Make productivity monitoring fit like a glove
October 17, 2019
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CASDataLoggers provided an effective productivity monitoring solution for the Wells-Lamont Industry Group, a high-production work glove manufacturer and member of the Marmon Group of companies.
Their factory in Philadelphia, Miss. produces hand-stitched quality products from Kevlar and other materials, including the cut-resistant Whizard brand and other specialty and general-purpose gloves. Management had been using a manual glove-counting method which proved very time-consuming and error-prone. They wanted a more efficient and accurate way to gauge productivity and measure quotas across multiple shifts each day to save on long-term costs.
Management contacted CAS DataLoggers to find a single solution with enough in- puts to monitor every machine on the factory floor which could accurately measure productivity by using a counter to display the machine state as either on or off. This solution would also need to include a user-friendly setup and programming interface for quick implementation.
The Philadelphia factory installed a dataTaker DT85 Intelligent Universal Input Data Logger in a control cabinet, which was then connected to two dataTaker CEM20 Channel Expansion Modules. This provided a total of 162 single-ended analog input channels. CAS DataLoggers also provided 130 Ohio Semitronics Inc. split-core current transformers, enough to monitor every knitting machine in the factory.
To protect the machines from any damage, users placed the transducers on the machines’ motor leads, monitoring a current range of fewer than three amps. Any reading under 0.5 amps indicates that the machine is currently idle, with most of the machines running at 1.5 amps. The dataTaker runs all day, sampling the data once a minute using a counter showing either a ‘running’ result of 1 or an ‘idle’ result of 0. During a shift, machine run times of 85-90 per cent are expected due to the downtime spent changing yarn, etc.
Looking at the data, when users see a machine only operating at 60 per cent on a given shift, for example, they can now check to see if maintenance is required.
Users retrieve all the data via the dataTaker’s built-in dEX graphical interface to generate a daily report through the Web interface, which personnel can then compare with the number of gloves and the scrap produced that day to determine productivity.
IT & IE Technician Johnnie Brown was new to data logging for this particular application, but soon after installation, he had a strong grasp of the dataTaker’s capabilities.
“The dEX interface is easy to pick up, and CAS DataLoggers was there to help with online training sessions for setup and programming. I changed the format of the data coming from the dataTaker – instead of showing the voltage output, it shows our machines as either ON or OFF,” said Brown. “We view three days of run times to check for optimum usage, and the dataTaker accumulates the total minutes which makes it all easy to see.”
The intelligent dataTaker system entirely replaced the factory’s lengthy manual productivity methods. The DT85 data logger now downloads the highly accurate data from every knitting machine directly to the office PC via the dEX graphical interface, giving management a true productivity picture. CSV format enables convenient import into Excel, giving the operation high visibility at a cost-effective price. Additionally, the stand-alone solution stood up to continual operation, and the channel expansion modules provided a low-power way to extend its number of inputs to cover all the factory’s 120+ machines.
Brown explained the convenience of using a single system to record and transmit all the data: “With the dataTaker, we’re getting the real nitty-gritty in a fraction of the time — this system is our new productivity indicator. It’s doing the job quite well, and we expect a long-term productivity boost.”
Following the dataTaker’s successful implementation in the USA factory, Wells-Lamont is now considering installing similar systems with the same setup in its two other factories in Stanstead, Quebec and in Semur-en-Auxois, France.