blow molding installations. One of the latter is Western Container in Houston, which has CIM on about a half dozen high-output Sidel machines. And Continental Can Co., based in Stamford, Conn., is developing CIM in-house for wheel-type machines.
One CIM provider, Mattec Corp., says in the past 18 months it put CIM systems into 15 blow molding plants, more than all its previous blow molding installations. In several instances, large multi-plant blow molders are perfecting CIM in one or two plants before extending it to a dozen or more. Owens-Brock way, based in Toledo, has process monitoring CIM from Hunkar Laboratories in five injection-blow molding plants and is running trials before potentially extending it to 22 plants.
There are at least five levels of sophistication so·phis·ti·cate
v. so·phis·ti·cat·ed, so·phis·ti·cat·ing, so·phis·ti·cates
1. To cause to become less natural, especially to make less naive and more worldly.
2. in CIM: parts counting, which watches machine cycle efficiency; process monitoring, which collects machine operating data for preventive maintenance The routine checking of hardware that is performed by a field engineer on a regularly scheduled basis. See remedial maintenance.
preventive maintenance - (PM) To bring down a machine for inspection or test purposes.
See provocative maintenance, scratch monkey. ; statistical process-control (SPC 1. (business) SPC - Statistical Process Control. Something to do with quality management.
2. (body) SPC - Software Productivity Centre.
3. (company) SPC - Software Publishing Corporation.
4. ) analysis, which crunches key variables into X-bar and R charts; auxiliary-equipment monitoring, which refines machine data and raises efficiency; and integration of shop-floor data with office business systems, such as materials requirements planning (MRP (Material Requirements Planning) An information system that determines what assemblies must be built and what materials must be procured in order to build a unit of equipment by a certain date. ) or manufacturing resources planning (MRP-II) software.
Ultimately, many believe CIM will be more than a passive watchdog. Johnson Controls' Container Div. in Tacoma, Wash., may be unique in using data on finished PET bottles obtained from electronic cameras to go back and adjust oven temperature and time of preform pre·form
tr.v. pre·formed, pre·form·ing, pre·forms
1. To shape or form beforehand.
2. To determine the shape or form of beforehand.
1. conditioning. Reaction Systems also built a CIM system in which data taken from a finished product is fed back to the machine controls automatically, says company president Jerry Travioli. Its CIM installation at Western Container can shut down the machine if the reject rate reaches a certain "bogey number." The system counts good parts downstream, calculates the number of bad bottles made, and shuts the machine down if bad bottles exceed a certain number within a certain time.
LEVEL 1: PARTS COUNTING
The most basic CIM system generates production data from a contact closure or other electrical output that signals a cyclic machine movement such as mold closing. Some blow molders start by counting parts and monitoring cycle time and add other CIM functions later. Poly-Tainer Inc., a custom and stock molder of cosmetic bottles in Simi Valley Simi Valley (sē`mē, sĭm`ē), city (1990 pop. 100,217), Ventura co., SW Calif. in an oil, fruit, and farm region; laid out 1887, inc. 1969. , Calif., installed a parts-counting system from Bear Technologies four years ago on 31 blow molding machines, of which an average of six change molds every 24 hr. Poly-Tainer expects to add process and SPC monitoring over the next two years.
PVC PVC: see polyvinyl chloride.
in full polyvinyl chloride
Synthetic resin, an organic polymer made by treating vinyl chloride monomers with a peroxide. Container Corp. in Paris, Ill., a maker of pharmaceutical containers, installed a PlantStar Focus-100 CIM system on six new Bekum machines six months ago, primarily so engineers at the main plant in Eatontown, N.J., could monitor parts production in Illinois. Now the Paris and Eatontown plants are being upgraded to include process and SPC monitoring.
The value of simple cycle counting is evident at Toronto-based ABC ABC
in full American Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. television network. It began when the expanding national radio network NBC split into the separate Red and Blue networks in 1928. Group, which makes a variety of automotive air ducts, resonators, and reservoirs at 15 blow molding and two injection molding injection molding
A manufacturing process for forming objects, as of plastic or metal, by heating the molding material to a fluid state and injecting it into a mold. plants. ABC is installing parts-counting CIM companywide and already has wired up three blow molding plants. "With CIM, cycles have gone down 10-20 sec on some parts," says an ABC engineer. "Cycle times weren't monitored as accurately before because they were timed with a stopwatch."
LEVEL 2: PROCESS MONITORING
Collecting process data is far more complex than counting cycles, but it provides much more information for machine-maintenance and product quality control. Using sensors, CIM systems watch parison-drop time, mold close and open times, fill time, blow time, preblow and blowing pressures, extruder rpm, melt and mold temperatures, oil and water temperatures, dewpoint, and more. Some CIM systems collect data directly from the machine controls; others use separate sensors.
"Far more accurate data come from the machine's own controls than from adding parallel input devices," says Reaction Systems' Travioli, who works with both approaches. Len Budzynski, CIM manager at Owens-Brockway in Perrysburg, Ohio Perrysburg is a city in Wood County, Ohio, United States, along the Maumee River. The population was 16,945 at the 2000 census. If combined with the adjacent Perrysburg Township, it would have a total population of 30,558 making it the most populous city in Wood County. , disagrees that machine controls are inherently more accurate. But he allows that "built-in transducers tend to be better maintained than separate CIM input devices."
Advantages of separate sensors are that they give a standard base for comparison and make it easier to move jobs from one machine to another. Separate sensors are also the only option if data are to come from machines of different types or from ones with older controls. Winn Packaging Co. in Fairfield, Ohio Fairfield is a city in Butler County, Ohio, United States, near Cincinnati. The population was 42,097 at the 2000 census. On December 28, 1994, the city withdrew from Fairfield Township.
There was another town named Fairfield, Ohio that was located Northeast of Dayton, Ohio. , installed a PlantStar Focus-2000 CIM system 18 months ago, putting separate sensors on 15 Bekum and Battenfeld blow molders that dated as far back as 1981 (see PT, Nov. '93, p. 104). Winn says productivity went up 15% almost immediately because of reduced downtime.
LEVEL 3: SPC MONITORING
SPC analysis is one of the most rapidly growing uses for CIM in blow molding. It takes a limited number of process data points, compares them with preset high and low limits, and then displays X-bar and R charts that tell whether a process is "in control." Typical variables are extrusion temperatures, screw rpm, and barrel pressure. More sophisticated SPC programs look at such values as Cpk to determine if a machine and process are "capable."
A key practical issue for blow molders is how many data points are really critical to making a good part. "We've been in plants that displayed 32 process parameters simultaneously in an on-line system. But the operators can't do anything about most of them. They can do something about five to eight parameters, but generally a person bogs down at more than eight," says Don Holmes
Some processors agree. "We started out monitoring 33 parameters, but some are leading indicators and some are followers. Now we're down to only two or three," says James Strasenburgh, president of Universal Container Corp., a clean-room pharmaceutical molder in Cayey, P.R. Unicon installed CIM with SPC monitoring three years ago on over a dozen Jomar injection-blow machines.
Blow molders of automotive, pharmaceutical, and other critical products say they're being pushed by customers to install CIM for SPC monitoring in order to meet ISO- iso- or is-
1. Equal; uniform: isobar.
2. Isomeric: isopropyl.
3. 9000 standards. As an auto fuel-tank supplier to Ford Motor Co., Solvay Automotive in South Bend South Bend, city (1990 pop. 105,511), seat of St. Joseph co., N Ind., on the great south bend of the St. Joseph River, in a farming and mint-growing region; inc. as a city 1865. , Ind., retrofitted Krupp Kautex and Hartig extrusion blow molding machines with Siemens controls and Sikunst SPC software. Robb Containers in Nashua, N.H., just put a PlantStar system on four large continuous-extrusion blow molders at the request of a key customer in order to tighten SPC monitoring on large-bottle production. And Automotive Industries Automotive Industries, Ltd. (Hebrew: תעשיות רכב נצרת עלית, תע"ר in Fremont, Ohio Fremont is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Sandusky County.GR6 The population was 17,375 at the 2000 census. Geography
Fremont is located at (41.348909, -83. , has a Mattec CIM system for SPC monitoring on 24 machines.
LEVEL 4: LINKING AUXILIARIES
CIM monitoring of peripheral equipment in blow molding adds to the accuracy of cycle-based data. ABC Group is developing software in-house to calculate scrap by monitoring an air conveyor that takes bad parts to a regrind station. An electrode counts when a bad part passes down the tube and hits the guillotine guillotine
Instrument for inflicting capital punishment by decapitation. A minimal wooden structure, it supported a heavy blade that, when released, slid down in vertical guides to sever the victim's head. ; then that part is subtracted from the cycle count. Owens-Brockway's Findlay, Ohio Findlay is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Hancock CountyGR6. The municipality is located in northwestern Ohio approximately 50 miles (80 km) south of Toledo. The population was 38,967 at the 2000 census. , plant calculates scrap the other way around. It counts good bottles and subtracts them from cycles to get scrap.
Tying controls on material-handling equipment into CIM adds to trace ability and efficiency of material changes. Starting eight months ago, Unicon took data from the machine controls of its batch blenders and formatted it for CIM. "Now we can trace how many pounds of which lot of resin and how many pounds of which lot of additives went into a particular product," says Unicon's Strasenburgh.
Custom industrial blow molder Fremont Plastic Products Inc. in Fremont, Ohio, tied its materials-handling equipment Materials-handling equipment
Devices used for handling materials in an industrial distribution activity. The equipment moves products as discrete articles, in suitable containers, or as solid bulk materials which are relatively free-flowing. into a home made CIM system designed to improve color-change times and minimize materials-handling delays. Fremont's blow molding machines, blenders, surge bins, and silos The Silos are a band formed by Walter Salas-Humara and Bob Rupe in New York City in 1985. Prior to starting the Silos, Walter played with The Vulgar Boatmen. With Salas-Humara emerging as the Silos' primary songwriter, the band put out the independently-released EP About Her Steps are linked to a shoebox-sized SLC (Subscriber Loop Carrier) Lucent's designation for its digital loop carrier (DLC) products. See digital loop carrier. See also 386SLC. 150 PLC from Allen-Bradley. The system gives audible tones keyed to different material alarm conditions and broadcasts them through the plant's paging system.
LEVEL 5: OFFICE LINK-UP
CIM connectivity between the shop floor and back office is critical, many blow molders say. "Several systems on the market have had a closed architecture," says Reaction Systems' Travioli, a proponent of so-called open architecture. "In these closed systems, captured data is meant to be seen on a system printer only. It's not uncommon to see a secretary typing shop data back into Lotus on another office computer."
Previously closed systems are changing rapidly. Hunkar's Ethernet LAN (Local Area Network) A communications network that serves users within a confined geographical area. The "clients" are the user's workstations typically running Windows, although Mac and Linux clients are also used. originally couldn't run on other LANs, but Hunkar says it opened its system early last year, offering optional upgrades so its CIM system can run on any industrial network. This option has been used mainly by large bottle customers that already had installed LANs. Owens-Brockway, for instance, has connected Hunkar CIM from two plants to MRP-II systems on IBM (International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY, www.ibm.com) The world's largest computer company. IBM's product lines include the S/390 mainframes (zSeries), AS/400 midrange business systems (iSeries), RS/6000 workstations and servers (pSeries), Intel-based servers (xSeries) AS/400 minicomputers.
Often, blow molders have to make their own connections between shop floor CIM and an office computer network or LAN. Unicon linked its Jomar injection-blow machines to the company MRP-II system. "It's so important when you need to look up something that happened eight months ago. What used to take hours now takes minutes," says Unicon's Strasenburgh.
Who Sells CIM for Blow Molding?
Suppliers of machinery, controls, computers, and software team up to offer blow molders increasingly flexible CIM systems. Following is a list of all those suppliers whose products are known to be used in blow molding today:
* Barco Automation Inc., Charlotte, N.C., sells DOS-based software and hardware for production, process, and SPC monitoring. It has blow molding users in Belgium and Portugal. BarcoCIM systems start at $50,000 for 12 machines.
* Bear Technologies Inc., Rochester, N.Y., sells parts-counting software and hardware by direct mail. It has seven blow molding users with 18 plants. Its "Tracker" counts cycles and calculates material use, machine efficiency, and downtime. Tracker costs $7500 for up to 48 machines.
* CMS (1) See content management system and color management system.
(2) (Conversational Monitor System) Software that provides interactive communications for IBM's VM operating system. Manufacturing Systems Inc., Markem, Ont., (U.S. offices in Nashville, Tenn.) sells integrated MRP-II software that runs on IBM AS/400 minicomputers. It has three blow molding users, including ABC Group. CMS\400 software costs $50,000-85,000.
* DataNet Technologies, Troy, Mich., sells Novell- and Windows-based software and hardware for production, process, and SPC monitoring. It has three blow molding users, including Johnson Controls Johnson Controls, Inc. (NYSE: JCI) is a United States company, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, specializing in the design, manufacturing, and installation of automotive systems, automotive batteries (Optima based in Denver, Colorado) and climate control systems. . DataNet CIM costs $0400-5000/machine.
* Epos Corp., Auburn, Ala., sells software and hardware for production, process, and SPC monitoring. Software runs on IBM 386 or 486 PCs. Epos is putting its first blow molding system on three extrusion blow machines at ACI ACI American Concrete Institute
ACI Arch Coal Inc
ACI Airports Council International (formerly Airport Associations Coordinating Council)
ACI Automobile Club d'Italia
ACI American Competitiveness Initiative Blowpack in Sydney, Australia. Series 6000 costs $3500/machine.
* Hunkar Laboratories Inc., Cincinnati, sells DOS-based software and hardware for production, process, and SPC monitoring. Software can run on any industrial network. Hunkar has 28 blow molding users with 70 plants. "CIM-III" costs $35,000-50,000 for 16 machines.
* Intec Controls, Walpole, Mass., sells OS/2- and soon Windows NT-based software and hardware for process and SPC monitoring, in partnership with machine maker Jomar Corp., Pleasantville, N.J. Paragon TNT TNT: see trinitrotoluene.
in full trinitrotoluene
Pale yellow, solid organic compound made by adding nitrate (−NO2) groups to toluene. costs $1500-12,000 for 10 machines.
* Intrac Systems Inc., Erie, Pa., sells Unix-based software and hardware for production, process, and SPC monitoring and MRP. Software runs on DOS-based PCs or IBM AS/400. It has two injection stretch-blow molding installations. "Molders Shop" and SPC cost $2000-5000/machine; MRP costs $10,000-100,000.
* IQ Management Systems Inc., Ontario, Calif., sells Novell-and DOS-based software for production monitoring and MRP. It has one blow molding installation on 24 machines at Simi Corp., Anaheim, Calif. IQ/Realtime production monitoring costs $10,000 for the first 10 machines, then $300/machine. IQ/Genesis MRP costs under $25,000 for 10 user terminals.
* Mattec Corp., Loveland, Ohio Loveland (IPA: /ˈlʌvlənd/) is a city in Hamilton, Clermont, and Warren counties in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Ohio. , sells software and hardware for real-time production, process, and SPC monitoring on a proprietary operating system operating system (OS)
Software that controls the operation of a computer, directs the input and output of data, keeps track of files, and controls the processing of computer programs. with a bridge to MRP. It has 25 blow molding users. ProHelp process monitoring costs about $12,000 for 16 machines.
* Production Process, Londonderry, N.H., sells its "OPM See Oracle Process Manufacturing. " software and hardware for production and process monitoring, along with SPC software from Stochos Inc. Since 1981, it has gained five blow molding users with 11 plants. OPM costs $500/2000/machine for hardware plus $10,000 for software and training.
* Reaction Systems, Humble, Texas, sells DOS-and Windows-based production, process, and SPC monitoring software in partnership with Siemens Industrial Automation. It has 15 blow molding users with 20 plants. AlertICM SPC software costs $1000-10,000/machine.
* Siemens Industrial Automation, Inc., Alpharetta, Ga., sells CIM software for its closed-loop machine controls. Siemens used to sell only to OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) The rebranding of equipment and selling it. The term initially referred to the company that made the products (the "original" manufacturer), but eventually became widely used to refer to the organization that buys the products and machine builders, but blow molder Solvay Automotive, South Bend, Ind., has retrofitted Siemens controls. A Siemens CIM retrofit costs $15,000-30,000/machine.
* Stochos Inc., Schenectady, N.Y., sells SPC software for real-time X-bar and R charts. It also sells advanced real-time "Exponentially Weighted Moving Average" SPC software. The first blow holding user, Clearplass Containers Inc. Sheffield, Ala., is installing EWMA EWMA Exponentially Weighted Moving Average
EWMA Embedded Wireless Multicast Advantage
EWMA Environmental Waste Management Associates SPC with Production Process' CIM system. Stochos' "SPC Direct" software costs $5000/machine.
* Syscon-PlantStar, South Bend, Ind., sells Unix- and Windows-based software and hardware for production, process, and SPC monitoring. It has 11 blow molding users with 18 plants (see PT, Jan. '94, p. 21). Focus 100 and Focus 2000 CIM systems are priced at $1000-15,000/machine.
* Universal Dynamics Inc., Woodbridge, Va., sells software and hardware for CIM monitoring of auxiliary equipment. It has three blow molding users. It's "Universal Plastic Machinery Network" starts at $13,000.
* Wheaton Industries' Machine Div., Millville, N.J., is introducing new proprietary software, written in Visual Basic, for production, process, and SPC monitoring of its injection-blow molding machines. It's being tested on eight machines at Wheaton's Mays Landing, N.J., bottle plant.