No 21st century company operates autonomously, and any modern HMI/SCADA system worth it salt today must be able to gather exchange analyze and report data comprehensively. Data are increasingly critical to top level managers today, who are constantly scrutinizing the bottom line. And data are critical to lower level operations as well, which rely on them to measure and maintain equipment efficiency and determine product viability.
Task that were considered higher level MES function a decade ago have move down into the HMI/SCADA world. It is great feature such as downtime monitoring, HMI/SCADA can be used to monitor performance at the machinery efficiency, monitor uptime and help solve problems by compiling accurate information at the operator level and communicating it to those who can initiate appropriate remedial action.
Activities such as alarm functionality, once achievable only in upper-end HMI/SCADA systems, have been pushed into low-end HMIs. Displays today-smaller, thinner and more durable – can do so much more and are applicable in areas they would never have been considered for decade ago. Smart HMI panels can and should be retrofit into any existing system. They can add comprehensive data acquisition.
By taking activities to the operator level, downtime monitoring gives the person who most intimately knows the equipment the opportunity to provide input about its performance. Isolating and solving production problems in this way helps eliminate scrap, which is waste.