In ever larger production areas with numerous machines – sometimes out of view – it is increasingly difficult for employees to maintain an overview. If machine faults remain undetected, the company is not able to benefit from full returns on machine investment and is therefore losing money.
Many machine monitoring systems already exist. They have however, up to now, they have been highly complicated to install and extremely expensive.
The clear aim of WERMA’s wireless systems is to provide the user with solutions which are very simple to install and put into operation. The user does not have to be an expert in wireless technology in order to utilise these solutions.
Quick and simple central machine monitoring
WERMA Signaltechnik has now launched a simple solution for the remote wireless monitoring of machines. The “Wireless Information Network”, “WIN” for short, is a simple MDC system, offering many advantages over traditional machine data collection systems:
Quick installation without additional wiring
WIN can be simply installed via “Plug & Play”. The simple process enables the user to centrally monitor his machines – whether temporarily or permanently. No additional wiring is needed as existing WERMA signal towers can be used and the signals are transmitted via wireless technology. A complex machine interface machine is not required as the software provides a central visualisation of the status of your machines.
Large network transmission range
The unobstructed transmission range extends up to 300 meters. As with all radio devices the indoor transmission range may be less depending on the building characteristics.
It is here that the new system shows its strengths: Within buildings, WIN has a significantly larger transmission range than wireless applications such as WLAN or Bluetooth. Thanks to the low frequency band (868 MHz), WIN penetrates walls and objects significantly better than WLAN and Bluetooth at 2400 MHz.
The large transmission range can be further extended as required, simply by installing additional “WIN slaves” as intermediate stations. Each individual WIN slave transmits the current machine status from its “own signal tower” to the WIN master (radio receiver). However, in addition to sending their own signals, they also function as “repeaters” receiving data from other slaves, and transmitting the amplified signal on to the WIN master. They also possess a so called „repeater“ function.
As a result, the network’s total transmission range can be significantly extended.
No interference with WLAN or Bluetooth
A further advantage of WIN is that it is interference-free alongside other wireless applications such as WLAN or Bluetooth due to the fact that WIN uses a different frequency band (868 MHz) compared to WLAN or Bluetooth (2.4 GHz).
WERMA supplies two WIN product kits, which can be easily extended to create larger networks:
The all inclusive kit: “WIN complete”
With “WIN complete” the user can immediately monitor three machines via wireless technology.
All he has to do is install the three signal towers from the package onto his machines and install the supplied software to a PC and in no time at all he can then start monitoring the status of his machines.
All KombiSIGN 71 signal towers are ready for use. They consist of the LED permanent light elements in red, yellow and green, a WIN slave and a base with to be for mounting.
The supplied “WIN master” (radio receiver) is simply connected to the PC via USB cable. It receives the data from the slaves in the signal towers and transfers it to the PC.
Flexible integration into existing systems – “WIN system”
With “WIN system”, the user has greater choice. WIN system is suitable for users that already use WERMA signal towers and now want to monitor these centrally.
Instead of being supplied with pre-assembled signal towers, the customer receives three WIN slaves. These are pre-configured and are simply integrated in to the existing signal towers.
4 different status warnings can be signalled by the signal tower. If however you are triggering the signal tower via a PLC or other machine control unit then a blinking signal can also be generated which raises the total number of possible status warnings to 8 per signal tower.
With “WIN” system users can also configure their own signal towers with audible elements, different light effects and colours from the WERMA signal tower range.
Expandable at any time: WIN complete and WIN system
The user can expand both WIN kits at any time to up to 50 WIN slaves per network, thus enabling him to monitor 50 machines (signal towers).
Early installation without programming expertise
No programming expertise is required to install the software. The PC software can be installed quickly and easily and carefully guides the user through the individual steps required to set up their own wireless network.
The routing module – optimise your wireless network
During the setup or adjustment of the WIN network, support is provided by the software routing module. With its menu bar, it indicates the quality and configuration of the wireless connections between the individual elements.
This view indicates to the user where connections to WIN slaves need to be strengthened so that the WIN network functions reliably and data is smoothly transmitted.
Software for monitoring and analysing the machine status
With the supplied software, the user can carry out wireless monitoring of his machinery at a glance. He can search for faults or analyse productivity, thus raising the efficiency of his machines.
A simple, clearly organised display interface assists the intuitive operation and monitoring. The status descriptions of the individual signal tower elements can be entered in to the software as required, e.g. tier one “Machine in operation”, tier two “Retool”, tier three “Fault”.
As the software displays the status of the signal towers integrated into the wireless network, the user can himself specify which machine data he monitors and evaluates. Various analysis and monitoring modules are available for use (e.g. failure analysis over time, downtime per machine).
With WIN you can also be informed of the status of your machine per e-mail, various settings can be used to determine who is to be informed and after which time interval.
Reduce downtimes and reaction intervals via the control station
In the software’s control station module the user can observe the current status of all integrated machines. He can see at a glance which machine is running reliably or malfunctioning and can react immediately.
This enables the user to effectively reduce reaction intervals and downtime.
In addition a building floor plan can be easily integrated into the overview and combined with the machine indicators.
Recognising error patterns and raising machine efficiency
With the productivity and running time module, the user can quickly and simply combine daily, weekly, monthly and annual data from the monitored machines and building sections to a retrospective analysis. This can also be conducted for any user-defined time period.
You can see how productive your individual machines are, and identify any error or downtime patterns. This helps to recognise systematic errors and raise the efficiency of the machines.
Enthusiastic response from the market
The initial feedback from the market gives an indication of the simplicity and practicality of WIN. Volker Villing, Production Manager at "Neugart Spritzgießtechnik Formenbau” in Adlingen appreciates above all that WIN can be expanded step by step in order to meet his needs. In his opinion: ”There is actually only one word for it: This thing is super! It is economical. The price-performance ratio is excellent. The software is simple. I have a transparent production process, I can see the capacity utilisation at a glance.
It is great that WIN can be retrofitted: With other systems I have to buy everything at once. That is very expensive. With WERMA it’s different: Each month, if I have 100 or 200 € left over, I can monitor another machine. We started with three machines and now we want to expand the system.”
Typical WIN users and target groups are:
· Production area foremen / team leaders
· Production managers
· Machine operators
· Automated industries of all types
· Chemical industry
· Injection moulding
· Metal processing
· Electronics industry
· Measuring technology
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