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Industry 4.0—Auxiliary Equipment Monitoring Platform Expands Capabilities

Conair’s SmartServices platform adds centralized, full-featured machine controls and programmable performance indicators.
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Conair says its SmartServices platform, which it describes as an Industry 4.0 program for auxiliary equipment monitoring, management, and analysis, has been expanded following user feedback from 6-month customer trials that started after its launch at NPE 2018.

The web-based portal supported by cloud-based data processing capabilities helps plastics processors manage data generated plant equipment into actionable information. The system collects machine data through a network of data hubs that transmit it into the secure, cloud-based SmartServices database for processing and presentation in the user’s HMI, where it appears in a dashboard format.

With the new additions, the SmartServices portal gives authorized users access to the complete control system of individual auxiliary machines, with the ability to execute functions from a remote location. Conair says this capability is not only valuable to a manager monitoring processing operations, but it is of particular value for maintenance and service personnel.

With the new capability, the system can page a maintenance supervisor anywhere, even when he is at home, and that supervisor can then launch the portal, open the machine control, clear the alarm, and correct it without leaving his home. Additionally, Conair service personnel can use this feature for remote maintenance and faster repairs.

Users can now also customize and program Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can alert them to anomalies. The system has the capability to look at numerous aspects of all a users’ machines, but for companies too busy to create custom alarms, Conair now offers user-programmable KPIs. They now can choose a specific KPI, set custom performance thresholds, and ask the portal to notify them and report only when a machine moves performs outside that threshold.

At present, SmartServices can operate with and control Conair blending, drying, temperature controls, and downstream equipment. Conair notes that the program has the flexibility to go further, right up to adding and monitoring customized KPIs on non-Conair equipment. This includes not only competitive auxiliary equipment, but other equipment types as well. SmartServices software and data are web-based so there is no need for manual updates.

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