Ignition Addresses Numerous Issues, Saves Money

7 min video  /  2 minute read

Project Overview

The plant consists of three extrusion lines. They are similar in many respects but different enough that each line requires a unique HMI solution. There is also a collection of resin dryers, towers, and chillers that are controlled by an additional workstation. The previous software was beyond its useful life, tag limits were a problem, not enough licenses were available, and there was not a support contract.

We needed to address the following problems:

  • Islands Unto Themselves: Tags on one machine could not be used on another machine. They had to be recreated and this increased communication loads on the PLCs.
  • Tag Limits: We had hit the 1500-tag limit on two systems, were close on two others, and had additional data we wanted to incorporate into our visualization system.
  • Licensing Costs: To upgrade our existing RSView32 system would have cost about $20,000 and we would still be stuck with the same tag and client limits.
  • Thick Clients: RSView32 is a very thick client. The computer RSView32 runs on does communication, data collection, and visualization. Configuring a new machine took hours and the machine had to be powerful enough to run the software.
  • Poor Data Historian: RSView32 does not have a historian. It will save log data but does not do any logical compression. The time resolution of the data is dependent on the logging interval.
  • Additional Consoles: Every RSView32 machine needed a separate license.
  • Cost: It became apparent very quickly that it would cost a lot more than $20,000 to actually improve our existing system.

Ignition was the solution. It was a client/server solution, had no limits on tags or clients, had no installation requirements on the client other than Java, had the historian with data compression, and cost less than a very restrictive RSView32 system. The system also allowed us to incorporate the gauging system data into the other process data. This is done by using four stripped-down remote gateways on the gauging system computers. These gateways grab local OPC data and expose them as published tags that the main gateway uses for displays and historical data storage. With Ignition, one person was able to create all the screens, in addition to his regular workload. No integrator was needed. Numerous projects were done using concepts of high-efficiency HMI including sparklines, analog indicators, radar plots and varying screen levels.

Project Information

Created By:   Bixby International

Bixby has been around for about 140 years. It started in Haverhill, Mass., manufacturing parts for the shoe industry. Although footwear is still a part of Bixby’s business today, we are a diversified custom plastic film and sheet extruder. Unlike most extruders, we specialize in short runs of specialized resins and compounds.

Website: www.bixbyintl.com

Posted on September 1, 2016