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  • Jeremy Theocharis

Combine all shop floor data with work instructions

This post was co-authored by Hector Duran

 

We, the team behind the United Manufacturing Hub (UMH), recently worked with a manufacturer who had Tulip devices installed in a manual assembly cell. The company uses the Tulip platform to create digital work instructions, quality reports and dashboards for supervisors. These use cases allow the manufacturer to monitor and track the performance of the cell.


Work instructions in an assembly cell
Work instructions in an assembly cell

In addition, the manufacturer has another area where it produces an aluminum part internally, which is done in two processes: shearing aluminum bars in an automatic saw and milling in a CNC machine.


Automatic saw, CNC and Final Assembly Cell
Automatic saw, CNC and Final Assembly Cell

The scope of our project was to integrate both areas, manufacturing, and final assembly, into a single IT/OT infrastructure with the aim of establishing a unified namespace - a concept that allows sharing data coming from the shop floor and production assets in real-time with other business applications.


Furthermore, the goal of the project was to add additional data sources to Tulip that are yet to be officially supported (e.g., IO-Link sensors).


This was a valuable opportunity to apply several previously developed and proven use cases by UMH:

  • Retrofitting a CNC milling machine: installing different types of sensors to monitor micro stops as well as planned and unplanned maintenance stops.

  • Direct connection to the industrial controller of the Automatic Saw: using nodes in Node-RED to extract data from a given controller .

  • Assembly cell: connecting multiple different sensors and test devices from various manufacturers with a large range of technologies to the UMH IoT Stack.

As a result we were not only able to successfully finish the project but also to extend our documentation by writing a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to connect Tulip with additional data sources using the United Manufacturing Hub. Go check it out!

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