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Literally, improving the efficiency of a production operation means raising the levels of attainment in three discrete areas of production;
1. Performance (or rate of production, e.g. metres/hr, tonnes/hr, bottles/hour)
2. Availability (or machine up-time)
3. Quality (or the proportion of good products produced as a %age of the whole number produced)
These can be considered on a machine-by-machine basis, by department, by site or as a business as a whole, all derivations will all be calculated from individual machine productivity data.
The three component parameters are used together to determine what is now regarded as the industry standard metric for indicating production efficiency, OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness). This metric is calculated by simply multiplying together the three individual %ages for the three component elements to obtain an overall performance figure.
This figure is a simple but very clear indication of just how a machine (or department or business) might be operating.
Although there are three important component measures, many companies will concentrate on any combination of these three parameters without associating them, it can be any number of the three, they are often worked on individually by discrete departments. Although OEE is a simple indicating metric the complexity, resource and effort required acquiring the necessary data often limits the extent to which companies can engage in the OEE measuring regime.
One thing on which all companies agree however is that improvement in productivity, be it one or all three of the component elements, delivers in a significant improvement in profitability.
Improving the production efficiency of a manufacturing process is one of the most effective mechanisms for improving the profitability of an organisation. Very often the measures that need to be taken are not complex, nor are they costly to implement. The key to be able to make the changes is knowing where the losses in production occur.
Experience has taught us that there are a number of essentials that need to be established at the outset of this exercise.
1. Someone must be charged with championing the project
2. Buy-in needs to be established from all interested parties, from machine operators through to C.E.O.
3. There needs to be the understanding that everyone in the company will benefit from the project
4. The project will not reach an end point. Improvements will always be necessary even after the big gains are made in the early stages.
Once these basics are put into place the most crucial element of the exercise is the acquisition of production data. It is this productivity information that arms companies with the intelligence to make the changes necessary if improvements are to be made.
Small changes in productivity make large differences to profitability – and they are not difficult to identify.
AssetManager is a system that is designed to make the acquisition and analysis of production data simple, instantaneously available and at a very low cost. The system hardware connects directly to production machinery and presents operators with an intuitive interface with which they can easily enter pertinent production data. Automating this production data collection minimises the cost, maximises the efficiency of the collection and analysis process, and provides reliable intelligence to users wherever they are in the world with web access.
Data collection for production analysis is not a new phenomenon; companies have been arming machine operators with clipboards and pens for years. The collection of which has been expensive, tardy and with results that have been acknowledged as unreliable. AssetManager redefines the rules.
AssetManager has been very cleverly designed to install and operate effectively on just about every automated production machine there is (non automated processes do not have any system to connect to).
This is possible because the fundamental OEE components are common across all manufacturing processes; the natures of the processes’ components (e.g. the downtime reasons) are specific to each process.
AssetManager’s interfaces, both the wired interconnections and the operator touch screen are easily configured to suit individual applications.
AssetManager operates on the InfoServe365 Internet technology platform. This platform has been installed and operating reliably since 2005. It has a centralised data centre (where the data is stored) with a web based hub topology (clients sites from where the data is gathered).
Access to the data and the analysis modules is gained via any normal web browser from any Internet connected computer (users must have appropriate security credentials).
In our experience machine operators very quickly get used to the AssetManager interface and find its operation simple and intuitive.
Its icon-lead menu interface is a very easy to for operators use. Icons that require attention flash, prompting the operator accordingly. The operator then has context sensitive options written in a choice of selectable languages
Data entry is therefore very quick to effect, something operators really appreciate.
Only people specified by the customer can access the system. Access to the system is gained via the www.manufacturingintelligence.co.uk website and users require security credentials in order to access the system.
There is no limit placed upon the number of people that can be granted access and there is no per user cost associated.
People with access can only see data belonging to their company and each person with access can be withheld access to specific modules or reports as determined by the customer.
Once collected and collated locally (at the machine) the data is transferred over the Internet to our central servers for analysis and presentation.
Storing customers’ data offsite has many advantages, from a commercial perspective and from a service quality point of view.
Commercially, clients have no up-front costs. We store not only the data but also the analysis tools in a central location. This model means that we can administer and maintain the AssetManager system in a very efficient way. This in turn means that our costs and your service charges are as low as possible.
Having centralised data also means that authorised users can see the data from any and all of their installations in a single location. Another efficient characteristic of the AssetManager system.
The data we store is very secure. Our security systems are extremely robust. Since 2005 we have successfully stored clients data in our data centre with a 100% record. We have a number of strategies that we implement in order to achieve this record. Obviously we can’t disclose them on this open forum but we would be happy to explain them in more detail individually.
Our I.T. system has a full suite of up-to-date anti-virus and anti-malware tools. Our data backup regime mitigates any risk of data loss due to most foreseeable disasters.
We undertake all data management functions leaving you to concentrate on improving the performance of your business.
Yes. There are two options.
1) As standard the AssetManager system is supplied with a set of interface I/O (input/output) devices with which the system is connected to the host machine. This I/O block can be extended to include any physical parameter for which an electrical small signal is available.
2) The second technique involves the use of OPC technology. Here we connect the AssetManager system to the supporting digital host systems (with PLC, SCADA and similar) and gather any data that resides within those systems.
It is important to understand that these connectivity methods render the AssetManager system as non-standard. This will mean that the system will loose the auto-update facility i.e. when any firmware updates are issued by the AssetManager development team all AssetManager touch screens with standard firmware installed can automatically update to the latest version of operating system.
AssetManager has an energy module that will record the energy consumed (for any utility) and automatically associate the usage with productivity. This is one of the most powerful analysis activities that energy managers can hope to perform and often takes a great deal of time and effort to carry out. With AssetManager the whole activity is carried out automatically.
AssetManager has been designed as a modular system so that it is possible for customers to install the system on a single machine or on multiple ones. Its simple installation and connectivity requirements make for a minimal time and investment requirement. So for customers with an interest but prefer to trial the system up front, AssetManager will adapt perfectly.
Yes. This makes the task of issuing works orders to operators or departments much simpler and more efficient. The AssetManager out-turn files also means that works order information for any particular job being run can automatically be input back into the ERP system. This avoids cumbersome manual data entry and speeds up the whole process meaning live tracking is possible for planners and production managers.
AssetManager uses text files and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to provide this type of functionality. Both are common methods used for these types of function.
Using an FTP server located on the customer network, AssetManager will accept works order/job files (in text format), generated by the customers ERP system or e.g. from a simple spreadsheet planning tool (text files and FTP are common methods used for these types of function).
Many companies, large and small alike, use InfoServe365’s data collection and production reporting system. Names familiar such as Crown Paints, Kodak and Amcor, and perhaps less household-name companies such as Tensar International, The Bobst Group and Eurobond in Wales.
We have installations in prominent academic institutions such as Oxford University, and in overseas locations including the Far East and Europe.
We can offer a number of demonstration methods. We have an on-line demonstration of InfoServe365 (a bespoke application, which is similar but not identical to AssetManager) using a machine that we operate at our headquarters. With this demonstration we will make telephone contact with you at your own premises and using a computer with Internet access connect you to our demonstration site. We will then talk you through the demonstration and give you a good overview of the InfoServe365 functionality.
Alternatively, we have an authentic demonstration unit that we can either bring to a customers site or if you prefer we would be happy to accommodate you at our offices in Lancashire. Again this gives a first hand introduction of a real application.
For customers that are close to a commitment and would like to speak to an existing client, we have a number of sites that are willing to act as references and can occasionally accommodate site visits.
The installation for AssetManager is really quite simple. There are approximately 10 wires to connect between the AssetManager I/O (input/output) block, then a standard 240V/110V power outlet together with a 24V DC supply are required.
The operator touch screen has a number of mounting options, i) with through-panel clips ii) wall mount (with a standard VESA mount or iii) using a stable bracket that will sit on any flat surface.
If the standard AssetManager is expanded to include additional process I/O, or power management data then there will be more interconnections to make but we will provide all the necessary technical help to make a good installation.
It is worth noting that the AssetManager system can be expanded at any time following the initial installation of the productivity hardware (I/O and touch screen). This means that customers have the opportunity to adapt the system as their needs develop. A feature that allows a controlled rollout and accommodation of both technical and commercial time-scales.
Operation of the touch screen is really simple and intuitive. In our experience machine operators very quickly get used to the AssetManager interface.
Its easy to read, icon-lead menu interface is a very good to for operators use. Icons that require attention flash, prompting the operator accordingly. The operator then has context sensitive options written in a choice of selectable languages.
Any conditions that can be acquired automatically require no operator input.
There are optional connections that feed back to the host control system. These prevent start-up of the machine until the operator enters valid data when required.
Access to the data, the analysis tools and the reporting modules is gained by logging on to the InfoServe365 website from any Internet connected computer using a normal web browser.
People wishing to logon require valid security credentials.
This means that access to the whole analysis system is possible anywhere in the world with Internet access. In the office, at home, whilst away on business and even roaming on your palm top or smart-phone.
It is the responsibility of the customer to effect the installation. However, we are happy to carry out the installation on your behalf, perhaps training the customer’s technical staff on the first installation getting them confident enough to install any future systems that require installing.
Within the Optima Group we have extensive expertise in control and instrumentation engineering and in the I.T. field so we are very well placed to assist or provide customers with a turnkey solution to the whole installation requirements.
The touch screen operating system has been developed to allow easy configuration and ongoing maintenance. The AssetManager touch screen can be configured in two ways. 1) Directly at the touch screen or 2) via the website tools. We provide comprehensive instructions that describe simply how to configure the screens to suit your own application.
The screen will be delivered with a default configuration installed that will make the workings of the system easy to understand.
We can provide an initial installation, configuration and setup service that clients take up as a useful training facility on their first installation. Subsequent installations are then handled by customers own technical personnel.
All regular maintenance (i.e. configuration changes etc.) is handled by the customer. Any changes are implemented either at the touch screen or via the website configuration tools.
For standard AssetManager applications a copy of the touch screen configuration is stored at on the InfoServe365 servers. In the instance where a screen is required to be swapped for any reason, the system will automatically download the stored config in a matter of seconds once Internet connectivity is restored. This is a time saving feature of the AssetManager operating system.
Our technical support staff are on hand to offer assistance should you require help at any stage.
Yes. As part of our commitment we are happy to provide assistance to customers with installation, commissioning and training. Telephone support is costed in to the monthly service charges, on-site support is subject to our normal published charges.
The AssetManager system has very high tolerance to Internet failure. The operator touch screen has the capacity to store months’ worth of production data in the event of the Internet breaking down. Once the Internet connectivity is restored all stored data is uploaded to the InfoServe365 servers and full analysis and reporting is available for the period over which the Internet was lost.
The Infoserve365 Internet connection is a managed connection with a service level agreement.
AssetManager touch screens are supplied with a normal 12-month warranty. In the rare instance of a touch screen failure we operate a return to base/swap out policy. Should the failure occur within the 12-month warranty period the screen will be changed free of charge. If a failure occurs outside the warranty period, the replacement unit will be charged for at the prevailing, published price.
Our technical support personnel are on hand to offer assistance should you require help at any stage.
With valid security credentials there is no practical limit to the number of customer nominated people that can access the analysis and reporting tools. There is no per-user fee charged. The single monthly service charge includes all access fees.
The system’s permission levels can be configured (by InfoServe365 technical staff only) to allow access to individual modules according to the customer’s request.
Yes. Generating bespoke reports is a complex and time-consuming exercise for anyone. We are happy to provide this service and will provide a quotation according to the content and complexity of the required report.
We advise customers to initially use the raw data module to access the process or production data of interest and export the data in a spreadsheet format. By carrying out some longhand analysis and report design a good report specification can be determined before its final hard production is carried out. This saves customers time and money.
There are two variants of the touch screen both with high IP protection ratings. The highest is rated as submersible down to a depth of 1M. It can be washed down.
The other variant has an IP64 rating through the front of the screen but it’s mounting arrangements can lower the protection levels.
There are two variants of touch screen interfaces. Both have full wireless and hardwired 10/100 network connectivity.
No. Each application requires an individual touch screen interface unit.
Yes. A master AssetManager touch screen will accommodate any number of slave touch screens on its local network.
This means that processes with a long or distributed topology that might have a number of work stations can have a touch screen located at each of those locations. The master touch screen exclusively retains the right to select the job/order being run on the machine. All units have similar functionality and can be organised to allow selection of downtime reasons appropriate for individual locations.
Any data collected using the AssetManager system and stored on the InfoServe365 servers is owned exclusively by the client. InfoServe365 has no right of ownership over any data. Should the client request that any data is returned, InfoServe365 will do so and will delete all records of that data. The client is free to witness the deletion if they so wish.
The servers operate in a temperature controlled atmosphere are pro-actively maintained at all times. We offer a 99.4% up-time SLA (this is not a contractual clause).
Should there be a catastrophic failure we have a documented recovery plan that will be implemented immediately. This recovery plan facilitates a return to service within 24 hours.
We have a robust daily backup routine that will ensure a 1x day maximum loss of data.
Any data that is collected during a server failure instance will be retained by the operator touch screen and stored locally until the servers are restored to service.
There are fixed monthly service fees charged on a per application basis. There are neither additional operating system upgrade fees nor are there any additional per user fees.
The AssetManager service has a defined tariff. Please refer to our published terms and conditions. We will be happy to supply a copy on request.
Broadly, the service costs include for the provision of the service according to the stated uptime of 99.4%, include all operating system upgrades (for standard applications), access to the web service by any number of registered people (with security credentials) and ongoing telephone support.
We will be pleased to provide telephone assistance with installation, setup and configuration.
We are also happy to attend site and provide an initial installation, configuration and setup service. This site service is chargeable at the prevailing rates. We are happy to supply a copy of the published rates.
Clients often take up this useful training facility on their first installation. Customers’ own technical personnel then handle subsequent installations.
We can provide an initial installation, configuration and setup service that clients take up as a useful training facility on their first installation. Customers’ own technical personnel then handle subsequent installations.
We quote a standard delivery period of 3 weeks. We can often improve this but will confirm at the time of placing an order.
Overall Equipment Effectiveness, or OEE, is an industry standard indicator, expressed as percentage, which describes the level of production efficiency being attained for any industrial manufacturing process.
An efficiency improvement drive would firstly measure (or benchmark) a process’ existing OEE level then by analysing, identify where inefficiencies exist. Measures to address the causes would be introduced (with either new working procedures, new equipment or a more targeted maintenance regime).
Once the improvement measures are installed, the resulting OEE level attained would be measured and analysed and any improvements identified as a means of determining the efficacy of said improvements.
The OEE of a production process is obtained by measuring the individual levels of attainment in three discrete areas of production, again expressed as a percentage of the theoretical maximum for each area, namely;
3. Quality (or the proportion of good products produced as a percentage of the whole number produced)
These individual measures can be considered either on a machine-by-machine basis, by department, by site or as a business as a whole. However, all derivations will stem from productivity data collected from individual machines.
The OEE metric is calculated by simply multiplying together the three individual percentages for the three component elements to obtain an overall performance figure.
The OEE figure is a simple but very clear indication of just how efficiently a machine (or department or business) might be operating.
Tel: +44 (0) 1254 27 28 27
Fax: +44 (0) 1254 27 28 28
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