Problems of interconnection with machines?

When you buy machinery or production plants, the first thing you ask is whether the machine is wired for interconnection. But what does predisposed mean? Do you have a network card? The classic answer from the machine manufacturer or distributor is: “Yes, of course the machine is Industry 4.0”

 

Purchase of machinery and tax credit

When you buy machinery or production plants, the first thing you ask is whether the machine is wired for interconnection.

But what does predisposed mean? Do you have a network card?

The classic answer from the machine manufacturer or distributor is: “Yes, of course the machine is Industry 4.0

After the purchase, checking if it has a network card is easy (the RJ45 jack is usually a good clue) but understanding what data should arrive and where it should go is something completely different.

 

Picture: RJ 45 connector

 

Usually, at this point, the IT team has the task of solving the situation: with analytical approach to problem solver, the IT department find himself with a “delicate issue” to solve. Yes, because the “industry 4.0 ready” machine only enjoys incentives if it is interconnected.

This is getting serious. The purchase was made with the awareness of an important tax credit and there are no issues: the machine must be interconnected!

 

What does it mean to interconnect a machine?

The IOC must therefore understand the terms of the matter:

– What does it mean to interconnect?

– What data are useful?

– What do I trade for the machine?

Time is money and the machine has to pay for itself, so it goes into production. But if the machine is working it is no longer possible to do the tests (the stoppage is a lack of production) and the supplier does not know what the mode of interconnection… and the documentation is often missing.

Reading this short introduction you will have well understood how many times we have faced a situation of an installed machine that needs to be interconnected, to obtain the incentives. 

Let’s take a step back and see what’s the best approach to buying a machine that needs to be interconnected.

 

Best approach to buying a machine

When you buy machinery or production plants, the first thing you ask is whether the machine is wired for interconnection.

What does predisposed mean? Does it have a network card? Even if it is the first question, it is not enough.

When buying the machine the interconnection aspect should be discussed with the supplier but it is usually liquidated with “Of course, the machine is industry 4.0” 

But what does it mean to interconnect a machine?

According to the industry 4.0 Plan introduced by the Budget Law 2017, interconnecting means making the machine communicate data with the outside world in a bidirectional way.

 

 

What data or information is useful?

Interconnection is not just a question of obtaining incentives. In order to give value to an integration project, data that are significant for the management of production must be identified. For example:

How many pieces did the machine produce for the production order (X)?

 

They often ask us: what should be sent to the machine?

Recipe codes, part-programs, parameterizations can be sent to the machine. Once again it depends on the type of production.

Unfortunately these aspects are almost never discussed during the purchase phase and it is therefore necessary to leave when the machine is already installed and maybe working at the customer.

The implications of this scenario are the most varied, we list some:

  • The machine is often not available for testing because it is already operational. Downtime is a non-production
  • The machine is not connected to the network because it has not been wired or a network address has not been set.
  • There is no documentation.
  • The manufacturer entrusted the construction of the interconnection part to a time after the start-up. Then it should be contacted, aligned and supported to the implementation of the interconnection model.
  • The supplier, who does not always correspond with the manufacturer, does not know what the mode of interconnection is.

 

 

In a MES NET@PRO project, our Industry 4.0 technicians ensure the interconnection of the machinery

In a MES NET@PRO Qualitas Informatica Project we don’t do wiring (no, we don’t pull cables if that’s what you think) but we help companies that are at the mercy of the machine manufacturer and the company that follows the network infrastructure. Finding someone to take on the burden of figuring out how to do the interconnection is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Here comes our industry 4.0 division that introduced some new features into the FDI Wizard, making your work easier. 

In a MES NET@PRO project our Industry 4.0 Technicians – the division that deals with integration with field machines – manage the part of the interconnection of the machines and as their main objective, they have to ensure that the MES and the machine automatically provide useful information to those who have the responsibility to manage the production process.

Industry 4.0 is the operational division of Qualitas Informatica that deals with the integration of field machines. It is composed of specialized technicians who have developed the FDI module and keep it up to date with the continuous integration of new machinery and/or protocols. 

It is therefore Qualitas Informatica Technicians who contact the machine supplier, to evaluate the most suitable integration mode and verify the bidirectional communication.

Within the FDI module, the product configuration will then be implemented to align it with the functional objectives defined with the customer.

In the latest release of the MES NET@PRO Hesperia patch 24, a number of new features have been added within the configuration wizard that allow you to have an integration with the field machines even easier.

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