Krones’ Mobile Line Assistant
The times in which each machine within a line was also assigned its own operator are history. Nowadays, operators are responsible for several different machines, with differentiated remits. To enable a machine standstill to be preventively precluded, the operators have to keep the line under continuous observation, thus detecting in advance that a malfunction is imminent.
Some layouts, however, do not permit a sufficiently complete view of the line (restricted visibility), thus rendering it impossible to prevent malfunctions in good time. High-performance smartphones can use apps to provide a technical option for transferring information to the various user groupings involved (operators, make-ready personnel, maintenance staff, etc.) within a Krones line, and thus to keep them proactively informed on situations outside their line of sight.
Krones’ Mobile Line Assistant supports the operators in handling their daily workload on the bottling and canning lines, without distracting them from their actual work.
Each user receives purposefully edited, personalised information on malfunctions, warnings and process values. A business logic capability at the server evaluates the information being received from the line, and forwards the contents of relevance for the requisite action in a form appropriate to the line’s ongoing situation and the user’s sphere of responsibility. Dynamic prioritisation of the contents assists the user in always identifying the most urgent tasks required for assuring high levels of line availability. Purposeful reduction to strictly relevant contents, plus a clear, contemporary design language on the level of the user interface, help the operators to detect problems quickly even in stressful situations. All these characteristics put together ensure a minimised cognitive workload for the user.
For our clients, the quantifiable success consists of a beneficial effect on line availability, since the operators can identify and tackle the tasks required in their line. The line personnel, irrespective of their ongoing location, are supplied directly with important information from the operators’ workspace, so that they can contribute to efficient production by performing fast and appropriate action. The operator no longer has to move to the information, as is currently the case with Krones’ lines featuring fixed, stationary touch-screens at the machines concerned; now, the information “moves” to the operator.
Following the broad market launch with the next version of SitePilot (first half of 2015), the functionality will be successively upgraded by short-cycled product iterations.
The Mobile Line Assistant is a constituent part of Krones’ SitePilot family brand. It incorporates a comprehensive, modularised software package covering all the tasks involved, from production to logistics. This enables processes to be planned, visualised, documented and controlled.
All SitePilot innovations and design enhancements contribute towards a state-of-the-art intuitively operated software package that supplies the user with easily comprehensible and situationally relevant information in a proactively role-tailored form. All SitePilot applications are rooted in a shared, unambiguous database (single point of truth). This precludes the possibility of contradictory statements inside the application.
Voting for the MLA:
The MLA won the “automation app award” organised by the German-language magazine “elektrotechnik”. Three apps from the production category have reached the finals. The race was between Krones, Siemens and the machinery manufacturer Trumpf.