When considering the continuous, 24/7 operations of a cold-end line, we must always take into consideration the person in charge of the line and with the
highest responsibility – the Line Chief. In this article, Zecchetti’s Head of the Electronic Engineering Department, Angelo Olivieri, speaks about how the company works side-by-side with these Chiefs to assist them in carrying out their duties every step of the way.
Managing a cold end line is the highest responsibility of a Line Chief. His experience and knowledge of article dynamics, different in the various points of the line, is paramount. Zecchetti offers the most advanced tools to support this activity, so as to never leave alone those who have the task of utilizing these lines, aware that their uninterrupted operation – around the clock – is vital.
An insight from Angelo Olivieri, Head of the Automation Engineering Department
Angelo Olivieri, Head of the Automation Engineering Department at Zecchetti since 1998, explains how some of the most frequent operations have been simplified and accelerated thanks to Zecchetti supervision software.
Motor speed – individually adjustable “Each motor speed is individually adjustable, thus allowing for the fine tuning of the different line zones. The Zecchetti HMI “ZSA” shows the speed (metres/minute) and the current absorption (in milli-amperes) of each motor. The MOBILE ZSA makes this operation easier and quicker since it allows to modify the parameters at whichever zone and visually observe, in real time, the line behaviour.
Format changeover times Format changeover times have also been considerably reduced thanks to the management of the so-called recipes which are real ID electronic cards containing all the parameters relevant to a given job. Angelo Olivieri Recipes can be set up offline and subsequently uploaded. They can be transferred from the PC to the PLC and vice versa, recalled at any time, modified at any time, cancelled if no more used, etc.
Zecchetti ZSA Supervision Software The Zecchetti ZSA Supervision Software is fully developed inhouse which means it can be customized and constantly improved directly by the Zecchetti Automation Department.” “Another important and useful feature of ZSA Supervision Software says Olivieri, “is the alarm management. In fact, active alarms are signalled and the relevant area is visualized on the Touch Screen PC together with the on-line helps which allow to quickly solve and reset the anomaly. History of the alarms is stored thus giving the possibility of examining the statistics for any period.”
A new, advanced release is on its way
Olivieri has anticipated us that the development of a new, advanced release of the ZSA Supervision Software is in progress and will be presented soon. Most of the functions are being improved and new APPs will be integrated to make this tool more and more helpful and user friendly. However, despite such clever means supporting the Line Chief, there might be situations where the on-line help, available on the Supervision, is not sufficient to solve a possible problem. “True, there are situations that would normally require the intervention of a specialized Zecchetti technician because they do not strictly relate to the production but rather to the setting of the equipment.
Prompt support; remote control software Even in those cases, Zecchetti offers its prompt support to minimize malfunctions and possible stops. In those cases, remote control software, developed by Zecchetti Automation Department, is activated. This is a program that, through a VPN tunnel, immediately connects our electronic engineers in Zecchetti with the PLC of the plant, wherever it is. Our technicians can thus check the on-site situation, analyze it and work in real time to solve the problem or in any case to put actions in place to solve it as soon as possible. We asked Olivieri whether the described software is the only assistance given to on-site operators. “Actually no. Another important instrument that can be put in place is a Video Camera HMI integrated system that allows the After Sales Service at Zecchetti to watch in real time the equipment operation.” “In practice, the line chief or staff performing maintenance operations are never left alone, they can at any time be assisted in carrying out their duties. A perfect example of the current trend of automation which goes by the name of Industry 4.0”