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Shop Floor Visibility

Executive Summary

Customer Name: A public limited company manufacturing electricity distribution products

Focus: Monitoring different types of machines from all departments and get visibility of machine utilization and quality parameters with an aim to improve OEE


  • Middle and senior management has no visibility in shop floor operations
  • Deviations from standard set points including cycle time, cooling time. This hampers product quality


  • PlantConnect SFactory is deployed for providing visibility to all stake holders.
  • Production data and process data is acquired from each machine continuously
  • Calculation of OEE and loss analysis for production machines and tool room machines
  • Alerts are generated for deviations from standard set points beyond threshold.
  • Interlocking of SFactory HMI with machine start to ensure downtime reasons entry for every downtime


  • Complete visibility in machine utilization allows better planning to maximize utilization
  • Set point deviations captured. All discrepancies reviewed by manufacturing excellence team and corrective actions initiated. This will lead to quality improvement.
  • Downtime reasons analysis and corrective actions

Customer Background

Customer offers a wide range of products, solutions and turnkey services for electricity distribution and control, across various sectors - Industries, Utilities, Buildings, Residences, Marine nd Agriculture.

Business Requirements

  • To provide complete visibility of shop floor operations to all stake holders
  • To monitor OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) in real time
  • To track deviations in set points as compared to standard set points and take corrective actions
  • To track machine utilization i.e. Production time Vs Idle time.
  • To capture machine downtime reasons and analyze
  • To track trends of OEE, losses, utilization etc. over a period and other analytics


Company is headquartered in Mumbai and has multiple plants.

Each department calculates OEE manually and records losses in different categories. Middle and senior management in plant and in HQ has no visibility in this process. Also there is no standardization of loss categories across departments.

There is no visibility in machine utilization (productive time and idle time in a shift) as well as downtime reasons. For example, if a machine is productive only for 6 hours in a shift and still achieves target production, it means there is scope for achieving more production. But this data is not available with production planning department.

Standard set points for each machine-product combination are decided by manufacturing excellence team. However, in actual production, these set points are not set precisely each time. In many cases machines are run at lower cycle time as compared to standard. This hampers product quality.

PlantConnect SFactory Solution

PlantConnect SFactory is deployed in 2 plants on pilot basis for 10 machines in each plant.

There is large variation in machine types like injection moulding machines, press, VMC, EDM machines etc. Data is extracted using various methods like communication with machine PLC, from sensors and from electrical signals. Following is the overview of deployment


  • 9 Injection moulding machines
  • 4 CNC machines including Tool Room
  • 2 EDM machines
  • 2 Press machines
  • 1 Surface grinding machine
  • 1 Coil winding machine
  • 1 Punching machine  

SFactory Components

  • SFactory server on cloud getting data from both plants
  • DatCON, our Edge Gateways in each plant
  • SFactory HMI is installed on each machine for real-time entry of downtime, rejection and product change
  • Various sensors on machines as required
  • Start switch of each machine is interlocked with SFactory HMI. When machine is down, the interlock is set and downtime reasons entry popup is shown on HMI. Interlock is reset only when operator enters the reason. He can start the machine only when interlock is reset. This is very effective in getting all downtime reasons in accurately.


PlantConnect SFactory is running in the one plant from Feb 2018 and in the other from May 2018. Already customer is getting results as expected. As they understand the system better, they are using it more meaningfully. Manufacturing excellence team is continuously engaged with end users to ensure sustained usage and also to initiate improvement programs based on analysis provided by SFactory. AIPL is supporting the customer throughout.  Following benefits are already visible:

  • The Set point deviations across all the machines/products are coming down. Manufacturing excellence team has started monitoring and validating the same.

Co-relation between set point deviation and machine utilization

40% machines are using non-standard set points (lower cycle time)

These machines are idle approx. 25% each shift

  • Production planning team is working on increasing machine utilization. An interesting co-relation is observed as given in the box
  • Production in-charge and supervisors can monitor OEE in real time and if it starts to reduce for any machine, they promptly investigate the issue and address it.
  • Exact downtime recording brings real picture in front of everyone. By assigning downtime reasons and analyzing the top reasons, they are taking measures to reduce the downtime.
  • It is very easy, fast and accurate to generate various production reports which are used by management. Also management has direct access to these reports. This ensures more effective control on overall operations.

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