Maximize Weighing Systems Uptime

Maximize Weighing Systems Uptime and Overall Equipment Effectiveness

In global manufacturing, it is important to eliminate production downtime to remain competitive and protect revenue. A new white paper explains how to boost Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) by maximizing weighing system uptime.

Overall Equipment EffectivenessEquipment downtime in manufacturing can significantly impact profitability, but it also can damage customer relationships. In some industries, downtime costs can be as high as $100,000 per hour. The availability of equipment is often impacted by the capabilities of weighing equipment, which is often a critical part of the manufacturing process.

Typical failure causes

Weaknesses within a system can either stop weighing operations or leave a weighing system open to inaccurate performance. Influences that affect conventional strain gauge load cells’ performance include extreme temperatures, voltage surges or dips or load cell performance issues. Several strategies can be used to mitigate these influences. For example, the elimination of junction boxes via a networked load cell topology with IP68/69k protected connectors removes one potential failure source.

Predictive Maintenance

Without automated alerts, a weakened or poorly performing system may not be discovered until the system completely fails. The outcome can be catastrophic failure leading to downtime, or even worse, a system that provides inaccurate weighing measurements. Advanced weighing systems have predictive failure capabilities, which can identify load-cell signal degradation or erratic weighing performance.

Minimizing mean time to repair

Overall Equipment EffectivenessOnce an error is noticed, diagnosis can be a challenge that may require lengthy troubleshooting to trace the cause and correct it. Weighing systems can simplify and shorten repairs via a range of methods such as the use of error codes and descriptions or embedded testing of communication interfaces and I/O functionality.

Preventing raw material outages

Weighing systems are used not only to manage a weighing process but also as an integral part of an inventory management system. For example, a raw material storage vessel that is used to feed a weighing system can be monitored for its daily usage, and can provide an alarm should the inventory value fall below a pre-determined level.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness

Maximizing weighing system uptime is an effective strategy for boosting OEE in many common weighing applications. The continuous availability of a weighing system is often taken for granted, with the impact of degraded or non-operational weighing equipment only evident once production is interrupted. Focusing on just a few factors dramatically reduces the chance of a weighing system issue negatively impacting operational productivity.

The above article is an excerpt from METTLER TOLEDO’s OEE Whitepaper, Uptime Optimization.  Click below link to download the full whitepaper.

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