We realize that companies that are determined to effect a transformation in their manufacturing processes face critical situations on a daily basis and rely on reliable and timely indicative information vital to their operations.
Despite this, in some factories it’s still not unusual to come across someone responsible for checking each kiln by making a note of the readings and chalking the numbers up on a blackboard several times a day, when in actual fact this information changes every second and any variation could wreck the entire production run.
This manual process has worrying consequences, as it presents a significant production risk and also valuable work time is lost in having employees taking these readings instead of being dedicated to getting on with more profitable tasks.
It’s for this reason that our NUTEC Bickley kilns incorporate a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System, better known as ‘SCADA’.
At this point, we’d like to talk to you about the features of this system and how it’s able to help you operate your kilns more efficiently at the same time as optimizing labor costs.
What is a SCADA system?
This application stores all the information entering the system and automatically analyzes – in real time – the correct process operation, enabling comparison with previous firing data in order to come up with possible improvements.
The benefits of SCADA in our industrial kilns
Some of the advantages of a data control system that can be fully integrated with your plant’s kiln operation are:
1. Obtain information leading to better process traceability
This application stores a history of the kilns’ different operational configurations, so that when there’s a case of optimal performance one can extract all data relating to how that was achieved and replicate those conditions, such as:
- Frequency inverter configuration
- Burner output
- Motor speed
- Temperatures and cycles
- Oxygen levels in the kiln
- Pressure settings
- Fan status
2. Storage of performance data in order to correct quality problems
Having a historical record of readings will allow for the timely correction of faults that adversely affect production quality. Here are a couple of examples:
- When producing sanitaryware this can result in a more opaque finish than normal. The SCADA system will help pinpoint the cause: a fluctuation in oxygen levels, a wrong change in the burner configuration, etc.
- If an operative starts their shift 10 minutes late, information is provided on how this holds up production and what the cost implications of this are to the company.