A new manufacturing execution system (MES) and upgrades to an entry-level production monitoring system were introduced at the NPE show by Syscon-PlantStar, Div. of Syscon International, South Bend, Ind. Syscon-PlantStar introduced the new Panorama X.20 MES for larger plastics companies running multiple processes. It uses a new web browser interface and has a Shot Tracker shot-by-shot tracking program for up to 50 user-defined variables per machine and can display the last 1000 values of all monitored variables. New "Process Journals" provide time and date stamps on every journal entry to eliminate paper on the shop floor and improve compliance with FDA specification 21CFR part 11. It also features enhanced preventive-maintenance tools and work-order import/export functions, display of "operators per shift" on the schedule board, and e-mail reporting of process or production problems. Meanwhile, Syscon-PlantStar has updated its QuickShot low-cost, entry-level production monitoring and scheduling system for 12 to 36 injection machines. New features include unlimited shop-floor browser connections to the data-collection modules, 20 pre-configured reject and downtime reasons, and ability to connect four PCs for programming and data reporting. Syscon-PlantStar is also working with Kepware Technologies of Portland, Me., to develop a suite of OPC data-collection interfaces for injection molding. Called OPC-IM, these interfaces will reduce costs by using the industry-standard OPC data-mapping protocol that is already widely adopted for PLCs, SCARA robots, and other automation devices. Starting with the SPI interface and Euromap 63, Syscon and Kepware plan to develop communications drivers for all brands of injection machines.
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