Delta’s Equipment Network Integration (ENI) solutions on electronic assembly lines

Text by: Wujiang System Integration Dept.

The industrial automation systems of the electronics manufacturing industry are normally comprised of soft and hardware such as upper computer monitoring, data capturing devices, controllers, sensor and bus products, and there is often more than one set of upper computer software. Many companies use PLC controllers when setting up a production management visualization system, manufacturing execution system (MES), and energy management system. However, there are various brands of controllers, such as Mitsubishi, Omron, Delta, and Siemens. Different software platforms communicate with production line devices individually to acquire production and device operation information. Such a system framework requires the devices to simultaneously respond to multiple data requests from the upper computer software, which increases the device’s load. Without isolation between the device and data layers, there is a significantly increased risk of the network being infected by virus. 

During the upgrade process for automation and informatization, traditional plants introduce many management software platforms at different stages. Due to lack of overall planning, this results in redundant data exchanges with the same device by different software platforms, increasing the load to the device.

The main purpose of an equipment network integration (ENI) system is to capture data for the production equipment status and operation parameters. Device controllers that need communication include PLCs, human machine interfaces (HMI) and numerical control systems. Device data requires seamless connection with several sets of upper computer software (e.g. Production Management & Visualization Platform (DIAMMP), manufacturing execution system (MES), energy management system). 

Delta provides a full range of solutions such as automated machines, control layer products, communications layer products and management software, and all of its products comply with uniform communication protocols, achieving seamless connection between the device layer, control layer, communications layer and software platform and ensuring system compatibility and reliability.

The installation location and installed quantity of data capture devices are designed based on the number of production line devices, with consideration of factors such as data capturing parameter quantity and cabling distance. One data capturing device corresponds to multiple units of equipment, capturing the data of the equipment, and temporarily storing it. Edge computing of an ENI system is achieved through the logical operation function of the data capture device, reducing the burden of upper computer software. 

ENI enables data capture on every process station with the help of the data capture device. ENI automation integrated technologies help establish a communication interface of uniform specifications and standardized transmission content, realizing inter-device data exchange and machine-to-machine/man overall synergy. In addition, parameter standardization can achieve the standard definition of device parameters. With all equipment following a uniform standard, it reduces the development time for ENI, and improves cross-team development efficiency, achieving rapid duplication of ENI. 

Compared to traditional equipment networked systems, Delta’s ENI solutions have the following characteristics: 

(1) Interconnection standardization
Data capture devices communicate with PLC controllers of various brands to collect the data of PLC controllers. With ENI’s interconnection standardization, it reorganizes and rearranges the parameters of various devices, which provides a uniform access format for upper computer software, thereby reducing software development cost, and effectively increasing communication efficiency between software and devices. 

(2) High reliability
A data capturing device is equipped with two independent network ports, one connecting to the production equipment, and the other to the upper computer’s software, which effectively isolates the device communication layer and software data layer, reducing the risk of the equipment network being infected by a virus. When a virus attack is encountered at the data layer, it will not affect the equipment’s normal operation. 

ENI focuses on the ability to achieve effective isolation between the device communication layer and software data layer, reducing the risk of the equipment network being infected by a virus and the devices’access load.

(3) Data visualization
With ENI solutions and the powerful DIAMMP, systematic analysis, monitoring and management are carried out on data collected from the production line to the workshop in an orderly manner, achieving real-time and powerful machine network efficiency. Besides reducing manpower and time cost, digitization and visualization of production data management can also make the originally rigid data on the server more intuitive, and provide a basis for establishing company policies by the companies’decision-makers. 

With ENI as the foundation, it couples with DIAMMP (This is an example of the Simplified UI) to present the information from production, device operation and quality management in an intuitive and easy-to-understand manner, promoting the data values that were formerly stored in the database and providing a basis for the companies’ decision-makers to draw up strategies.

Delta’s ENI automation integrated technologies are easy to install and debug, which increases a production system’s reliability and real-time data processing at the data layer. Delta’s ENI automation integrated system, which can be widely used in the electronics manufacturing industry, and by the metal processing industry through smart factory upgrades, will become an indispensable and important part of the integration process of any plant’s automation and informatization in the future.