Greater Visibility into CNCs, Robots and Assembly Machines Results in Assurance of On-Time Parts Delivery


Manufactures and assembles automotive chassis, brake and powertrain products.

The manufacturer could not get live production visibility from their CNCs, robots, and assembly machines. Their customers had concerns about their ability to deliver enough parts on time as a result. They knew that their ability to win future work from end customers was at stake if this issue wasn’t resolved. If they were able to gain greater visibility into their manufacturing and assembly process than their competition, they could differentiate themselves and demonstrate to end users how quickly they become aware of production issues, so they could be addressed in a timely manner and not effect deliveries.

There was not enough visibility into the production process. Operators and plant management could not easily see the production status for the six CNCs and additional assembly cells. They were interested in knowing the states of these assets (auto/running, tool change, faulted or starved) as well as the production counts (shift target vs current) and OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) immediately. They also wanted to be able to run reports to see how the assets were performing over time and determine where/when they had bottlenecks. They wanted this information displayed in the plant for operators and management to easily see, as well as access remotely via phone/tablet/laptop.

The existing equipment was not on their IT network, leveraged duplicate IP addresses, and they tried various software vendors but could not get data out of the CNCs. They did not want to edit any code on the existing CNCs and the way the CNCs counted parts was not done in a counter but just with a bit going high every time four parts were made. Most OEE software packages need to see a counter register for part counts.

Rockwell Automation’s 1783-NATR NAT appliances were used to put the CNCs and other PLC assets on the IT network without having to change any of the machine’s IP addresses. VisualizationTelit’s DeviceWISE Enterprise for Factory IIOT software was incorporated to connect to their CNCs and other PLCs to get the data needed into their server database on the IT network. DeviceWISE was instrumental in allowing for existing CNC code not to be touched for part counters and instead write a small flowchart program to convert the part count bits into part counters. DeviceWISE has an OPC server that was used to share the production data to Rockwell’s FactoryTalk Metrics OEE software to calculate OEE on each CNC and assembly process, as well as downtime reason information. Dynics ProViewDS HMI/SCADA software was then loaded on two 55” large format displays and hung in the plant to display the information from both FactoryTalk Metrics and DeviceWISE in an easy to understand format for all to see. The customer provided a drawing of the line layout that was imported into ProViewDS and the data was then overlaid on top of this drawing using dynamic color objects that change from green to yellow to red based on production status for the various assets.

Greater visibility into their manufacturing process.

Time savings to avoid having to manually generate reports in Microsoft Excel and instead use automatically and on-demand generated reports from the FactoryTalk Metrics data. Additionally, the reports can be generated instantaneously while production is running, rather than having to wait until the following day or end of shift.

Helped them to maintain existing business.

DeviceWISE is being implemented in their China locations and the possibility of creating a new global standard is being worked on.

Dynics CW55 55” Large Format Display with ProViewDS
Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk Metrics
Rockwell Automation 1783-NATR Network NAT Appliance
Telit DeviceWISE Enterprise for Factory IIOT Software