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.
“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.
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
Linear potentiometer LRW2/3 - Maximum precision with many measuring points
17.05.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH
First flat lens for immersion microscope provides alternative to centuries-old technique
17.05.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy