Wittmann Battenfeld, IQMS integrate software, machines
In a joint demonstration with Wittmann Battenfeld, IQMS showed off the latest versions of its manufacturing execution system (MES) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software at NPE2018. New features include a Track and Trace module.
Wittmann Battenfeld controls engineer and technical trainer Dana Ford said the two companies began working last year to ensure IQMS software could seamlessly integrate with Wittmann 4.0, Wittmann Battenfeld’s Industry 4.0 technology. The products are not exclusive to each other, but company representatives can recommend both sets of technologies to customers.
By working with IQMS, Wittmann Battenfeld was able to demonstrate to NPE2018 attendees how MES software can allow plant operators to see information about every piece of equipment throughout a plant or plants. With the software and Industry 4.0-compliant equipment, databases can capture information that can be used to analyze trends and assist with predictions and root-cause analytics associated with equipment service and failures. This can improve operational efficiency and quality.
“At NPE2018, the demand among plastics manufacturers for solutions that deliver the automation and data capture of Industry 4.0 has never been stronger,” said Steve Bieszczat, CMO for IQMS software. “We’ve seen several attendees visit both the IQMS and the Wittmann Battenfeld booths to see the data exchange between their machines and our ERP and MES software in action.”
During the demonstration, Wittmann Battenfeld equipment with industry-standard OPC-UA and Euromap 63 industrial automation protocol provided data to IQMS software. The Wittmann Battenfeld equipment used built-in sensors to provide IQMS software with event, measurement and performance data.
“We connected the MES software to the WB smart machines and picked up all the signals and outputs and fed them into MES, where MES does its software thing in processing, recording, reporting and analyzing what the machine is doing,” Bieszczat said.
The demonstration showed how IQMS software can provide a manufacturer with data to:
• monitor process and production efficiency and quality trends and quickly identify deviations in performance;
• improve overall equipment effectiveness through real-time monitoring of performance;
• optimize machine and customer order planning and fulfillment;
• prolong the life of equipment, machinery and tools through predictive maintenance;
• and improve cycle times and reduce scrap to optimize machine performance.
In a Wittmann 4.0 work cell, all devices are connected with Ethernet cables to a central hub, called a Wittmann Router. The router is located within a Wittmann Battenfeld injection molding machine control cabinet.
When used with IQMS, the router delivers the data from the work cell to the cloud, where the data is stored and maintained by IQMS. The data can be linked to work orders, bills for materials and numerous other options that IQMS offers. The data also can be viewed on any computer using IQMS software, and customers can view real-time monitoring results on web-based apps that can be viewed remotely from computers, tablets and smart phones.
Wittmann Battenfeld’s decision to serve as a partner in the NPE2018 demonstration coincided with the company’s push to incorporate Industry 4.0 compatibility into its new injection molding machines, robots, and automation and auxiliary equipment.
In addition to its partnership with Wittmann Battenfeld, IQMS announced its new Track and Trace module, which helps processors accurately document and track products to react and respond to recalls and meet industry regulations and quality audits, Bieszczat said.
Track and Trace provides processors with the ability to:
• improve production scheduling by keeping track of products, parts, components and inventory levels;
• enhance customer service with timely and accurate order status information;
• better identify when and how a defective part was introduced into production;
• identify by lot number, serial number or other identifiers manufactured products, components or raw materials that are subject to a recall;
• track and troubleshoot supplier performance and quality problems;
• track medical device product history for each unit produced;
• quickly and easily view raw materials’ expiration dates;
• and track expiration dates for finished parts.
While highly regulated industries have long been required to have a system in place for tracking and tracing parts, more companies are expressing a desire to better track products and materials. The software helps companies meet parts-tracking requirements and better identify and react to any problems involving manufactured parts or raw materials.
Bruce Geiselman, senior staff reporter
Paso Robles, Calif., 805-227-1122,
Wittmann Battenfeld Inc.,
Torrington, Conn., 860-496-9603,