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Downtime tracking

Downtime tracking

Downtime tracking

I am looking into tracking all the down time that occurs on the plant floor and making it available on our intranet site.  I have asked my electricians to wire all the machines up and have connected to a PC with RSLogic and RSLinx.  I want to eventually use RS linx or RSview to write machine state changes to a database and then grab that info and put it on the web.  

Am I going about this the right way? Is there something else that I should look into and can this be done with RSlinx or RSView?

RE: Downtime tracking


As you are attempting to use "RSLogix" these machines presumably have a PLC running/controling them.

If so, uptime and/or downtime can be tracked on each individual machine through programming the PLC.  This could then be polled on interval or realtime to record this and/or other functions to a location (i.e. database or?) to be used to generate graphical representations of same.

If all PLC's are of the same mfg (very seldom the case) or a cross platform interoperability function is employed when all are not same mfg, all PLC info can be available for storing or another function of you choosing. PLC's can generate much data and storage can become a problem so snapshots at intervals can reduce the volume.

All of this can be likened to a PC network with the clients being PLC's.

Using this info from different steps in a process "feedforward" and/or "feedback" information can be utilized to optomize a process.

"I know everything..I just can't remember it all"

RE: Downtime tracking

Hi rrajarat,

I'm no expert on RSLinx, but this may be of intersst anyway.

Theres a simple black box that you can add to a line to monitor downtime, OEE, production rate etc, which may help you.

You can hook it into your plc with RS485 or Profibus etc.

Also adds local OEE display, so the line operators can see how they're performing. OEE seems to be the big buzz word in production line performance these days, I guess because it combines 3 measurements of line performance ....

Availability (% of shift time machine been running)
Speed performance (% of maximum output speed acheived)
Quality (% of good product produced)

Good luck,


RE: Downtime tracking

Hi All smile

Ahhh, downtime - my favourite topic.

rrajarat, form my experince with electricians, you are looking at a very expensive system here. To get the most use out of a downtime recording system, you are going to need to know why you are suffering downtime. A plc may be able to tell you that this has stopped working, or that was overloaded, but it will not be able to tell you why. Only a human can tell you that it jammed because it was put in the wrong way around etc.
We use simple forms that the operator fills out and are subsequently punched into a pc. We have in excess of 30 major machines in three factories operating 40 hrs per week to 24/7 and it works fine. (The data goes into an access fe with a sql server be with reports about to be written to be accessed via intranet thanks to my one week old reporting services/visual studio combo)
All I am suggesting is a lower tech approach to see where your dt problems are. You may be able to address them and make significant savings without spending heaps on a recording system. Making the operators fill in the sheets also makes them concious of the fact that they are not operating, and also encourages them to look for root causes, which will help you prevent the same problems reoccuring.

Just my two cents worth smile


RE: Downtime tracking

Rockwell's approach to logging data to SQL Server is RSSQL, RSView isn't relevant here. I'd recommend FactorySQL, http://www.inductiveautomation.com/products/factorysql
which is similar in concept, but much easier to use and cheaper.

In any event, you would use a program to log data from the PLC to the SQL database, then use standard web technologies to present it (ASP, PHP, ColdFusion, Java Servlets, etc). There are off the shelf packages that offer "web viewing" in a very limited sense.

Nathan Boeger
Integrator, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

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