E-Factory delivering manufacturing intelligence via MES
Processing data on the shop floor and improving manufacturing intelligence in real-time leads to greater productivity and competitive advantage. IIoT enables Smart Factories to efficiently connect real-time shop floor data with IT systems.
Integration across domains is a huge risk to a project’s success, to deliver completion on-time and in budget. Importantly, automation suppliers are developing integration tools. These are making the process scalable enough to install without major disruption. Scalability also helps management of capital investment.
Mitsubishi Electric’s e-F@ctory delivers manufacturing intelligence by communicating between the control systems and IT systems using a Manufacturing Executions System (MES) module. Moreover, the technology combines performance and ease-of-implementation.
Designing for the future
By integrating MES with control systems, manufacturing becomes more agile in response to changes in the business. As a result, information provided by the MES module helps production managers improve operational decisions.
Without changing the equipment interface, this connectivity solution adds support for other systems. This includes QA, PDM (Product Data Management), performance management and others as defined by a business’ needs. It is also easy to add new transactions, that point to the more data sources. E-F@ctory “future proofs” projects for manufacturers.
Proven in operation
Mitsubishi Electric uses e-f@ctory in-house to manufacture up to 1,000,000 assembled and tested brushless servo motors a year from incoming orders.
The outcome is a transparent factory. As a result, every employee from the machine operator to the manager has real-time access to the process data relevant to them. This resuled in a productivity increase of 80% compared to conventional manufacturing facilities. The time required to produce servo motor halved the zero defects production facility avoids expensive wastage. Product quality is higher, and deliveries are faster.
Local manufacturing intelligence
Every production unit has a display that makes the up-to date processed information available via the intranet using Microsoft Internet Explorer. This enables workers in production to respond immediately to change. They make informed decisions-for example to repair or dispose of defective components. During production, each motor receives a unique identification number for quality controls and batch tracking.
All production and quality data are available in real-time and management always has full information on the production process. Reliable access to current and past process data is the foundation for good decisions. It enables management to identify and correct weaknesses in production, thus further increasing the efficiency of motor production,
The transparency is made possible by the MES Interface module for the MELSEC System Q automation platform. Every production cell contains one module. The machines and other systems there link to the main controller via a field bus. The module inputs the data collected and pre-processed by the controller via the backplane bus and sends it to the central database. It is also possible to access the MES module and the controller via the database.
Communication uses standard SQL database language via an Ethernet interface in the module and using TCP/IP. Support is also included for exchanging documents in the non-proprietary XML format. The MES interface interoperates with all standard databases. In particular, it is optimised for Oracle’s Fusion Middleware.
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