How Can MDC Systems Change The Production Process?

September 4, 2018 -- Speaking of the technological aspect of raising the efficiency of production, currently greater emphasis is being placed on the Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT. It is expected that namely IIoT will help to digitize the entire production chain, to create an intelligent production process and to considerably enhance its efficiency. 

MDC Implementation as the first step towards Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 and complete IT penetration in the production process is still a distant prospect. Currently, the main goal is not to teach machines to manage without people but to help people and machines interact. This task is precisely what the MDC/MDA (Machine Data Collection/Machine Data Acquisition) class systems undertake to do. They enable the modern production process to be improved without any considerable investments, increasing its efficiency and, at the same time, solving a great deal of related problems. This actually crucial task and the initial step on the path towards Industry 4.0. 

The principle of operation of the MDC systems is simple. For modern CNC machines, monitoring protocols are developed to ensure the collection of data on machine conditions (direct connection). If your CNC machine does not support one of the monitoring interfaces signals can be acquired from the machine using an input device such as the MDCplus TVV10 or Moxa ioLogik device (hardware connection). These devices handle the connection between your machine and network and facilitate signal transmission, in the form of machine event data, to MDCplus. As a result, the managers receive reports on the efficiency of the production process, while the specific services receive an objective tool to take managerial decisions targeted at the improvement of the efficiency of the production process. 

* Working history in MDCplus developed by Zyfra

Shows the proportions of machine states and downtime reasons in given time period. It is possible to have the data from as many machines you like at a time.

Zyfra MDCplus can receive data directly from the majority of modern CNC 

Objective monitoring of the production process and increasing profits of the enterprise

The first problem arising in the current production process is to provide the conditions for the most efficient usage of equipment. Zyfra MDCplus enables estimates to be made of the actual work load of the equipment which, in its turn, shows the bottlenecks in the technological chains and equipment overload. Classification of the equipment’s downtime helps to evaluate the actual losses of working time and production resources and to determine the services and workers responsible for the specified losses.

Given that there are no objective estimation methods except for the reports prepared by engineers on the shop floor, who make the analysis of machine work load and efficiency of use by the residual principle, MDCplus is an objective monitoring tool, especially when it involves production divisions that are geographically dispersed. By increasing the rate of equipment use by 15% alone at the section of 10 machines, between USD 150,000 and USD 300,000 can be saved per year. In addition, it enables work ethic, to be stabilized, reducing the loss of energy resources, optimizing the operation of service departments, meaning that there is no need for staff to work on weekends or on a third shift. 

* Chart of equipment utilization control. It shows how well the equipment (CNC-machines) have been utilized within given time period.

Machine operation status history chart 

Production process monitoring.  Complemented by functions and data in the context of specific technological operations, the monitoring system enables deeper control over the production process. Through accurate monitoring over basic time intervals of the running technological process as applied to each process operation, as well as through calculation of manufactured and defective parts, you can additionally increase machine productivity and save the enterprise money.

The following are the problems that are solved at this step of the monitoring system’s use: optimization of product manufacturing processes, formation of reasonable production process standards, reduction of manufacturing scrap, targeted financing for acquisition of new tools and appliances and control over the efficiency of their use.

It is at this step that the OEE index is calculated, which is a complex indicator and takes into account time lost due to machine downtime, performance losses, and quality losses.

As a rule, solution of the above-listed problems enables efficiency to be increased by an additional 8-12%.  

The analytics of the section operational efficiency for a certain machine and an operator.

* Another way for looking at the equipment utilization by checking proportions of downtime and production time. 

Downtime management.  Equipment downtime management is the next step in optimizing losses. As such, it is the solution of two problems: first, prompt and optimal dispatching of the service departments and second, reasonable arrangement and control over scheduled work performance under maintenance and repair.

These tasks have been implemented in the relevant system modules.

Any recorded unreasonable downtime automatically appears in the system, gets classified by an operator and triggers the call of the service department responsible for this type of downtime. The system records all data in the reports of different levels, which enables prompt estimation of the performed work to be made when it is necessary to carry out analysis of a specific situation. 

At this step of implementation, Zyfra MDCplus enables the following problems to be solved:

  1. Reduce the duration of non-scheduled downtimes at the expense of properly arranged dispatching of equipment.
  2. Prevent unscheduled downtimes and increase the lifespan of equipment through the use of modern maintenance and repair scheduling methods and control of work performance.
  3. Generate reports, references, and supporting documents due to the availability of reference manuals, logs, and a convenient report system.

Such optimization allows unfounded downtimes to be cut by 10-15%; thus, having a considerable effect on the profit of the enterprise. 

Monitoring efficiency of power consumption.  The cost of electricity is the largest energy expenditure item incurred by enterprises that operate production machinery. Zyfra MDCplus allows you to control electricity losses and to determine the reasons for such losses. It helps for direct planning of electricity consumption based on the production schedule, realistic control over the energy efficiency of equipment by comparing planned specific costs with actual costs. Efficient control of energy consumption allows production costs to be cut by an additional 5-7%.  

Thus, the practice of using a monitoring system shows that the information and functionality provided by the system can be used to solve a wide variety of production management problems. By using dynamic analytics of the monitoring system, a general manager of the enterprise or a manager of the specific production department can provide a prompt estimate of the basic efficiency indices both in overall terms or for a certain workshop, a section, machine, or a specific operator. 

By tracking the changes in key efficiency indices over time, a manager gets the opportunity to assess the trends, to conduct in-depth analysis, and to take timely measures in order to improve the situation. Conversely, facing an adverse situation, such as complaints from the workshops on poor provision of tools, a production manager can investigate the influence of the particular reason for downtime on various departments, specific machines, to determine which types of parts and process operations the tools problem is most pronounced and from what point in time this problem began to manifest itself.

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