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Old March 15th, 2018, 10:59 AM   #1
harby11
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PLC Remote Data Logging

My boss has tasked me with finding a way to use a PLC to monitor the efficiency of our machines and operators throughout the week. This involves keeping track of when these machines are running (including counting the cycles) and when they are down (including how long they are down for). Being new to PLCs I can not figure out how to do this effectively. I have found some people online talking about using software like XLReporter, DreamReport, etc... but, I'm not sure how to even get started with transferring data from a PLC to an outside source. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old March 15th, 2018, 11:15 AM   #2
A_G
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What kind of PLC do you have?

Do a search for "allen-bradley plc to excel" and you can find a few sites/how to guides. I've done this to get the data from a few PLC tags into Excel. This is fine for simple applications.

There are many other data logging methods available depending on what exactly you are looking for.
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Old March 15th, 2018, 11:15 AM   #3
SD_Scott
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Well, at least you are the one that gets to decide the architecture and philosophy. That is a good thing. Many, many questions unanswered.

1. What is controlling these machines? Are they connected? Can they be?
2. What is the current state of the plant IT and network infrastructure?
3. What is the skill level of the people that will support this system.
4. How much data will be collected?
5. Does this data need to be stored in a DB? Reporting required? Web?
6. What is the performance level required?

7. Etc, etc, etc.
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Old March 15th, 2018, 11:21 AM   #4
cardosocea
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What system are the machines running on?
Does he want a report, live values?

I find that even talking about operators when approaching something like this is already misguided and perhaps you can nudge him towards logging the alarms that stopped the machine along with the running hours and efficiency rate if available.
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Old March 15th, 2018, 11:32 AM   #5
SD_Scott
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You can search for things like KPI. OE, OEE, plant metrics, etc. I do these types of projects for large factories and I use .NET and SQL server. Everything is developed from scratch. That is certainly not for everyone though.

Here is a link to Red Lion. They have some tools for this type of thing.

http://www.redlion.net/resources/whi...ion-monitoring
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Old March 15th, 2018, 02:30 PM   #6
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http://accautomation.ca/now-you-can-...r-free-part-1/

The above link may be of some help.

Regards,
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Old March 15th, 2018, 05:37 PM   #7
Steve Bailey
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Here are a few ideas based on personal experience developing and deploying a downtime reporting system. The facility already had a plant-wide production monitoring system in place, so it was easy to add a few new tags for each workstation to track downtime.
For many of the workstations, the PLC code used the model of a state machine, so downtime was defined by no change in the state number in five minutes. Each workstation had its own HMI, so when the PLC determined it was down, a screen popped up on the HMI that could not be closed until the operator touched a button to indicate the reason for the downtime.
Don't give them too many reasons. Initially the supervisors wanted far too many downtime reasons. I was able to persuade them to limit the choices because the HMIs were only 6" screens and I didn't want to make the buttons too small. That argument was more successful than arguing that the operator's can't be expected to make fine distinctions between similar reasons.
Don't make one of the reasons "Other". A few weeks after deploying the reporting system we learned that over half of the downtime was due to "Other".
The downtime reasons we settled on were, Scheduled Maintenance, Equipment Failure, Starved (Upstream equipment problem), Blocked (Downstream equipment problem), Setup, Quality, Break/Lunch, plus one or two workstation-specific reasons.
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Old March 16th, 2018, 12:47 AM   #8
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Steve, did you find out the correct categories first after realising they had so many Others?
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Old March 16th, 2018, 06:29 AM   #9
Steve Bailey
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The correct categories were always available. The operators chose the selection that allowed them to not think.
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Old March 16th, 2018, 07:18 AM   #10
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I have went the route of allowing full explanations from the operators on the machine. They also have the ability to create their own maintenance service requests.
We have found that give the operators more control of their environment and they will let you know what is needed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1SDV8nxypE

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Old March 18th, 2018, 03:22 AM   #11
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I'm going to start sounding like a broken record but you can run MySQL on the WAGO PFCs and then connect to the MySQL database on the PLC remotely. Love this solution.

Good luck,

Yosi
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