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Industrial-IoT Suite Addresses Shop-Floor Challenges in Real Time

June 25, 2019

Plex Systems, at its PowerPlex 2019 users conference, announced the release of Plex Industrial IoT, a suite of solutions designed to solve business challenges generating from the shop floor. It connects machines to the cloud, manages the resulting data streams and contextualizes the information in real time. The first available offering will focus on asset performance management (APM), helping companies avoid manufacturing disruption caused by common problems such as unplanned downtime, diminished machine performance and substandard quality output.

The suite enables manufacturers to implement and leverage connectivity, breaking down silos created by varying protocols and data types used by equipment and sensors by simplifying the connection to machines and the contextualization of data, according to company officials. They note that Plex Industrial IoT grants access to the underlying machine intelligence, delivering to manufacturers timely and accurate insight in a single solution, thus eliminating operational surprises.

The capability echoes an Industry 4.0 trend, where research shows that by 2021, 90 percent of manufacturers will leverage real-time equipment and asset-performance data to self-diagnose issues in advance and trigger a service intervention to avoid unplanned downtime.

Plex Industrial IoT provides manufacturers with the opportunity of continuous improvement through access to historical IIoT data. The suite’s first solution focuses on APM, starting with an understanding of current and historical activity. Its real-time assessment provides shift supervisors and plant managers with data needed to understand behaviors and trends, and diagnose root causes of common challenges such as machine failures, efficiency dips or substandard quality.

Another suite feature: improved productivity with real-time, comprehensive, pre-built asset dashboards. These help manufacturers monitor the status of any asset, in any facility, from any connected device. Customizable, the dashboards deliver access to up-to-the-minute metrics and analytics, delivering information that enables immediate and accurate response to live data, to improve operator performance and overall equipment effectiveness mid-shift.

Also, the software minimizes operational disruptions by predicting and preempting unplanned downtime. Data collected over time with Plex Industrial IoT are analyzed against historical trends and contextualized against MES and ERP data from the same facilities to provide insights from the shop floor to the top floor, according to company officials. This helps reduce operational disruptions and allows manufacturers to better plan for unanticipated issues.

“Plex Industrial IoT will provide us a direct view into the status and overall performance of assets,” says Bob Bierwagen, vice president of digital strategy for MPI Corp., a manufacturer and Plex customer, “and we are excited about the ability to tie quality and part-level performance expectations to asset performance—information that traditionally has been difficult to generate. With this information available we can correlate data—as well as understand causality in order to make the operational improvements that will positively impact our bottom line.”


See also: Plex, A Rockwell Automation Company

Technologies: Management


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