Conair Group Inc. 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, the operation of blenders, loaders, dryers, mold temperature control units and robots can be monitored and changes made to primary process set points.
ControlWorks, a new product featured at NPE 2006, allows a user to interface with auxiliary controls and monitor operations, but it does not control the individual pieces of equipment. Conair likens the system to a TV remote control with users checking and changing settings without crossing the plant.
Also, ControlWorks can have remote interface panels with Ethernet linkage at locations around the plant. The system lets users view process data, alarm and diagnostic messages, and control screens from any computer or wireless personal digital assistant with Internet access.
Data can be exported to a companywide management information system.