Home / News / Coating specialist adopts Kepware to tackle automation challenges
Coating specialist adopts Kepware to tackle automation challenges
Kepware Technologies, the leader in Advanced Communications for Automation, announced today that Mondi Belcoat is tackling highly challenging industrial automation problems by leveraging advanced communications software from Kepware. After successfully integrating the KEPServerEX into its communications infrastructure, Mondi Belcoat can ensure that production lines are running at peak efficiency.
Located in Belgium, Mondi Belcoat manufactures high-performance extrusion coated and laminated multi-layer products. With expertise across a broad range of chemical coverings, the company operates multiple production lines, in tandem, to produce quality, multi-layer coatings for the Building, Automotive, and Medical industries.
"Coating and lamination is our only business, and we produce some of the market's leading materials for preserving and protecting critical fabric and paper," said Kurt Geys, IT Coordinator at Mondi Belcoat N.V. "The critical nature of our laminates means we can't afford production lines to experience any downtime."
The company's production infrastructure includes multiple disparate systems, ranging from extrusion coating lines and laminators to printers and perforators. The number of systems and the complexity of the manufacturing environment posed communication challenges, especially with regards to performance and output improvements.
Mondi Belcoat originally drove communications across machinery by utilizing Hydra's Manufacturing Execution System (MES). The software determined when to place machines into stop or production mode based on output goals. In addition, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) were used to capture performance data.
"The old system just wasn't getting it done," continued Geys. "When a machine went into stop mode, operators were forced to manually register the reason. This put a strain on employees, as many weren't adequately skilled at the administrative side of the business, in addition to posing a serious threat to our productivity."
With automated communications such a high priority, Mondi Belcoat turned to Kepware to link their disparate systems, deliver real-time communications, and keep their production lines flowing. "Basically, Kepware is the 'glue' that holds our communications infrastructure together," reported Geys.
Kepware's KEPServerEX is specifically engineered to connect disparate devices and applications, from plant control systems to enterprise information systems. The flexible and scalable software easily manages, monitors, and controls diverse automation devices and software applications. In addition, communications are managed through a robust platform that supports an array of open standards.
By leveraging Kepware products, Mondi Belcoat has highly accurate data that shows their machines are running at peak efficiency. The KEPServerEX platform guarantees no machine drops speed without warning and also provides management with direct insight into the manufacturing line's performance.
Geys reports that Kepware has dramatically boosted overall line productivity while offering greater insight into the consumed and wasted production materials.
"Our success depends on data. Without real-time information, our company is exposed to significant losses in efficiency. Kepware is the perfect fit for us because they, too, are all about the data. This partnership allows us to achieve levels of efficiency we once thought impossible," Geys concluded.
Kepware Technologies, established in 1995, develops a wide range of communication and interoperability software solutions for the Automation industry. Our flexible and scalable solutions help connect, manage, monitor, and control diverse automation devices and software applications. Our industry-endorsed software solutions improve operations and decision-making throughout all levels of an organization.
Kepware Technologies, the leader in Advanced Communications for Automation, announced today that Mondi Belcoat is tackling highly challenging industrial automation problems by leveraging advanced