Case study

Display of production data at paper tissue factory and its remote offices

Platcon implemented the Ewon Flexy 205 and Talk2m for WEPA UK's paper tissue factory, displaying live production data and machine status to enhance operational efficiency and provide remote access for maintenance and monitoring.

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Platcon is a system integrator that designs, builds and installs all types of automated systems for industrial applications. Their motto is to use only top quality products from reputable manufacturers. This, combined with their knowledgeable staff and unparalleled service and support, means you can be sure you are in good hands for all your automation hardware and software needs.

One of their customers, WEPA UK, is a paper tissue factory. They needed a simple yet effective way to display live production data and machine downtime to both their production managers on-site and remote offices. To meet this requirement, Platcon decided to implement a system based on the Ewon Flexy, as they were looking for an easy to use and scalable solution.


Operations teams leverage real-time production counts and other live information such as machine status

An Ewon Flexy 205 is being used to capture live process data from various PLC-controlled, paper tissue converting equipment. The Flexy’s scripting tool is used to format the data and transmit it to overhead displays to show live production data and machine alarms.Remote managers can view an overview of the process via webpages created using Viewon, a graphical editing tool for the Flexy. The system is installed at a paper mill in Wales that integrates both tissue production and converting – cutting the tissue to width and winding it onto rolls. Packing and dispatch of the finished product is complicated because the company produces many different sizes of multi-pack and customer orders are updated constantly.

 

To say Ewon Flexy is user-friendly is an understatement. We developed the paper mill’s new system very quickly and captured all of our customer’s requirements.

Stephen Vincent, Technical Director, Platcon Ltd

 

Platcon was asked to design a control system that would provide the operating teams with real-time production counts and other live information such as machine status. These teams work in the converting hall where the amount and layout of equipment makes it difficult to see and monitor individual machines. Platcon proposed installing two large overhead display screens, positioned so that one or other was visible from almost anywhere in the hall. This means that operators can simply glance at a screen and view production information and see whether any machine is in an alarm state and requires attention.

Platcon then set about creating the communications network that would connect the various machines’ PLC control systems to the display screens using TCP over Ethernet. Stephen Vincent, Platcon’s Technical Director, says: “We have worked at the site for many years. The first project was simply to install an Ewon Cosy to provide on-demand remote access for maintenance work. Subsequent projects have provided more and more functionality.” The site has a combination of Rockwell and Siemens PLCs, so protocol conversion is now a major consideration for machine handshaking. Again, Platcon looks to HMS Networks for translation solutions.”


Easy installation and commissioning

With the new system, the Ewon Flexy collects and marshalls data from all the machines, utilising scripting to manage alarms, and acts as a gateway protocol unit between the various machines. An Ewon Flexy web interface (created with viewOn) with multi-layered passwords means production can be monitored from anywhere in the world, in a secure way. One of the most significant advantages of using Ewon gateways is the ease with which the system could be configured and commissioned. Another advantage of the Ewon Flexy is that it allows local, real-time management of alarms and the uploading of information to the big screens in the factory. There is also a facility to display manually entered messages e.g. welcoming particular visitors, Covid reminders, and individual congratulations.


A system that improves operational efficiency

In selecting the Ewon Flexy for this paper roll manufacturing plant, Platcon chose a solution that effectively increases operational efficiency by reducing machine downtime. The Ewon Flexy allows machine builders to verify the operation of their equipment in the field, maintenance personnel to monitor it to analyze trends and optimize maintenance plans, and production engineers to manage throughput in real time. In addition, data can be automatically logged to provide comprehensive tracking and tracing capabilities.

The Ewon Flexy supports all major PLC protocols, custom solutions can also be created. The highly secure Talk2m

industrial cloud is included with every gateway. All in all, Ewon’s solution enables easy and secure remote connectivity, that is easy to implement and use.

Company: Platcon Ltd

Country: United Kingdom

Year: 2022

Solution: Machine data monitoring

Industries: Industrial automation

Products: Ewon Flexy 205

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