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Integration of shop floor control applications in a real-time data collection environment
The business strategy of most industrial companies is to produce high quality products on schedule at a minimum cost. Within most organisations there are constraints such as machine breakdowns, raw material shortages and personnel problems. The management of industrial companies requires information on quality, schedules, cost, maintenance, personnel, etc.. In many companies this information is collected daily or weekly and presented as management reports. The main disadvantage of this approach is that information is not timely and is presented in a format which is not suitable for detailed analysis. In recent years, software companies have developed systems for specific areas such as quality, scheduling, maintenance, etc.. Some of these systems can provide real-time information on the individual application but still this information is difficult to integrate and analyse. The objective of the EP-5478 SHOP CONTROL consortium is to provide SME's with an integrated set of shopfloor appl ication software packages interacting with the actual shop floor environment through factory data collection equipment and a shop floor communication network. The application packages which are being developed include scheduling, quality, maintenance, supervision and monitoring. This paper describes the hardware, software and communications infrastrukture, the integration of the application packages and it gives an overview of three pilot sites where the system will be demonstrated.