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Process and production monitoring systems: product lines reviewed.




CIMAC 8000 is a manufacturing network monitor with full SPC capabilities that can supervise as many as 32 machines and with an optional integration module can also handle auxiliary equipment. Each CIMAC 8000 captures data for display in either graphic or tabular form for on-line analysis; the data can be transmitted to the PC for review and preparation of reports on process history and trends. System has user-programmable macro function keys to call up frequently repeated tasks.


The BarcoCIM system for computer-integrated manufacturing provides a platform for real time as well as historical production and SPC monitoring. System runs in a multiuser, multitasking environment to insure high-speed processing and response time. A BarcoCIM system provides information and control to allow the reduction of scrap and an increase in the productivity and utilization of equipment and personnel.

The system provides bi-directional communication to facilitate transfer of information from each machine to the host computer system, as well as from the host computer back to each production machine. Any data in the BarcoCIM database can be requested for display at the machine interface box (Barco data unit). The high-speed data collection network can connect virtually any type of machine to the BarcoCIM system. Special interfaces have been developed to integrate microprocessor-based machine controllers. Hardware and software are available to integrate BarcoCIM to auxiliary equipment, robotics, transport automation systems and mainframe.

BarcoCIM runs on the Digital Equipment Corporation family of MicroVAX computers. The application software is written in Fortran 77 and runs on Digital's VMS operation system, which supports multiple interactive user terminals and is capable of monitoring several hundred manufacturing cells. A low-cost personal computer-based solution is also available, written in C to run on the MS-DOS operating system.

The BarcoCIM system can perform production monitoring, scheduling and planning, statistical process monitoring, quality analysis, personnel monitoring, order status reporting and lot tracking. Additional features and customized reporting software are available based on user-defined specifications.


Shotscope S9000 system is a remote process, production and quality monitor for injection machines. CRT display provides real-time graphic presentation of shot profiles (speeds and pressures), trend and X-Bar & R information for each machine. Dynamic windowing capability allows simultaneous display of process, production and quality data. Real-time entry of scrap and rejects does not interrupt taking of process data. A separate PC-based SQC station, which interfaces with the S9000, accepts molded part data (e.g., weights, dimensions) entered either manually or automatically from electronic scales and gauges, and can correlate part-quality data with process data from the shot that produced it, to determine SPC/SQC relationships.


Company's Molders Shop Automation is a real-time machine and production monitoring system with optional statistical process control. One PC enables monitoring up to 128 machines with centralized production control at various locations throughout a plant and outside the plant via modem. Each machine is equipped with a terminal containing a 5-in. CRT for displaying information from graphs to shop personnel. Output relay contacts enable actuation of external devices based on production and process performance. Features include "what-if" scheduling, flexible user-created reports, reject analysis, family molding, mold maintenance, control and capability studies, and more. The system promotes optimization of cycling efficiency, uptime, cavity utilization and good parts yield. Molders Shop Automation interfaces with the Molders Office+ plantwide MRP system.


The Midas 1000-1500-2000-3000 family of production and process monitoring systems provides injection molders a full range of products to monitor basic production variables such as cycle times and downtime, as well as complex process variables. The systems monitor, in real time, a range of selected analog and digital process points such as cycle times, injection pressures, zone pressures, chiller water temperatures, position velocity and counts. The systems are open-ended to allow variables and process points to be added or deleted. Up to 64 process points per machine are available. The systems interface with several industry-standard programmable logic controllers and allow for input from alternative methods of interfacing for those molding machines not equipped with PLCs.

Data is acquired in real time to determine process trends, real-time status, and production quality for each machine and the plant as a whole. Status and trend information, as well as out-of-limit controls, are distributed on-line. The systems provide for storage of upper and lower control limits and all process set-point criteria in a relational database, which can be downloaded to each machine in the network. Machine process data are correlated with part quality data to identify, predict and prevent potential causes of defective production.

The system provides real-time SPC/SQC capability on as many production or process variables as required. The upper end of the Midas line can monitor up to 100 production machines. These integrated systems utilize industry-standard hardware and software. The host system utilizes Unix-based workstations. Modular software design allows for tailoring to specific requirements without having to customize each installation. Design is open-ended and can be connected to plantwide MIS systems.


The Plastics Management System is a turnkey computer system specifically designed for plastics processing, providing a complete manufacturing and financial accounting system. A quotation module accurately quotes suggested product pricing, determines production costs and develops manufacturing standards. Order-entry and release-entry modules automatically update information for the production scheduling module, which graphically provides forward and backward (finite and infinite) scheduling and production capacity planning of all machines and secondary operations. There are a variety of material planning reports, manufacturing efficiency, utilization, analysis and product-costing reports. Daily manufacturing data are entered manually on a keyboard or read via process-monitoring equipment. The inventory control module maintains raw materials, WIP and finished goods; offers three user defined units of measure; costs items to five decimal places; maintains lot code traceability; and provides a multilevel bill of materials. The tool-quoting and tracking module maintains development and revision costs of tools/dies.

Electronic data interchange (EDI) requirements are provided from the automotive/ appliance "accum" release module. Bar-code labeling and reading capabilities will be helpful to some processors. Financial management modules include purchase, ordering, accounts receivables, accounts payables, payroll, general ledger and financial statements. Complete historical and analysis reports of sales, sales commissions and purchasing are also available.

Data Technical Research (DTR) and Production Process have agreed to form a marketing alliance to sell their products as a single real-time production and process monitoring system. The Production Process OPM 20 process monitors will connect to DTR's Plastics Management System software to create two-way communication of manufacturing data to and from the shop floor. Besides its ability to monitor numerous process variables and chart production data, the DTR/Production Process package will be able to perform manufacturing scheduling, materials planning, product costing, SPC/SQC and financial management.


The EPOS System, which utilizes a desktop computer as host, integrates production process (SPC), production management, quality control (SQC) and engineering analysis into a comprehensive, user-friendly information system. The operator/machine interface has a VFD (Vacuum Fluorescent Display) for prompting and a keypad for data entry. Thirty-two process parameters may be monitored and 14 control output signals provided.


Company's Factory Data Manager provides a factory network to collect and validate data that is entered by a worker and data entered by sensors and programmable controllers. At the base level, it is a labor data collection system that can track, to the second, who worked on what job, what component was worked on, and the process involved. Data is then used to cut paychecks and update the cost and material requirements planning systems. Similarly, material issues and production statusing are provided.

The software provides an interface for the host manufacturing computer. Plant direct and indirect labor recording, quality control data entry, material movement, job and employee statusing and time and attendance are standard features.

The system supports a factory network of portables and fixed micro-terminals with attached bar-code or magnetic card readers. It provides generation of ID cards, plant travellers, material tickets, etc. for fast entry via simple wand and keyboard operations. Edit files can be downloaded from the host computer to insure 100% shop data accuracy. The software also supports SPC data collection, product liability tracking and mainframe style restart/recovery capability. It supports AIAG approved bar-code label generation for laserjet and Epson emulation printers. MAP capability is assured.


Provides a complete line of systems for computer integrated manufacturing in the plastics industry. CIM-1 provides data acquisition terminals on all molding machines along with up- and down-stream processes. Local area networks connect the data acquisition terminals to a supervisor's command center, which in turn, connects up to 92 other users throughout the company. Remote terminals allow off-site users to communicate with the system. The CIM-1 system provides total SPC, SQC and MIS programs, which take advantage of expert programs to guide analysis and identify root causes of machine problems. Unlimited reporting is made possible by a combination of pre-formatted and user-formattable report options. Custom programmable DAT acquisition terminals allow the system to be applied to virtually any process in the plant. Each DAT can monitor up to six auxiliary functions in addition to a primary processing machine.


Company's Rubber/Glass/Plastic Industry Center provides both hardware and software products for process and production monitoring and control. Hardware products include industrialized PS/2 models suitable for the manufacturing environment. Industrialized PS/2s are available in a variety of hard disk and memory sizes. Industrialized monitors come in two sizes, 13 in. or 19 in.

Software for either industrialized PS/2s or standard PS/2s includes company's Distributed Automation Edition (DAE) and Plantworks products. DAE and Plantworks are complementary software products and both user configurable.

DAE provides a set of communication and database utilities, which supports a networking environment if several production monitoring stations are required. Typical networks supported include Token Ring, Ethernet, MAP, and others. In addition, DAE supports interfaces to programmable logic controllers such as Allen-Bradley, General Electric, Texas Instruments, and others.

Plantworks is the user interface into the production process, which uses custom graphics from a Plantworks library of graphic symbols. Graphic screens are used to display process/production information to operators and also to display production information to supervisors and managers. In addition, Plantworks contains a reporting capability allowing for generation of custom production/quality reports for management.


Company has two major product families for production monitoring and management: Dataccess and Datacom II. Dataccess products are for the small- to mid-sized manufacturer with 8 to 64 individual production machines or lines. Datacom II family of products are for the larger manufacturer who has over 64 machines and up to 2000 machines.

The systems provide real-time production data that is essential to efficient plant control at every level from operator to manager. The systems increase productivity, automate scheduling, reduce overhead costs and provide accurate labor records.

Both systems are based on Intel Fileservers (a 386 for Dataccess, and one or more networked 486s for Datacom II), fourth generation software, and the company's microprocessor-based work-station terminals. The networked work-station terminals collect production data automatically from each machine and accept data input from other devices such as bar-code readers and gauges. Several "off-the-self" packages are available.

Company will also customize software based on a detailed study of a plant's requirements. The labor-tracking software modules handle sophisticated labor-reporting needs for measured day-work and incentive-based payroll systems.



Provides interactive software systems for complete business and user-oriented solutions. Applications use the Oracle platform, a high-level relational database management system. Company's products are CIIM (computer interactive integrated manufacturing), CIID (computer interactive integrated distribution), and IFAS (integrated financial accounting system). CIIM, as a complete MRPII solution, incorporates all of CIID and IFAS. Both CIID and IFAS may stand alone as independent operating solution segments. Each segment consists of interactive modules which can be purchased in starter kits or complete sets; all can be installed collectively or individually, allowing customers to phase in, reducing business interruptions costs. All three segments can be used to control and monitor manufacturing, distribution, and accounting systems.


The ProHelp system is a process quality control and real-time production monitoring system which includes among its functions production counts, shift production reports, scrap and downtime reports and machine efficiency reports. Multiuser capabilities, allow as many as 10 interactive terminals on the system. Information collected by the central computer is available to management and production personnel throughout the plant. In-process quality control techniques can be applied to all molds and dies and all types of machines. Color CRTs are used to show the status of all production machines in the plant. Machines that are running outside of standard values for cycle time, temperatures, or pressures actuate alarms to alert management to take corrective action. Among the process parameters the system can monitor are: melt, mold and water temperatures; shot size; injection time; and injection and hold pressures. SPC software lets the computer automatically collect samples of every machine's process values. Upper and lower control limits are compared to actual recordings, and alarms are generated if processes go outside of limits, or if shifts or trends are detected in the sample. The system can also interface with a variety of machine controllers.



Company has restructured its Mopac 22 injection process control to interface directly with a process and production data network developed jointly with Production Process. This affords a less costly method to upgrade existing machinery with state-of-the-art control and monitoring capability.

The Mopac network gathers process and production data either from a Mopac 22 directly or from an interface unit on machines that are not Mopac equipped. Mopac setups are stored and retrieved via the network. The operator can enter additional information manually through either unit. Information from machines with or without Mopac control systems are melded into uniform data files. Another input point is a separate gauging station where part weight or critical dimensions can be entered directly to a file for a selected job. All information is tabularized for 31 days, and then archived outside the network. More detailed statistical analysis is done by the SQC/Park software provided with the system.



The Focus 100 real-time production control and process management system includes job scheduling, material and labor tracking, machine and tool maintenance history, and statistical process control. The system features a machine interface unit (MIU) that displays current production data, job standards and machine status, while providing continuous indication of machine performance with color-coded status lamps. The system's control station is a personal computer that makes all master files, historical and real-time data available for on-screen viewing or printed reports.



Company's OPM family of products are shop floor data-collection solutions that facilitate a step-by-step approach to real-time data collection and SQC/SPC, and provide a migration path from stand-alone monitors, to plant-wide data collection, to corporate-wide information systems.

* OPM8: Standalone Multifunction Monitor tracks and displays cycle time, machine rate, shift averages, production rate, setup time, downtime, rejects, and parts fabricated. Displays cycle time in 0.1 or 0.01 sec and production rate in minutes or hours. Key switches are available for reset of shift/job totals. Industry specific applications are available, and monitors use existing machine signals.

* OPM9: Networked Production Monitoring System tracks, displays, and communicates cycle time, machine rate, parts to go, hours to go, batch count, shift averages, production rate, setup time, downtime, rejects, and parts fabricated. Information collected by OPM9s is logged on an off-the-shelf PC. Easy-to-use PC software provides management reporting, SPC charting, job scheduling and tracking, real-time status displays, and supports up to 99 monitors as far as 4000 feet away. OPM9 uses existing machine signals.

* OPM20: Networked SQC/SPC Monitoring System monitors production, run time, downtime, setup time, unscheduled time, scrap, machine productivity and job scheduling. Collects analyzes, stores, trends, and communicates real-time shop-floor data from pressure and temperature sensors, digital gauges and scales, and direct machine inputs. Maintains the quality of the manfuacturing processes and products with Statistical Process Control on machine and in real time as the products are fabricated. OPM20 Systems support up to 99 monitors as far as 4000 feet away, integrate the shop-floor data to the corporate-wide data network, and close the loop between the factory and the MRPII system.


Ultramax, software to improve the quality and productivity of molding processes, analyzes control settings and measured results to understand their cause-and-effect relationships. It guides the user run-by-run to process settings, which deliver results that best meet quality and productivity objectives. Dimensional variation is reduced, defects are eliminated and cycle times shortened by learning better combinations of temperatures, pressures, speeds, hold times, cooling rates and other important influences. Ultramax is used during normal production to provide rapid and continuous improvement. Menu-driven, it builds statistical models, provides tolerance and sensitivity analysis, data management and plotting of information. Ultramax runs on 286 and 386 PCs, UNIX workstations, and a variety of mini and mainframe computers.
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:1991-1992 Manufacturing Handbook and Buyers' Guide
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Jul 15, 1991
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