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BMSvision PLANTMASTER MES and moving towards a Smart Factory

BMSvision PLANTMASTER MES and moving towards a Smart Factory


Industry 4.0 is a move towards digitalisation and is considered by many to be the key to securing a stable industrial base for Europe and in turn provide an opportunity for further job creation. Leading on from this, the establishment of the Smart Factory will bring about the conditions necessary for higher productivity and costs savings. Digital technology is at the heart of Industry 4.0 and the Smart Factory.

BMS ManagementDashboard

BMS (Belgian Monitoring Systems) have been developing MES for the plastics processing industry since 1986 and have now installed over 500 systems worldwide. The BMS PLANTMASTER MES solution is a comprehensive suite of MES modules with connectivity, powerful storage and secure communication which are thought by many to be the three key areas of Industry 4.0.
The major advantage of the PLANTMASTER system is that everything is united through a common database bridging the gap between the ERP system and the machines on the shop floor. Data can be easily shared between each of the modules and provide information to the end user in real-time. Reports are user-defined, which means reporting is flexible and can be customized to meet the specific needs of each individual plant.

The PLANTMASTER MES solution is based upon real time data collection, either through direct access to the machine control unit (Euromap 63 & 77) or via data collection devices (data units) designed and manufactured by BMS. In line with Industry 4.0 these data units are IoT (Internet of Things) ready using the ISO Standard MQTT protocol. The system supports both secure cabled and wireless networks to connect the machines to the MES server.

A comprehensive suite of MES modules includes real-time Production Monitoring “PlantView” offering OEE, downtime, cycle time, scrap and production reporting. “History Reporting” is a historian whereby ‘big data’ can be easily interrogated and presented against combinations of machines, tools, products, materials, work orders. “Operator Tracking” whereby operators log on/off at the machine for inclusion in the reports. “Events & Alerts” for the automatic sending of emails when alarms occur in the production reporting. “Management Dashboard” for information display on large screens, tablets and phones. “PlanBoard” which is a real-time production scheduling and order tracking system.

“Link with ERP” for the downloading of work orders, updating of the schedule and the back flush of production data to ERP. “Document Control” allows the user to manage and control the documents required on the shop floor. “QMaster” SPC/SQC system for the creation of inspection plans for both physical product checks and the automatic monitoring of process parameters. “EnergyMaster” for measuring energy usage against production (kilowatt-hours/kilogram) used in energy reduction, product costing and carbon footprint monitoring.

There are those who are of the opinion that the ultimate objective of Industry 4.0 is to create manufacturing environments without the need for human involvement. BMS have gone some way towards limiting operator intervention by interacting with the machine control when certain events are detected. For example, automatically detecting when a machine stops or is producing scrap, switching off the parts of the machine when it’s been stopped for too long (energy conservation); not allowing the machine to start unless certain conditions have been detected, downloading a new set of machine settings when a job/product change has been detected.

However, the prime objective of the BMS PLANTMASTER system is to empower management, supervisors and operatives so that when they act upon the data, it leads to improvements in overall plant, process and equipment efficiency.

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