Systems from multiple vendors installed over time hindered Weber Metals ability to accurately and easily monitor and control PLCs.
Weber Metals, Inc. has over 70 years of experience providing world-class forging services to the aerospace industry around the globe.
Implement a system to monitor and control PLCs as a single-system rather than multiple “islands” of disparate data while navigating the complexity of numerous moving parts that require tedious coordination and closed-loop feedback.
As the largest aerospace forging press in the Western Hemisphere, Weber Metal’s 60K Press has numerous moving parts that require tedious coordination and closed-loop feedback. For this reason, operations are complex and require exact precision. One of the challenges faced by our client included no central viewpoint of the work cell to collect data and control operations. This was a result of multiple individual vendor-package “islands” being installed over time which hindered them in monitoring and controlling the PLCs as a single system.
The other challenge was the vendor systems were managed by outside companies which meant Weber was unable to make custom programming changes. This caused issues to accommodate for future operations since Weber Metal’s operational visual interface wasn’t scalable.
Vertech started the process by integrating all the PLCs that Weber Metals already had to a supervisory PLC and SCADA software. This gave Weber Metals the control and monitoring they desired through the Siemens platform, as WinCC OA provides extreme power and flexibility to the interface. Through this platform, both operators and management are now able to monitor, alarm, trend, and report based off data at the press, furnaces, manipulators, and cooling tower control systems all from one central location. Within the software, Vertech designed multiple screens to provide the operator with all information needed to operate, maintain, and analyze the field equipment.
All load data is now stored in real-time in SQL and can be viewed from any of the designed mission screens. The mission screens allow a lead crew member to assign part movement to and from any location in the work cell. For operators to receive missions more efficiently, Vertech designed the system so that mobile tablets attached to the Manipulators have the information more accessible for the operators. By integrating all load data into the SCADA system, Weber now has a trackable work flow logged in SQL.
The connection of the PLCs and SCADA software create the ability to have central trending and report actionable data for the entire site. With power and flexibility integrated into the interface, the desired control and monitoring was achieved. Production is now running more smoothly by having access to real-time data, as it is easier for Weber to create missions for operators. Most importantly, the integrated and scalable SCADA system can accommodate for Weber Metals’ future operations because they build and add new equipment to their operations.