Home > Emulation takes Safeline metal detection tech to Industry 4.0

Emulation takes Safeline metal detection tech to Industry 4.0

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article image Emulation allows operators to mirror the interface of one or multiple in-line metal detectors onto networked devices

New innovations in manufacturing technologies are providing organisations better visibility into their production processes. With Industry 4.0 having firmly established itself within the manufacturing industry combined with the availability of smaller and more powerful sensors, and high-speed network connectivity, it is now increasingly possible to gather, transmit and interpret data in real-time, leading to smarter factories with improved productivity.

New technologies being developed by Mettler Toledo to support Industry 4.0 include a fresh set of features for Safeline’s Profile metal detectors that offer the ability to mirror the detection equipment’s interface remotely, known as Emulation.

Using a Virtual Network Computing (VNC) client, Emulation allows operators to mirror the interface of one or multiple in-line metal detectors onto networked devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops and other industrial equipment. By improving access to data remotely, the innovative Emulation technology delivers safety benefits to line operators by reducing the need for them to access the metal detectors directly, which are often installed in hazardous or inaccessible locations.

Emulation technology is also linked with Mettler Toledo Product Inspection's data management software, ProdX, which automatically collects critical inspection process data in one convenient location, significantly reducing the need to interact directly with critical control points (CCPs). ProdX facilitates faster set-up between production batches and can convey advance warnings generated by product inspection devices of adverse trends that may lead to downtime and threaten the efficiency of the production line. Together, the two technologies make processes more streamlined, accessible and efficient.

Head of Sales at Mettler Toledo Safeline Mike Bradley explains how Emulation can be used in a factory environment: A free application is downloaded, which links directly to a metal detector. Designated personnel can then remotely monitor the current status of the device by logging in from an office, or even another site if the supporting infrastructure is in place. Emulation allows them to view any setting changes that have been made to the metal detector as well as review access log statistics without having to be physically present in front of the machine. The metal detector can be controlled from the remote device.

Bradley says this approach improves safety in factory environments, given that metal detectors are often installed in inaccessible places. By enabling operators to view the Human Machine Interface (HMI) remotely, production workers can gain access to metal detector data in more convenient settings, often reducing the requirement to climb a ladder or work at height to access the control panel.

There are productivity benefits too. By remotely operating the metal detectors, plant operatives can run performance monitoring routines or adjust settings for product changeovers in a timely manner. Manufacturers can use ProdX software to streamline, speed up or eliminate set-up times between production batches, helping reduce downtime and increase plant efficiency.

Bradley concludes, "Ultimately, the improved data sharing capabilities of metal detection equipment is helping to underpin the emergence of smarter, more connected factories, enabling the ‘top-floor to shop-floor’ monitoring of assets."

For more information, please visit www.mt.com/metaldetection.

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