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Light tower with interface for detecting machine states

KPIs for more transparency

In the global manufacturing industry, machinery and equipment form the heart of production. For plant operators, measuring statistical performance metrics such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), machine availability and productivity is of critical importance.

Questions such as “Which machine has been in production and for how long?” or “How long did the last unplanned downtime last?” are omnipresent. With newly installed machines and systems, monitoring machine conditions is usually straightforward. To collect this information, modern IO-Link masters from ifm with additional IoT interfaces can be used optimally.

However, this can be a challenging task with existing machines having no such interfaces. Here too, machine conditions need to be monitored. But retrofitting existing machines with additional functionalities often proves extremely difficult. On the one hand, this is because considerable intervention in the machine could result in the loss of the CE declaration of conformity. On the other hand, subsequent changes are often costly and in some cases not even possible because the controllers used are outdated and adapting the software is hardly feasible.

The perfect solution for existing production plants

This is where ifm’s innovative light tower comes into the picture, offering a smart solution for subsequent acquisition of machine data. Almost every machine has a signal light to provide visual indicators of its states using different colours. All the user needs to do is replace the “old” signal light of the machine with the new light tower from ifm. This light tower can be controlled with up to six digital signals and indicate the machine states as usual.

The integrated interface converts the segment states into IO-Link communication. The light tower is connected in parallel to an IO-Link master to transmit the machine condition to an analysis tool such as moneo RTM. moneo visualises the machine condition and calculates key process metrics using its dashboards.

This retrofit solution allows easy evaluation and analysis of key process metrics even for older machines, thereby achieving maximum transparency.

Signalling lights

The 5-segment stacklight shows a status of a machine. Each segment can give another status information. The single light shows the status of a single application, like the result of a test or something like this.