In the plastic processing industry, supervision software serves the function of monitoring and controlling the equipment involved and of collecting and processing the process data.
As part of its standard Win Factory supervision software package, Piovan has developed a specific application called ‘WinPET’ for the PET preform production process.
WinPET runs in the Windows environment with a client / server architecture and connections to equipment through RS485 serial lines or Ethernet (included in the standard licence kit); connected equipment is recognised automatically by means of a specific tool incorporated in the actual software.
WinPET is based on a platform that offers the option of displaying all the line’s equipment on a single page: storage silos, conveying systems, gravimetric blenders, dryers, masterbatch dosers, resin and mould dryers, chillers, preform AA analysers and conveyor belts. When dealing with complex systems with a number of PET preform production lines, the software can show the various work areas on a number of pages instead of all on one page.
The main page can be structured based on the customer’s specific production process specifications, recording the status of each item of equipment (operating, stopped, alarm condition) and the main operating parameters, such as material level in the silos, conveying operations, blender recipes, and the amount of material used on each line.
The other pages give a detailed list of the operating parameters for each of the individual pieces of equipment being part of the system, along with the operating data for the process as a whole.
WinPET thus provides full control of the system.
The most important processing data recorded are:
- Material management, which is essential for the purpose of resin traceability, from the initial product to the preform, in accordance with the strictest international standards on the subject
- Automatic recipe management (which is also useful for repeating ‘production orders’ identically at a later date)
- Material consumption
- Energy consumption
All data are stored continuously in a central database with the option of processing them into graphs and historical analyses and exporting them in Excel format. A scrolling display advises the operator of any alarms affecting the equipment.
WinPET also features suitable graphical interfaces so that the operator can provide remote assistance, i.e. control the individual equipment from a remote station via a telephone line or over the internet.
The WinPET software can be supported with Piovan’s optional hardware devices: industrial PC mounted on industrial cabinet, desktop communication devices (RS232, PS/2, Ethernet, USB) and portable touchscreens with high-resolution interfaces.