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Higher Device Availability for Factory Automation

Press release [Monday 27 August 2012]

Fully automated industrial control systems are everywhere in today's large factories. All production line equipment is controlled by computers to achieve higher productivity and efficiency as well as helping reduce human errors.

The Challenge

Break downs and problems with control systems can cause large-scale production line shutdowns, thereby affecting overall production capacity and output. Therefore, it's vital to keep shutdowns to minimum, but deploying the right solution can be complicated.

A business needs to employ a large human resource to conduct routine inspection checks and make sure that all devices are functioning continuously under normal conditions. Due to the large scale of equipment used in factories, it is not always easy to identify problems quickly. Often a problem is only discovered after a system has been shut down, and this interrupts production lines, which in turn costs money. So if potential problems can be discovered early, maintenance personnel and repair equipment can be quickly deployed, saving time and money.

The Solution

Steady and uninterrupted service has always been the aim of industrial automation applications, whilst also being able to endure a variety of harsh environments. FAE engineers responsible for maintenance in the field need experience and practical know how to properly look after equipment. If a system shows abnormal states, and preventive measures are not taken, problems can quite easily escalate and cause equipment damage. But, if an effective and flexible control system can be employed for monitoring plant and equipment in factories, it can reduce the overall maintenance workload, reduce labor costs and improve safety.

In the past, it required a lot of time and manpower to develop system monitoring software for such applications, even if the supplier provided ready-made software or APIs (e.g. Advantech SUSI or iManager). It still needed huge resources to develop an application in-house, or involved huge cost to buy it from other software vendors; especially if remote monitoring and central control needed to be integrated at the same time. Plus, additional considerations in the overall cost were impacted by support, maintenance and upgrades.

SUSIAccess was our response. It not only retained the flexible features and ease of use from Advantech's previous SUSI API software suites, but also integrated a remote central monitoring function that allows IT developers to easily implement monitoring functions suitable for all kinds of applications and environments at a very small cost. Through the SUSIAccess console, system operators can implement several of the API functions that give full remote control and access to their applications. It is also possible through mobile devices like smart phones, to see if there are any system abnormalities, and if problems are detected, take preventive measures before things get too serious.

SUSIAccess remote monitoring for device maintenance and configuration

SUSIAccess remote monitoring for device maintenance and configuration

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