Less Paper and More Data for Better Decision-Making

6 min video  /  2 minute read

Project Scope

  • 300 tags
  • 10 screens
  • 8 clients
  • 50 SPC and Process Control alarms
  • Tens of thousands of rows stored using Transaction Groups and Scripts
  • Hub & Spoke with Vision
  • MSSQL Server
  • 2 CompactLogix PLCs, 1 Dillon Bluetooth Crane Scale, 3 Barcodes Inc. Industrial Printers, 1 Honeywell Barcode Reader
  • 19 devices (4 CompactLogix PLCs, 3 Allen-Bradley SLC PLCs, Modbus TCP, 10 Stanley Torque Tools, 2 ControlLogix PLCs)

Project Overview

This is an application that increases efficiency and reliability by eliminating paper, integrating ERP, tracking downtime, and recording quality data.



JLG Industries wanted to standardize on one software platform for the entire manufacturing plant — a platform that would unify existing applications and devices, eliminate paper forms, provide historical data storage, and provide MES capabilities.



The goal was to deploy Ignition and develop applications for JLG that touch on each of the problem points. To accomplish this, MDI implemented a Hub and Spoke Architecture with Vision to ensure functionality remains if the connection to the central gateway is lost. Once the network was in place and the PLC connections were established, Downtime Tracking and Statistical Process Control monitoring were implemented on JLG’s main manufacturing paint line. Key process variables are being displayed on a 72-inch dashboard screen located at the paint line. Engineers and operators can use a pointer mouse to click graphs to zoom in and discuss during meetings or see active alarms and respond to them promptly before the line shuts down.

Another goal was to show that Ignition could increase manufacturing efficiency and reliability by removing paper production schedules and human intervention. MDI developed a new system utilizing JLG’s ERP system, Barcode Technology, and Recipe Module. Ignition clients running on touchscreen computers in the manufacturing area are then used to select the production items currently being worked on. The clients acquire weight samples from scales via Bluetooth and print barcode labels upon completion. These labels are then scanned in at a downstream station and used by the recipe management system to automatically set up machine calculations and load in a recipe based on the data from the barcode label. All the data is saved in MSSQL Server along the way and is used to generate reports at each manufacturing station.

Some unique aspects of this project where to tie the barcode printers and readers into Ignition and incorporate that into the screen design and the recipe management system.



JLG could eliminate paper Statistical Process Control charts, paper production schedules in key areas, hand calculations, and manual data entry. Manufacturing and engineers are now able to manage the paint line more effectively and make better decisions with the data they now have. JLG wants to integrate RFID technology along with Track & Trace into Ignition and continue expanding into multiple areas of the facility. Other plants have been very impressed with this system and are looking to adopt what MDI has developed

Project Information

Created By:   Multi-Dimensional Integration

MDI is a control systems integration firm and Premier Level Integrator for Inductive Automation’s MES and SCADA software. Founded in 1987, MDI provides customers with PLC and SCADA systems tailored to their specific needs. MDI has worked with all the major PLC & HMI manufacturers on the market today as well as legacy platforms. The company provides True 24/7 Automation Support with guaranteed on-site response times as soon as 4 hours. MDI recently augmented this service by offering a remote support program, SightToSite, which guarantees a response time of 2 hours.

Website: mdiadvantage.com

Project For:   JLG Industries, Inc.

JLG is the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of aerial work platforms and telehandlers. John Landis Grove set out to resolve a growing concern in the construction industry. John learned of a pressing need for a machine that could safely and quickly lift workers in the air to perform construction and maintenance functions. He focused his energy on this challenge by starting JLG Industries in 1969. The company is based in McConnellsburg, Pa.

Posted on September 1, 2017