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OEE & Thermoforming: Using Real-Time Dashboard is Key

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By Adrian Evi - February 08, 2018

OEE or Overall Equipment Effectiveness is a measurement commonly used as a key performance indicator (KPI) to measure success in lean manufacturing efforts. How can you gage OEE in thermoforming processes?

Thermoforming processes are performed by specialized equipment, outputting high value packaging and generally involve running costs such as adapted polymer films, packaging gas and custom made, package forming molds. Since most packaging produced in this manner is either retail ready or just about, it is essential to monitor Downtime, machine output CPM and, ideally, keep track of rejected units.

Where can I get connected to my equipment?

Newest, older and ‘dinosaur’ generation thermoformers all have 1 thing in common: a film roll distributing and sealing mechanism. Whether the process seals Styrofoam or molded PET trays, the package is closed by sealing the top with plastic film, unrolled from the top drum. The common trigger for the top roll to distribute is a ‘film advance’ trigger relay, located in the 24VDC control panel. Newer PLC boards also come with a programmable binary output, designed to provide a ON/OFF output – based on the unrolling of film (ON) or the braking of the drum (OFF).

There are other data points to acquire data, however an accurate and accessible output should always reflect equipment production status.

How can I accurately monitor Downtime and machine output CPM?

The TileConnect was designed to acquire binary output, through its digital port. By connecting a dry contact loop to the Thermoformer film or cycle ‘advance’ dry contact circuit, the TileConnect will be counting the number of machine cycles per minute, or CPM.

Downtime and CPM are derived in TileBoard’s KPi’s through the timing of the measurements sent over the WiFi network, by the TileConnect.

How can I add value to my collected data?

TileBoard allows flexible manipulation of data acquired from the TileConnect. Since the film advance relay provides CPM and Downtime, it is possible to configure TileBoard to provide Uptime and package output rate, per SKU or product type. The package, or unit output rate, is calculated by multiplying the number of sealed units per cycle, per unit of time.

In addition, TileBoard also allows the calculation of rejected units, per SKU. Although Downtime and CPM are very important KPi’s, adding extra value to real-time monitoring data is the monitoring of Equipment Effectiveness.

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Worximity provides simple realtime technologies to solve food processor pains such as downtime, rejects, waste, overtime; helping them gain profit velocity by improving throughput, yield and OEE.

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