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 Researchers take next step toward fusion energy
16.11.2017 | Texas A&M University

nachricht Desert solar to fuel centuries of air travel
16.11.2017 | SolarPACES

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: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>