Shop Floor Automation System - Detailed Case Study

Project Description

As a part of a new aluminum processing plant, TelePro was asked to design, create and install the Level 2 Shop Floor and Scheduling System. We were also asked to help manage process setup and gather quality-related information. The requirements included:

  • Creating an HMI interface for the process/shop-floor operators
  • Tracking and storing production scheduling data
  • Tracking equipment downtime and asset utilization
  • Creating an interface to share coil process data with another plant
  • Gathering and storing quality-related data for the process
  • Gathering and storing detailed data from the process PLCs
  • Managing and sending preset information to the process PLCs System


System Solution

The Level 2 System consisted of a Dec Alpha System running an Oracle server. This system managed scheduling information, gathered asset utilization and downtime data, stored shop floor related data, sent next coil information to Level 1 and received production summary data from Level 1. The shop floor HMI was implemented with Citect for Windows (CI Technologies Pty. Ltd.) screens on PCs running in Windows Server. Screens included scheduling lot operation, coil location tracking, scrap data entry, etc. A WonderWare InTouch System did process pre-set and quality tracking. Coil scheduling and general process set information was sent to the InTouch System from the Level 2 Alpha. The InTouch System communicated directly with the process PLCs registered to configure pre-set values, as well as gather process quality data during the coil run. After the coil was completed, the InTouch System stored the process summary data to an MS SQL server and sent the data back to Level 2. Detailed production information was gathered with a WonderWare Industrial SQL System. Process control engineers can later analyze this data.


The systems TelePro put in place are an integral part of this site's manufacturing process. We have met of the main goals for this project, which is to design a system that requires little or no ongoing support and maintenance.