From Automation To Smart Factory

In order to keep up with the trend and competitiveness, factories in Vietnam are gradually moving and upgrading their factories to the new stage.

It’s been generations of industrial revolution. The recent major revolution in the industry has included the Cyber ​​Physical System, IoT, and Cloud Computing. Based on the IoT platform, more and more sensors are installed, connected, and interacting to create a world of digital, real-world virtualization into the digital world, enabling people and equipment to interact. Work on this digital world anywhere, anytime. At the same time, with the help of cloud computing, the system will analyze, evaluate, and deliver predictable events, enabling operators to have timely actions. All these criteria create a new production base and when applied to the factory it creates a smart factory. At present, most factories in Vietnam are still just running automation lines, but they do not perform comprehensive data collection so that they can analyze the situation and optimize production intelligently and automatically. Because of the impact of these two factors, in order to keep up with the trend and competitiveness, factories in Vietnam are gradually moving and upgrading their factories to the new stage.

To solve the factory upgrade to the smart factory, depending on the status of the plant, we have to define a reasonable roadmap. Basically, the team’s approach to resolution will be divided into the following phases:

Phase 0:

Perform assessments to assess the status of the plant. The main outputs of this phase are: Current business process of the plant, software / system running, data flow between departments directly / indirectly to produce, issues that end -user raise Based on this information, the team conducts an analysis / evaluation to obtain a list of key findings of the plant (resolution needed to resolve the problem and improvement), and analyze the gap between the existing and the smart factory. See where the factory is in the smart factory picture. Finally, a roadmap is made.

Phase 1:

Based on the output of phase 0, along with the client’s priorities, the team finds the MVP (most viable product) to solve the urgent issue that the customer is facing. The goal is to demonstrate team competence, create trust with customers on both technology solutions and project management.

Phase 2:

Builds complete data collection, monitoring and control of production systems. Data can be derived from sensors or from PLCs, IoT devices, etc. Each device has a different communication protocol, then there should be an intermediate component between these field devices and the central server, which acts as an interpreter so that the central server can easily collect data without depending on the device / protocol. When building this stage completely, managers can easily manage production systems remotely, see performance parameters, easily troubleshoot problems or take action promptly to prevent problems that helps improve face productivity / productivity as well as product quality.

Phase 3:

Based on the results of Phase 2, this phase will be a land of cloud computing and process analytics, calculate metrics, OEE report system. Factory operation/ monitoring is now available via internet, mobile. In order to send data to the cloud, an agent field is established. The agent field is responsible for transferring data from the central server to the cloud environment and receiving events from the cloud to transmit these commands through the production system. Securing the data and secure communication channel in this phase is a challenge. Problem resolutions include data encryption and server authentication. Managers don’t have to present at the factory and can still monitor and control production. Based on metrics and reports, they can drive production more favorably in a timely fashion, improving product quality, performance / productivity and operator skills of the employees.

Phase 4:

Large amounts of data are collected, analyzed and evaluated in phases 2 and 3. The system will continue to be deployed at a deeper level of analysis, to be able to identify system bottlenecks, suggesting to optimize the process as well as provide predictive maintenance to prevent issues.

Phase 5:

With these four phases, the factory is very perfect. Stage 5 will implement PLM ( product lifecycle management) and SCM ( supply chain management) projects to create a closed process from new product design, design of chain lifting systems suitable for new production, commissioning, testing, commissioning to the end of the product life cycle. All the information in all stages is recorded and managed in a comprehensive way.

Upgrading the factory to a smart factory must always follow the customer’s goals: improve product quality, improve productivity / productivity, reduce costs and improve staff skills. Therefore, when the team analyzes the problem, the solution should be clear on which solution will help improve any of the four criteria.

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