The success of any Industry 4.0 initiative lies in the ability to capture and analyse big data as part of the human or machine decision-making process. For this to happen, systems must be integrated to enable them to “talk” to each other.
To this end, Jendamark has developed its own standardised software platform called Odin (after the Norse god of wisdom).
“A big part of Industry 4.0 is software,” says Yanesh Naidoo. “We wanted to establish a standardised platform on which all of our software could work. We currently have three modules running on Odin and the number will continue to grow.”
The first module, called WorkStation, is an application that runs on the shop floor. The easy-to-use visual interface guides operators through the component assembly process.
“This is especially useful where different types of engines are built on the same line. The operator doesn’t have to remember each process and becomes more efficient,” says Naidoo.
The application tracks process data, runs diagnostics and includes a traceability interface as part of the quality review process.
“The maintenance interface allows the operator to call the maintenance team from the screen, thereby getting assistance faster and reducing downtime.”
He says the addition of augmented reality “smart glasses” takes this a step further, allowing remote maintenance support “through your eyes”, which Jendamark first used on a recent Audi project in India.
The second module, LineWatch, can be viewed on a screen above the production line or as a computer app.
As a visual snapshot of the entire production process, which interfaces with SAP, it allows managers to keep an eye on all aspects, such as the number of parts produced per shift, those queued, in progress, finished and dispatched, as well as the throughput rate.
Live cycle time data and built-in SMS or email notifications alert relevant groups to progress or problems.
Manager is a web-based reporting and human-machine interface (HMI) administration system, which can be accessed securely from any web browser.
The HMI set-up and LineWatch software share data with a server, which allows Manager to analyse trends, deliver customised quality reports and track maintenance job cards. Managers can see at a glance the results for a particular part or station.
“The process engineer can set up work instructions and change processes to improve efficiency on the shop floor without the cost of calling a programmer,” says Naidoo. This, he explains, is thanks to Jendamark’s PLC standard, called Cube, which integrates tightly with Odin.
“Your online changes are effected down to the PLC layer on the shop floor.”