In today’s era of mechanization, automation of processes is gaining huge momentum. In the current manufacturing scenario, even production floors and plants are turning towards full automation.
The reason behind this momentum is that automation requires minimum human intervention, that too for supervisory control only, speeds up the process, reduces labor and cost and most important of all reduces the possibility of human error.
However, if you are still lagging in complete automation of your plant you should read why real-time equipment performance monitoring requires automation.
Why automation is crucial for real-time equipment performance monitoring
Let us start by considering few parameters.
Firstly, an organization purchases expensive, automatic equipment to reduce cost and labor and increase accuracy and speed.
Secondly, the value of any equipment is measured on the basis of the actual time it operates and the acceptable goods produced during this time.
Thirdly, every piece of equipment can be considered to be in a different state at any given point of time and to report and record the current state and the transition between various states, regardless of it being operated as manual or as automated.
An Equipment State in layman terms is the status of the equipment at any given point of time. Consider an example, when an automated machine is used to cut raw material. Now when the start button is pressed machine starts, it will continue to cut unless stop button is pressed or is stopped due to any problem.
Now, this equipment can be in any of the below four mentioned states at a given point of time:
State 1- Idle
State 2- Running
State 3- Stopped
State 4- Under Maintenance.
To understand the efficiency with which the cutting machine is performing or being used, it is very important for plant management to know three things at any point of time:
1) The current state of the machine
2) The number of transitions between the states
3) The total time when the machine was running without any issues.
Apart from this some organisations even use models and standards to monitor their performance and to ensure that the states are changed as reliably as possible. This is a manual process. Let us see the difference between automation and manual monitoring.
Any modern equipment like the automated cutting machine mentioned above operates at a very high speed and changes state very fast (e.g. start-stop operations, etc.) and it’s virtually impossible that someone manually reflects such changes in the system at the same pace and accuracy.
Also, there is a natural delay in recording, when data is recorded manually. There is an always a big chance of false, erroneous reports. In fact, it loses the whole purpose of automating the process. There are obviously clear and evident flaws in using manual methods for monitoring of automated equipment.
To sum up, the purpose of this article is to make decision makers and top management of manufacturing organizations realize the importance of complete automation (in this article, from an equipment monitoring perspective). Complete automation occurs when automatic equipment is used in tandem with automated systems such as to monitor their performances.
Such kind of complete automation will definitely help generate higher value from the process and help improve the overall process effectiveness.
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Automate your plant completely with AAG!
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