IPG Sentinel Module Identifies Ways to Improve OEE

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Project Overview

The project consisted of providing a real-time performance system to measure the OEE and identify improvement opportunities for each area of the factory floor.

The user requirement specifications stated mainly that the system shall measure the OEE and its factors (availability, performance, and quality); calculate the reliability (MTBF) and maintainability (MTTR) of the production lines; record all downtime and speed losses; and provide business intelligence to automatically identify the main OEE improvement opportunities for each area of the factory.

The system had to provide workflow capabilities to allow management to assign the improvement opportunities to the right people as tasks. The system was also required to provide an event engine to allow the factory performance alerts to be sent to the appropriate party, as well as provide the continuous improvement management through the follow-up of the task’s completion.

IPG proposed a solution based on the Ignition infrastructure operating under the Windows platform, and using a Microsoft SQL Server engine. The Ignition infrastructure components provided the first three user requirements, using the Ignition Works Package with the OEE Downtime Module.

The last four requirements were provided through a custom module that IPG programmed. The main reason to develop a module, instead of embedding the functionality in the project, is to be able to reuse the code easily and rapidly in other projects.

The custom module’s name is SENTINEL. The SENTINEL provides a logic engine that automatically identifies the main improvement opportunities from the Ignition OEE database and allows the factory management to deliver them as tasks to the right people in the organization. Moreover, the SENTINEL has been equipped with an event engine, where factory alerts can be automatically delivered to the right people.

For example, when the maintenance manager logs into the system, he or she can go to the tab labeled My Opportunities to know the main improvement opportunities for the maintenance department; My Tasks, to follow up on the pending issues of the department; My Alerts, to know the main events concerning maintenance; and My Indicators to check the main factory dashboards and, specifically, maintenance key performance indicators.

The project was delivered on time and under the proposed budget. The SENTINEL Module will be available soon through the Inductive Automation Module Marketplace.


The module detects a worker’s job position and shows relevant tasks.


IPG’s SENTINEL Module works alongside other modules running in Ignition.


The SENTINEL Module provides effective monitoring of all plant alarms.

Project Information

Created By:   IPG

IPG is an engineering firm that specializes in MES solutions for the factory shop floors. Among its main customers are companies like Coca-Cola FEMSA, McCormick, Griffith Laboratories, Baxter Healthcare, Abbott Laboratories, Merck & Co., and Eli Lilly. IPG is a Premier Ignition System Integrator and Certified MES Solution Provider.

Posted on October 1, 2014