You have to set market trends to win customers. The ever-increasing requirements of the paint and coatings industry in terms of regulations, quality assurance, water consumption, plant utilization, traceability and sustainability demand new approaches. The trend is towards highly automated, modular processes – from the acceptance of raw materials, through production to dispatch, as well as from plant control level to production and back again. Integrated solutions are necessary to meet the tough requirements of networked production.
Due to increasing competition in the paint and coatings industry, all production processes must offer the highest level of flexibility – from the acceptance of raw materials and the production process to the filling of the finished product. Based on the raw material and the mixed recipe, it must be possible to produce several product variants. Preferably with an integrated IT system that controls and monitors all subordinate semi or fully-automated process areas and modules and is connected to an ERP system via interfaces.
Plant iT is a modular IT system with integrated MES functionalities for all process areas in the paint and coatings industry. This industry-specific feature combined with cutting-edge information technology enables data transparency from the operational to the planning level and at all stages of value creation. The Manufacturing Execution System (MES) provides production managers with new opportunities to overview the entire process chain, from the delivery of raw materials to the packaged product. This enhanced transparency optimizes processes, improves product quality, saves energy and raw materials and increases the availability of machines and plants.
From the acceptance and storage of raw materials, the recipe-controlled mixing and production of paints and coatings and the integration of various skids / units or inline mixers to the filling, packaging and dispatching of goods – in cooperation with customers, machine suppliers and universities, we have defined standard interfaces for process and quality data for each machine of a filling and packaging plant. This also benefits the paint and coatings industry. Thanks to this trendsetting procedure, it is, for example, possible to implement integrated Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) analyses. Furthermore, coordination of the higher-order process control is enabled by recording all machine data until they are transferred to internal logistics and by mapping the flow of information for individual process steps.
Head of Sales, Life Science, Food & Chemistry
ProLeiT GmbH, Germany
Phone: +49 9132 777 142
If you take a closer look at the manufacturers of industrial paints and coatings, you will often come across production areas consisting of plants and machines from various vendors with little or no intercommunication. This heterogeneous plant and machine scenario is divided into numerous process areas and very rarely fully automated or connected to a higher-order IT system. Although many plant and machine manufacturers offer information solutions in the form of SCADA systems, they are often limited to their own plants and thus to a specific process area and are not intended for a production line or the entire production facility. This often results in the development of so-called “islands“ which have, for instance, their own recipe management and whose adjustment in case of original recipe modification can only take place manually and, in the worst-case scenario, can only be carried out by a programmer. Furthermore, actual data, e.g. viscosity, are not permanently recorded at these local automation systems. An excellent example of this are units / skids. The necessity of higher-order process management becomes apparent when further considering existing dispatching, storage and logistics systems. The flow of information becomes an even more critical factor for production areas which map workflows as so-called routing or accompanying sheets – in this case, the manual recording of production data is a typical source of errors.
Irrespective of existing systems and requirements, Plant iT processes information from all process areas and assumes integrated process management thanks to defined interfaces. A feasible solution for the “island“ problem could be to interlink the controls in order to, e.g., specify order parameters as well as record, analyze and send actual values to an ERP system in a condensed form. Furthermore, Plant iT can ensure compliance to quality parameters, the calculation of material consumption according to the order list and complete traceability of the entire production process in line with statutory regulations.
For all challenges in the paint and coatings industry
- Goods receipt
- Grinding & dispersing
- Complete & nuance
- Acceptance of bills of materials and consumption feedback to ERP systems
- Recipe changes to a current order
- Manual component management
- Recipe optimization
Process-oriented materials management
- Mapping the material flows across all process steps
- Inventory management of all materials
- Recording and processing of rework
- Batch and product tracking
- Loss analysis
- ERP integration to optimize MRP processes
Integrated energy management
- Energy data recording and visualization
- Energy statistics with detailed consumption reports
- Feedback of energy consumption to the higher-order process-cost controlling system
- Optimization of the operating mode of energy stores
- Display of specific energy consumption
Quality and production optimization
- Connection to laboratory systems
- Workflow of QA-relevant inspection processes
- Production data acquisition
- OEE values for the manufacturers of paints and coatings
Service and support
- 24/7 support
- System monitoring
- Analysis and maintenance
The MES and PCS levels are often seen as two separate systems in one production plant. Plant iT prevents this common separation. Unnecessary interfaces and duplicate administrations are avoided thanks to the provision of MES functions in the Plant iT system. Furthermore, this provides the perfect foundations for integrated information processing and increased effciency for system operation, maintenance and repairs as well as future extensions. ProLeiT has therefore developed the flexible system platform Plant iT, consisting of basic systems and modules for application in various areas of a production plant. The Plant iT material module is an excellent example of the modular design of the Plant iT system. Since the availability of materials is of key importance for paint plants, process-related materials management provides all the data on a permanent basis. This ensures rapid decisions on intervention in the process cycle during production. An essential criterion for the quality of these decisions is the up-to-dateness of the information on the stock, local availability and quality status of the materials being processed.
Plant iT therefore guarantees the required integration to, e.g., ensure traceability and carry out recipe optimization depending on the raw material parameters. Furthermore, Plant iT can map the entire received raw materials with the respective workflow. The modularity of the process control system Plant iT supports gradual implementation in the facility. Existing plant technology and processes can thus be integrated. ProLeiT has extensive project experience and numerous testimonials in the field of consulting and MES solution implementation in the paint and coatings industry.
OEE is the abbreviation for “Overall Equipment Effectiveness”, a method developed for the determination of values for monitoring and improving the efficiency of production plants. In many industries, the evaluation of process quality using the OEE method has already proven successful. There are also many advantages for paint and coatings industries, but the most important thing is: transparency. Potentials for optimization can be systematically uncovered with the aid of OEE key figures. They indicate where productivity losses occur and analyze the availability, system performance and quality of the individual production lines. They therefore form the basis for all optimization measures.
Plant iT, ProLeiT’s process control system, delivers OEE key figures and reports at the push of a button – per line and across production facilities. Since all production data is interlinked, it is also possible to provide OEE analyses and detailed representations of the plant efficiency of individual lines and machines. Depending on the respective customer requirements, the capacity utilization of the various lines can be compared as well as compliance with key performance figures.
Dashboards, tables or lists are, for instance, available for the graphical presentation of data. Paint and coating-specific standard requirements have been integrated into Plant iT and can be presented in real time as online reports. The following information is, amongst others, evaluated:
- Performance statistics
– e. g. utilization times of all the machines
- Energy statistics
– e. g. consumption per machine, line or produced container
- Fault analyses
– causes of downtime and downtime per machine, line or product
- Consumption analyses
– e. g. raw material / packaging materials per batch / order; waste / losses
- Golden batch analyses
– e. g. process value comparison
Tracking & Tracing in the paint and coatings industry
In order to comply with international food standards (e.g. IFS), the issue of “traceability of raw materials up to the finished end product within a production process” is becoming increasingly important. ProLeiT ensures this at all times through the consistent and complete recording of raw materials and finished products within the scope of tracking & tracing.
The reasons for this are not only the increasing demands of retailers and the desire for greater transparency on the part of end consumers but also the economic damage caused time and again by costly product recalls. Clear identification and the complete traceability of goods throughout the entire production cycle offer a number of advantages. Since the chronological tracking of relevant process steps allows producers, logisticians and manufacturers to be assigned exactly to the respective product or production step. Errors can therefore be avoided preventively or possible sources of errors can be found more easily retrospectively. Process-related materials management, such as the optionally available Plant iT material module, offers a transaction-accurate online view of all material transactions. They are recorded on the basis of a process-compliant warehouse structure and besides precise inventory management also enable investigation and evaluations, in particular batch traceability.
Starting at a freely selectable entry point, investigations can be carried out in both directions. An overview divided into predecessors (upstream) and successors (downstream) with a presentation of the information, similar to the warehouse and transaction overview, facilitates navigation.