Control Machinery from Your Smartphone or Tablet

If you believe that new online gizmos and gadgets aren’t suited for manufacturing, think again.

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If you believe that new online gizmos and gadgets aren’t suited for manufacturing, think again. SL Tennesee in Clinton, Tenn., is an automotive injection molder that regularly uses modern technology to manage the operation and performance of robots and materials-handling systems supplied Wittmann Battenfeld, Torrington, Conn. “I use my PC and my iPad to manage the plant operations in numerous ways,” says Nick Milsap, process engineer at SL Tennessee. “I know when equipment goes down and when it’s up running. I get email alerts pushed to my data phone and tablets for fatal errors in the system. I can troubleshoot alarms and errors and assist staff at the plant from home—plus, I can avoid over an hour’s trip from home to the plant. I can review the error log and the command log. I can help improve programs, cycle times, speeds, and safety. I can set up and manage passwords from my device, much quicker than running to every piece of machinery. I do not have to climb up on the hot mezzanine, as equipment controls are all local to my PC and iPad. I can change settings and timers from anywhere and monitor performance. I can change configurations remotely, from my desk or from anywhere.”

For SL Tennessee, Wittmann Battenfeld’s VNC application is “a strong foundation to improve uptime and visibility, for faster troubleshooting, keeping an eye on critical jobs, and assisting colleagues,” states Milsap. “If we want service from Wittmann, we can invite them into an IP address to provide support in minutes, much faster than technicians can travel here and without the cost. This is real-time technology in action, and at SL we find it a real advantage.”

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