Global Monitoring with IOhub - Success Story

Injection Molding Machine Builder

Scope: Find a solution to retrieve and analyze data from machines installed in the field with the possibility to monitor critical parameters Implement a secure video monitoring system to be installed in critical points of the machine.

Solution: EZ VPN IOhubTM open platform IIoT data management solution

Application: Injection molding machine

The Client: The client is a major injection molding machine manufacturer located in North America. They manufacture injection molding machines that also integrate auxiliary equipment (dryers, coolers, temperature controllers, etc.) for the production of medical and packaging products.

The technology provider: EZ VPN Inc.

EZ VPN provides innovative, cloud-based remote access solutions for industrial applications (ICS) as well as a data management platform for Industry 4.0 and IIoT applications. The ability to assemble applications without the use of programming makes the IOhubTM platform one of a kind, giving customers flexibility that other systems cannot offer.

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THE CLIENT'S REQUEST

The client produces several models of injection molding machines designed for specific applications. The preferred PLC used in their injection molding machines (IMM) is an Allen-Bradley ControlLogix, whereas most of the auxiliary equipment connected to the IMM uses Siemens Simatic S7 PLCs.

The customer seeks a solution that will allow them to:

  1. Monitor and retrieve data from all injection molding machines as well as their auxiliary equipment that is installed in the field with the ability to group all data in one single location.
  2. Create an alarm system that notifies the service department if certain parameters go above preset thresholds.
  3. Install a secure vision system with cameras positioned in multiple locations of the mold area of the machine and access only through secure connections.

The client would also like, in the future, to implement an AI technology that will allow them to prevent machine downtime by monitoring machine failures linked to machine production parameters.

The client wanted a solution that is easy to implement with new and existing machines without the need to change the configuration of existing control panels. Please note that almost all machines were already equipped with a remote access solution from two different providers that the client didn’t want to change.

SOLUTION

After evaluating different solutions available on the market, the client decided to go with EZ VPN’s IOhubTM solution. According to the client, the main motivating factors were:

  • Flexibility of the solution that can dialog with multiple types of PLCs
  • Easy implementation with no coding required.
  • Hardware independent solution that can be entirely backed up on the Cloud.
  • Affordable implementation cost.
  • The IOhubTM OEM Package plan which gives them peace of mind with full development and technical support as well as a lifetime warranty on the EZ VPNTM hardware.

The client installed one EZ VPNTM IOX1, IOhub enabled device, on every single electric machine manufactured after 2015. Taking immediate advantage of the IOhubTM OEM Package service, the EZ VPN development team assisted the client with the configuration of the applications required.

Application #1 - Data from PLC to AWS cloud and Data Visualization with notification

This application was built in minutes by just adding the pre-configured containers that are readily available in the IOhubTM catalog.

All data coming from the machine were accurately tagged during the configuration of the Ethernet/IP connector so that when streamed to AWS Timestream service, it can be properly organized in the database. The Grafana visualizer container allowed us to visualize the data and create customized views.

The client also wanted to monitor the vibration of the machine in the mold section of the machine and group data from all machines in one single graph. They wanted to create an alarm and automatic notification when the value went above a preset limit.

The client had several options for notifications tools to use (Telegram, Slack, email, etc) and they decided to use Slack since it was already implemented as an internal communication tool. All containers assembled were saved as a “template application” which allows automatic deployment for every new IOX1 box that will be configured.

Application #2 - Video monitoring

The closure of the mold is one of the critical points of the machines that the service team wanted to have visual access in the event the critical vibration value is reached. The webcam container was easily developed by the EZ VPN development team and added to IOhubTM. This container allows the service team to reach the cameras through VPN, by simply using a surveillance system, in a browser exposed by an IOhubTM container.

CONCLUSIONS

The implementation of IOhubTM with the electric injection molding machine was a success for the customer. The project turnaround was quick without the need to employ additional company resources.

The IOX1 devices were sent to the customers to be installed and connected to the machine control panel. The client supplied a detailed procedure for the team to follow. The overall implementation was done remotely with the assistance of the EZ VPN development team.

The implementation of IOhubTM as an IIoT solution allows the client to add in AI software in the future that will further help link machine failures with production and operating machine parameters.

Also, IOhubTM is a hardware-independent solution that guarantees maximum uptime in the event of hardware failure. The IOhubTM OEM Package offers a lifetime warranty on the hardware. In the event of a failure, EZ VPNTM can easily allow swapping the faulty hardware with a new one and all data and applications previously developed will automatically be moved to the new box.

The client estimated that this new solution helped them save more than 100,000 USD in just service calls alone, without taking into consideration the additional revenues that can be generated by charging the customers for a real-time monitoring system.

For more information please contact support@ezvpn.online

Useful links

  • Visit our IO Industry page if you are interested in Industrial IoT solutions.
  • Visit our IO Blog page for up to date information about our news releases.

Client Feedback

EZ VPNTM technology allowed us to develop a tailor-made application in no time. Thanks to IOhubTM's huge and powerful catalog we were able to develop an all-in-one, fully integrated, affordable solution. Using only one device we were able to simply integrate our needs in one IOhubTM application. Monitoring our machine lines was never so simple and the consulting of the EZ VPNTM technicians was priceless.

- Mike R. J. COO

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