Jul 25, 2017

Improve Visibility & Productivity with ThingWorx Manufacturing Apps

Posted by Aron Semle

A PLC is unexpectedly offline, but the controls engineer doesn't know about itand once informed, cannot easily trace its root cause. A plant line is under performing, but the plant manager doesn't have any visibility into the factory lines to understand whyor how performance can be improved. A machine is out of its normal operating range, but the maintenance team doesn’t know the status of the anomaly—or what level of maintenance is needed to fix it

If you work on a factory floor, chances are that oneor allof those scenarios sound familiar. Everyone recognizes the problems caused by latent data and low visibility into plant floor assets, but there hasn't been a simple solution to address these unique challengesuntil now.

ThingWorx® Manufacturing Apps are role-based apps that enable increased visibility, productivity, and performance across the factory. ThingWorx Manufacturing Apps work with KEPServerEX® (or any OPC server) to turn real-time industrial data into actionable information, presented to the right person at the right time. They can be installed and configured in less than an hour, with no impact on production. Fully web-enabled and built on the performance and usability of ThingWorx 8, the apps help overcome common factory challenges and kick-start smart manufacturing initiatives.

ThingWorx Manufacturing Apps are comprised of the Controls Advisor, the Asset Advisor, and the Production Advisor apps. Each of these user-friendly apps were created to overcome the challenges of different roles across the factory.

ThingWorx Controls Advisor

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You’re a controls engineer with hundreds of PLCs in the plant. An operator walks up to you and says, “We’re not seeing data on line 2. What’s going on?” Where do you start?

Controls Advisor instantly alerts you via text or email when a PLC stops communicating. It connects to all of your OPC servers and provides visibility into the server status, device status, client count, and tag count—from a single interface. Controls Advisor can also trend data and access the KEPServerEX Event Log, so you can easily troubleshoot issues as soon as they ariseand in many cases, prevent unplanned downtime or critical data loss.

With Controls Advisor, instead of learning about line 2 being down after the fact, you could walk up to the operator and tell them you fixed the issue before they even noticed.

ThingWorx Asset Advisor


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You work on the maintenance team and you spend most of your time running around the plant floor, trying to keep equipment up and optimized. You're constantly trying to fix problems, but often have only partial information about what caused the problems in the first place.

Asset Advisor provides a full visualization of all assets on the factory floor. With Asset Advisor, maintenance teams can see in real-time what machines are up or down and for how long, and analyze the data to identify the root cause. Asset Advisor also provides instant anomaly detection, so you can stop troubleshooting failed machines and instead be alerted of potential machine failure—then prevent it.

ThingWorx Production Advisor - Coming Soon!

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You're a production manager trying to get a full picture view of the production floor. You ask for detailed updates in the Tuesday morning meeting, where you typically discuss issues from the previous day’s shifts. But by that time it’s too late to resolve any of Monday's issues, and production has already suffered.

Production Advisor will provide key performance indicators— such as surface line and machine-level OEE information—to production managers in real-time. With Production Advisor, you will be able to see the current state of the entire plant floor and make immediate adjustments to achieve your daily production goals. No more waiting until Tuesday to discuss what should've been fixed on Monday.

Install ThingWorx Manufacturing Apps for Free

ThingWorx Manufacturing Apps are free to download and can be up and running in less than an hour, with no impact to production. Use these apps as a starting point for your smart manufacturing initiatives. As you progress toward reaching your smart manufacturing goals, you can extend ThingWorx Manufacturing Apps by upgrading to the full ThingWorx platform, which includes additional features such as integrated analytics and augmented reality.

Every factory floor is different, but some challenges are universal. ThingWorx Manufacturing Apps were created to help optimize production through collaborative, role-based decision-making and enhanced performance. Download the fully-functioning ThingWorx Manufacturing Apps today to try them for yourself, and read this overview brochure to learn more about how the apps can improve real-time data visibility across the enterprise. And if you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and we'll get the conversation started!