At the heart of manufacturing operations are the Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) that control the many functions of production-related machinery on the factory floor. The PLCs form the foundation of the manufacturing automation system. Layered on top of the PLCs is the SCADA system, the ‘control room' that enables control of the machinery and recording of the vast amount of production related data. The ‘control panel' into the SCADA system is via a Human Machine Interface (HMI) application, such as the Manufacturing Execution System (MES).
Together, the PLCs, SCADA system and HMI applications form the lifeblood of the manufacturing operation, providing the data and control over the manufacturing process required to protect throughput, quality and profitability. Through this system, the manufacturing enterprise can:
And it is this system that houses the critical production-related, real-time and historical data.