Automation

Higher level automation systems are being used more and more in packaging lines.  On the line, higher level automation systems (SCADA / MES) can assit by reducing operator requirements and increasing reaction time when issues do occur.  The following  outlines some key points that is assisted at the line level:
  • Ensure effective operator reaction through centralized alarming
  • Line Management Systems through utilization of SCADA
  • Dynamic Operational Efficiency and Yield
  • Automatic Changeover and Start up from Production Schedules
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With the current level of technology, these items can now be completed on tablet computers, further reducing start up times after an event has occurred.  This also reduces the need for centralized or fixed work stations and the dependency of the operator to be in one place.

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Packaging machinery is now becoming inline with  existing process standards such  as ISA-88 by conforming to PackML.  This allows standardization in packaging line automation.  Compliance with this standard can reduce implementation time, assists in multi-plant integration and easier ongoing deployment.

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SCADA and MES systems can also allow for middle and upper level managers to understand overall plant operation.  By obtaining historical data over a shift / day / week / month, of key items such as OEE, Yield and Attainment, management can be empowered to make informed decisions which can quickly impact or justify changes to enable more effective or efficient operation.