Downtime Tracking – A Quick Return on Investment

Posted by Darrell Kirkconnell

Aug 20, 2014 9:00:00 AM

There are various initiatives that a company could choose to focus on during their initial MES implementation.  Process order execution, production tracking, product/genealogy tracking, OEE, and quality are but some of the various MES functionalities that can provide real benefit to those just beginning their MES roadmap.  However, many companies want to see a quick return on investment for money spent on their initial MES implementation.  One of the quickest bangs for your buck is to configure your MES system to track equipment downtime and cause. 


Topics: Tips and Tricks, GE Proficy, Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk, Consulting

Harvesting the Hidden Power of FactoryTalk VantagePoint

Posted by Ryan Hill

Jun 6, 2014 9:00:00 AM

How many times have you needed a Human Machine Interface (HMI), report, dashboard, or other user interface that contains data from multiple sources and just couldn’t come up with a clean solution?  This is a common request with the ever-growing user demands in today’s manufacturing facilities and, until recently, a solution was not possible without combining a hodgepodge of applications onto one screen.  To make an HMI one might use FactoryTalk View, Wonderware InTouch, or a custom OEM screen/device.  To view information contained in a database one might use Web Reports, SQL Server Reporting Services, Crystal Reports, or possibly custom Java/.NET applications. 

Rockwell Automation’s solution to this problem is a product called FactoryTalk VantagePoint.  This application allows data contained in multiple sources to be presented in one common model.  That’s right, data in your PLCs and in your databases can be accessed and visible on the same screen.  I know you’re thinking “yeah, I’m sure it all has to be Rockwell hardware, too”, but you’d be wrong.  With VantagePoint you can access not only Rockwell’s Allen Bradley PLCs, but connections for KepWare or any other OPC server are also available that can connect to just about any PLC.  Of course, Rockwell’s FactoryTalk products can also connect to VantagePoint including Historian, Metrics and ProductionCentre.  In addition to this, you can retrieve data from WonderWare InSQL, OSI Pi Historian, SQL Server, Oracle, and any other database accessible through ODBC or Ole DB.


Topics: Tips and Tricks, Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk

4 Under-utilized features of the FactoryTalk ProductionCentre platform

Posted by Mario de Vera

Mar 20, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Rockwell Automation’s FactoryTalk ProductionCentre (FTPC) Manufacturing Execution System has proven its capability and reliability in a wide array of industries spanning both discrete and process manufacturing. The platform’s flexibility has spawned more targeted industry products in the form of FactoryTalk PharmaSuite, FactoryTalk CPGSuite and FactoryTalk AutoSuite. Many manufacturers have used this MES product to create custom functionality in other areas that support manufacturing such as in receiving, shipping, quality, and R&D and RMA operations.

There are features inherent to FTPC in which companies have already invested but are not putting to work.  Among these under-utilized features are:

  • SPC (Statistical Process Control)
  • Material or Inventory tracking
  • RMA (Returned Merchandise Authorization)
  • Reporting

Topics: Tips and Tricks, Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk

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