Monitoring Operator Efficiency in a Printing Facility

Cardboard Printing Facility Uses Wireless Technology to Track Production Performance


A cardboard goods printer struggled with an inability to track machine operators’ efficiency and performance as measured against standard production rates. Furthermore, decreases in efficiency and the availability of unused machinery were not accounted for until the end of the month when the operator data was manually entered into a spreadsheet.


Each press on the production floor was outfitted with a high speed DX80 Counter Node, a push button for resetting the count, and a K50 EZ-LIGHT indicator to show the operator when to start or stop the current job.

Each Node wirelessly communicates back to a centrally-located DX80 Gateway, and the Gateway communicates using Modbus RTU to an HMI panel. When a job is initiated and completed, the system collects and stores the following data on a memory card in the HMI: job number, start and stop time, total parts, and average run time. When each job is completed, the EZ-LIGHT turns red to signal for the operator and the HMI sends an e-mail to notify the manager. 

The wireless efficiency monitoring system increased productivity by 20%, resulting in payback on the deployment costs within 12 months of installation. Idle machines were better used and operators were able to correct per job efficiency numbers sooner thanks to the instantaneous data capture and calculation/display. Plant management felt they had information at their fingertips on which to base corporate decisions regarding capital equipment and personnel investments.

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