NOV-DEC 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 44 of 61

INTECH NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 45 T he Internet of Things (IoT) is revo- lutionizing all areas of our lives. In manufacturing, Industry 4.0 is as transformative as the first Industrial Rev- olution 300 years ago. Advance ments in manufacturing analytics are coming fast and furious. Not all manufacturing ana - lytics are totally new, however. I recently had a conversation with Bob Hopkins, senior system architect at East- man Kodak Company. We talked about Process Monitor, a software system devel- oped at Kodak and used effectively over the past quarter century to improve the quality and yield of the company's highly sophisticated chemical processes. A quarter century ago, at the height of the silver halide dominance in imaging, systems engineers at Kodak developed a process monitoring analytics system that was decades ahead of its time. This toolset was one way that Kodak manufactured high-quality and consistently uniform chemicals, dyes, and emulsions in plants operating in five different continents. Hopkins said that the original mission was to achieve Six Sigma performance in manufacturing, but the end result has provided benefits far greater than originally anticipated. Hopkins explained that the company has used this system across its entire global fi lm manufactur - ing supply chain and across all levels from research and development to large-scale manufacturing. Using the analytical ca pa- bility of its proprietary product, Kodak found process malfunctions before they occurred, predicted product response performance, and summarized massive and complex data to an actionable data subset—and as a result it could reduce the manufacture of off-specification product. This monitoring approach is rooted in some simple ideas, but using these simple ideas brings sophisticated re - sults. Hopkins gave a few examples. The system: • increased Kodak's understanding of its existing processes, so employees could take proper steps to improve reliability and performance • improved key performance indicators, such as mean time between failure and fi rst pass yield metrics, of established processes after years of stagnant per- formance on these measures • gave clues to allow the company to solve production issues that had (in many cases) been unresolved for years • t ransformed maintenance practic es from preventive to predictive for pumps, valves, and other components • provided the answers to after-the-fact diagnosis of product failures • answered questions about why certain product recipes did not scale • detected faults in time to prevent fur- ther product losses downstream in the supply chain Technology available to record and store data has never been easier to use. Today we have multiple ways to store manufacturing data either in our own facilities or in the cloud. But the age-old question is how to best digest this record- ed data and make sense of it in the con- text of manufacturing operations? Kodak Process Monitor recognizes that a complete picture of manufactur- ing encompasses "data," which does not all have a common basis. Time-stamped sensor data is collected from machines at different rates; on-line product testing re- sults become available at different times, usually after the fact; and production or der and maintenance records have their own unique system of keys. For flexible manufacturing, the process itself is not fi xed, but changes every time the recipe changes. This data cannot be combined without much manual synchronization, fi ltering, and effort. It is a level of effort most engineers will go through only dur- ing a crisis when their process is produc- ing unacceptable product for unknown reasons! The Process Monitor automated pro- cess takes these disparate inputs, synchro- nizes them, and outputs a much smaller set of meaningful parameters produced at the right time for timely ac tions. A very simple example from one of its sensitizing processes is a set of parameters comput- ed routinely that indicates the wearing of metering pump gears. An early warning signal is sent in plenty of time for main- tenance to swap out parts when the pro- cess is down for product changeover. This eliminates a "loss of flow" failure due to gear wear, a fault that could cause lost product and waste during a production run. Kodak Process Monitor can improve almost any manufacturing process. Man - ufacturers in chemical, agrochemicals, petrochemicals, and cosmetics all share the same manufacturing challenges as Kodak. They are concerned about yield optimization, energy consumption, prod - uct quality, and reduction of run-to-run variability across different process plants. Dealing with multiple plant operations is challenging, because of differences in systems, processes, business definitions, and equipment. Collecting data from the automation control system (typically op - erating in a programmable logic control- ler), the manufacturing execution system, laboratory information systems, and data historians provides enough information to carry out the necessary analytics. Pro - cess Monitor, originally developed for use only by Kodak, is now available for any manufacturer to use. n ABOUT THE AUTHOR William Pollock (bill.pollock@optima- is president and CEO of Optima- tion Technology, Inc. Before founding Optimation, Pollock was an associate pro- fessor of systems engineering at the State University of New York. He also spent 10 years as a control systems engineer at Eastman Kodak. He has a BS and an ME from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Op- timation ( is a mem- ber of the Control System Integrators As- sociation (CSIA) ( Process Monitor, IIoT, and Industry 4.0 By William Pollock Tips and Strategies for Integrators | channel chat

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of InTech - NOV-DEC 2017