Integration and connectivity between batch system and MES is a common use case in the industry. The challenge is the fast, agile realization of information flows across different system boundaries, even if the systems do not speak the same language.
The innovative InfoCarrier® BOXI developed by onoff enables data exchange and function calls between different systems via defined interfaces. This allows project engineers to concentrate on designing the systems, while communication takes place via a predefined channel. This results in enormous time savings, as project engineering can be carried out in both systems in parallel and waiting times are prevented.
Bidirectional communication to the machines via universal connectors
Product master data from the higher-level ERP (e.g. SAP)
Implementation with InfoCarrier® LEM
Article master data, weights and print layouts are regularly imported from the company-wide SAP system and supplemented by optimized line- and product-specific machine parameter sets. A hand scanner connection triggers the operations for transferring parameters to and from the machines. The statistical data of the scales are retrieved cyclically and event-driven and stored centrally.
As a result, the error rate in a packaging line was reduced from 60 shifts previously to 10 shifts in the first year during the pilot deployment.
- Product master data from a higher-level SAP system is transferred to InfoCarrier® LEM once a day via a file interface
- LEM is based on an Oracle database
- The best-before dates required by the bag printers are retrieved by the LEM at the time of job changeover via a web service interface and transmitted to the printers
- Different products and their packaging formats require parameterization of packaging lines and individual machines
- Manual entry of parameters can lead to an increased error rate, requiring avoidable repackaging of products
- In addition, the master data from higher-level systems must be transferred as part of the net weighing in order to be able to specify the weight of the product without repackaging
The modular structure of the system designed by onoff makes it possible to test all machine connectors and data interfaces individually even before the actual commissioning. This was done in close coordination with the equipment manufacturers. Commissioning was shortened and the tight project schedule was met.
Even during commissioning, the customer was able to independently connect further plants to the system. The simply structured user interface was given high marks by the operating and maintenance personnel. According to the customer, operating the system using only three barcode scans drastically reduced sources of error and product changeover times.
The system has been expanded over time and now covers 12 buildings, 120 lines, and 436 machines.