UBIQUO Production process digitization

The interconnection of systems is one of the most important factors for the digitization of production processes, which responds to specific integration requirements. In particular, current demand focuses on the best ways to obtain enhanced production automation and constant process monitoring, but also on the need for prompt availability of accurate data on machinery operation, efficiency and consumption. Last but not least, we want to have any critical issues under control, so that they can be targeted, prevented or resolved promptly and specifically.

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cLink: the exchange of information is bidirectional

With this in mind, we have developed a software that allows the exchange of information between Cefla Finishing machines/lines and the IT systems available within the company. This software is cLink.

cLink is highly versatile in terms of both the wide range of procedures and protocols available for data exchange (such as SQL Database, OPC UA, text files, etc.), and its applicability at various automation levels, ranging from individual machines all the way to the most complex lines, equipped with advanced control systems, such as our line supervisor cTracker. Individual machines today can already display statistical operational productivity data, real time operating data and also alarm event lists.

In more complex lines, cLink is a software module linked to cTracker which allows for bidirectional exchange of information between the line and the ERP system available within the company. Additionally, if on the one hand cLink can obtain from internal systems all the necessary data relating to the production orders to be processed, including data for the development of line recipes, on the other hand, it can deliver the processing data of packages/batches once these have completed their progress along the Cefla Finishing line.

The basic information that is exchanged relates to:

  • batch input list (from the company);
  • package output list with batch indication (from Cefla machines);
  • line data tracking (from the Cefla line);

Technically speaking, what does this imply?

Technically speaking, there are two ways to exchange data between the customer's management software and the tracking system:

  1. SQL Server database through tables, with SQL Server resident on client system;
  2. via text file, with 'TXT' or 'CSV' extension.

Each implementation of cLink is highly customised according to specific customer needs and is validated by specifications regarding the objectives, the scope of the implementation, the list of tables exchanged and information read/write logics.

This is why we can offer a customised project which, backed by the industry-specific expertise of Cefla Finishing's staff, will assist customers and their integrators towards concrete interconnection of information along the production chain.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What does digitizing my factory mean?

Firstly, digitizing your factory means converting production processes by moving away from traditional systems towards highly automated, interconnected ones that also act as a rich data source. As we see it, this digitization makes sense if it allows your company to remain competitive, cut costs and maximise profits.

What data is available to me? What do I need it for?

The available data ranges from traceability data - stored by our cTracker line supervisor which saves all events, alarms and plant parameters, associating them with production batches - to detailed data on individual machines (telemetry) and the production statistics managed by our IoT product, cMaster.

Can my competitors see my data?

Absolutely not! We use commercially available, secure, certified remote assistance software. Security assessments carried out together with our specialised partners ensure top-grade data confidentiality. They also ensure the data is readily available and safely stored.

Can machine downtimes be predicted?

There are several ongoing projects concerning analysis of the data collected by our Ubiquo software tools. The goal is to anticipate any problems and provide services that are both predictive and proactive:
- to improve performance
- to prevent finishing line breakdowns and stops
- to reduce spare part and finished product stocks.

How can I know whether the coating system will cause problems after assembly?

Our unique know-how allows us to process all operational data and extrapolate from it the tasks needed to pro-actively improve the output of coating processes and ensure their stability and repeatability.  Note also that our extensive experience in the field gives our solutions exceptional efficiency.

Is there something that allows me to monitor my coating process?

Of course. At all times cTracker, our line supervisor, lets you:
- set up and check the entire line from a single point
- trace workpieces on the line
- export alarms/production reports
- exchange information with your internal company systems.

How can I know whether the production process is working properly?

Our line supervisor, cTracker, provides you with an OEE/KPI section that lets you monitor line capacity and productivity. And you're not alone! We provide customers with expert technical support both locally and globally. A far-reaching network of branches, agents and affiliates provides authorised, highly qualified technical assistance. We also provide remote assistance by providing immediate answers to on-line questions, thus ensuring real-time situation monitoring and accurate diagnostics as regards both technical aspects and the process.

How can I get an overview of the whole line from a single point?

Our cTracker line supervisor has been specifically designed to control our machines from a single point on the line. In fact, on large-scale lines with multiple machines, it would be unthinkable to manage production changeovers and modify parameters or work recipes via the control panels on each individual machine. That's why the cTracker solution manages everything via a single screen at the beginning of the line.

How can I simulate my production process?

Simulation is a valuable tool, hence the introduction of a pre-sales service called cCloner. More specifically, this line simulator can:
- show a realistic 3D configuration of the line layout: a sound, reliable picture made up of measurements, 3D imaging and objective data.
- provide accurate line operation simulation: to prevent problems, avoid machine downtimes and have more general information right from the design stage.
- simulate real productivity and consumption: finding the best configuration gives you a realistic forecast of the situation, also in terms of productivity and energy/heat consumption.

Is there an alarm system to tell me if something is wrong?

Yes. Alarms are an essential part of the machines as they provide information vital to the prevention of downtimes and the easy pinpointing of problems. Together, the individual machine control panels, cTracker line supervisor and IoT cMaster ensure you have detailed alarm lists available at all times. With cMaster you can also get automatic notifications on your mobile devices to keep you informed wherever you are.

Can I buy spare parts directly via the machine?

Yes, cMaster now features a Spare Parts section (available on enabled machines). This feature lets you put in a request directly via the virtual Web App cart, thus speeding up the spare parts management and retrieval process.

Is there a plant maintenance planning tool?

The IoT cMaster tool features a Maintenance section where you're offered maintenance services, grouped by function. The software manages scheduling and reminds you of deadlines according to actual machine running times.