We are facing a potentially exponential increase in the amount of data manufacturing systems will handle as vision systems, batch control, regulatory compliance, quality management and more will mean that the amount of data those networks have to handle is going to rocket.
As a result, we require sufficient bandwidth to allow for this increased use. At present, CC-Link IE is the only industrial automation networking technology that can provide a gigabit (1 Gbit/s) of bandwidth, which makes it exceptionally well placed to deal with the demands of Industry 4.0.
To find an example of how data intensive these applications can be one only has to look at the needs of the leading Korean flat panel display manufacturers. Their tolerance for so-called ‘dead pixels’ is almost zero. To put this into perspective, a modern HD screen has 1080 vertical pixels horizontally and 1920 vertically. That’s 2,073,600 pixels on each unit. The manufacturing processes have to check each of these pixels, hundreds of times a day to ensure quality and control yield. It’s easy to see how quickly applications like this will generate vast volumes of data.
As another example, the global automotive industry produces countless different combinations of each in-vehicle model at an incredible rate. It’s typical for an assembly plant to produce a complete vehicle at a rate of more than one per minute.
Snap shot of typical respondents
The job function of the typical survey respondent was an automation/control engineer, accounting for 28.2% of total responses. The most prominent average age range was 45–54, indicated by 34.1% of respondents. Nearly half (45.6%) of the respondents were college graduates with a bachelor’s degree, with the largest percentage of those (36.5%) possessing a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Of the respondents, 16.3% have an advanced degree, of which the largest percentage (28.4%) acquired a business administration degree.
The largest percentage of respondents (25.6%) has 31 or more years of professional work experience. It is interesting to note that the largest percentage of respondents (nearly one quarter or 24.8%) has worked for their current employer two years or fewer.
Of the respondents, 78.3% (up 4% over last year) reported a salary increase this year, with the largest percentage (50.6%) seeing a 1%–3% increase. At least a portion of the compensation of 64.7% of our respondents came in the form of commissions or bonuses, with 38.5% of respondents reporting that 1%–10% of their salary is commissions or bonuses. The largest percentage of respondents (35.3%) clocked between 41 and 45 hours per week, and the average vacation time was three weeks per year. Now, the article will dive a little deeper into the solutions.
A direct result of this trend is the need for the site to have remote access to equipment. To help facilitate this access, utilities are converting networks to become IP-enabled – but with the many benefits that come with this, the move to IP networks also adds a level of complexity as it becomes increasingly important to securely connect these critical industrial infrastructures. To that end, cellular automation enables cost-effective monitoring and control of data at remote sites.
Controlling Data At Remote Sites
For the most part, remote sites with critical equipment are located in places that are difficult to access due to long distances or harsh conditions. Accessing critical information, such as equipment health and operational data at these sites can be time-consuming and costly. Also, given today’s aging industrial infrastructures, monitoring and controlling the data within these sites is more critical than ever. In fact, we are beginning to witness the consequences of not updating and maintaining outdated networks, as demonstrated by recent explosions at gas pipelines and blackouts in major cities when parts of the electrical grids have gone down.
Keeping a closer eye on these infrastructures is necessary not only to prevent loss of revenue, but more importantly, loss of life. Unfortunately, however, communicating with remote sites to proactively prevent equipment degradation is far from an easy task and may even require a four-hour helicopter ride. In order to proactively monitor and control remotely located assets, users must be able to access local sensor data. The most cost-effective and intelligent way to do this is through cellular automation.
Color machine vision has its challenges.
Systems can produce three times the data (or less than one-third the resolution) of a monochrome camera solution. Color can introduce more potential sources for imaging errors, more complexity, more cost, and require careful engineering that reduces the system’s flexibility to deal with lines that make products of varying shape, colors, and size. In fact, if designers can find a way to use filters and lighting to measure a colored area using monochrome cameras, they usually do.
Today, printed circuit boards require more color vision solutions because the color of a component helps to identify each part. Plugs and connectors are color coded, and at the same time, the board is tracked using a black-and-white barcode. “These applications used to be done with a high-resolution monochrome camera, but now, you need to be able to sense color to make sure the right component and connector are in the right place,” Kinney explains. “The barcode will usually be located at the edge of the frame. If you use a single-chip color camera, you have to be concerned about color shading and halos at the edge of the image, and it’s made worse if you use cheap optics.”
Operational Benefits: Significant advantages included:
A single prioritized view of well operations
Real-time analysis capability for production data
Real-time feedback on well performance
Improved production and forecasting accuracy
Quick implementation as available out-of-the-box
Easily supportable and maintainable monitoring solution
Conformance and integration with corporate standards
But What Really Matters: This solution has facilitated better decision making, helping experts to take the right action at the right time to solve problems, take advantage of opportunities and improve well performance … but so what?
In this particular case, the bigger-picture business goal was time to first oil enabled by an out-of-the-box, customized solution. Even bigger than that, though, is that the refiner estimates a 4-to-6 percent production increase with real-time data networking and analysis.
The Situation: A leading global producer of crude oil and natural gaslooked for a way to stay ahead of dynamic market demands and overcome challenges associated with offshore oil and gas Automation. As part of an innovative technology project and with the help of Honeywell, this company built a Solutions to help coordinate control of multiple offshore platforms in the North Sea, and improve operations and efficiency.