Rock Products

MAR 2013

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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also are easily deployed, require less power than the previ��� ous PCs, and support failover. ual performance boards they previously used. Ingredient Management After successfully completing a pilot project at one of the ce��� ment company���s plants, Kruse rolled out the solution to an additional dry���mix facility. To improve ingredient management, Kruse migrated all the recipes into a central SQL database on the terminal server. Middle and upper���level employees can now manage recipes through a secure website they access through their existing Windows domain. Audit tables record all recipe changes and reports can be easily generated in a web browser. Kruse also developed a function that allows operators to reassign materials from one bin to another without having to go into the recipe, re��� ducing the opportunity for errors. FactoryTalk Metrics provides a common platform for cap��� turing information across the company���s facilities. The soft��� ware is configured to monitor each batch including start/end times, ingredient set points and actual amounts batched. The system also tags downtime incidents to a spe��� cific piece of equipment to help identify faults. FactoryTalk Historian software collects and archives his��� torical and real���time data from third���party applications. The cement company uses the software to capture dryer process variables like inlet/outlet temperatures and pres��� sures, and packaging process variables such as bag weights. This informa��� tion allows managers to further drive efficiency. Results The ability to accurately track raw material and bag���weight accuracy ��� and assign costs to batching���system inaccuracies ��� alerted managers at one site that they were giving away nearly $90,000 a month per line because of variances in raw materials. That site���s batching system is targeted for an im��� mediate automation upgrade. By removing manual processes, the company now has accu��� rate baselines for each facility, so managers can set attain��� able improvement goals. They also can stay up���to���date on process metrics from anywhere. For example, the company���s director of continuous improvement routinely shadows line HMI on the thin client remotely with his Apple iPad, leading to process corrections on multiple occasions. According to the director of process improvements, the company plans to continue the rollout across the rest of the enterprise. Information for this article courtesy of Rockwell Automation and Kruse Controls. Data is presented in a web browser for easy analysis. The dash��� boards can be easily configured based on the target audience ��� fil��� tered by shift, line and recipe. For example, executives at the corporate office in Charlotte, N.C., can see high���level dashboards about plant operations, plant managers can monitor the process with an hourly���view, and plant���floor supervisors can drill down even more granularly. Dash��� boards are also dis��� played on LCD screens in break rooms for plant employees, a direct re��� placement for the man��� 84 ROCKproducts ��� MARCH 2013

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