Actyx in Automations praxis: With Edge and Apps fast and easy to the digital factory
This article was originially published in German by Automations praxis. Please follow this link to view the original content.
The Munich-based start-up Actyx has developed a fully decentralised edge computing platform that enables factories to digitise quickly and easily via suitable apps. The platform is already in use at Klöckner and SKF.
The Actyx software solution at Klöckner consists of several apps that provide transparency on machine performance and order progress. The tablet app enables simple order-related data acquisition at each workstation, which can be viewed on monitors.
This data acquisition is not entirely trivial, after all, a large number of different machines are used in the production processes at Klöckner. Furthermore, the data must be linked to the production orders in order to provide meaningful insights. Nevertheless, application development was completed within eight weeks and the entire solution was installed in less than two weeks.
Employees use the tablet application to start jobs at the workstation, log material quantities, report interruption reasons and jobs as completed. In addition, employees can make target/actual comparisons on the KPI dashboards at the machines and receive targets and feedback directly. Another application collects machine data and runs on the gateways connected to the PLCs of the production machines.
There is also a comprehensive reporting application accessible via desktop computers and an interface to SAP running in the local computer centre. Production planning and management can view machine and operating data for each job in real time, and compare and analyze it with historical data. The success speaks for itself: so far the application has resulted in a productivity increase of 10% and an additional productivity increase of 20 to 30% is expected next year.
Mobile assistance system for machine operators
At SKF, a manufacturer of rolling bearings, machine operators have the task of monitoring and operating several machines, detecting interruptions and repairing machines if necessary. However, detecting machine faults is a challenge for operators without digital assistance. The solution was a mobile assistance system for workers with access to historical and real-time machine data. This consists of a smartphone app and various machine connectors.
This allows workers to quickly identify machine interruptions and performance problems and access historical and real-time information on machine downtime, machine fault codes and OEE data via the smartphone application. They also receive push notifications of machine incidents and can log additional contextual information. This provides valuable data for analysis with machine learning and creates a better understanding of the processes.
In addition, operators can create and manage tasks to initiate repair or maintenance work, allowing them to effectively coordinate work with other team members. Application development by Actyx partner Nordcloud was completed in three weeks and the solution was installed in less than a week.