BY ARC ADVISORY GROUP                                                           DECEMBER 2001  Rack and Roll Automation St...
ARC Strategies • December 2001                        Shift toward equipment upgrade versus new plant capital spending    ...
ARC Strategies • December 2001Executive OverviewMaterial handling solutions are assuming a very strategic role in the im-p...
ARC Strategies • December 2001                                 Simulation Reduces the Risk in Material                    ...
ARC Strategies • December 2001vertically oriented packages that address specific industry needs and marketsare fast becomi...
ARC Strategies • December 2001                                 Automotive Plants Seek Common Controls                     ...
ARC Strategies • December 2001and engine specifications can all be modified with a change in the CNC ap-plication program....
ARC Strategies • December 2001                                 Bottling Lines Seek Improvements in                        ...
ARC Strategies • December 2001single maximum speed. Installing a material handling solution that simplysubscribes to the n...
ARC Strategies • December 2001                                 Gallo made a huge leap by decentralizing the conveyor’s PLC...
ARC Strategies • December 2001very important. Consequently, many technology improvements in automa-tion systems are not re...
ARC Strategies • December 2001                                 Integration of PLC in an AC drive is not sufficient. Networ...
ARC Strategies • December 2001frequency, and transmitting devices are enabling manufacturers to trackgoods more accurately...
ARC Strategies • December 2001                                 over the last several years requiring more sophisticated se...
ARC Strategies • December 2001tives used condition monitoring, analysis, and operations management arenecessary.In contras...
ARC Strategies • December 2001                                 Dynamic Condition Monitoring Optimizes Manufacturing       ...
ARC Strategies • December 2001Maintenance based on an as-required basis by anticipating potential failuresreduces the amou...
ARC Strategies • December 2001                                 for suppliers to slow down the continuing price erosion and...
ARC Strategies • December 2001Analyst: Sal SpadaEditor:     Ed BassettDistribution: MAS-D & MAS-H ClientsAcronym Reference...
Cambridge, U.K.                                                       Düsseldorf, Germany                                 ...
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Rack and roll automation strategies in material handling systems

  1. 1. BY ARC ADVISORY GROUP DECEMBER 2001 Rack and Roll Automation Strategies in Material Handling SystemsExecutive Overview ................................................................................ 3Simulation Reduces the Risk in Material Handling Capital Expenditures .... 4Automotive Plants Seek Common Controls.............................................. 6Bottling Lines Seek Improvements in Line Efficiency.................................. 8AC Drives Threaten to Invert the Automation Hierarchy.......................... 11Material Tracking Is Essential................................................................ 12Predictive Maintenance Remains Untapped in MaterialHandling Solutions .............................................................................. 14Enterprise & Automation Strategies for Industry Executives
  2. 2. ARC Strategies • December 2001 Shift toward equipment upgrade versus new plant capital spending Capacity increases to deal with the new economy Material handling logistics is strategic Goods and information are moved concurrently in the supply channel Mass customization Zero inventory levels Tighter collaboration between partners Electronic commerce Availability of intelligent material handling solutions Strategic Trends Creating a Renewed Emphasis in Material Handling Solutions WMS Solution Conveyor PLC Zone Routing Computer PLC DataHwy + RocketPort 422 Converter Support Modem Bar Code Scanner Up to 16 Bar Code Scanners Typical Controls Configuration Analog Line Information and Automation Systems Demand Tighter Integration2 • • Copyright © ARC Advisory Group
  3. 3. ARC Strategies • December 2001Executive OverviewMaterial handling solutions are assuming a very strategic role in the im-provement of order to delivery cycles, inventory reduction, and satisfying acontinuously changing buying culture. When thought of as a process, mate-rial-handling solutions remains at the core of manufacturing, distribution,consumption, and disposal activities. As the automotive, pharmaceutical,and food & beverage industries continue to restructure and consolidate anincreasing demand for material handling solutions capable of preparingshipments which contain multiple brands will keep the industry growing at arapid pace. Distribution centers are now shipping uniquely loaded palletscontaining a diversity of products based on individual store locations. This Guided Vehiclesis placing greater emphasis on the information management, extensibility, Cartonersand flexibility of the automation systems installed in the plants. ConveyorsMaterial handling has become a priority as variety, availability, convenience, Carouselsand quality combined with a trend toward zero inventory levels is driving an Pick and Placeefficient movement of merchandise from manufacturer & distribution centers Unloading Machinesto customers. Component suppliers and manufacturers are forming collabo- Material Trackingrate relationship as shipments of subassemblies are being delivered to thediscrete assembly lines in an ordered sequence and only as required on a Line Coordinationtimely basis. This is placing enormous demands on the uptime of material Palletizershandling equipment and accuracy of picking while continuously increasing Routingthe speed movement of material and delivery of services. Consequently, top Roboticsto bottom automation solutions have become a strategic element in material Sortation systemshandling systems for manufacturing plants, assembly plants and distributioncenters. Forklift trucks, conveyor systems, monorails, cranes, sortation sys- Accumulatorstems, palletizers, depalletizers, pick-to-light, Automatic Guided Vehicles, DivertersAutomatic Storage and Retrieval Systems, carousels, and robotics comprise Storage & Retrievalmany of the subsystems used to speed and automate the movement of goods. Material Handling SubsystemsThe primary focus of this report is on emerging technologies in automationand information systems necessary to converge on material handling systemsto achieve business goals of the organization. However, the importance ofWarehouse Management Software (WMS) cannot be overlooked for optimalinventory management in discrete production and in distribution centers.WMS remains an integral part of optimizing equation in manufacturing to-day. Copyright © ARC Advisory Group • • 3
  4. 4. ARC Strategies • December 2001 Simulation Reduces the Risk in Material Handling Capital Expenditures As industry after industry is continuing to downsize and “de-engineer” automation continues to provide tremendous productivity gains. In some plants the number of employees has dropped by as much as 50 percent. This trend translates into a need for a higher, more sophisticated approach to planning material handling systems. Today, Discrete Event Simulation (DES) software is utilized to analyze and optimize a physical manufac- Autosimulations turing and material handling process. These packages contain powerful CACI three dimensional modeling capabilities that simulate material flows Lanner Group and process activity on a subsystem basis. Delmia, Tecnomatix, and Enterprise Dynamics Rockwell Systems Modeling are some of the companies today that have strong capabilities in physical modeling and work cell design. Tecnomatix ORCA Simulation Is Imperative Frontstep It is inconceivable today to consider a material handling capital expendi- ProModel ture for either a distribution center or a manufacturing facility without simulating the entire system. Systems integrators, material handling Rockwell Automation’s Systems Modeling equipment suppliers, and in-house engineering staffs rely on manufac- Micro Analysis & Design turing DES packages to evaluate new facility designs and analyze the benefits of proposed upgrades to existing facilities. In many cases the Wolverine business requirements are changing so rapidly simulation and modeling ALPHATECH is no longer a single time event, but is viewed as a continual process Mesquite over the lifetime of the facility. As businesses move toward zero levels Imagine That of inventory there is a greater demand on distribution centers and ThreadTec manufacturing plants to deliver goods with a faster turnaround time. And as the business demands evolve, the topology of your material Discrete Event Simulation Suppliers handling equipment may need to be improved or reconfigured. Desktop PCs Are Capable of Complex Simulation The increased processing power of the desktop PC has had a dramatic effect on the DES market. Previously, simulations of real problems required costly workstations and lengthy runs made by simulation professionals with exper- tise in both statistics and simulation languages. New technical developments are simplifying the modeling process and enabling casual users to effectively apply simulation technology specifically as many software suppliers move toward object based technology to model subsystems in the plant. The range of applications for simulation technology is therefore rapidly expanding and4 • • Copyright © ARC Advisory Group
  5. 5. ARC Strategies • December 2001vertically oriented packages that address specific industry needs and marketsare fast becoming available. While there are still technical differences amongsimulation products, there is also a consensus that most simulation productsare capable of adequately addressing the normal range of modeling prob-lems. Issues such as model size limitations, speed, and flexibility areconsidered a thing of the past. Focus has now shifted to developing featuresthat enable a broader application of DES by casual users. Enhanced visuali-zation tools, interoperability, hierarchical modeling, object-basedprogramming, optimization, and automatic scenario elaboration are key fea-tures that distinguish individual offerings.Simulation tools are spreading across the distributed enterprise Simulation tools are spreadingto enable collaboration between business systems demands and across the distributed enterprise tomanufacturing requirements. Tools for 3D design of factory enable collaboration betweenwork cells are being combined with DES to encompass simula- business systems demands andtion of the entire manufacturing layout. Flowcharting tools manufacturing requirements.designed for business process reengineering are being extendedto include embedded discrete simulators enabling users to ob-serve the system dynamics as they evaluate “as-is” and “to-be” designs.Define Material Handling Requirements with Production SchedulingSimulation is increasingly applied in the planning and scheduling sector forfinite-capacity scheduling of production. These rules based packages allowscheduling of demand streams while utilizing the DES engine to evaluatestrategies. On-line production scheduling in conjunction with plant Collabo-rative Production Management systems can be managed with these types ofsystems. Production scheduling software typically focuses on schedulingapplications as well as those who provide complete APS solutions from sup-ply chain planning through plant level daily production schedules.Web-based simulation may also be considered one of the key requirementsfor future DES packages. Simulation models will be distributed across theInternet to enable multiple users access to dynamic analysis of an operation.Collaborative model building across the Internet is also seen as a feature thatwill combine object-based and web-based technologies. Programming lan-guage will become a key concern for web-based simulation and users areadvised to ensure the languages such as Java to provide complete model mo-bility. The dynamism that exists in the current DES marketplace bodes wellfor end users seeking to minimize the risk in new projects. Copyright © ARC Advisory Group • • 5
  6. 6. ARC Strategies • December 2001 Automotive Plants Seek Common Controls Material handling is an integral component of many discrete manufacturing production lines. Convergence in control systems is taking place between CNC systems and the overhead gantry systems used to advance material through the production process. This is prevalent in automotive and heavy machinery applications where the metal fabrication is performed in progressive steps. As production in engine and transmission plants moved toward increasingly agile manufactur- ing configuration, the complexion of control systems on the plant floor has changed dramatically. The age of dedicated transfer lines is coming to clo- sure as many automotive plants are being used to supplement production of other plants. The massive capital investments and enormous production run requirements of the dedicated transfer lines has been replaced by the introduction of general purpose and multifunction machine tools at each station. How- ever, this has brought a new era to how work in Automotive Engine Production Lines Exemplify Agility in Metal Working Applications process is moved from station to station. Overhead robotic systems are now the mainstay of the transfer line. Carte- sian coordinate overhead gantry systems are moving engine blocks, heads, and transmission casing between each stage of the production process. Stan- dard and custom configured machine tools from leading edge OEMs such as Grobe, Hulle Hiller, and Unova are providing the metal cutting capabilities at each of the stations. Although these agile production lines cannot compete with the production speeds attainable with dedicated single station transfer lines, the automotive manufactures are trading off speed for a wider range of operation and rapid changeover. Take for example the Ford plant in Lima, Ohio built in 1957. This plant is a living museum for automotive production systems as it has a combination of dedicated transfer lines and newer agile manufacturing systems. The dedi- cated transfer lines can produce over 600 thousand engines per year whereas the agile lines are limited to slightly greater than 60 thousand engines per year. However, agile production lines can easily be reconfigured to produce six cylinder, four cylinder or eight cylinder engines. Machining tolerances6 • • Copyright © ARC Advisory Group
  7. 7. ARC Strategies • December 2001and engine specifications can all be modified with a change in the CNC ap-plication program. A tremendous amount of production variation can behandled with a single production line.Standardization in Control SystemsThe rapid pace of technology is transforming factory floor control systems.Off the shelf CNC systems are replacing the dedicated single station transferline controls. Custom designed robotic controls are now converging with theCNC systems. As many plants seek a common control solution for the met-alworking and the material handling systems, the CNC controls haveextended their reach. Conceptually, this is not tremendousreach for CNC systems, as the basis of a metal working ap-plication requires a precision motion control system, whichis very similar to a robotics system. However, trying to di-rectly apply a standard CNC solution to a roboticsapplication can be fraught with unrealized expectations andsome difficult problems. Overhead gantry systems do notrequire the inverse kinematics required of a general-purposerobotic solution as the axes are all orthogonal, however,leading CNC suppliers such as Siemens and Indramat haveaugmented their core CNC systems with inverse arm solu-tions, teach pendant capabilities, and gripper control asextensions to the standard CNC. In this manner, commonal-ity in the control hardware in addition to the look and feel of Teach Pendants Are Standard in Roboticsthe human interface is maintained within the manufacturing plant. in Contrast to CNC SolutionsAdoption of PC-based HMI in the machine tool market by all the leadingCNC suppliers, including FANUC, Siemens, and Mitsubishi, has been anenabling technology providing the ability to cost effectively adapt the lookand feel. HMI software has become an increasingly important element ofmaterial handling and machinery functionality as a result of the tremendousutility of a graphical interface combined with the benefits of common soft-ware architecture. The automotive industry has rapidly moved to PC-basedplatforms and the Windows family of operating systems, CE and NT/2000,for machine and cell control systems. These are rapidly becoming informa-tion systems as bar code scanners, radio frequency tags, and infrared tags arebeing used to track the progress of every item in a manufacturing and mate-rial handling workflow. Overall, manufacturers adopting PC-based systemsare able to derive numerous cost reductions in training and support in con-junction with the ease of integration of plant floor and information systems. Copyright © ARC Advisory Group • • 7
  8. 8. ARC Strategies • December 2001 Bottling Lines Seek Improvements in Line Efficiency In the food and beverage industry, the bottling and canning lines are the key to running efficient operations. A wider range in bottle and can sizes is con- tinuously challenging manufacturing engineers. It is not uncommon today to design a bottling line to handle a two-ounce bottle as well as three-liter vessel, however current designs result in compromises in efficiency. To optimally handle such a wide variation in container sizes requires running a single line at different speeds while also tak- ing into consideration the coordination at the end of the line conveyor with a case packer or flow wrapping machine. In addition, numerous environmental problems plague the food and beverage industry such as changes in humidity and static electricity causing jams at a pres- sure combiner, rinsers, and case packers. Although many lines run a single product for several days, end users are expending significant effort in the reduction of change over time to adjust for the variation in shape and size of bottles. However, based on ARC’s market re- search it is apparent that much less effort is being applied to improve the synchronization of conveyor speeds or focus on predictive main- Manufacturing Efficiencies Are Focused on Bottling Systems tenance. As a result, additional plant machinery is required to account for unbalanced lines and rerouting production around equipment failures. Accumulators, diverters, and smart conveyors are widely used at strategic locations in the material handling lines to synchro- nize between conveyor lines or modular packaging machinery. Variable AC Drives Are Underutilized Although variable speed AC drives are applied in bottling conveyor lines, the number of installations is extremely low. It is estimated that less than thirty percent of the installed conveyor lines today utilize variable speed drive technology rather than traditional single speed drives that require large accumulation tables. Manufacturers retrofitting existing lines and additional expenditures in capital equipment to increase the line capacity are not speci- fying variable speed drives. Consequently, large accumulation tables are required on bottling lines consuming valuable floor space as well as increas- ing the maintenance and service costs of the plant. While variable speed AC drive technology is proven to increase line capacity, reduce equipment downtime, increase the operating range, and radically improve the energy efficiency, many manufacturing operations continue to apply the notion of a8 • • Copyright © ARC Advisory Group
  9. 9. ARC Strategies • December 2001single maximum speed. Installing a material handling solution that simplysubscribes to the notion that running a line at maximum speed results insuboptimal performance. However, synchronizing the speed of each piece ofequipment or equivalently balancing the load enables performance optimiza-tion.Manufacturers Need to Develop a Retrofit ProgramConveyor systems are the most widely used material handling subsystems inany manufacturing plant or warehouse distribution center. As such thesesystems are also the most prone to failure. Comprised of moving belts, gear-boxes, chains, and motors, conveyor lines require a significant amount ofcontinuous maintenance. Conveyors are utilized extensively in manufactur-ing operations to move bulk raw materials such as grains, plastics, ore,pallets, packed cases or simply transporting loosely proc-essed goods such as bottles, cookies, candies or crackers. Manufacturers that try to specify controlsIn many applications, conveyors are simply a commodity, and mechanical features are severelypurchased on price rather than feature and function. penalized by OEMs for nonrecoverableManufacturers that try to specify controls and mechanical engineering costs and are unable tofeatures are severely penalized by OEMs for nonrecover- benefit from volume discount pricing of standard engineering costs and are unable to benefit fromvolume discount pricing of standard components.E&J Gallo, one of the largest wine producers in the world, uses conveyor sys-tems extensively in their distribution center as well as the manufacturingbottling plants. Unable to purchase conveyor equipment to their specifica-tions, the engineering staff is kept busy upgrading off the shelf conveyorsystems. Plant engineers are trained specifically to identify technology thatwill lower the cost of maintenance. Control systems are being integratedwith the conveyors, chain drives are replaced with belts or direct drives andlube free bearing are used wherever possible. Clearly, this a tremendous en-gineering cost to E&J Gallo, however the return on this investment is easilyrecouped by reducing standard maintenance, unscheduled maintenance, andunscheduled downtime. Overall, the goal of this manufacturing operation isto increase the reliability in conjunction with improving the predictability ofmaintenance. Copyright © ARC Advisory Group • • 9
  10. 10. ARC Strategies • December 2001 Gallo made a huge leap by decentralizing the conveyor’s PLCs control sys- tems. Case conveyors and bottle conveyors were all decentralized over Ethernet. Networking the conveyor system is an integral part of a predictive maintenance system. The lifetime of a mechanical system is well understood, consequently the ability to track the usage of an individual conveyor pro- vides a lever in implementing scheduled maintenance before a system fails. Overall, the importance of information tracking is providing tremendous benefits preventing unscheduled maintenance and downtime. Conveyors Demand Continuous Maintenance to Prevent Downtime Business Reasons Prevent New Technology Adoption Manufacturers are moving toward modularity in conveyor systems to im- prove on the maintainability of these systems while also benefiting from the ability to reconfigure the manufacturing process. Although, the automation technology exists to make conveyor systems much more reliable than they are today, system integrators and OEMs are reluctant to change their stan- dard product or consider a custom solution. Significant time and effort goes into selection of bottling or packaging line equipment. This area usually represents the largest capital investment in a plant, requiring the greatest amount of maintenance, and holds the largest amount of work-in-process (WIP). More should and can be done to maximize utilization of these assets and reduce the amount of WIP. Obviously, there are many business reasons for this resistance. High cost of engineering and design is one of the most significant ones. Companies that compete in this sector are in a highly competitive business where price is10 • • Copyright © ARC Advisory Group
  11. 11. ARC Strategies • December 2001very important. Consequently, many technology improvements in automa-tion systems are not readily available to the end users.AC Drives Threaten to Invert theAutomation HierarchyFactory automation solutions are evolving toward control systems moving tothe device level. Increasingly, plant engineers and system integrators areadopting this broader concept of distributed control while traditionalautomation providers are offering a wider variety of product solutionsthat are interoperable. However, AC drive suppliers are challengingthe traditional automation hierarchy by incorporating standard logiccontrol with inverters. AC drives are evolving toward total machinecontrollers in contrast to their heritage as simply an actuator. ACdrive suppliers recognizing the potential of the excess computationalcapacity available in digitally controlled drives are incorporating PLCsin these systems. While, some automation suppliers are offering ACdrives that are directly mounted to the motor in lower horsepowerrated applications such as fans or pumps. Consequently these types ofsolutions are less viable in a material handling system. The emergenceof the AC drive consisting of an integral PLC, device network andOPC connectivity is enabling machine builders to lower the number ofcomponents in a system.Intelligent and Full Function AC Drives Alter Control ArchitectureTraditional automation architectures place the AC drive simply as a control-lable I/O point on a PLC. However, the integration of PLC directly into thedrive has simply inverted the automation architecture for many distributedcontrol applications. That is to say, the AC drive is now a viable element tobe considered for logic control and actuation. Specifically, in the case of con-veyor systems, the continual pressure to lower the cost of wiring and reducethe number of components lends well to an AC drive solution with logic con-trol capability. Conveyors are becoming modular in nature as materialhandling applications seek to use common control modules that can be re-configured for a wide variety of applications. Copyright © ARC Advisory Group • • 11
  12. 12. ARC Strategies • December 2001 Integration of PLC in an AC drive is not sufficient. Networking, persistence in data, and standard communication interfaces are necessary to match the demands of many applications. Although the extra processing power has benefited applications by offering flexibility and additional options, such as self-tuning, self-diagnostics, and optimizing techniques the important issue today is ease of integration with other systems. Connectivity Leads to Modularity In a networked environment AC drives offer numerous advantages. There are two sources of immediate benefits. Specifically, information becomes more accessible throughout the entire plant and modularity of the machinery is easier to implement. Networking expands the possibility of set Baumuller point control, data collection, status monitoring, and even preventive Emerson/Control Techniques maintenance. Modular conveyor systems require synchronization as well; therefore the availability of a networked interface provides the Lenze possibility of a plug and play system. SEW Suppliers of AC Drives As many conveyor manufacturers move toward ease of installation with Integral PLC Control and turnkey installation, the demand for common interfaces is grow- ing. In many manufacturing domains OLE for Process Control (OPC) has become very prevalent, while Ethernet is rapidly emerging on the factory floor. OPC has become important for integration with the plant wide infor- mation systems. Combined with an Ethernet solution and the ability to use the same network for electronic line shafting of conveyors becomes an ex- tremely viable solution. These two standards will clearly impact the AC drive market as suppliers have rapidly integrated many networking options such as Profibus, CANOpen, and DeviceNet. Material Tracking Is Essential Much of the value in a material handling system is focused on the Ware- house Management Systems (WMS) software that is responsible for improving the overall efficiency of moving finished goods, work in process, and raw materials throughout the production plant. However, WMS sys- tems cannot provide accurate retrieval and storage routing plans unless products can be uniquely identified. Material tracking is where innovations in the industry are taking place. The use of bar code, sorters, infrared, radio12 • • Copyright © ARC Advisory Group
  13. 13. ARC Strategies • December 2001frequency, and transmitting devices are enabling manufacturers to trackgoods more accurately.Individual product tracking is important from the perspective that it enablesthe manufactured goods to carry process related information throughout theentire production process. In addition, information systems are able to cata-log unique product data providing companies the ability to reduce warrantyliabilities. Take for example the most recent casebetween Firestone and Ford. If each and every tirewere tracked during the production process, thenumber of warranty recalls would be limited toonly those tires produced on certain days or atspecific plants thereby significantly reducing thenumber of recalls.The greater amount of information tracked duringthe production process enables manufacturers toisolate lots of production if there is a shipment re-call. Radio frequency and inductive tagging is Material Tracking Solutions Are Increasing the Demandsvery prevalent in automotive power train for Information Management on the Factory Floorplants where virtually every facet of the pro-duction process is maintained in a database. Bar coding is seldom used inthese types of environments as contamination from machining oils and metalchips cannot be tolerated. Bar coding is extremely prevalent in electronicassembly where clean room quality is maintained on the manufacturingfloor. Similarly, in the postal service every package and letter is labeled witha bar code at the central sorting centers. In fact the postal service has pushedthe technology in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems to com-pletely automate the placement of bar codes on each package. The postalservice has developed sophisticated algorithms for machinery that can take arandom assortment of letters, perform an OCR, and apply a bar code label ata rate of 36 thousand letters per hour. However, this is absolutely necessaryto completely automate handling of millions of letters a day.Tracking Increases Plant Floor Database Storage NeedsRegardless of the production environment, manufacturers are applying sen-sor technology that can endure the environmental conditions of the plant.There is simply a tremendous demand to keep track of the shipment locationby maintaining product specific information on the goods being manufac-tured. Consequently, the content of information being tracked has escalated Copyright © ARC Advisory Group • • 13
  14. 14. ARC Strategies • December 2001 over the last several years requiring more sophisticated sensor technology. In addition to material tracking it is the maintenance records, machinery cy- cles, and reliability of the machinery is all being maintained in a database. As a result virtually all industries are incorporating Industry PC-based solutions as a substitute to the large Standards Description modular PLC based systems historically used to SQL Server Database Access manage the entire material handling system. This OLE Object Linking and Embedding is not to say that the PLC does not have a place in OPC OLE for Process Control material handling systems. As machinery becomes ODBC Object Database Connectivity increasingly modular and material handling facili- ties are required to be physically configurable, the COM Component Object Model PLC has become an embedded device in convey- DCOM Distributed Component Object Model ors, palletizers, cartoners, and sorters. This is a Data Base Management in Material Handling radical change from the time when a large central- Has Become an Absolute Necessity ized PLC system would be responsible for maintaining a database and controlling an entire material handling system. PC-based systems are functioning as the overall line overseers that handle the data collection as well as reconfiguration of the line. It is only very small lines that are utilizing a PLC as the line controllers today. PC-based solu- tions inherently offer a much greater capability to manage large data collection tasks demanded by wider adoption of material tracking. In effect, new installations are standardizing on full PC-based controls on all of the systems on the factory floor. Predictive Maintenance Remains Untapped in Material Handling Solutions Plant Asset Management (PAM) is the integration of on-line, real-time condi- tion monitoring and analysis combined with a predictive maintenance strategy such as Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) and Enterprise As- set Management systems. Typically, PAM systems are integrated with higher-level systems in a manufacturing operation where maintenance budgets have been reduced by as much as 30 percent after implementing a PAM. To achieve this level cost reductions maintenance optimization initia-14 • • Copyright © ARC Advisory Group
  15. 15. ARC Strategies • December 2001tives used condition monitoring, analysis, and operations management arenecessary.In contrast, material-handling applications installed in for inventory storageand retrieval systems, distribution centers, and packaging lines do not have acomprehensive PAM strategy. System integrators that are responsible fordesign and installation of the many material-handling systems that are in-stalled today do not have the power to push OEMs toward technologies thatwould enable PAM. Manufacturers seeking performance improvementsneed to consider maintenance and service of the automation systems in thesupply chain as well as the factory automation machinery used to producegoods. Suppliers of material handling systems such as conveyors, palletiz-ers, cranes, packers, and sorters need to use embedded control technology toprovide system integrators the tools needed to incorporate predictive main-tenance, scheduled maintenance, and remote service. Manufacturers have anuntapped reservoir of improvements that can be achieved by focusing on themachine utilization, downtime, and increasing machine life of their materialhandling systems. Make Supply Distribute Supply Chain Mgmt Supply Chain Mgmt ERP Supply Chain Mgmt Supply Chain Mgmt ITRAM EAM/CMMS PIMS PAM Control System Plant Measurements, Including PCM Plant Asset Management (PAM) Are Prevalent in Manufacturing Copyright © ARC Advisory Group • • 15
  16. 16. ARC Strategies • December 2001 Dynamic Condition Monitoring Optimizes Manufacturing Time based maintenance schedules for machinery are commonly applied to- day, however this is not the most cost-efficient solution. Embedded software in AC drives and precision motion control systems, which are at the heart of material handling systems, have radically improved the ease of use, commis- sioning, and diagnostics. The next generation of these systems will provide advanced software capabilities that will extend machine life, reduce mainte- nance cost, and predict failures. AC drives and servo amplifiers are widely available with digital signal processors, RISC, or microprocessors, which serve as the embedded controller. The first generation of these all-digital so- lutions simply eliminated many analog components, such as potentiometers and capacitors providing a stable system independent of temperature varia- tions and component fatigue. In addition these solutions also offer the benefit of digital loop closure providing the ability to incorporate more ad- vanced algorithms such as PID, pole placement, sensorless vector control, feed forward, and non linear compensation. Dynamic auto-tuning is one of the software advancements emerging on the market Condition Algorithms today that has incorporated features that are capable Motor Cogging Cogging torque compen- of continuously identifying the mechanical and elec- sation for smooth speed trical characteristics of the overall system. Changing Load Adaptive tuning for changing load conditions These types of software features offer tremendous Start-Up Auto tuning and automatic benefits in improving the overall performance of the miswiring detection during start-up machinery. It is not only wear and tear of mechani- Machine Impact Jerk limit control allowing cal components that are the source of the problem. higher speeds and Take into consideration material handling line that accelerations needs to handle a large range in the weights of pack- Power Output Power management to ages on a conveyor. In most cases the OEM would maximize torque/ speed over larger envelope have to make compromises configuring the system to guarantee that the controllers would remain stable Advanced Machine Control Algorithms throughout the entire operating range, however with auto-tuning drives are able to detect load changes and make adjustments in the control algorithms dynamically. Robots and conveyors are the most highly visible problem areas, which can immediately benefit from this software technology. Overall, software compensation tech- niques such as auto-tuning offer a much greater advantage over more simplistic static condition monitoring features which do not compensate for dynamic changes in mechanical components over time such as wear and varying load conditions.16 • • Copyright © ARC Advisory Group
  17. 17. ARC Strategies • December 2001Maintenance based on an as-required basis by anticipating potential failuresreduces the amount of unnecessary downtime. High-speed processors allowintegration of complex control algorithms that observe changes occurring onmachine components and predict potential failures. The number of applica-tions for dynamic condition monitoring are unlimited, however even some ofthe more obvious problems are not being implemented on a wide spread ba-sis.• Shaft coupling fatigue detected by a shift in resonance frequency can be used notify operators of a potential failure.• Increasing friction in mechanical gears and ball screws can be overcome by applying additional torque. Machine shutdown is delayed while con- currently the maintenance staff is alerted.• Changes in backlash that might affect positioning accuracy can also be dynamically compensated with an advanced control loop, by observing torque demand changes in both directions.Distributed Control Adds Computational CapacityDistributed computational capacity and move to standard industrial net-works available in PLCs, motion controllers, and drives is a significantenabler. The incremental cost of computing power combined with net-worked interfaces is more than offset by the value that dynamic conditionmonitoring and remote network access brings to plants. More intelligentcontrol algorithms better serves customers through the recording of a ‘ma-chine signature’ at the time of installation representingdata of various machine parameters. OEMs shippingmachines worldwide can monitor machine perform-ance by comparing initial machine signatures withcurrent signature information to determine potentialproblems. These facilities enable faster machine instal-lation, and provide enhanced trouble shooting on aglobal basis using web-enabled technologies in control-lers.Manufacturers prefer to buy open control systems witha common architecture across all equipment. This is Monitor Machine Performance on the Webin direct conflict with a supplier’s goal to lock usersinto buying equipment. Therefore, in the world of open control systems,suppliers must look for new ways to differentiate products. One of the ways Copyright © ARC Advisory Group • • 17
  18. 18. ARC Strategies • December 2001 for suppliers to slow down the continuing price erosion and to gain addi- tional market share is to focus improving ROA for end users. System integrators and end users need to consider the Total Cost of Owner- ship when designing new facilities as well as upgrading existing systems. Advanced control algorithms reduce the cost of maintenance, increase per- formance, and extend the intervals between replacements. Machinery equipped with advanced control algorithms and network connectivity is critical element in introducing a PAM strategy in your material handling sys- tems.18 • • Copyright © ARC Advisory Group
  19. 19. ARC Strategies • December 2001Analyst: Sal SpadaEditor: Ed BassettDistribution: MAS-D & MAS-H ClientsAcronym Reference: For a complete list of industry acronyms, refer to our webpage at Artificial Intelligence EAM Enterprise Asset ManagementANSI American National Standards Institute EC Electronic CommerceAPS Advanced Planning & Scheduling EPM Enterprise Production ManagementB2B Business-to-Business ERP Enterprise Resource PlanningB2C Business-to-Consumer HMI Human Machine InterfaceBPR Business Process Reengineering IT Information TechnologyCAGR Compound Annual Growth Rate ITRAM IT & Remote Asset ManagementCAN Controller Area Network MRP Materials Resource PlanningCEMS Continuous Emissions Monitoring ODBC Open Database Connectivity System OLE Object Linking & EmbeddingCMMS Computerized Maintenance OPC OLE for Process Control Management System PAM Plant Asset ManagementCOM Component Object Model PID Proportional Integral DerivativeCNC Computer Numeric Control PIMS Process Information ManagementCPG Consumer Packaged Goods SystemCRM Customer Relationship Management PLC Programmable Logic ControllerDCOM Distributed Component Object ROI Return on Investment Model SPC Statistical Process ControlDES Discrete Event Simulation TMS Transportation Management SystemEAI Enterprise Application Integration WMS Warehouse Management SystemFounded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is the leader in providing strategic plan-ning and technology assessment services to leading manufacturing companies,utilities, and global logistics providers, as well as to software and solution suppli-ers worldwide. From Global 1000 companies to small start-up firms, ARCprovides the strategic knowledge needed to succeed in today’s technology driveneconomy.ARC Strategies is published monthly by ARC. All information in this report is pro-prietary to and copyrighted by ARC. No part of it may be reproduced withoutprior permission from ARC.You can take advantage of ARCs extensive ongoing research plus experience ofour staff members through our Advisory Services. ARC’s Advisory Services arespecifically designed for executives responsible for developing strategies and di-rections for their organizations. For subscription information, please call, fax, orwrite to: ARC Advisory Group, Three Allied Drive, Dedham, MA 02026 USA Tel: 781-471-1000, Fax: 781-471-1100, Email: Visit our web page at Copyright © ARC Advisory Group • • 19
  20. 20. Cambridge, U.K. Düsseldorf, Germany Munich, Germany Hamburg, Germany Tokyo, Japan Bangalore, India Boston, MA Pittsburgh, PA San Francisco, CA Visit for complete contact informationThree Allied Drive • Dedham, MA 02026 USA • 781-471-1000 • Fax 781-471-1100