Automation of production
WHAT IS PRODUCTION AUTOMATION?
Enterprises are intensively looking for solutions that allow to increase production efficiency, improve the use of resources and flexibly respond to market needs, while reducing costs (mainly labor), improving quality and repeatability of production. The ideal response to most of these needs are production automation systems along with the associated IT systems for production management.
CONTROL SYSTEM ELEMENTS AND SUBSYSTEMS
The devices or elements that make up an industrial automation system belong to four main groups:
- CONTROLLERS – the “brain” of the automation system – controls the executive systems in accordance with the programmed algorithm, based on the signals from the inputs (to which sensory systems are connected),
- EXECUTIVE SYSTEMS – servo drives, motors, frequency converters, solenoid valves, etc.,
- SENSORY SYSTEMS (including automatic identification systems),
- ELEMENTS OF THE OPERATORS INTERFACE (HMI – Human Machine Interface) and supervisory control (SCADA – Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition).
WHAT IS REQUIRED FROM MODERN PLC CONTROLLERS:
- Fast and efficient operation, depending on the needs of the controlled process (speed and frequency of events, number of inputs and outputs)
- Adequate program memory capacity
- Scalability – adaptable to meet performance needs and I/O interfaces
- Ease of installation and integration with existing systems thanks to the use of internationally accepted communication interfaces and standard input / output systems
- Reliability and ease of diagnosis,
- Compliance with international programming standards,
- Remote monitoring functions for improved maintenance, direct cooperation with HMI/SCADA software and HMI devices.
FOR OPERATOR OR DISPATCHER – HMI / SCADA
The most frequently used solution for supervision and cooperation with operators / dispatchers and other systems are HMI / SCADA systems (e.g. one of the most used in the world – Proficy iFIX).
At the same time, there is a need to analyze production data in the software of the enterprise’s business layer. It is advisable to use a specialized archiving tool – Historian industrial databases.