Machine Monitoring Solutions Providing Tool, Quality & Production Control

Getting Credible Data on Cable Manufacturing

By: Steven Noto, Process Technologies Group, Inc.
Topics: Cable-making, Production Monitoring, Encoder Sensor, Scrap Tracking, IMPAX TSS

Getting accurate data on production and scrap from a continuous cable-making process

Cable-making is a continuous process, which can make it difficult to get accurate data on production and scrap. With its newest software version, the TSS monitor is adaptable to meet these needs.

Project Goals

Honeywell Cable Products
Honeywell Cable Products

Cable manufacturing is unlike many other types of manufacturing, in that each "piece" can be a continuous stream of product, hundreds of feet long. As a result, there are unique challenges to monitoring cable production, uptime of the process, and the byproduct scrap.

Honeywell Cable Products, a manufacturer of a variety of low voltage cables, was looking to expand their data collection, and make it more reliable. Their existing database was updated through manual reporting, but was contaminated with small errors, inaccurate quantities, typos, and gaps of time not accounted for.

Through the IMPAX products, they hoped to collect information (both on the footage of cable made and the number of completed pieces) that was tied more closely to actual production. They were also hoping to get more detailed information on any occurrences of material scrap, and on various adjustments made to the machine or the process.

Implementation Notes

In order to collect performance data, the IMPAX TSS machine efficiency monitor was selected by Honeywell's management. However, due to the application, the standard proximity sensor input was replaced with a high-speed input module to process an encoder input from the cable spindles. The runtime code was customized to allow calibration with each line's encoder. Additional monitor inputs were used to track each piece of cable as it cleared the take-up unit.

IMPAX TSS Scrap Screen, Scrap reason entry interface
IMPAX TSS Scrap Screen
Scrap reason entry interface

Custom screens were developed for the TSS's touch screen interface, to allow logging machine adjustments by the maintenance staff, and to allow operators to enter details on each scrap occurrence. These logs, as well as historical production data from each line, were transferred across Ethernet through the TSS-NET PC program, and were loaded into the customer's SQL database for reporting.

Project Results

The customized TSS system was installed on all primary and jacket lines, and operators were trained in its use. Line status and production is now tracked directly from the process, instead of by hand. Honeywell reports that scrap data now correlates better with reality, and thanks to this data, they are able to attack their scrap issues via engineering. They are also taking advantage of the reporting options available through their database, and are exploring ways to obtain efficiency numbers by combining TSS data with scheduling information. Honeywell went on to put TSS units on their secondary cabling process, monitoring all 35 lines, and they plan to add TSS monitors to their cable-twisting lines as well.

Company and Product Profile

IMPAX TSS Monitors combine PLC technology and user-friendly software in a powerful machine efficiency and downtime tracking system. TSS monitors work as stand-alone units and are also networkable, forming a powerful production monitoring and downtime analysis system.
More information: IMPAX TSS Monitors, TSS-NET Software

Process Technologies Group, Inc. (PTG) designs and manufactures process monitors, efficiency monitors, sensors, and data collection software for all production environments.
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