Manufacturing digitisation with Edge Box – Part 2

Part one of this article looked at ways smart machine solutions can bolster manufacturing flexibility. Here we look at how one manufacturer put this into practice using Schneider Electric’s IIoT Edge Box and EcoStruxure Machine Advisor.

A real-life smart machine example.

A manufacturer of flexographic printing plates differentiated its business with a combination of high-quality products and fast product delivery. To maintain its competitive advantage, their machine OEM provides not only quality machine equipment, but also an exceptional service package. The manufacturer wants the OEM to “look over their shoulder” so that they can succeed in maximising both plant uptime and product quality.

To fulfil this service the OEM must connect into the manufacturer’s machines and monitor their performance from a remote location. This ensures the OEM provides high availability to the manufacturer, even during the pandemic.

Remote access

Remote access by the OEM provided rich machine performance data on an ongoing, near real-time basis. As a result, the machines ran better with little downtime. The OEM also implemented software tools allowing an enhanced simulation of the machine through machine data across its lifecycle. As a result, the OEM can predict when the machine might fail. Thus, they address problems ahead of time, minimising any disruption to operations.

Data captured from the process, and synchronised camera images are part of the machine configuration and stored on the Schneider Edge Box , a local industrial edge server creating real-time historian data.

Edge Box

Part of the Harmony family, Edge Box is an advanced operator interface that runs at the edge control level of EcoStruxure. It includes intelligent connected products and edge terminals that visualize, gather and process data, enabling informed operator decisions.

If a machine stops, the OEM can remotely analyse the data to determine the cause and restart the machine. This revolutionary approach is completely different from traditional situations where the machine remains down, held in an error state, waiting for an intervention on site to rectify the issue. The remote camera provides physical visibility to the machine throughout the various phases of its life cycle. It can synchronise the machine operational parameters to any precise event to optimise machine performance efficiency.

Edge Box provides users with secure communications from shop floor to IT, improving profitability and offering new business opportunities through enhanced asset performance. They offer smart application design and engineering leverage asset performance, with end-to-end cybersecurity.