Video should be part of every SCADA solution. In fact, all plant operations should consider adding cameras to existing operations as the technology is well understood and the returns can be significant and measurable. Troubleshooting manufacturing equipment and process upsets is extremely costly. False alarms add to this cost, especially if the equipment is remote. If a problem is intermittent, valuable time is wasted waiting for the problem to reoccur. Costs incurred include increased personnel costs, safety concerns, lower plant throughput, and reduced product quality.
What to Consider
There are seven key things you should consider when choosing a source for your manufacturing video monitoring system. Does the system:
- Provide your technicians and engineers a video clip of fault that triggered a downtime event?
- Quickly provide video clips correlated with SCADA historical data for forensic analysis so “central plant experts” can consult quickly and conveniently on field or plant issues?
- Integrate alarm messages and video into your HMI/ SCADA system so that operations are enhanced and not diluted?
- Record what the operator sees on the console and playback both process video and operator HMI screen recordings to analyze exactly what the operator was seeing and doing as well as what happened?
- Improve worker safety by providing operators instant eyes to critical or dangerous work zones that are obstructed?
- Easily monitor remote sites centrally using recording at the edge, bandwidth management, and event-based video clips to reduce trips, scale your central control room, and provide 24x7 monitoring?
- Speak and understand the languages of your process control system (MODBUS and OPC, for instance)?
More Eyes on the Process
An obvious solution to the problems mentioned above is to put eyes on every critical part of the manufacturing process. Having more visibility into your manufacturing process can improve:
- Operational efficiency
- Worker safety
- Product quality
- Loss prevention
- Facility security
21st Century Manufacturing
Thanks to advances in networking, video, and processing technologies, video systems can now be an integral part of any critical manufacturing process. Examples of where these types of systems are now in use include:
- Major oil company uses thermal technology for security and leak-detection at remote compressor sites sites.
- Food and beverage manufacturers use cameras to monitor robotic packaging lines for quick analysis of downtime events.
- Large tire manufacturer has over 500 cameras providing realtime viewing in and around large equipment as well as video review for quality analysis
- Steel manufacturers use cameras to monitor the external temperature of molten metal ladles to warn for breakouts.
This article was written by Paul Vanslette, Chief Technology Officer at Industrial Video & Control. Paul is responsible for planning and leading the initiative to design, develop, and implement industrial video software solutions for manufacturing, SCADA, and security applications that provide a sustained competitive advantage.