At Texprocess Mitsubishi Electric presented an application following up on current industry requirements. It extracts production data from sewing machine controllers for real-time and historic analysis, showing how this data can be used to improve productivity. If manufacturers want to maximise the productivity and availability of their machines in competitive, high value and niche markets, then it is important that industrial sewing machines are no longer simply standalone devices. They need to be a fully integrated part of the plant enterprise which is a key aspect of Mitsubishi Electric’s e‑F@ctory concept for supporting the digital transformation process of today’s industries. The live demonstration showed six Mitsubishi Electric industrial sewing machines connected to a higher level control system. Each sewing machine is equipped with a MELSEC PLC and an HMI from Mitsubishi Electric’s GOT range enabling the display of actual process data on the touch-screen. This allows manufacturers to ensure quality standards are being maintained and to see if there are quality improvements that can be made. As well as having machine data visible on local operator terminals, visitors had the chance to see how the same information from all of a plant’s machines can be aggregated via Mitsubishi Electric’s MAPS SCADA software. MAPS can then provide production managers with an overview of the complete plant performance.
For example, collected productivity data gives a clear indication of machine uptime, showing if some workstations are more productive than others, and the reasons why. Manufacturers can then take appropriate action to improve performance or machine availability based on real information rather than guesswork. Further, the information provided by these ‘smart’ machines enables servicing and maintenance to be scheduled on-demand. Working this way, rather than carrying-out fixed schedule maintenance, increases uptime and reduces costs, which makes a positive contribution towards productivity and profitability.