MES Management System With Streamlined Industrial Panel PCs from Advantech.
Many digital applications have been introduced to shop floors with the manufacturing industry gradually shifting toward the smart factory aspect of Industry 4.0. Computers installed on production lines are no longer regarded as a luxury but a necessity, because they better allow workstation operators and line supervisors to coordinate and control manufacturing processes in real time.
Of course, not all of computer options are suitable for production line environments. For example, desktop PCs with a monitor tend to be bulky and heavy, and they require more space. The cooling fans that are typically installed on such computers also pose a problem with dust ingress, which have a high probability of causing a crash or damage to a computer because of fan motor failure due to dust ingress.
Another option is commercial panel PCs, However they have low durability compared to industrial-grade models. Frequent updates to software and the rapid phasing out of key components are also conventional practices for commercial computers, and these pose a problem for manufacturers who looking to use equipment for as long as possible.
Streamlined industrial panel PC from Advantech, with its ultra slim, fanless, and high-durability design overcomes these problems. This ruggedness, reliability, and long lifespan make it an ideal all-in-one hardware platform for the manufacturing industry, helping manufacturers to digitize and thereby optimize their production processes.
Holley Technology, a Chinese meter manufacturer, decided to build a large smart manufacturing factory in Hangzhou, China, to realize Industry 4.0 practices. The manufacturer planned to implement an electronic standard operating procedure (eSOP) and material management system on its production lines to replace the traditional paperwork process. This digital management method requires a computer to be installed at each workstation to provide digital signage as well as a hardware platform.
- Industrial-grade fanless design, panel with 50k lifetime backlight, anti-shock, and anti-vibration resistance to ensure stable system operation and maximize the product lifespan
- IP65-certified and true flat panel for easy operation
- Ultra-slim all-metal body to safely fit a cantilever mount
- Essential I/O interfaces to connect a server and peripheral devices
Advantech’s a high-value, ultra-slim panel PC with a 12.1″ XGA LCD, true-flat touch screen, and low-power/high-performance processor was used for the project. The all-in-one PPC-3120S can connect to the company’s MES server via Ethernet and to peripherals (e.g., scanners) via USB. With a PPC-3120S installed on each workstation, operators can promptly receive instructions from management and data can be digitally recorded. The unit’s touch screen also provides a friendly user interface for operators to request or return materials. Also assisting operators, the SOP of individual work orders can be displayed at each workstation.
The fanless design eliminates the risk of dust ingress and also reduces the probability of a computer crash. It has multiple I/O interfaces (e.g., LAN and USB ports) to meet existing system requirements while also facilitating future system expansion. The ultra-slim, all-metal body facilitates mounting an arm cantilever and enables it to be hanged on a frame support so that it does not take up any workbench space.
The PPC-3120S consolidates all of the elements of a computer into a single compact body, without requiring installation of a monitor, keyboard, or mouse, and without sacrificing performance. It also has a rugged design to extend its lifespan, including an aluminum IP65-rated front bezel, a solid aluminum alloy enclosure, highly durable touch panel, and high anti-shock/anti-vibration resistance. Additionally, the model’s 5-year life cycle demonstrates its long-term durability. All these make it a great choice for the digital transformation of production lines. Holley Technology Ltd. plans to continue to implement this product on other production lines. It has been adopted on two production lines to date and are currently working well.