The box plant is made up of 15-18 different manufacturing cells that span the 60,000 square foot facility. Each of the individual cells contain a series of status lights that can be seen across the entire plant floor. The lead person at each cell is responsible for inputting data to represent the status of the manufacturing cell. The status consist of the following: (1) "In Production" (2) "Need Maintenance" (3) Low on raw product (4) "Product Out-feed Full". The status lights are monitored and assistance is provided as needed by the plant support staff. Due to repeated failures of their PLC system that controls the status displays the Client needed a more reliable control system.
LEC removed the failed PLC system and installed a GE PLC system. The advance instruction capabilities of the GE PLC enables us to simplify the PLC code.
Due to the ease of the integration we are now discussing with the Client the possibility of interfacing the GE system to a windows-based PC for data collecting purposes. We will then be able to log and trend the status of the manufacturing cells. This data will support preventive maintenance and provide information concerning production flow throughout the plant.
The next phase for upgrade involves interfacing the GE PLC system with an automated system that will text or email the necessary plant support personnel as to the status of the manufacturing cells.