Using a Web-based Solution to Monitor Plant Equipment and Resolve Downtime Issues

B. Jawad, K. King, A. Bazzari, and A. Sakr (USA)


Web-Based, Plant Equipment, Downtime Issues.


Plant floor systems have been around for many years. Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) or embedded computers on manufacturing lines that communicate with the front-office computer system or the accounting system are commonplace. It’s hard to imagine an advanced manufacturing operation without some of these systems in place. But the challenge is becoming what to do with the mountains of data these systems collect. The proposed solution is a Web application that gathers, summarizes and presents plant floor data in real time — that is, while it’s happening. It accepts information from PLCs and other I/O devices on the production floor and presents reports, graphs and charts that can change as the information comes in. Users can track productivity, find bottlenecks and identify sources of downtime and slowdowns. The system is also smart enough to sort this incoming information stream and to export it in a variety of formats for use in other enterprise-wide systems. The application presents the data to the user through a standard and familiar Web browser. By taking advantage of Internet protocols and the network technologies, the package keeps the manager in touch with current shop floor conditions from any-where in the plant or in the world, wherever there’s an Internet connection. In addition the system has the ability to tie in to pagers and PDA’s for immediate response to machine issues.

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