Conair Group Inc. (S2649) takes much of the legwork out of plantwide operations with its ControlWorks system, for a starting cost of less than $5,000.
>From a central location, a plastics processor can monitor the operation of blenders, loaders, dryers, mold temperature control units and robots, and make changes to primary process set points.
ControlWorks, a new product, allows a user to interface with the auxiliary controls and monitor operations, but ControlWorks does not control the individual pieces of equipment. Conair likens the system to a television remote control device with the user checking and, as necessary, changing settings without needing to cross the plant floor to the machine.
Also, ControlWorks can have remote interface panels with Ethernet cable linkage at multiple locations around the plant. The Web-enabled system allows a user to view process data, alarm and diagnostic messages, and control screens from any computer, even a wireless personal digital assistant, with Internet access.
Data can be exported to a companywide management information system.