Webinar recap: Making the remote factory a reality

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We’re all feeling the effects of COVID-19 on how we work. For most, it’s meant a transition to remote work, navigating the ins and outs of balancing productivity and sharing space with partners, kids, and pets while contending with an onslaught of virtual meetings.

For those of you working in production, there’s an extra layer to all this — there are still physical assets on site that need to be managed. And with production picking up in a lot of places, doing this efficiently and remotely has become essential, not just for hitting targets, but also for health and safety.

With this in mind, Fiix recently hosted a webinar called The Remote Factory. We talked to a Fiix user who has integrated his CMMS with the Majik Systems MES (bonus: even the bulk of the integration work was done remotely) in order to facilitate this new way of working, right-size PMs and more.

Who’s who: Webinar participants

headshot of Tony Leombruno

Tony Leombruno, Corporate TPM Champion at Trivium Packaging

Tony’s been with Trivium Packaging for five years and has been a Fiix user for four of those years. He supports six plants across North America and eight other plants in another division. His main focus has been on CMMS implementation and growing the system, including integrating with other business systems.

headshot of Jared Evans

Jared Evans, COO of Majik Systems

Majik connects directly to capital equipment on the plant floor to collect equipment data in real time and turn it into actionable information that allows decision makers in factories to be able to monitor, analyze and optimize their production.

headshot of Sandy D’Souza

Sandy D’Souza: Director of Strategic Alliances at Fiix

Sandy focuses primarily on partnerships and supporting our clients with CMMS integrations through the Fiix Integration Hub.

Top takeaways

How Trivium Packaging is using Fiix + Majik Systems to improve remote work, right size maintenance, and tie in predictive technology.

1. Improve remote work

Trivium Packaging — which makes aluminum packaging for the food and beverage industry — is currently operating as an essential service. They’ve seen a significant uptick in production recently and have used their Fiix + Majik integration to automate meter readings and reduce the number of people walking the floor, which has helped improve remote work and support physical distancing in their facilities.

2. Right-size maintenance with count-based triggers

Time-based maintenance triggers can be an issue, especially for lines that run in tandem or don’t run all the time. It’s easy to waste resources running unnecessary maintenance on these lines, and you can even end up inducing failure by over-PMing. With the integration, Tony was able to move away from time-based triggers to throughput-based ones which has been a game changer when it comes to allocating people and parts to the job.

3. Connect to predictive technologies

The next phase for Trivium is about tying in predictive technologies, including condition monitoring, vibration analysis, and sensors. For Tony, the goal here is to speed up communication and improve his insight into asset health by setting up alerts and automatically triggering work orders in Fiix that show up in users’ dashboards.

4. Integrate really, really easily

According to Tony, the whole integration process has been really easy — so much so that they’ve been able to roll it out remotely. What we liked was that the whole ease of implementation matched what we were already used to with Fiix over the past four years….and everything was remote so they didn’t have to be on site. We’re actually in the middle of an implementation in our Nevada plant right now. Again, they’ve never been on site, everything’s been remote, says Tony, of the process.

What we liked was that the whole ease of implementation matched what we were already used to with Fiix over the past four years….and everything was remote so they didn’t have to be on site.

4 1/2.

Not necessarily a full takeaway, but jump to 13:45 in the video above to see Jared demo how to use Majik to remotely access a PLC and send meter readings to Fiix. In the demo, you’ll see how to:

  • Add a device (Allen-Bradley PLC)
  • Select protocol
  • Set data collection interval
  • Set tags and browse tags using search features
  • Connect to the FIix API and choose an action (create work order, schedule maintenance, meter reading, etc.)
  • Connect nodes and deploy using drag & drop
  • View the meter readings from the PLC recorded on the Fiix asset record

This is just a short rundown of everything that was covered in the webinar. We highly encourage you to watch the whole thing (the webinar itself is only about 23 minutes long, plus another 20 minutes of Q&A!). If you’re pressed for time, here’s a list of highlights and time codes, so you can jump around and explore the content that interests you the most.

  • 05:52: Tony explains how Trivium Packaging is operating as a necessary service, and talks about some of the changes they’ve had to make due to COVID-19.
  • 07:30: Tony shares how a Majik integration with Fiix has decreased staff exposure and allowed them to right-size their maintenance by transitioning to throughput-based maintenance.
  • 09:00: Tony talks about their next phase of the project — connecting with predictive technologies like vibration sensors to transition to condition-based monitoring.
  • 10:32: Jared describes the steps involved for getting started with a Majik Systems integration.
  • 11:50: Tony vouches for the ease of implementation and emphasizes that everything can be done remotely.
  • 13:45: Live demo of Majik + Fiix integration
  • 21:22: Tony explains how he used cycle counts to adjust the triggers in his SM module and how this new data has allowed him to forecast better.
  • 23:30: Q&A
  • 23:50: Jared is asked what kind of sensors can integrate with the system and he expands on possible sensor implementations.
  • 25:30 Tony talks more about how he is planning to use vibration sensors to automatically generate work orders in the next phase of his implementation.
  • 26:26: Fiix user, Tom Dufton, asks if you can take the information and put it in a dashboard or link to excel to populate a live report, and Jared introduces the Majik dashboard suite.
  • 28:15: New Fiix user, Patrice, explains how in the cement and aggregates industry almost everything is being done by hand and asks how integrations could help someone who doesn’t have the luxury of sensors or PLCs.
  • 30:44 Sandy provides a creative solution, sharing how other Fiix users in similar situations have integrated manual operator interfaces, such as a light bulb or switch, to generate a work order in Fiix.
  • 31:40: An audience member asks if the Majik platform can integrate sensors that are not already connected to a PLC and Jared talks more about all the different protocols they support.
  • 32:55: An audience member asks if they need to shut their plant down to get this up and running and Tony reiterates how easy and seamless the integration is.
  • 33:33: Following a question about security, Jared explains Majik security considerations including a local network server, read-only connections, no inbound traffic from the internet, and encrypted push connection out to Fiix API to send data to the cloud.
  • 36:10: An audience member asks how Majik ensures data is always being sent to Fiix. Jared talks about the Majik backup system and how their support team monitors a heartbeat ping to detect and resolve any issues.
  • 37:30: Tony talks more about security from his perspective because this was an important consideration for him.
  • 38:22: A member of the audience asks if they can do the implementation themselves and if it is necessary to use Majik with Fiix. Jared explains how either a controls engineer or the Majik team can perform the implementation and Sandy clarifies that integrating Majik is an option to layer in to optimize the value of Fiix.
  • 40:37: Tony talks more about why they decided to work with Majik based on evaluating the cost of throughput-based v. timed-based maintenance to calculate their cost benefit analysis and ROI.
  • 41:42: Jared discusses Majik’s ability to work with all types of legacy systems following an audience question about older legacy systems and facilities with different generations of controllers.

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