23 February 2015 Published in Abstracts

Quality Collection System Design for Automotive Facility

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Prism Systems was hired to design a quality collection system at an automotive facility in Missouri. The manufacturer wanted to have all product produced, scrapped and reworked recorded for their financial system and to also display the results on a dashboard in each manufacturing area. Each machine cycle had to be logged, regardless of availability of network.


  • Old SLC processors to interface with a SQL server
  • Cheap Automation Direct HMI's with limited functionality
  • PLC programs varied significantly between machines
  • Over 200 different PLC's to integrate
  • Real-time data collection, if network goes down, buffers the results locally in the PLC until the network is re-established
  • Antiquated MES system with no standard means of communicating with newer database solutions
  • Each station could process different recipes or product types, and the system had to be able to quickly allow new products to be added in a user-friendly manner
  • Facility could not undergo plant outage, Prism Systems had to implement during production


  • The customer chose Prism Systems because of previous success on line upgrades of their continuous production lines within the same facility.
  • Prism Systems designed code to integrate into existing PLC and HMI programs so the solution could be dropped in without affecting production.
  • The HMI that the customer chose was limited in functionality, and was not discovered until Prism Systems was hired to deliver a solution. We developed a FDS for renaming their product and aligned the new names to their old system so that a supervisor could easily add or remove product at that station via the HMI in real-time.
  • A communication standard was created to have results messaged up in real-time to a SQL database. If network issues arose, a FIFO system would buffer messages and wait for positive confirmation from the SQL system that the record was received.
  • Web interface allowed customer to add/remove stations, group stations together in new configurations if needed and allow reporting to be updated on the fly. Custom webpages were created to swap between hourly and daily production to show area performance.

Customer Benefits

  • No longer has to rely on operators to fill out forms of product produced, resulting in increased throughput.
  • All records from each station are guaranteed to be recorded to the database, resulting in increased accuracy and higher monitoring capability.
  • Generic PLC and HMI Code that make it easy to add new stations to the system using local personnel. Highly flexible code to work in any station code they develop.
  • Operators easily understand functions of the system and how they work. Management of production each day is simple and straightforward, resulting in increased efficiency.
  • Web enabled dashboard gives management and operators a quick way to see if they are meeting production targets. Also quickly points to an area that is struggling so that management can rectify situation quickly. This leads to
  • increased quality, efficiency and throughput.
  • User-friendly GUI on website allows management to easily modify daily targets and view reporting for each machine, providing to increased quality, efficiency and flexibility.
  • Automatic MES integration results in less paperwork for the financial group,
  • reduced labor costs, increased accuracy, efficiency and quality.
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Last modified on Wednesday, 18 January 2017 09:45

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