SIG launches Plant 360 Controller to meet Industry 4.0 demands
The controller consists of three modules: Connector, Performer and Governor, which can be customized according to what a manufacturer needs, featuring open software compatible with equipment and machinery from any supplier.
Stefan Mergel, senior product manager, equipment, SIG, said nowadays with multiple systems running independently, an increasing number of data sources, and equipment from several different suppliers, plants are becoming increasingly complex to manage.
Plant 360 Controller can gradually integrate all horizontal plant processes and systems into one platform, adding more functionalities to grow vertically, giving a full overview of the entire production.
“It’s easy and fast to integrate the Connector because our customers’ lines and plants have to continually run,” he said.
“That’s why we do most of the groundwork at SIG so we can deliver a plug-and-play system, which is integrated within the equipment, connected to the PLC and can go live within a day.”
The three modules: Connector, Performer and Governor, work as follows: The Connector ensures full connectivity in a manufacturer’s plant, no matter what equipment, supplier or PLC is used.
OPC Unified Architecture (OPC-UA) enables horizontal machine-to-machine and vertical communication, from shop floor to top floor, within the entire plant.
The Performer is a Plant Monitoring System (PMS) with a platform where all connected equipment can share information. This creates a database that monitors an entire plant in real time, analyzes historical data to find process bottlenecks and presents intelligent insights in visual dashboards.
Top floor to shop floor
The Governor provides a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for complete control of a plant, from top floor to shop floor. This means seamless communication between all layers of operations – from Enterprise-Resource-Planning (ERP) to individual machines and back.
“With the Performer module, we have a basis module that covers all key functionalities but we also have a large toolbox where customers can choose the tools and modules they need related to issues such as performance, quality and energy,” added Mergel.
“Potential cost savings from the Governor module are dependent on the customer but from our experience we have some proven key figures.
“We know you can improve OEE by an average of 5% while plant capacity can be improved by 10%.”