Better Decisions Require More Visibility

April 20, 2010
Learn how Manufacturing Intelligence solutions support enterprise decision-making by monitoring plant equipment OEE across disparate systems.

As manufacturing operations continually demand a better bottom-line, plant managers and operators seek more and better performance from their existing processes and systems. Providing those improvements requires analysis of a range of such performance measurements as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). But an OEE calculation—the calculation of overall plant capacity versus actual plant performance—is never better than the values used to compute it.

FactoryTalk® Metrics from Rockwell Automation is critical to providing accurate, measurable and actionable information off the plant floor. Metrics monitors plant-floor equipment to provide timely information about machine performance, and tracks event history on that machine to help operators understand the causes of weaknesses or failures in that performance. As a result, manufacturers are able to achieve lower overhead and manufacturing costs, better manage capacity, and extend the useful life of existing capital equipment.

The software is quickly and easily configurable, compatible with virtually any PLC or HMI, and leverages common Microsoft reporting technology. For an OEE calculation, for example, Metrics gathers data and reports on such details as:
- Total/good/scrap production counts
- Part ID and cycle time
- Status and shift – time patterns and exceptions
- Running indicator
- Custom or user-defined formulas or calculations for KPI or event data collection

Where Metrics provide visibility into “how” a machine is performing, FactoryTalk VantagePoint from Rockwell Automation can help to provide the “why” certain events or conditions are occurring and how they impact results.

That information can come from all over the plant: from Metrics, certainly, but also from sensors, historians, and business systems. Perhaps more difficult to manage, that information can come from systems developed by different vendors and that range widely in age.

FactoryTalk VantagePoint overlays all those systems and creates a unified production model to support enterprise decision-making. The model places information from disparate systems into context and provides visibility into production through a web-based reporting tool that gives users a fully-fleshed picture of what factors are contributing to weak spots in performance. Out-of-the-box functionality is available in hours, not days or weeks, and among the published reports, trends and dashboards available for decision-making are:
- Key performance indicators (KPI)
- Alarm and event reports
- Control loop reports
- Device and equipment reports
- Reports on batches, production runs and shifts

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