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Inductive Automation
News Room

News / July 06, 2009

End-User Highlight: Bloomer Plastics

This month we interviewed Tim Englund, Plant Engineer of Bloomer Plastics, who was in charge of implementing Inductive Automation's Works Bundle in their facility located in Bloomer, Wisconsin.

IA: Tell me about your company - what do you produce and where are your markets?

Tim: We produce cast embossed film and sheet from polyethylene, polypropylene and nylon. We sell to many markets including composite & rubber manufacturing, automotive, medical and packaging. We have customers across the USA as well as in Europe. For a complete overview see Bloomerplastics.com.

IA: What do you use Inductive Automation software for in your company or facility?

Tim: We use FactorySQL for logging production data, comparing real time machine settings to process requirements and email notifications when discrepancies exist. We use FactoryPMI for analyzing process data and reports.

IA: Why did you choose Inductive Automation software?

Tim: We were looking to upgrade an existing software package and found out there was a hefty price tag to do so. When I came across IA software I was hesitant because of the size of IA compared to the other company. Upon putting IA through a trial and utilizing the available technical support it was clear that IA was the company to go with. The purchase of the IA bundle was cheaper than an upgrade of the other software and the support was better.

IA: What features have you found most useful to your specific processes?

Tim: Being a Java based client, it has had a huge impact on application deployment. No more individual application installs. As long as Java is installed I don't care what version of Windows you are using. I don't even care if you are using Windows! The scripting language allows complete customization to meet the needs of our company. No longer are we tied to software features someone else decided we should have. Now if we need a feature, I can provide it.

IA: How has the introduction of SQL affected your development and implementation?

Tim: Although SQL as a storage house was available before, IA's implementation within FactoryPMI has been unique. The binding feature has greatly reduced the amount of time necessary to create screens.

IA: What have you found to be the main benefits of the software?

Tim: I have written many programs in Visual Basic. The fact that I have been re-writing these programs to run within FactoryPMI is a testament to the abilities of the software. Previously I had to use competitor's software and the applications that I wrote. Now it can be done on one platform.

IA: How do you plan on using IA software in the future?

Tim: These are some of the areas that are either in use, in process or proposed.
Data collection
Real time process monitoring
Raw material usage predictions
Inventory management
Purchasing
Project management
Maintenance management

IA: Is there anything else you can say regarding your experience with Inductive Automation?

Tim: Since IA's software approach is different from what I was used to there has been a learning curve. This is where my concerns about going with a smaller company have been alleviated. The technical support staff at IA is responsive and extremely knowledgeable of not only their software but of the whole picture. There are several pieces to the puzzle when integrating a system. Having a support staff that understands all the pieces is critical when finding a timely solution.

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