One of the world’s biggest wax mixers, and longtime Hexa Ingenieros’ client, decided to recently upgrade its production control system. The legacy system ran on control hardware that was obsolete and no longer supported by their suppliers. The existing set-up comprised of 6 independent manufacturing zones run by PLCs installed individually over a period of years and without any clear-cut control strategy.
Furthermore, the custom-developed MES running on the top layer was being used to verify that production processes were performed to the work methods validated by the Process Department, an approach that was far from appropriate for this type of system. After preliminary data-gathering beside to the client and an analysis to identify the best solution for the current factory layout, Hexa proposed the following solutions, based on the resources that the client already had in operation:
- Remove all the PLCs and convert the system into a distributed periphery based on a single PLC to unify criteria, standardize facilities and centralize management.
- Develop a SCADA system to extract the plant’s visual and operating parameters from the MES, leaving the latter solely in charge of the management and configuration processes.
- Migrate the MES to a cutting-edge web application so that operators with appropriate privileges can access it from anywhere in the plant.