Following recent success in a tender process, Argenta have started working with the AMRC in Sheffield. The aim of the project is to deliver a manufacturing experiment execution system, which has three main objectives;
• Enabling a paperless shop floor • Allowing for better understanding of machining performance • Providing data analysis and reporting tools
To work paperless needs systems that manage all documentation and data required to complete a task. In this project we are utilising our experience in process improvement to streamline the execution methods at the same time. The benefits of a paperless shop floor extend beyond the environment into ensuring discipline in process execution and easing data availability and access.
A data acquisition system will be implemented using LabVIEW to enable better understanding of how machining operations are performing. This will acquire data from sensors on the machines, perform analysis of the sensor data and output the results to a SQL database. Data will also be acquired from the machine PLCs for which we are looking at MTConnect and OPC UA as communication protocols.
One of the key elements of this aspect of the system is to ensure minimal changes to the software when additional analysis types are required in the future. This has led to the use of Hardware and Measurement Abstraction Layers (HAL & MAL) being implemented with the use of LabVIEW Object Orientated Programming (OOP). Below is an example of how MALs and HALs can be integrated into an application.
This project is the first of its kind for Argenta where we are using our engineering and LabVIEW expertise in parallel with our specialism in data management and analysis. Ext.NET applications will be developed to allow visualisation and reporting to be performed. These applications will be based on the SQL database mentioned above.
We look forward to keeping you updated with our new venture.