The Connected Enterprise represents a paradigm shift in manufacturing that is equal to the shifts that occurred with the adoption of the computer, and the development of the internet. It could be said that Connected Enterprise represents the natural evolution of both of these massive developments. The adoption of computers leads to networked computers. The adoption of networked computers leads to putting tiny networked computers in as many places as possible. This is the essence of Connected Enterprise, which embodies the commercial and industrial benefits of the “Internet of Things”, and it will change industrial manufacturing forever.
I-PRESS AB PLUS now includes the ability via "I-PRESS CONNECTED ENTERPRISE" for users to log in via PC's or any remote devices as shown (above). The I-PAD above (left) is logged in real time to to the I-PRESS AB PLUS (right).
This is a revolution for the metal stamping industry, some key take away's include: Download new jobs from engineering, monitor press line productivity, trouble shooting from remote locations, supervisor can log in and tweak all functions for optimum production results and reduce operator error, just to name a few.
Not only can every single sensor and controller on every single machine start talking to headquarters in real-time, they can all start talking to each other. Although the immediate benefits to productivity and efficiency are numerous, Connected Enterprise represents an entirely new frontier of information. It will reveal problems you never knew were there. It will reveal opportunities you had never conceived of. This is the power of networked data.
What does this mean for metal forming ? It means understanding that each individual piece of machinery on your factory floor is a locked silo full of valuable information. A press may be logging its strokes and jobs and faults, but if that data remains inside the press controller, it becomes a long, manual process to collect that data for any kind of valuable insights. However, if that press has an advanced controller with an ethernet port, valuable insights can be generated and distributed automatically every day. If every press, feeder, conveyor, and robot on your factory floor gets the same integration, your entire production line becomes more valuable than the sum of its parts, and the wealth of information grows exponentially.
Sutherland contracted teams of electrical engineers and former Rockwell employees, with a vast knowledge of control system development to provide turn-key automation solutions. Connected Enterprise is the keystone of any strategy to improve efficiencies: “When you connect a press to the network, the software gathers data from the press, and that data goes ‘from the shop floor to the top floor’. The executive office can access all the information that press is providing. If there’s unplanned downtime, they know right away when the machine was down, for how long, and they can make the decisions needed to reduce unplanned downtime in the future.”
Connected Enterprise represents the union of Information Technology and Operational Technology. When IT and OT are merged, both are transformed. A new level of overall equipment effectiveness can be achieved, along with optimizing asset up-time, streamlining the production process, and increasing energy efficiency. These advances complement design and customer service, allowing for better designed products, improved project delivery time, and overall more sustainable production methods. All of this comes from the simple principle of giving machines the power to communicate the information they’re collecting.
Whether you’re running a small shop with a handful of presses, or you’re in the planning stages for one of your new factories, the principles of Connected Enterprise are going to be essential to your progress toward Smart Manufacturing, and all the benefits it can provide. There are many new press control systems on the market that are carrying the ball forward when it comes to connectivity and data. The industries new model of choice when integrating automation is Sutherland Presses’ innovative I-PRESS AB PLUS Press Control.
The Sutherland I-PRESS AB PLUS was designed to be ready for the world of Connected Enterprise from the start. While the Sutherland I-PRESS AB PLUS features an impressive suite of press control and monitoring options packaged in a user-friendly touchscreen, the fact that it comes standard with an ethernet port represents a turning point for Sutherland, and for the metalforming industry as a whole. Network connectivity has graduated from being a “nice-to-have” option into earning its status as a fully integrated base feature. Much like the moment it was no longer assumed your computer would need a floppy disk drive, Sutherland no longer sees any reason for a press to remain disconnected from its owner’s network.
The advantages of Connected Enterprise aren’t limited to the downstream flow of operational data. A networked machine can receive firmware updates and programming via its networked controller, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming manual upgrades. Unlike other press control systems, the I-PRESS AB PLUS ships with all available feature sets pre-programmed. This means that although the press will arrive with the control features that were originally specified, if requirements change in the future, additional feature sets can simply be “unlocked” using a pass code.
The future of metal forming is bright with the dawn of Connected Enterprise. Sutherland Presses remains committed to delivering solutions that take advantage of leading-edge innovations to provide the next generation of shops and factories with the efficiency, connectivity, and ease-of-use that ushers the trade into a new era. The Internet of Things is more than a lofty buzzword, it’s the future of manufacturing, and the dawn of a truly Networked Society.