SYSCON-PlantStar and the Industrial Internet

South Bend, Indiana – February 10, 2015 – While the term “Industrial Internet” is unknown to many manufacturers, it’s already used in manufacturing facilities that have implemented MES solutions like those provided by SYSCON-PlantStar.

In the simplest terms, the Industrial Internet is the ever-growing network of equipment and machinery that feature an IP address for internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems.1

SYSCON-PlantStar plays a major role in satisfying the demands and tools necessary for this emerging technology. The PlantStar real-time plant floor data acquisition solutions capture a wide-range of information from the manufacturing floor for dissemination at the local level as well as across the Internet, providing accurate production, process and capacity data. This connectivity reduces delays in reporting, increases personnel efficiencies and helps eliminate bottlenecks and downtime. The PlantStar systems provide machine-to-machine, machine-to-plant and plant-to-plant interface and interaction.

PlantStar Utilizes Custom Engineering to Connect More Equipment to the Internet
The Industrial Internet brings challenges for manufacturers due to the complexity of linking their diverse machine inventories. To respond to these challenges, the PlantStar Custom Engineering team is continually adding to their extensive library of interface communication protocols that connect not only their customers’ primary machinery through the Internet, but auxiliary equipment as well. The following are a few examples of the customized interfaces that have been added to PlantStar’s Portrait® and Panorama® software systems:

  • An interface for Milacron molding machines, Conair material weigh blenders, a central cooling system, and air compressors for a custom plastics molding manufacturer.
  • Gammaflux temperature controllers were recently brought online for a medical device manufacturer. In addition, their Conair and Dry-Air material dryers will be integrated into their Panorama® system. The dryers will have an alarm function that notifies plant personnel when the material level is low. If a machine operator doesn’t respond within five minutes, the PlantStar software puts the molding machine into manual mode and tracks it as a down machine because of a material problem.
  • A PokeYoke function that automatically verifies the correct tool is matched to the correct production order via bar code label scanning.
  • Utilization of wireless tablets for easy access to setup sheets and company documents, including schematics, maintenance manuals and more.
  • An operator interface that links the PlantStar bar code system with a third-party bar code system that resides in the customer’s ERP system. The interface links data from both systems and provides a complete bar code that meets the customer’s requirements.
  • Connection to manual assembly equipment for an automotive OEM that assures balanced production levels from molding to assembly, and eliminates assembly interruptions.
  • Integration among the SYSCON-PlantStar system, the customer’s Middleware Software and their SAP ERP system.

In summary, the SYSCON-PlantStar MES solutions integrate the entire plant floor process, including all the equipment that impacts quality and productivity, and make real-time, accurate data available to the appropriate personnel via Internet connectivity. The Internet connectivity links the entire organization, whether it’s comprised of one facility and many locations throughout the world.