ILPS that stabilize the production process
The term ILPS refers to the Innovative Low Power Solutions, that identifies those innovative, low-energy devices that are easy to program for data collection or for multimedia applications. Nowadays our life is totally dotted with ILPS: tablet, smartphone, electronic cigarette, portable console for playing games, smartwatch, etc.
The enormous use of these technologies in everyday life has made ILPS mature and ready to be used in complex industrial processes. Their reduced consumption guarantees an insignificant energy impact in the production process (read more about this).
Figure 1. Pyramid of Industry 4.0 (CIM model).
The ILPS identify in advance the drifts and, in real time, elaborate a solution and intervene modifying the machines setpoints. How do they do it? These devices have a hardware that allows to perform a large amount of operations per second, so they can be equipped with an artificial intelligence system that analyzes one or more process variables.
The artificial intelligence systems are mathematical models trained to recognize in advance possible drifts of the plant and to intervene.
In the industrial process
The vast majority of third-level automation systems (eg SCADA, DCS, etc.) are not equipped with artificial intelligence. Adding ILPS to its industrial process means adding a fourth layer of smart devices (Figure 1), called ILPS layer, perfectly in line with Industry 4.0, ie the tendency to integrate new technologies into its industrial automation. ILPS are able to observe and understand the phenomena that make the production process unstable. They are interposed between the third level of automation and the process and communicate both with each other and with the third level.
The installation of ILPS does not include any downtime.
Internet of things
ILPS communicate with PLC, PC and other instruments but the real innovation is given by the possibility of exchanging information. These devices, working together, coordinate corrective actions to optimize the machine setpoint (Figure 2).
This philosophy is the basis of the Internet of Things (IoT) which defines ILPS as smart objects.
Figure 2. Insertion of ILPS in an industrial plant. The devices work collaboratively (IoT) and identify the best setpoint to be assigned to the machines.
The use of ILPS allows to achieve stabilization of the production process, with drastic reduction of the drifts.
Figure 3 shows the production of compliant batches in a mill: the first part of the graph shows a high production variability ($).
The introduction of ILPS Phobos has drastically reduced this variability, considerably increasing the production of standard lots ($$).
The introduction of ILPS Hydra and the dialogue with ILPS Phobos have allowed a greater knowledge of the production process, with a high stabilization of production, obtaining 97% of standard lots ($$$).