Minimizing Manufacturing Downtime

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Minimizing Manufacturing Downtime

Every year manufacturers worldwide lose billions of dollars due to disruptions and failures of automated production lines. Tangible costs include the loss of production, capacity, direct labor, inventory, and product.  Intangible costs are the ripple effect of these losses and may include diminished responsiveness to customer and market demands, decreased customer goodwill, increased machine and personnel stress, and reduced capacity to implement innovation. The key to minimizing both tangible and intangible losses associated with process upsets is to quickly identify the root cause(s). To do this effectively, plant managers need data and they need it quickly.

Longwatch Software Provides a Unique  Solution

As manufacturing processes become more complex, finding these root causes can be time consuming and difficult.

Video systems using IVC’s Longwatch Video Historian software provide exactly the right solution by linking stored process events, which are typically collected by the SCADA/PLC system, to saved video clips from associated cameras. The Longwatch GUI provides a tool that presents synchronized process and video data that can be easily displayed on engineers’ workstations or laptops, or integrated directly into downtime reports.


Yogurt producer tackles the problem

To provide better downtime analysis, one of the world’s leading industry food processors implemented an IVC video solution at a yogurt production and packaging plant.  The facility includes 6 packaging lines that use high-speed robots for picking and packing.  IVC worked with the plant engineers to install 3 fixed, high-definition cameras at each packing location. The Longwatch software is configured to provide 5 web-based viewing clients.  The Video Historian software is configured to integrate downtime data from the Oracle system used by the plant, which entails mapping event timestamp and unit names with cameras and recorded video clip timestamps.  Additionally, the Longwatch Console Recorder software is configured to record the ACP client workstations used by line operators.  The time-stamped HMI screen recordings of these workstations can also be synchronized and displayed on the Longwatch GUI alongside camera video.  This enables plant managers to not only see what was happening on the line during an event, but what the operator was seeing and doing on his HMI screen at the time.

Timely downtime data = increased productivity

Once installed, the system began to immediately pay dividends.  Within one day, a complete history of the packing line was recorded.  The camera and Console Recorder video clips were quickly mapped to down time events.  Macros were added to the morning downtime event report (Excel spreadsheet) to provide hyperlinks directly to the video segments related to the events listed in the report.

batch example with WW InSQL (002)Video Historian GUI with historical SCADA data synchronized with recorded video from process monitoring cameras

This provided the customer tremendous insight into the root causes of the day’s down events, many of which could be addressed immediately.  The ease of use of the IVC solution allows the customer to quickly see and address problems, as well as easily share them across their organization.

Historian with Console (002)Video Historian GUI with historical SCADA data synchronized with recorded video from process monitoring cameras and operator consoles recorded by Console Recorder


Paul IVCCOThe case study was written by Paul Vanslette, Chief Technology Officer at Industrial Video & Control,  being responsible for planning and leading the initiative to design, develop, and implement industrial video software solutions for manufacturing, SCADA, and security applications that provide a sustained competitive advantage. IVC is the global market leader in industrial network video, driving the integration of digital video with SCADA applications. IVC products and solutions focus on industrial surveillance and monitoring solutions for security, productivity, and safety applications.


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    July 23, 2017

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    August 6, 2017

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