One System Replaces Many While Also Improving Mobility

9 min video  /  4 minute read
 

Project Scope

  • Tags: 5,821
  • Screens: 35 in Vision and 10 in Mobile that are transferred to 80 views in Perspective
  • Clients: 10 continuously open, more open occasionally
  • Alarms: 580
  • Devices used: 4 iPad 4 minis and multiple laptops
  • Architectures used: currently standard, soon wide area with central Ignition to bridge corporate and control network
  • Databases used: Currently 1 Microsoft SQL Server (will be expanding)
  • Historical data logged: 20 tags but more with own manual logging

Project Overview

ATA used Ignition to create a project that serves as an HMI, SCADA, and MES tool for Limex, touching on multiple levels of the automation pyramid. The machine interface was previously done with Ignition’s mobile module, and is currently running on the new Ignition Perspective.


Problem:

Limex builds high-quality washing machines and also provides washing as a service including the machine, labor, planning, reporting, and maintenance. For a new customer (Royal Flora Holland) and following customers, Limex was searching for a new system to control the washing machine and the related activities like the creation of planning and the required reporting functionality that are part of washing as a service. Since the washing machines are 65 meters long, a mobile HMI should be included so that the operator can walk around and troubleshoot. Limex also wanted a unified system — a pilot project that will be distributed across multiple Limex customers if successful.


Solution

Ignition was used to create an HMI, SCADA, and MES solution that can be used on normal clients and mobile devices as well. Users via a Vision client can be logged onto the system. Based on roles (10+ possibilities), the dropdown navigation of the application gives the option to use the specific functions.

In addition, a mobile project was created to fulfill the option to walk around with the HMI. After the release of Perspective, this mobile project transferred into a Perspective mobile version with even more options to control the machine. Since Limex provides the washing as a service, the number of washed products is relevant for billing. The number of washed products is logged per machine, per day, per shift, and per 10 minutes. This logging gives the option to provide Limex with the required information it uses for billing.

The planning of the machines can also be made within the system. This planning is compared to the actual amount that is washed and reported to Royal Flora Holland. In addition, AT-Automation has developed and used the corporate identity module which provides the option to give the project a nice look and feel. With this module, the developer has access to multiple more advanced options on custom components. The design of these components is based on the best UI/UX experience.

Since the total solution will be used across multiple customers, ATA came up with a name for the solution: Limex Logic.


Result

Ignition is now used during all activities related to the control of the washing machines and washing as a service. Before Ignition (Limex Logic), Limex used multiple systems during these activities, such as WinCC, Excel, planning software, and reporting software. The use of Ignition made one system sufficient to fulfill all Limex’s needs.

Because all functions are integrated in a single project, the waiting time to switch systems is reduced to none. In addition, the current process is always available for the management and the customer. Before Ignition this was only available at the end of the week when the washed products were manually counted. Adjusting the planning was not possible or was very difficult because of this late update.

The mobile project that was created had some trouble with the high volume of information to show. After the change to Perspective, the mobile HMI runs more smoothly and has more options to control the machine.

Also, the user experience has improved. In addition, a possible Perspective browser application will be created for some of the functions that are currently in Vision. For example, the dashboard, and creation of planning and reporting functions can be transferred to Perspective for easier access to third parties.

Limex is planning to distribute Limex Logic across Europe, across all industries that require the washing of products. The current focus is on washing buckets for flowers, which is a typical Dutch market.

As soon as multiple washing facilities are up and running, the MES layer of Ignition will be transferred to a central server placed in a data center. At this central location, all information will be stored so it’s redundant and centralized. Every washing facility will have its own server that is responsible for the HMI and part of the SCADA. In case of downtime on any of the local servers at the washing facilities, the central server will be used as a redundant server so that production can always continue.


Project Information

Created By:   AT-Automation

For more than 16 years, AT-Automation has specialized in automating and optimizing production processes. The company analyzes, develops, and implements operational processes. Automation is a custom process for each business case, and ATA is the right point of contact for small solutions or companywide solutions. ATA is striving with innovative automation solutions to make its customers more productive and effective.

Website: www.at-automation.nl

Project For:   Limex

Limex is a company that manufactures high quality washing machines for crates, young plant trays, buckets, and more. In addition, Limex offers full washing service including machines, labor, and planning. With this concept, Limex is able to fulfill the needs of various companies in Europe. With their products and services, Limex makes sure that raw materials or the final products cannot get infected by molds or bacteria. Good hygiene during cultivation does limit these losses. Limex uses its knowledge and expertise to increase hygiene levels during logistic and cultivation processes in, for example, the famous flower industry in the Netherlands.

Posted on September 30, 2019