I was with a friend who is a manufacturing engineer, Lim. We mesmerize to the wonders of how advanced automation has become today. We used to see workers at the production lines; today we are seeing more usage of robotic arms. This rapid change is far and beyond.
As we move from Industry 1.0 to Industry 4.0, equipment in the factory automation world are becoming better equipped with sophisticated automation systems. Autonomous robots are becoming a popular choice in the manufacturing world as they are cost-effective; flexible and efficient technologies are leading the growth of fully automated production lines. Now, the challenge is in deciding how best to harness the technology.
Machines run on a mix of electrical robot with pneumatics synchronously efficient until something breaks down which is usual due to wear and tear on mechanical parts.
The packaging industry has counted on pneumatics as a simple but reliable machine technology to package items from shampoo bottles and cereal boxes to egg cartons and cheese containers. In fact, most products on store shelves have interacted with pneumatics at some point, often in material handling. Even labelling applications do involve pneumatics.
Pneumatic systems are ideal because they tend to be a very forgiving machine element and a low-cost option to add motion to equipment. Pneumatic components are relatively simple to diagnose and fix — quite different than many other complex components found on a modern packaging line. Forgiving yet hard to overlook, mechanical failure constitutes up to 6% of unplanned downtime and up to 25% of it is because of pneumatics.
Lim shares several interesting data about his line and job. A typical Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in a packaging line is 50%; and as a seasoned manufacturing engineer, he has seen how OEE is affected by unplanned downtime. Additionally, systems lose 25% to 30% of compressed air due to leakages in the machines. There is certainly room for improvement!
Now is the time to explore how pneumatic systems can be made smarter by leveraging digital transformation. Wear and tear of machinery is evitable; however, we can catch early indicators of impending failures if we have the right data points and analysis in place.
We’ll talk about data integration, device management, and the different parameters at the Emerson Exchange Asia Pacific, October 26-28, 2021. Check out the Emerson Exchange Asia Pacific webpage today!