Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Shop-floor monitoring goes high tech

05.08.2015

An advanced system based on discrete events paves the way for automated industrial monitoring

Individual operations on the shop floor of an industrial plant can be tracked using a sophisticated automated monitoring system that employs advanced mathematical techniques. To track work in progress, A*STAR scientists combined the popular radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags with rigorous computational processing of ‘discrete-event observers’1. This system will enable managers to make better, more timely decisions.


Radio-frequency identification tags in combination with a sophisticated computer program are used to provide a snapshot of shop-floor conditions in manufacturing industries.

© Albert Lozano/Hemera/Thinkstock

“The factory of the future will have zero defects, zero waste and zero accidents,” explains Jinwen Hu, who developed the system with colleagues from the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology. To eliminate the trifecta of defects, waste and accidents, monitoring systems need to extract timely, precise and, most importantly, usable information.

To design such a monitoring system, Hu and co-workers, through consultation with manufacturers, identified specific areas of concern as being machine breakdown, staff availability, machine status and work order flow.

Getting data from machinery was relatively simple — RFID tags are ubiquitous, being used in everything from shoplifting prevention technology to electronic road-toll collection. However, it was not so easy to figure out how to best use the collected data. “The biggest challenge was designing an efficient scheme that allowed computers to rapidly process the data and engineers to conveniently modify the monitoring rules,” notes Hu.

Accordingly, Hu and colleagues incorporated a discrete-event observer in their program. This observer constructs complex events — such as delays in delivery — by using probabilities derived from past plant operations to extrapolate ‘simple event’ raw data collected by scanning RFID tags.

In testing the system on the shop floor of a precision machining plant, a simple event occurred when a worker received a work order and scanned the associated RFID. Once the worker had completed the task, the order was passed to another operator and the RFID was rescanned. This process was repeated until the order had been completed.

A simple event can be in one of two states — incomplete or complete. By combining several simple events and extrapolating based on the probabilities of simple events transitioning from incomplete to complete, the discrete-event observer can assess whether delayed delivery is likely. Managers can then use this information to take appropriate action to ensure timely delivery.

Hu notes that there is a lot of scope for improving the system. For instance, integrating more data analysis functions into the system will provide shop-floor managers with more effective advice. The team also intends to customize the monitoring system to other manufacturing industries.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology. More information about the group’s research can be found at the SIMTech Manufacturing Execution and Control Group webpage.

 
Reference
Hu, J., Lewis, F. L., Gan, O. P., Phua, G. H. & Aw, L. L. Discrete-event shop-floor monitoring system in RFID-enabled manufacturing. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics 61, 7083–7091 (2014). | article

A*STAR Research | ResearchSea
Further information:
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/7326
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Energy hybrid: Battery meets super capacitor
01.12.2016 | Technische Universität Graz

nachricht Tailor-Made Membranes for the Environment
30.11.2016 | Forschungszentrum Jülich

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>