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Press Releases
  2020/06/30  
  Delta Brings Smart Equipment and Energy Management to Digital Factories with IT & OT Integration
 
   
   
Energy management is one of the key indicators of energy savings and production capacity in many high-tech and semiconductor industries. According to Forbes, the best energy management deployment relies on precise energy monitoring of every section in the factory. Managers make energy strategies based on energy usage information and data to achieve higher energy and production efficiency.

In the past, the importance of energy management was often ignored in traditional factories, causing excessive energy consumption or uneven power distribution. On the other hand, energy efficiency can’t be monitored nor improved if there is a lack of information technology (IT) and operation technology (OT) integration.

As the concept of smart, green factories continues to spread and the constantly increasing cost of energy impacts manufacturing industries, more and more companies are willing to invest in energy saving measures for their factories. Delta’s Smart Manufacturing System Integration Manager Patrick Yen pointed out that digitalization is the best solution for factory data visualization and smart energy management; however, it’s just not possible to evolve from manual recording on paper to a digital management system in one step.

IT & OT Integration - The Key to Highly Efficient Energy Management
The equipment in factories can be divided into manufacturing machines and factory operation equipment (a.k.a. the OT layer). Factory management systems are in charge of monitoring and handling water, electricity, gas and other energy during production (a.k.a. the IT layer). To achieve a digital factory, it is crucial to upgrade and integrate the OT and IT layers, so as to provide factory managers with real-time operation monitoring and valuable data analysis.

Patrick indicated that the ultimate goal of a digital factory and data visualization is for managers to monitor and handle the operation status of machines and equipment in factories in real time, and enhance productivity while relying less and less on labor. He gave an example of the importance of digital manufacturing management in a factory that produces surgical masks.

“To make qualified surgical masks that help to fight against the coronavirus, the factory needs to face several issues: Does it have an in-time material supply? Do the materials meet quality requirements? How does the quality control function? Can the production schedule meet order delivery? The questions go on and on regarding this topic.” said Patrick. “For such a complicated process, human errors may occur anytime in a labor-oriented management. This is exactly why we need to integrate IT and OT and build a digital management system.”

Aside from production efficiency and control, IT and OT integration also helps to realize factory energy management. In a traditional factory, managers receive an electricity bill every month telling them how much power the factory consumes; but the question of “which equipment / facility / production line consumes more electricity” remains. By integrating IT and OT, managers are able to precisely monitor and manage the usage of power, water, gas and other resources necessary for production in real time on factory management platforms.

Smart, Green Manufacturing Relies on Standardized Communication
Building smart, green manufacturing systems is never easy, and it usually starts from production line design. From Delta’s experience, power meters for power measurement, sensors for machine information collection and diagnosis, and industrial switches / cloud routers for communication and data exchange need to be included for all equipment and process design on every production line. Building up a standardized equipment and production analysis process is also required to optimize data values and enhance the benefits of smart, green manufacturing systems.

Communication standardization is another critical issue for implementing smart, green manufacturing systems on production lines and in factories. The components and equipment of different brands adopt different protocols, making machine integration difficult. “It takes considerable time and cost to standardize the communication between machines and to integrate the whole system to achieve M2M and machine-to-cloud connection, but this solves most issues and has to be done,” said Patrick.

With standardized communication, energy consumption data can also be collected for monitoring and management. In new factories, energy monitoring and management for each piece of equipment can be achieved at the design stage by installing power meters and sensors. For older factories, managers need to take the current status into consideration and find a way to add power meters to existing equipment and affecting the production line operation as little as possible. Once done, factory managers are able to acquire detailed energy usage data in real time and for analysis, and make more efficient energy strategies.

“From design to implementation of smart, green manufacturing, we faced different challenges and realized how complicated and difficult this path could be. We had to set a goal and be well prepared for whatever might come our way. If not, it was very likely that we could have delayed the production schedule or even failed,” said Patrick.

Smart, Green Manufacturing Brings Visualization to Managers
To achieve digitalization, a company needs to seamlessly integrate OT and IT to acquire operation data for analysis and visualization. The data includes production equipment / factory facility operation and energy consumption, and it helps managers to optimize production and energy strategies. Patrick offered Delta’s solutions and said, “With our in-depth know-how and experience, Delta provides a one-stop-service that covers consulting, design, implementation and after-sales / maintenance service. It satisfies customer needs for smart production and factories while reducing both cost and all the troubles encountered going from one supplier to another.”

Delta’s solution begins with on-site diagnosis, where Delta’s technical teams go through every piece of equipment in the factory with the factory managers. Based on the on-site diagnosis and face-to-face discussion with the customer, Delta gives suggestions and optimizes solutions for customers to build their smart manufacturing systems.

“Delta has over 25 years of experience in this field as well as a complete range of automation product lines, software, smart machines, equipment IoT systems, equipment / production / factory visualization and management platforms, energy management systems and control center solutions,” said Patrick. “We can build the most suitable, seamlessly integrated solutions to satisfy customers using only Delta products based on our experience.”

To most factories, the key to achieving smart manufacturing is IT and OT integration based on standardized communication between equipment and a management platform. Delta’s solution for IT and OT integration highlights:
- Equipment IoT Platform DIALink: Connects equipment to the management platform and performs edge computing and data exchange
- DIAMMP Manufacturing Management Platform: Analyzes equipment and production data and provides visualized information for different users, such as alarms for equipment engineers, PQM panels for production line managers, production information for factory managers, and a control center at headquarters.

With real-time information at hand, managers can make the best strategies and take timely and immediate action. Patrick added, “These products and solutions have been implemented to Delta’s factories before they were launched to the markets. Our customers can rapidly apply them to their production lines to achieve smart manufacturing and enhance productivity.”

For now, most Delta factories have implemented smart manufacturing solutions based on standardization, rationalization, automation, and intelligence. Delta’s real practice and experience can bring the greatest support and benefits to customers.

The Benefits of Bringing “Smart & Green” to Factories: Automation Reduces Labor and 30% Energy Cost
Delta recently offered its one-stop-shop service and smart green solutions for a global footwear manufacturer. Footwear manufacturing processes have always been complicated and hard to automate due to product variety, size differences and process complexity. The company’s factory in Vietnam used to rely mainly on labor for production; however, quality control was a major issue due to human errors and manual operation. For example, it is difficult to precisely control the foaming formula for every batch, and it directly affects the product quality and results in greater costs.

After implementing Delta’s smart machines, the quality control issue was solved with automated, precise material feeding according to formula. The automated material delivery by AGVs (which adopt Delta’s automation products) helped to enhance production efficiency as well. Delta also installed sensors, measurement meters and industrial Ethernet switches to all machines at this factory to collect and upload operation data to Delta’s management platforms in real-time.

“Delta’s manufacturing solutions connect labor, machines, materials, methods, and environmental management systems in the factory to optimize operational efficiency. In this case, four operators were reduced for the material feeding process, the process quality was greatly improved, the production cycle time was shortened, and managers are now able to monitor the production line and productivity in real time.” Patrick concluded, “These solutions also helped another customer in the traditional manufacturing industry by saving 30% on their energy costs and remarkably reducing quality issues.”
Delta’s smart, green technology and solutions bring visualization to real-time equipment operation and enhance energy efficiency for factories.
Most Delta factories have implemented smart manufacturing solutions. Delta’s real practice and experience can bring the greatest support and benefits to customers
News Source: IABG MKT Dept.
     
   
 
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