Yogurt Producer Tackles the Costly Problem of Manufacturing Downtime

Every year, manufacturers worldwide lose billions of dollars due to disruptions and failures on automated production lines. Even with the best preventative and predictive maintenance practices, unplanned equipment downtime and process anomalies are inevitable. The key to minimizing losses associated with process upsets is to identify the root cause of failures as quickly as possible. To do this effectively, plant managers need fast access to data.

The Solution: A Video System from Industrial Video & Control

To improve downtime analysis, one of the world’s largest food processing companies implemented an Industrial Video & Control (IVC) video system at one of their yogurt production and packaging plants.

The solution includes IVC fixed, high- definition video cameras and Longwarch Historian, a software platform that gives operators and managers exceptional visibility into production processes. Longwatch Historian integrates seamlessly into any SCADA, MES or HMI platform and links stored process events collected by the SCADA/PLC system with saved video clips from cameras.

How It Works

The yogurt facility has six packaging lines that use high-speed robots for picking and packing. IVC worked with the producer’s plant engineers to install three fixed, high-definition cameras at each packing location. Longwatch Historian is configured to provide five web-based viewing clients. The software integrates downtime data from the plant’s Oracle system by mapping event timestamp and unit names with cameras and recorded video clip timestamps. The Longwatch GUI presents synchronized process and video data that can be easily displayed on engineer workstations, or integrated directly into downtime reports.

Additionally, the producer is using IVC’s Longwatch Console Recorder software to record the ACP client workstations used by line operators. The time-stamped HMI screen recordings of these workstations can also be synchronized and displayed on the Longwatch GUI alongside camera video. This enables plant managers to not only see what’s happening on the line during an event, but also what the operator is seeing and doing on his HMI screen at the time.

Chart in hours of average annual downtime per industry

Downtime costs

Increasing complexity of manufacturing processes along with increased manufacturing output has led to ballooning downtime costs. Chart Source

Timely downtime data = increased productivity

Once installed, the system began to immediately pay dividends. Within one day, a complete history of the packing line was recorded. The camera and Console Recorder video clips were quickly mapped to downtime events. Macros were added to the morning downtime event report (available as an Excel spreadsheet) and included hyperlinks to the video segments associated with the downtime events. This provided the customer tremendous insight into the root causes of the day’s downtime events, many of which could be addressed immediately. The ease of the IVC solution allows the customer to quickly pinpoint and address problems, as well as easily share data across their organization.

The right camera for the job

IVC offers a broad line of cameras that are well suited for industrial manufacturing environments. This includes stainless steel products that are ideal for pharmaceutical and food processing. If temperature data is critical to your process analysis, IVC’s radiometric thermal cameras are designed to provide this information directly to your SCADA or DCS system via MODBUS or OPC. Check out our entire line of cameras.

Longwatch Historian with callouts

IVC’ Longwatch Historian

IVC’s Longwatch Video Historian platform provides the ability to synchronize recorded SCADA data with recorded video from process monitoring cameras and operator consoles recorded by Console Recorder.

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