SCADA & Distributed Process Control


MJC²'s PIMSS software integrates with the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) control system architecture at the production scheduling and production control levels.

Typically manufacturing control system architecture is divided into 5 levels:

  • Level 0: sensors and control devices on the plant equipment.
  • Level 1: programmable logic controllers and remote terminal units.
  • Level 2: supervisory layer and HMI.
  • Level 3: production control - monitoring and adherence to production targets.
  • Level 4: production scheduling.

PIMSS addresses levels 3 and 4, automating the line scheduling in real-time to react to deviations captured from the SCADA system, and optimizing production schedules based on demand and capacity.

Dynamic Automated Scheduling

PIMSS executes the production targets scheduled for the plant, dynamically allocating work to equipment and production lines based on inputs from:

  • The SCADA system, such as actual production rates, finished goods/completed tasks and equipment performance/availability;
  • ERP or order management systems, which provide the high level demand in terms of actual orders or target inventory levels;
  • Workforce management systems, which provide information about available labour (by skill) needed for key stages of the production process.

Using this information, along with master data constraints, routings and other business rules, PIMSS maintains a continuously updated production schedule, at different levels of granularity:

  • Detailed minute-by-minute line schedule for activity over the next few hours or shifts.
  • Operational plan for the next few days or weeks based on actual demands and expected availability of equipment and personnel.
  • Capacity plan for several weeks or months or even years, based on latest forecasts and strategic management decisions.

Fourth Generation & IoT

Cloud computing and Internet of Things technology has helped drive the "fourth industrial revolution" or Industry 4.0. This enables SCADA systems to provide near real-time information to the production scheduling software.

Parallel developments in collaborative management approaches and data sharing, particularly relevant to distributed just-in-time manufacturing operations, further increase the availability of information for manufacturing scheduling algorithms such as those in the PIMSS toolset.

PIMSS exploits this increased availability by using very fast Artificial Intelligence-based scheduling algorithms to further optimize the end-to-end supply chain. Integration with logistics planning algorithms (e.g. DISC) allows better synchronisation of transport with production processes, reducing lead times and increasing visibility and resilience.



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